30 January 2015

Published January 28, 2015 by rochellewisoff

The disc and the dragonfly

Undersea St. Thomas 4 Meme

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Below is the PHOTO PROMPT. Does it spark an idea for you? Step outside the fuse box and switch on a story. 

My story will follow the prompt and the blue inLinkz frog. I appreciate honest feedback for it’s how we grow as writers. 

PHOTO PROMPT - Copyright Ted Strutz

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright Ted Strutz

get the InLinkz code

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

TIP OF THE SPEAR

            “Eddie, why did you do that?”

            “I dunno,” he mumbled.

            Eddie hung his head and stared at Mom’s shattered porcelain teapot. It never occurred to him when he threw his ball at the cat that he’d miss.

            “Special Ed.” His sister Karen stuck out her tongue and crossed her eyes. “Retard.”

            “Impulsive and disruptive,” his second grade teacher told Mom the day he stuck a piece of foil in the electrical outlet. “He’ll never amount to much.”

 

____________

 

            “Why did Eddie do that?” Karen whispered.

            “Impulsive and fearless.” The tall Marine handed her a folded American flag. “A true hero.”

.

.

.

American Hero.

.folded flag

155 comments on “30 January 2015

    • Dear Björn,

      Sacrifice is the earmark of a hero. I don’t know if I could ever be one, but I have a great admiration and respect for those who give their lives without reserve.

      Thank you for commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Blessed are the impulsive and disruptive; they go places many of us would never dare to go. Lovely story Rochelle and informative too – I’m off to find some tin foil and a socket… 🙂

    Like

    • Dear Sandra,

      It’s easy to get annoyed with those impulsive kids who don’t think before acting or seem to need to be the center of attention. I wonder how many stars, politicians and war heroes met that description as children.

      Thank you for your wonderful comments and let me know how that tin foil in the socket works for you. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Claire,

      I have three sons. The youngest was the most disruptive and challenging, He’s also extremely talented and a delightful young man.

      Thank you for such a lovely comment. Coming from an author of your caliber it means a lot.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Really moving story, Rochelle. It shows that we have to listen to the child and take nothing or granted. The very questioning, experimental, and curious child is often showing intelligence. I wouldn’t change a child like that for the world. Well done as always. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

    • Dear Suzanne,

      Intelligent children are challenging. I had three of them (proud mom). There were times I wanted to pull out my hair. What one wouldn’t think of the others did. My youngest in particular always acted first and thought later. I’m happy to say that all of them are grown men living productive lives.

      Thank you for such nice comments on my story.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Woosh, yes, me too. He loved jumping from aeroplanes, tho his specialty was computers, a heart of gold. What a wonderfully insightful story, I think we all know a mischievous child or two (Einstein and Steve Jobs come to my mind, of the famous ilk). Aren’t we glad their mothers didn’t give up on them?

    Like

  • Well, Rochelle, expectations are interesting things; I read this half-expecting it to turn into a story about Edison or someone (I know, I know, no outlets in Edison’s time, but you take my meaning), even though you clearly titled it Realistic, not Historical fiction.
    The first section is out-of-the-park good. I was absolutely there, with the frustrated mother, the impulsive boy and the taunting sister. Amazing. I loved them all instantly.
    For me, the second section was almost a letdown; it told me Eddie’s end, but without enough context to really grieve for him. I’d have liked it to be more clear that his Impulsiveness had been for the good in the end and not just tragic. In a soldier, I can imagine how Impulsiveness and Fearlessness might just get one killed unnecessarily, and I wanted to feel that in this case it had made him do something heroic (above and beyond ‘just’ being a soldier). Does that make sense?
    Anyway, I am nitpicking. I LOVED the first part and don’t want to take away from that with my ramblings about the ending.

    Like

    • Dear Jennifer,

      The fact that you loved any part of my story is gratifying. And I appreciate your honest feedback for the latter part. It’s hard to get every detail into a hundred words, isn’t it?
      I think his impulsiveness was for the good…the kind of thing that makes a man sacrifice his life for a comrade without a whole lot of thought aside from the fact that it’s the right thing to do. I imagine that in those situations a person has to make snap decisions. I think Eddie was that kind of hero.
      Thank you for taking the time to leave such a comprehensive comment. Your support is something I’ve come to count on.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Larry,

      One never knows just how those impulsive children will turn out. My husband’s family used to say that all his school pictures needed was a number under them. I’m here to testify that after forty-three years of marriage that he turned out to be a man of integrity.

