4 March 2016

Published March 2, 2016 by rochellewisoff

Thoreau NZ birds

Phriday Phictioneers Phone

The following photo is the PROMPT. Keep in mind that all photos are the property of the contributor, therefore copyrighted and require express permission to use for purposes other than Friday Fictioneers. Giving credit to whom credit is due is proper etiquette. 

Please be considerate and make an effort to stay within the suggested word count. 

Copyright-Sean Fallon

PHOTO PROMPT © Sean Fallon

get the InLinkz code

Many of you will remember this prompt. It’s one of my first as Friday Fictioneers Fairy Blog Mother. This week I feel the need to direct my writing energy to another project so I’m falling back on a re-run. It’s one of my favorite photos and stories from nearly four years ago. Looking back on the link from that prompt I see that quite a few of you wrote stories for it. Thank you for sticking with it. ❤ Feel free to take a break or write another story. 

Genre: (hopefully not) Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100


            Prototypical milquetoast, Benjamin Parker wore bow ties and kept to himself. 

            Three days of no-call, no-show to work passed before anyone missed him enough to call the police.

            When we broke into his immaculate apartment we found his pajama-clad body in bed. There were no signs of foul play.

            Jars filled with things like batteries, safety pins, wine corks and matchbooks lined cabinets and counter-tops.

            “Quite the collector. Wonder if he jarred his tidy whities.” I flung open the closet door and choked. “What the—?”

            In single file on the top shelf human heads floated in name-tagged gallon jars.


This coming Sunday, March 6, I’ll be interviewed on local TV at 7:50 AM CST. It will be streamed live here.  Click the red new button and then “Live Streaming.” 

And for your listening pleasure.

128 comments on “4 March 2016

  • Ah.. I don’t remember you writing so dark.. but yes there could be some OCD in that jar… so we just expect a serial killer to be as compulsive about his mementos…

    I do remember this prompt, and I had always wanted to rewrite it a little… so I actually edited the story… and changed the end. Love that aspect of reruns…


    • Dear Björn,

      This one’s still a bit out of character or me. One has to break out of the jar every once in a while. 😉 I’m glad I’m not the only one who likes to revisit and even tweak the oldies.

      Thank you.




  • I remember this one and the “Wait a minute” moment at the end. You had several dark stories that made me look behind me as I heard you coming. Lol. Good story with great twist of taking OCD to a new level.


  • Hey, Rochelle, I probably won’t get a chance to write a story this week, but I want to thank you for using this picture. It gives me a great idea for storing my batteries. I usually toss open packages of batteries in a box somewhere, but this is much better and neater —– hey, it’s even decorative!


      • Oh, my gosh!!!! I meant to read your story after I wrote the note, but I was doing two things at once, and without even thinking, I signed off and kept working on my other project. But since I’m working online, I got the notice about this comment. I will definitely hop back over there and read that story as soon as I’ve closed out the work at hand. Sorry about that. How rude can a fellow writer get?????


  • Never judge a book by its cover or a man by his bow ties, Rochelle. I never saw this – or the prompt – first time round, which makes me extra glad yo brought it back for another turn. Great story, leading us carelessly to its terrible conclusion.

    I am a bad person though today; my story is 120 words. Feel free to skip it; I might try later to cut again as the excess niggles me!



    • Dear Jen,

      I’ll forgive the extra verbiage. Since you’d just had Sebastian when this was posted the first time we’ll call it a belated baby gift. 😉
      Glad you liked my little story.

      Thank you and shalom,



  • HA -HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA ……… Wow! Look out, readers! Yes indeedy, this one’s a keeper!!! I don’t care what Elmore Leonard says about overuse of exclamation marks; this situation requires lots of them. What makes it extra funny for me is that I was here earlier, and intended to read the story after my note about the picture. But then realized later that I had not done so. When I finally did read it, it made me feel a little like I had been standing right next to all those head in the jars without knowing it —- Ewwwwwwwe!
    Great job on this, Rochelle. I didn’t have a clue until you zonked us with it.
    (And — on second thought — I don’t think I’ll start keeping my batteries in a jar after all.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sandra,

