3 March 2017

Published March 1, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Friday Fictioneers Farm Path

* Check out this link to the writer formerly known as Madison Woods, the creator of Friday Fictioneers. 

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Please be considerate and try to keep your story to 100 words. Thank you. 


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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

CLASS CLOWN

            Esther fidgeted in her chair as the seventh grade English teacher, Miss Foley, leaned forward with an authoritative air and cleared her throat. “Your son—”

            “He’s disruptive, isn’t he? Either he talks out of turn or has his head in the clouds.”

            “He does enjoy center stage,” said Miss Foley with a fond smile. “One of my classroom’s brightest stars.”

            “You mean he’s not in trouble?”

            “Oh my, no.”

            “Then why did you ask me here?”

            “To discuss his special talents, Mrs. Serling. Someday, I predict Roddy will be a great orator for he has so much to say.”

.

.

.

Helen Foley

Helen Foley

Sam, Roddy and Esther Serling

Sam, Roddy and Esther Serling

121 comments on “3 March 2017

  • I love how interesting you manage to make such historical origin stories like this. You really have a gift of bringing characters and settings to life. Thanks for the mention 🙂 I think I have a story for this week’s photo and will try to get linked up between now and Friday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Madison,

      I’m happy to see you here!

      I’m not sure when I started writing these historical pieces. My first few flashes definitely weren’t, It seems that once I started historical fiction became my trademark. There’s something about digging for the humanity of people who lived long ago (or not all that long ago) that draws me like a moth to the flame.
      I look forward to your story. 😀

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • I remember reading about Serling sitting by the pool with his typewriter, chain smoking and writing Twilight Zone scripts. He penned almost 90% of that show, and though he was not above stealing an idea from other writers (notably John D. MacDonald’s gold watch that stops time) he always put his own spin on things. Thanks for this tribute.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear J Hardy,

      In case you haven’t guessed it, I’m a TZ junkie. I have the definitive box set and have watched it from end to end. Here’s a link to fabulous documentary. It’s long, but I highly recommend it. https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/03/01/3-march-2017/
      He’s one of those people that, if I could go back in time, I would love to meet and chat with. Of course, I’d need a gas mask for the cigarette smoke. 😉
      Thank you for swinging by. I’m a little late making the rounds this morning.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear James,

      I’ve also heard stories to the contrary. In one of the documentaries I watched, it was said that Rod enjoyed the spotlight and being in front of the camera. Whom does one believe? At any rate he was a genius taken from us much too soon.
      Thank you for swinging by.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Good for Miss Foley! It is possible the world owes her for encouraging this special talent. Well written, as usual.

    Very strange, and maybe something for the Twilight Zone, but the last two weeks your posts haven’t showed up in my Reader feed. I am still “following” you, so I’m not sure what’s going on. I only catch it when other FF posts start popping up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Trent,

      As a matter of fact, Rod Serling did name a character, a teacher, in one of the TZ’s Helen Foley after his teacher. From what I’ve read and seen, she had a great influence on many young minds in their town.

      I don’t know what’s going on with the notifications. Just remember that my FF posts go live at 2:30 AM CST every Wednesday.

      Thank you for stopping by to read and comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • You know I love your stories… Don’t ever stop digging up these little gems that you turn into wonderful snippets of real people’s lives.
    You know… I, ahem, never watched Twilight Zone… he he he… Now I want to!
    And, don’t we all wish we had a Miss Foley who believed in us and actually shared that thought with our parents?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      When I think of Miss Foley, I remember my art teacher Mrs. Spears. 😉

      You really will have to look up the TZ on You Tube. Don’t give me the age thing. Those shows have been in syndication for years. Well maybe not in Canada.

      Thank you for your continued encouragement.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle POP

      Liked by 1 person

  • It’s so often the children who might be seen as ‘trouble’ who are really gifted. The ones who can’t keep still because they’re too excited by their own ideas, the ones whose imagination flies off in a thousand different directions and seem impossible to pin down. How wonderful if his teacher saw his behaviour for what it was – real potential,
    Thanks so much for sharing this tid bit with us, Rochelle. A wonderful scene about a very gifted man

    Liked by 1 person

  • I completely love this twist. My misconceptions and I were ready to glare at the teacher, who I was certain would come up with some sort of imagination-killing suggestion about an imaginative boy. I was right there with Esther, fretting, shocked… and then extremely pleased.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Magaly,

      I understand your concern at the beginning. My eldest son had a second grade teacher I simply remember as ‘the witch.” (with a capital B) All year long she harped on his chattiness and his handwriting. Meanwhile, the boy was reading and comprehending on a 6th grade level. I think I finally snapped and told her to pay attention to WHAT he was writing rather than how. Incidentally, he has a very nice handwriting now. Go figure.

      Glad you liked my story and took the time to say so. Comments mean so much.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Lish,

      I wonder how many creative people had this same experience as children? I suspect, more than we’re aware of. Rod Serling is a favorite of mine, as was the Twilight Zone. In fact, you could say it influenced my childhood in many ways, which might explain a lot. 😉 Not to mention, it made me afraid of my own dolls. “My name is Talking Tina and I’m going to kill you.”

      Thank you for reading and leaving a nice comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Jamie Lee,

    I always loved Mr. Serling’s show. He had a great imagination and a style all his own. He was careful to use Real Actors, and Not People in his productions. Back in those days we didn’t have to worry about illegal immigrants writing blog posts for lazy hillbillies, but I bet it would have made a fascinating script.