      Thank you for commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • You know, this moved me in an unexpected way. I was the firing party commander for military funerals (the ones who do the 21 gun salute) and it always made me feel so proud to watch the delivery of the flag to a family member. Their genuine appreciation to the person presenting the flag shined through their grief. I love this story, the connection you made with Eddie’s character from childhood was terrific.

    Like

  • As well as being a beautifully formed story this raises so many issues in such a small space.
    I would love more too – but isn’t that part of the point that questions and possible answers linger..
    I once heard a child psychologist who was very anti drug treatments for (so-called) disruptive children pointing out that as a society we need to collectively value all types of behaviours, rather than celebrate one perfect impossible human being and he pointed to both extreme and everyday situations where caution is not always appropriate.
    Your story brought back this passionate plea to value individuals not hand out the drugs..There are other views on this very controversial subject I know.

    Cheers for stories and yours in particular!

    Like

    • Dear MJ,

      One of the ironies of these ADHD kids is that they tend to be creative and talented individuals. I have a son who fits this description. Medication seemed to help at first but over the years it didn’t do much good. In his teens, my son stopped taking his meds and started selling them. How brilliant is that?

      He’s now a grown man who still deals with the challenges but he’s going about it in natural ways.

      Thank you for your comments on my story. They’re always appreciated.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Great piece, Rochelle. As I’m finding out with my kids, people just want to put them in the behaving box where everything is fine and creativity is minimized. Many of us don’t know who we are or what we’re capable of until we heal from childhood. 🙂 I love this!

    Like

    • Dear Amy,

      Our youngest son had a tumultuous childhood. Some of that I blame on the school system…okay…a lot of it. Medicate them make them docile and passive. No matter what they did, he never fit the mold and kept escaping the box. He’s talented and creative and I’m glad we survived.

      I look back on my own childhood. Actually, a HS guidance counselor more or less told me I wouldn’t amount to much. He told me I wasn’t college material and that I should either go to trade school or get married. For years I believed the lie that I was stupid.

      Thank you for your comments on my story.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Rochelle,
        I’m sorry to hear about your youngest. I’m homeschooling my third grader right now, because he doesn’t fit the mold, and I’m worried about his mental health if I send him back to school. It’s a very fragile situation. Unfortunately, I don’t think schools have learned very much how to think outside the box. I’m glad your son is doing well now. It does feel like a game of survival. I’m already anxious about next year and what to do.

        That counselor can stick it! Shame on the counselor! That makes me mad. Well, you showed him. I suffered from low self-esteem in school, and it took me years and years to have a better view of things. That comes from a limited perception of things as a kid. If only I knew then what I know now! Well, I think you’re brilliant!

        Shalom,
        Amy

        Like

        • Dear Amy,

          A therapist once suggested that I homeschool my son but I was afraid the only subject I would teach would be child abuse. I admire you and other parents who can take this on. School was not a good experience for him, though. And their IEP’s were a joke. I take issue with suspending a student for playing hooky. Is it just me or is there something grossly wrong with that picture? I’ll be sending thoughts and prayers your direction for your situation. My experience has been that they do grow up and make their way in the world. I love my adult sons and enjoy seeing what they’ve become.

          I’ve often thought about trying to find Mr. Shank and tell him what I thought. I’m sure he wouldn’t remember me, if he’s still around. His advice was based on my GPA which wasn’t too high. (And he was an idiot). It wasn’t until years later when I was hospitalized (one of the many times) for depression and given an IQ test. The therapist who gave me the results was incredulous when I told her I had two sons between 135 and 145 IQ’s and I knew mine was going to come out in two digits. She never told me my numbers but just smiled and said, “Where do you think they got it?” It took years after that for it to sink in. I’d believed fr so long that my brother was the smart one and I was the dumb one. Found out later on that my brother saw me as the talented one and himself as the one lacking.

          Thank you for your affirming words and continual support. Friend like you are the reason I had to keep Friday Fictioneers going.

          Shalom,

          Rochelle

          Liked by 1 person

          • Rochelle,
            You got me all teary eyed. Teachers have a lot of power and sometimes it’s abused. Just yesterday, my son got a detention for talking…for under thirty seconds at the beginning of class. I thought it was harsh. I think as kids, we can be quite insular in our worlds, especially when people like teachers put negative thoughts in our heads. I absolutely don’t agree with it. I think you should write a story about Mr. Shank or something! It would be a gift for those suffer with feelings of inadequacy, which should never be the case with any child.

