22 January 2016

Published January 20, 2016 by rochellewisoff

Another Hightway

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Quite a few fictioneers took liberties with the word count last week. Remember, the challenge is a hundred words or less. Please take into consideration that our numbers are growing and there are more stories to read. Thank you. 

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The following photo is the PROMPT and comes from my own hubby. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan W. Fields

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


“I ain’t got no money for no music lessons, Professor Weiss.”

“Turn left and do the cake walk prance…”

“Your boy has a rare gift.”

“…Turn the other way…”

“I got five mouths to feed ‘sides his.”

“…do the slow drag…”

“No charge.”

 “…take your lady to the world’s fair.”

“Come away with me, my love.” 

“Is it really you, Chrysanthemum? But you’re—dead. Does that mean…?”

“…and do the ragtime dance.”



“Poor demented fella. Looks like he tried to play the piano…”  The doctor released Scott Joplin’s stiff, distorted hands from the restraints. “…and sang his life away.”


Note: Scott Joplin, known as the King of Ragtime, died in Manhattan State Hospital, 1 April 1917 in the final stages of syphilis induced dementia. 

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Freddie Alexander Joplin, the woman for whom The Chrysanthemum was written.

Freddie Alexander Joplin, the woman for whom The Chrysanthemum was written.


Scott Joplin

98 comments on “22 January 2016

    • Dear Sandra,

      Scott Joplin was an amazing talent. It saddens me that he wasn’t appreciated in his own time. His death was no less tragic than his life. Thank you for your kind comments and your leaky tear ducts.




    • Dear Helene,
      I’m pleased you took the time to understand. Admittedly it’s a bit of experimental writing for me. The words of the poem are Mr. Joplin’s. He was an amazing talent and greatly under appreciated in his day.
      Thank you so much for reading, rereading and taking the time to comment.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Writersdream,

      Your comment makes me smile because it shows that you went exactly where I wanted you to go. 😉

      In answer to your question, while we’re called Friday Fictioneers, you may respond anytime between now and Tuesday. As you can see by the link a good many post on Wednesday. Originally the idea was that the prompt went up on Wednesday, the writers then took two days before posting on Friday.
      In other words, post anytime and welcome aboard!



      Liked by 1 person

  • I love how you weaved the dialogue.. a very challenging way to write but you made me dive into it… reminds me of a Harold Pinter play a little… and you really tied it all together… On of my great-grandfathers died in mental hospital from syphilis… it’s part of those histories that you never talk about than until much later. I never met him of course… I really like when you bring up those old stories and I admire all the research that’s gone into it.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Research, research, research. Why do you always have to make me think and learn so much from so few words? I get so little done after reading because then I have to think and digest for a while. Quit…..not. Love it. Keep it up.


  • This was fabulous, Rochelle. I’m sure many of us know his music from “The Sting” – thanks for giving us a chance to listen to his music here!
    I don’t know how you do it, the dialogue, the poem, bringing it all together.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I had no idea… and now I do. Thank you for an intriguing story. I love the music, too, but I had no idea Ragtime wasn’t more wide-spread in its time.


    • Dear Larry,

      A whole generation passed before we got to enjoy his music…what a shame. Yes, it was his girlfriend/wife speaking from the other side. At least in the midst of his hallucinations.




  • I just love ragtime music. It puts me in a dreamy place. It’s too bad Scott Joplin didn’t get more recognition while he was living. Excellent and inventive piece, Rochelle! I loved how you wove his poem and the backstory and then brought it all together into the present (in your story). Expertly done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ted,

      I’m always happy to pass along a new bit of knowledge. I’m glad you caught my note, although someone has already ignored it. Sigh. Ya buy em books and buy em books and they just eat the pictures.

      Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Dare I admit I never knew of the man? I know his music. I know what syncopation is and yet I didn’t know Scott Joplin. Thank you for your excellent writing skill and the links which helped me to grow a bit today.


    Liked by 1 person

  • You’ve really outdone yourself, Rochelle! This is hauntingly beautiful and full of such emotion. It took me a few read throughs to understand what I was reading, but I’m glad I did. 😄


  • So this week I learned:
    1- A new word :syncopation
    2- About Scott Joplin
    3- A new way to write weaving in dialogues of various people over various timeframes and verse to tell the whole life of a person

    Need I compliment you more Rochelle? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Alicia,

      I’m happy to provide you with two smiles for the price of one.

      Squeaking by with 2-3 words over isn’t terrible. It’s when someone goes thirty and above that causes me to be a bit cranky.

      Thank you and Shalom,



    • Dear Perry,

      To be honest, the only thing I remember about “The Sting” is “The Entertainer.” Although Mr. Joplin’s life and death were tragic, his music was amazing. Glad you enjoyed my story and took the time to say so. it means a lot.




  • Great piece! I read it a couple of times to really get the “feel” of it. I didn’t know how Scott Joplin died. It seems many of the “greats” went out early and under-appreciated.


  • Dear C. Evelyn Croup,
    I’m not sure they had a Surgeon General in Mr. Joplin’s day, if so, why wasn’t there a government warning on that thing that gave him syphilis? I ask myself, “What would Bill Clinton do?”

    Once again, you challenged our brain, which is always difficult for those like myself and the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz. I did enjoy the syncopated dialogue. Well done.

    Mr. Bo Jingle Writer


    • Dear Mr. Bo Jingles,

      A male friend once told me that a man is merely a delivery system. (You may complete the rest of that sentence.) Alas, there were no antibiotics in that day and I shudder to think what Bill Clinton would do.

      Happy to expound and expand. Hope all read well on the scan.


      Herself, C. Evelyn Croup.


  • Hi! I’m participating in a Blogging 101 workshop. One of the suggestions was to participate in an event that reflects my interests. I started blogging to practice my writing. I found your site. Here I am.
    I am not clear how to create a pingback to your page. I did create an Inlinkz and added that to the end of my post. I also copied the URL from your January 22, 2016 page and pasted that after the Inlinkz.. Maybe those will work. Where on your page would one go to read the weekly submissions? Thanks for doing this. I hope to improve my writing, and to better follow directions.


    • Dear Kathy,

      Welcome to Friday Fictioneers. I’m not sure about pingbacks. That’s one of those things I haven’t really figured out myself.
      As for the link to your submission here, you’ve actually linked it to my page so I’m going to edit out of your comment.
      To read other submissions simply go to the linkz list and click on the icons that will take you to individual stories.
      Rather than leave your link here, the best way to have others read your stories is to add your link to the list. If you click the blue box on the lower left of the linkz list it should give you instructions. However for today I’ll add your link for you. The link you should add is YOUR STORY URL which would be this: https://snapshotsofeverything.wordpress.com/2016/01/23/crossing-the-velvet-rope-friday-fictioneers/
      I hope this isn’t confusing. Meanwhile I’m going to link you. 😉




  • Dear Rochelle
    I bit late dropping by… I really like how you merged this into a really lovely piece. I felt sad and then annoyed that he died so young. I have been a fan of Scott Joplin’s music for a long time and you brought him back to life.

    Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

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