25 September 2015

Published September 23, 2015 by rochellewisoff

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Friday Fictioneers and Poppy

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The next photo is the PHOTO PROMPT. Where does it take you? Tell us in one hundred words or less. 

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Genre: Speculative Fiction

Word Count: 100


            ‘Ezra the guardian,’ showed up at Jenna’s reception carrying his file, a tattered notebook full of yellowed newspaper clippings and dog-eared photos.

            “What’s that screwball doing here?” I laughed at his sky-blue suitcoat and checkered trousers. 

            “Ask him to dance.” Jenna winked.

            Ezra smiled at me and my scalp tingled.

            “I’d sooner die.” 


            In my hasty getaway I collided with an oncoming semi. My windshield exploded, sharp pain shot through my chest and then all feeling ceased.  


            “Shall we dance?” whispers Ezra the guardian.

            His smile brings me peace as we hover, hand in hand, over my mangled mortal coil.




*Note: In Hebrew Ezra (עזרא) means ‘help’ and is similar to Azriel (עזריאל) which means ‘God’s help.’  Azriel the Archangel of Death. My story is in no way meant to promote a particular belief system, it’s merely the product of my imagination. 

128 comments on “25 September 2015

  • Loved it! “Mangled mortal coil” is such a graphic, moving phrase. You’ve surpassed yourself this week mixing high drama, sadness and a comic deft touch with the sky-blue suitcoat and checkered trousers. That’s an image that will stay with me. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Jenny,

      One of the things I love about doing these flash fiction is how much can be said in few words. It has effected my longer writings over the past three years. I think we all have a tendency to say much more than necessary. An action verb is more effective than a passive verb with an adverb. You have a good head start. Practice makes perfect…well more proficient anyway. 😉

      Thank you for your compliments concerning my story.




    • Dear Björn,

      I think we all wonder what the end of the road will look like. My confession here is that Ezra’s character is patterned after someone I’m acquainted with who does fancy himself as some kind of watchman. He really does carry around the notebook. I woke up one morning with a ‘what if’ thought and had to write about it.

      Thank you.




    • Dear Sarah,

      This isn’t exactly my speculative fiction debut. But I don’t write it very often so it’s still out of my comfort zone. If you were to search speculative fiction on my blog you’d find a few more spread few and far between.
      Thank you for such a breath-taking comment. We’re even. 😉




  • From disdain and flippancy to ethereal peace in 100 words…incredible! A poignant reminder of our human tendency to miss rich treasures due to our short sidedness.


  • OK, now what’s wrong with a blue suit jacket and checkered pants? I enjoyed your story but really… 🙂 Reminiscent of The Twilight Zone. I love it. Really. 🙂


    • Dear Emilio,

      Perhaps there’s some TZ influence here because I was and am a huge fan. I can think of two episodes in particular. 😉 If you have to ask about the light blue suit jacket with checkered pants we have nothing further to discuss. (Kidding).

      Thanks for such a fun comment.




  • I’ll be honest and say I’m not entirely certain how to read this – I can’t picture a man carrying a filing cabinet and I’m not really sure what’s going on in that first scene. The last, however, holds grace and beauty.


  • This is a spine-chilling, yet comforting story. I LOVE the idea of Ezra and Azriel, the Archangel of Death being the same here (this is totally the kind of thing I enjoy reading)
    A lovely, fantastic, imaginative story, Rochelle!


  • Okay, this one is giving me goosebumps. Was he there because she would die anyway, and he was ready to escort her to heaven? I love all th implications of this. It could be interpreted so many ways. Loved it, Rochelle. This is some fine writing.


  • There was a TV series called Dead Like Me about a group who took people from one side to the other. They were told to just do their job and not intervene, which was often difficult as the protagonist (and the viewer) couldn’t help but feel compassion for the one about to die and their family. Unfortunately, the show didn’t last and neither did The Last Man on Earth, another of my favorites. Evidently, I’m no Neilson.


    • Dear Grandpa,

      I can’t say I remember either show. Ghost Whisperer was along those lines as well. We watched that one for a while but, as often happens, the writers jumped the shark.

      Thanks for dropping by. Hope you had no accidents along the way.




  • Rochelle, The words “mangled mortal coil” evokes a poetic mood while the image evoked by the words paints a contrasting picture….I think it’s a classic.

    Starting to read the story, I felt that “Erza” had a backstory and that I was missing that – but your explanation at the end tied it together.

    Enjoyed your writing as always!


    • Dear Ansumani,

      As I mentioned earlier, the description of Ezra is loosely based on a gatecrasher I know. One morning I woke up and thought ‘what if?’ I couldn’t resist writing this. I’m pleased that it all came together for you.

      Thank you for your generous comments.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear David,

      I don’t write speculative fiction often, but when I do, it’s a little like walking a tightrope without a net. Definitely out of my comfort zone. So I’m pleased that it seems to have worked well.

      As always, better late than never, my friend.



      Liked by 1 person

  • You’ve really dabbled in several moods here, Rochelle, and as always done a very nice job. The mean spiritedness of the girls in the opening and instant irony, play off each other and that final line is just great! “His smile brings me peace as we hover, hand in hand, over my mangled mortal coil.” Love that! And, David can rest… I’m surely the last one at the ball this week! Just can’t keep up or catch up lately!


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