            As for my homeschooling efforts, it’s been tough. I wasn’t ready for my child to be labeled as a defiant kid, and teachers and administration just look at the parents to solve the problem. He had a behavior plan in class that was laughable. I can believe your son’s IEPs were a joke. He had a teacher last year that never gave any other options for doing work. It was her way or the highway. We took the highway! I don’t know what’s in store for next year. We’ll just keep plugging along for now.

            Interesting how your brother had the same thoughts as you, and how when we are so sure of something, we can’t see another possibility. Look at you now with two exceptionally bright kids. I wouldn’t doubt it for a second it came from you! You can always talk to me about anything, Rochelle. I so appreciate you hosting the Fictioneers every week. We are so lucky! You shine the way…you are our light in the darkness.

            Shalom,
            Amy

            Like

  • This hits a bit close to home and makes it emotional. Many, many lives were turned around by serving their country due to the military bringing out their best, sometimes hidden talents and motivation. You are always able to do this in 100 words or less. HOW?

    Like

  • Wow. First read through I didn’t scroll past the line… should’a known better. Kids most always prove adults right, no matter what the adults say about them. Labels are for jars, not for people. Excellent story.

    Like

  • Dear Rochelle,

    This story is pretty much perfect as it is. You told us all we needed to know and left the rest for our emotions and intellects to process. Can you say Rorschach?

    Nice touch with the socket story.

    It’ll levitate you.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Like

  • Dear Rochelle, We have 4 boys and two were in the Army – also Mike. The youngest one was always spying on everyone – One Christmas he got everything that “Spy-Tech” was selling and he used it every where in this house. I would go up the stairs at night, and the movement alarm would go off and so many more tricks. Now, he is a policeman. I love your story Rochelle, it is excellent! Military funerals are so sad – been to several. Nan

    Like

    • Dear Nan,

      What a great story of your son, the spy/policeman. I’m amazed at my sons that all three grew from disorganized, impulsive little boys into creative men. None of them joined the military despite my Navy recruiter husband’s attempts to persuade them.

      I’ve only been to one military funeral when my brother in law who was in the Air Force died in a car wreck while stationed in Turkey. That twenty-one gun salute goes right through you, doesn’t it?

      Thank you, as always, for your kind words.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Wow! having lost both my boys, this really hit home! And they were ADHD, too! but one was highly motivated, the other had a few learning issues. You definitely have a gift. I would like to join up, however I don’t understand how to do so (I have had 3 strokes). Can you help me get started? Thanks. And…Thanks.

    Like

    • Dear Betty,

      I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I have a son who was ADHD and the biggest challenge of my three sons. Happily, he’s a creative young man who is learning to deal with it without the horrid meds he used take.

      I will try to walk you through the process. First: Copy and paste the photo prompt into your blog post. Then write a one hundred word story to go with it. It can be about anything the photo inspires you to write.

      Once you have your story posted to your blog, go to the inLinkz box. That’s the blue box with the little frog. Click that and at the bottom of the page there should be a little blue box on the left that says “add your link.” Click that. Copy and paste your story URL (the line in the white box at the top) in the first white box. Follow the directions to add your link.

      I hope this helps. I look forward to reading your entry.

      Thank you for coming by and commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Wonderful story, Rochelle. “Special Ed” is just the sort of creative cruelty that kids possess. I like how you reused impulsive, with different connotations (actually, I read your post as I was getting up this morning and mistakenly thought the folded flag picture was the prompt. I was wracking my brains for a story when I read it again and realized my mistake.)
    -David

    Like

    • Dear David,

      I’m glad you caught my use of impulsive as having two different meanings. I can’t help but thing a hero’s sacrifice is an impulse to do the right thing.

      I’m also glad you caught yourself before using the wrong photo.

      Thank you for your wonderful comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Your story moved me, very well connected.
    It reminded of my oldest sons 2nd grade teacher who told me my expectations for him were to high.
    Shocked me to my core, then ticked me off to my core. How dare she?
    He showed them, doing extremely well.

    Like

    • Dear Calipatti,

      Bravo to you and your son. To you for not accepting such a thing and to him for proving her wrong.

      Nice to hear that my story had an effect on you. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Clever and true. Every trait of character can be put to positive and negative uses. So much depends on parents and teachers. Reminds me of 2 teachers, one who applauded me for getting totally absorbed (at age 6) by my reading, the other slapped me round the head and screamed at me for not paying attention. In the second case, I recall distinctly the book I was reading: Gemima Puddleduck. I still like ducks. 🙂

    Like

  • I have a feeling that describes you too, Rochelle. I liked your story. I was surprised to see my photo…and pleased, as I like that one. I was part of a B&W photo challenge to go out and take a B&W photo of one of the first things you see. I was wondering what would happen and saw the side of my kiln and thought it looked interesting and would be in B&W.

