7 August 2015

Published August 5, 2015 by rochellewisoff

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The following photo is the PROMPT. A few of you may recognize it from three years ago, although for most I think it will be new. Due to a current emergency, I’ll be recuperating from oral surgery by the time this post goes live. Next week will also be a repeat to allow more time to visit with out of town guests. So if I don’t answer your comments right away or comment on your story, you’ll know the reason why. Thanks to all of you for your understanding.  

Shalom, Rochelle

PHOTO PROMPT -© Madison Woods

PHOTO PROMPT -© Madison Woods

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I posted the original version of this story May 11, 2012. I’ve taken the liberty of reworking it. The beauty of writing is that there’s always room to grow. If you’d like to read the original click here

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


                   Like a pearl brooch pinned to mottled velvet, the moon shone through a web of tree branches. A desperate voice yelled her name.

                   It was always the same dream. Kanzie would wake with a scream to everyday shadows and feel relieved by her comfortable darkness.

                   Then one night she woke up outside. Mississippi air stuck to her skin like a damp cloak. For the first time in twenty years she saw the trees rustling in the wind. Memories seared her.          

                   Why did white-robed ghosts put that rope around her gentle Daddy’s neck?  His terror-filled eyes drilled her.

                   “Kanzie, don’t look.” 





117 comments on “7 August 2015

      • Dear Rochelle,

        Even slowed down you run rings around me!

        Take a floral bouquet to cheer you up, a pot of chicken soup to heal you, and a Virtual Bouquet of Chickens to cover all bases! (I am stealing this idea from a greeting card- I will have to find out who gets the credit for it.)



  • Very, very powerful, your story. I find the new version even more powerful, more elegant, than the first one. Get well and have fun with your guests.


    • Dear GAH,

      Thank you for reading both versions and commenting. The one from three years ago was one of my first ever.

      I’m working on the getting well and trying to be patient. My guests are my son and his girlfriend. I’m really looking forward to having them here.



      Liked by 1 person

  • How powerful your writing is. That one human being could do such a terrible thing to another is beyond the pale. I can sense the pain and terror of your characters.
    I lost my father in a motorcycle accident when I was 15 years old. It isn’t the same kind of trauma, but I can relate to this young girl losing her father.


    • Dear Illsa,

      This is one of the most appalling pieces of American history. We who pride ourselves on being tolerant and accepting.

      Thank you for your generous comments and for sharing your own story.




    • Dear Amy,

      I’m pleased you liked my story and I so appreciate the positive comments.

      I hesitate to use the word “emergency” in light of how long it took to get the insurance company’s approval. But I also attribute some of that to the surgeon’s office manager’s ineptitude. Another story. At any rate there was bone growing through my gum which also caused an infection. The recovery has been every bit as painful as the surgeon predicted.
      😦 Ah well, this will soon be a memory and I’ve been blessed with some good, encouraging friends in FF.

      Thank you.




      • Oh, my goodness! An infection in the mouth is serious no matter what and this one sounds positively painful. Bone growing through gum…yikes. I hope you’re doing okay and you have some pain meds, if that helps you. You’re such a trooper to come by and read our stories.
        With gratitude, your loyal FF Friend, Amy


        • Dear Amy,

          Interaction with Friday Fictioneers is one of the few things I was able to do last week and on a very limited basis. As the new week begins I’m feeling better. The pain meds were great and so were the four days in bed. Thank you for being a loyal friend. I’m blessed.




  • Awesome writing, Rochelle. This is among your best pieces. I especially liked this line, “Mississippi air stuck to her skin like a damp cloak.” I’ve been to Mississippi. The air really does that. Great job of keeping us aware and remembering, so we never make the same mistakes again.


  • Powerful again, Rochelle, and interesting to see how a few years changes the writing style. This time I’ll admit that I missed her blindness and the questions that throws up. In both cases, I have to wonder why she finds herself outside … and to hope it is simply sleepwalking as the title suggests. Overall, the writing is smoother this time around though.

    Hope you get some R&R and the visitors are easy as well as fun to host


    • Dear Jennifer,

      Yes, it’s a simple as sleepwalking. 😉 Hm. I tried to be clearer about her blindness this time, ah well, perhaps I’ll write this into a larger story one day.