      Use all the exclamation points you want. 😉 Your comments gave me a good laugh. Sorry to have put you on the spot the way I did. But not really.
      This remains one of my favorites among those I’ve written for Friday Fictioneers. It was fun to take it out of mothballs and share it with a fairly new audience.
      Many thanks for reading and commenting.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Ewwww, makes you wonder about that guy down the road with his quiet, timid nature and his lawn that always seems disturbed by that shovel he leaves just out of view! Oh yes, I’ve seen him smoothing out those ‘rough’ surfaces and furtively looking around.
    Oh yes, Rochelle, they ‘are’ amongst us!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Funny how you remember things… I remember the pajama-clad body! And I remember the jar of batteries. I repeated my story from 2012 as it features one of my favorite Friday Fictioneers. True story, no fiction this time.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Woohoo, what a twist! And he’s such a neat guy. Great story. And congrats on your interview, the music you gave us with it made me laugh.


  • Dear Mother Goose,
    If Benjamin had any back-pay, sick leave, or vacation time built up, please forward me those funds at your earliest convenience. I will consider this satisfactory restitution for his killing my cousin, Abbey Normal, who was scheduled for a brain transplant just before she came up missing.

    Goldilocks, M.P. (Master Procrastinator)


    • Dear Goldilocks,

      As you can see, you’ve not cornered the market on procrastination. I feel like I’m waterskiing to catch up to last week while beginning this week and my skis are going in different directions. as for your cousin’s brain…sorry about that. Benjamin left nothing but a jar of tighty whities…and I would advise just tossing them.




  • Awesomely creepy! Nice story Rochelle… I am always scared to hear about hoarders… My Nana was a hoarder and cleaning out her place was a little nerve wracking for my mum… no heads tho thank goodness!


    • Dear Laurie

      We used to live next door to a hoarder, Horrifying. I’m surprised the house is still standing and they still live there. I haven’t been inside in some thirty years. I can only imagine,,,

      At any rate, I’m pleased you enjoyed my foray to the dark side.

      Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

      • Querida Rochelle,
        I’m not surprised you’re up to your ears with things to do. After all, you’re a radio star. 😄
        You keep getting that book out there. The FF-ers will always be here; especially, me. I’m addicted to the wonderful stories of all of these stellar writers and yours too.
        Muchos besitos,
        Isadora 😎


  • Rochelle, I think that’s the kind of guy people say of, “He seemed so quiet.” I once worked with a guy who collected change. He would go to the bank just to get it and had huge jars of it. No heads that I knew of. 🙂


    • Dear David,

      I’m a change collector, too. It’s always nice to take that full jar to the bank for a yearly wiindfall. 😉 Of course if the guy you worked with collected heads you probably wouldn’t know about it until he had yours. 😉 Thank you.




  • Admittedly, I was really hoping for tighty whities! A creepy one this week, Rochelle (or, from a while back!)… hope your other projects are coming along! The live stream will be a tad early on my coast, but do you know if we can look it up later? Would love to hear your interview! Good luck with it!! xox

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dawn,

      You can find what video I managed to get of the interview, thanks to a best friend who recorded it from the TV with her phone. Wobbly but not too terrible. I posted it on this week’s blog. Still trying to catch up.

      This is still one of my favorite stories that I wrote for FF. It’s nice to have them to draw from and for many the prompt and story are new.

      Thank you and shalom in your busy world.


      Liked by 1 person

  • Oh, my goodness, Rochelle! That was a shocker. Something about jars does say “collector,” doesn’t it? Great story then and now. Best of luck on your radio show! You’ve been so very busy with your book(s). That’s wonderful. I hope all is going well.


    • Dear Amy,

      There’s something odd about a collector. Ever see the movie “Everything is Illuminated?” Really wonderful. Glad you liked my story.

      Yes indeed, the books are keeping my über busy. The interview coming up is actually a TV interview. So I’ll be seen as well as heard. 😉



      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve never seen that movie. I want to add it to my list. Wow, a TV interview! You’re in the big leagues now. You’ll do great. I wish you much success, Rochelle. All the best!


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