    I have entered a story today, written not by me, but by a real author… I hope everyone will give a warm welcome to my friend Mary Ellen. I hope to be back soon, but have been busy with a project.

    http://tedstrutz.com/2015/01/29/friday-fictioneers-off/

    Like

    • Dear Ted,

      I took you at your word two years ago when you gave me permission to use any of your photos. I feel in love with this one.

      I, too, have been busy with a project so I’m slow getting around to reading, commenting and answering my comments this week. i’ll be reading your friend’s story soon.

      Thanks for coming by to read and comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      PS thank you for the photo. We’re all enjoying it.

      Like

  • That’s a great story. Having known someone who came home wrapped up in a flag, it reminded me of those words in the Kohima Allied war cemetery in India.

    “When you go home, tell them of us and say
    For their tomorrow, we gave our today.”

    Like

    • Dear Subroto,

      That’s a beautiful sentiment. Thank you for sharing it with me.

      I do admire these military men who give the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you for reading and giving such wonderful comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Such a full character portrait. I loved the line about him thinking he couldn’t miss – such confidence. I am left thinking how one person can be seen in so many different ways – one man’s brave is another man’s fool-hardy. So well told.

    Like

    • Dear Sarah Ann,

      You saw my story in a way that I didn’t. I actually thought of Eddie’s throwing the ball as thoughtless. Kind of the way my youngest was. When you asked him why he did something and he said, “I dunno.” He really didn’t. At the same time I think Eddie the man was a hero. He saw the right thing and did it with no thought to himself.

      At any rate, I’m happy you liked me story that much .

      Thank you for stopping by.

      shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Great story. 🙂 It always bothers me that some character traits are demonized in society (such as impulsiveness) but that can actually be very useful / important in some walks of life. It’s sad that Eddie died to prove that point.

    Like

  • Moving story! The name-calling by Karen made me sad. I teach 8th graders, and I enjoy how different my students are, despite how annoying disruptive kids can be.
    The second part of the story seemed a little less clear in terms of why he was a hero, and raised (for me) the question of how dying equates heroism — I guess I would have liked both sections to be equally weighted in that regard.
    Great story overall!

    Like

    • Dear Vijaya,

      Impulsive in my story has a double meaning. I believe that these guys who sacrifice their lives for others do so in a split second, in an impulse, if you will. No time to think, just do. (Yoda)
      Again, there’s the challenge of a hundred words. 😉 I’m glad you liked the story overall. And if it raised questions…that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

      Thank you,

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Tiffany,

      Having three sons, I’ve heard some of the cruel things they said to each other as children. One of the most gratifying times of my life was when my middle son, then an adult, apologized to his younger brother or all the mean things he did and said.

      Perhaps Karen and Eddie had a moment like this.

      Thank you for the read and comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Touching story Rochelle and you are very good at writing them. This type of children are brimming with energy and if it is channeled to right direction does good to them and others.

    Like

  • Dear Electra ST,
    I read this story right after it first came out, but didn’t comment because I hadn’t yet figured out who to address my remarks to. Believe it or not, I was rather a wallflower in school. Always trying to fly below the radar. I was more sneaky than disruptive.
    Your story this week really hit the thumb on the nail with a giant hammer–and I mean that in the highest form of praise.
    – Hal Bore

    Like

    • Dear Hal

      I take your comment as high praise. I was something of a wallflower myself. I did learn by my senior year to capitalize on my eccentricities. I’m remembered as a hippie freak. Can you imagine? It was amazing at our 40 year reunion how we’d all grown up and the clique boundaries vanished.

      Have you become a captive you your own name game? 😉

      Shalom,

      Electra ST

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle
    I do like this story. It reminds me of my sons when they were small and some of the times I had to go into another room, just for a moment…

    It also reminds me that someone once said a similar thing about Winston Churchill, which only goes to show just how wrong you can be!

    With all good wishes

    Dee

    Like

  • Dear Eric,

    I believe heroes would be impulsive. It’s the knee jerk impulse to do the right thing without thought to his own risk. I’m pleased you liked my story and came by to say so.

    I’ve been slow to get around this week as my agent was asking for the sequel to my novel so I kind of have dropped most things to work on it. Happily it’s sent.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

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