      I’m working on the R&R this week and the visitors are my youngest son and his girlfriend so I don’t have to be too much of an entertainer.

      Thank you.




  • Your story is superb! Poor Kanzie must have looked anyway. Poor child and horrible time in history! Viscous and cowardly bigots and the lowest of low Americans (sorry to call them that – but they are and they are shameful.
    Take care of yourself and Get well soon! Nan


    • Dear Nan,

      You needn’t apologize for calling these bigots what they were and are. No argument from me.

      I’m doing the best I can to take care of myself. I didn’t expect oral surgery to take so much out of me…everywhere. You could say my mouth is kicking my butt.




    • Dear Marie Gail,

      This is one of those subjects I’ve always felt strongly about.

      As the new week begins, I’m finally feeling human and glad to have had the surgery done. I think the most problematic thing now is that the infection persists. Taking my meds like a good girl and happy to no longer need the heavy duty pain pills.

      Shalom with love and hugs back atcha,



    • Dear Ali,

      I’ve been to Mississippi in the summer. The air clings to you like another layer of skin. Come to think of it, it describes my own state of Missouri at the moment. 😉

      Thank you for your kind words.




  • Dear Rochelle,

    Living here in the deep south I have found myself immersed in the history of this place. I always knew, but was far removed from feeling until we moved here from California. I have learned much. There is no place in Alabama that does not reek of it’s past. However, I must say they have made light-years in their progress to overcome their transgressions.

    Your story is so well written. You made me cry.


    PS: Do feel well soon! Messing with your oral cavity is no laughing matter. :O


    • Dear Lynda,

      A few years ago I traveled with a dance ministry throughout the South. We stayed for a while in Selma. While a lot has changed, I could still feel the disturbing history.

      Your tears are a high compliment. Thank you.

      The pain in my mouth is lessening but I’m a pretty impatient patient. 😉



      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Syrah Zinfandel,
    It’s fun to go back and tighten stories up a bit, isn’t it? Still as powerful and chilling as three years ago. Perhaps a bottle from the Zaccanti Vinery would speed your healing. The Purple Bunion Lambrusco should fit nicely with your addiction.

    – Moe


    • Dear Moe,

      I was still the new kind on the block when I wrote this. Now I can’t imagine my life without Friday Fictioneers. And it was fun to tighten the story. Jan suggested when I started that I should print my stories off and put them in a notebook. That notebook’s pretty full.

      Thanks for dropping by.


      Syrah Zinfandel


  • Hi Rochelle – this version is far more polished than the original, although I did like your original use of ‘glistered’ 🙂

    Great simile work here – the moon/pearl on velvet, the air like a damp cloak – top stuff.

    I struggled a bit to establish when things were happening – was the dream a haunting reminder of the lynching, or were the dreams a prediction for something that was to come? I might re-read and see if I missed something.



    • Dear KT,

      Ah that word “glistered.” There was some controversy over that so I decided to just change it.

      And now to answer your question. Yes, the dream was a recurring reminder and a flashback.

      Let me know if you have any more questions.

      Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Your historical fiction writing doesn’t just remind us of events outside ourselves, it invites us to feel all the pain (and sometimes joy) of past events, and literally rips the heart out of anyone with any compassion or sensitivity.

    I am a big fan!



  • The human brain always has the capacity to surprise us I think, and you captured our ability to ‘forget’ traumatic incidents beautifully. It was also a fascinating insight into the way our inner writer develops and the way we see things slightly differently with experience too. Really nicely done Rochelle.


    • Dear Linda,

      It’s amazing what a mind can block out. I’ve experienced some of this in my own life and it’s startling and traumatic when I realized what I’d “forgotten.”

      It was fun to go back and rework this piece and realize how I’d grown as a writer.

      Thank you so much for your comments.




  • This was intense and powerful bit of writing. A fictional mirror of a disturbing reality that happened not that long ago and unfortunately still happens in different forms around the world.
    I trust your husband is enjoying the moments of silence these days 😉


    • Dear Subroto,

      It was a very disturbing reality that still rages all over the world. 😦

      My husband was out of town through my silent period. I’m definitely on the other side of recovery for which I’m grateful.

      Thank you.




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