    Save better, live money
    S. Walton

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sam,

      Do ET’s count as illegal immigrants? I suppose the fact that the Twilight Zone was an integral part of my childhood explains a lot. Thank you for limping by. (Hit by one of those falling prices?)

      Shalom,

      Jamie Lee

      Like

    • Dear Jen,

      I’ve read more about Miss Foley, who Rod Serling named a character after in the TZ. He was among many students who benefited from her guidance. We should all be so lucky.

      Thank you for swinging by and for your lovely comments re my writing in your own blog intro.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • How I love the Twilight Zone. One of the first videos I’ve ever watched on my laptop when I finally managed an internet connection was a TWZ episode. Before that I only read about the plot lines in Wikipedia. And it was “Walking Distance” I still couldn’t find another poignant piece of art in any medium that resonates with me so much. Lovely story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Tamal,

      “Walking Distance” is a poignant piece. I recently watched it again. I’m happy you discovered TZ. It’s never too late to love it. 😉 Thank you for reading and leaving a lovely comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Love this, so many creative people are misunderstood because they just can not color inside the lines. I felt the mother’s fearful anticipation. I remember being called to the principal’s office for my son but he was usually in trouble, and maybe just a little misunderstood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Louise,

      I think any mother in Esther’s place would have the same apprehensions. After all, it wouldn’t have been the first time young Roddy had been in trouble for being disruptive. 😉
      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sascha,

      Night Gallery was highly forgettable. Apparently this was true for Mr. Serlling who only hosted the show. He didn’t write for it or even care much for the show. I’m happy you enjoyed my story. Thank you cor stopping by.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Wonderful flash! I love that teacher 🙂 Poor mother, she must have heard so much bad news about her son on previous school visits! I’m a teacher, although I teach adults now, I used to teach teenagers, and I know that when you have a class full of them it can be hard to give them the personalised attention they need.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    That story reminds me of what my family doctor said of my daughter when she was a toddler. He said, “One day, that girl will be a politician or an opera singer!” When she was at her reception school, a teacher predicted she would grow up a delinquent as she was so disruptive. In primary school, it was suggested she might like to work for the telephone exchange when she grew up. All those predictions! Actually, she has ended up as a home carer, and those of her clients who would otherwise be lonely, love it that she’s a chatterbox 🙂

    I think it’s very hard to predict what people will do, but it’s certain true that often the bright kids get bored, so mess about in class. Teachers like Miss Foley who recognise a child’s talents are like gold dust. That being said, teachers now are under such pressure with huge classes and impossible targets to meet, it must prove quite a real challenge to accommodate and keep bright children happy.

    Apparently the actor Jim Carrey, when at school, couldn’t stop pulling silly faces and clowning around in class. In the end, the teacher’s solution to this (rather than having to constantly tell him off) was to allow him five minutes at the end of the school day to entertain the class, just so long as he behaved himself for the rest of the day.

    As ever, I love your story. And see how many stories it has prompted from me — well over 100 words of true life tales!

    All best wishes,
    Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah,

      In light of your comment, I must confess that the ending line was actually delivered by my eldest son’s first grade teacher re Shannon’s talkativeness. Zelda was one those teachers who looked past the misbehavior and saw potential. Shannon, who still can bend an ear for hours is a creative man who still looks back on her as a great influence in his life.

      I’m glad my story resonated with you and you’ve taken the time to say so. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • What an interesting insight into Rod Serling! I enjoyed how you gave a glimpse into what it must have been like for his mother and teacher. I only recently went back and watched all the Twilight Zone episodes in a row — the wonders of streaming TV.

    The photo this week is especially gorgeous, Rochelle. And it inspired so many diverse stories! I haven’t had time to read even half of them, there are so many this week, so clearly it spoke to a lot of writers. I haven’t had much time to participate in flash fiction lately because I’m so busy at work, and also because I went to my second writers’ conference, which took up a lot of writing time (happily so, at least). It’s nice to be “back”!

    Liked by 1 person

      • I agree; I really enjoyed Twilight Zone. His Night Gallery shows were good too, as were the Outer Limits shows that were inspired by him.

        And I also agree that being busy is not a bad thing. I am lucky to have the “problem” of having to prioritize my time among so many interesting activities. When I think of all the times I was bored when I was kid and tried to find ways to use up time, I want to go back and take that time away from my younger self, and use it more happily and productively now!

        Like

    • Dear Eric,

      Rod Serling had a great influence on me and I also credit him with my fear of one of my dolls. Talking Tina was terrifying. What an amazing writer. He left us way too soon. Thank you for your kind words.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sangbad,

      I’ve added your link to the inLinkz list where others besides myself will see it. The way we link each week is to click the blue frog icon below the photo and follow directions. I’ll be happy to help with that.
      This page, besides being Friday Fictioneers Central, is also my personal blog page. While I don’t mind helping out, it’s mostly the place to read and comment on my story which I hope you read and enjoyed. Now I’m off to read yours.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Michael,

      First I gasp in disbelief. You knew nothing of my childhood (and adult) hero? Then it’s my privilege to introduce you. 😉 Second I say thank you for your kind words re my story.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

        • Good question. Glad you asked. 😀 The process varies, but most of the time I use Google, Often the place I start with leads to another subject entirely. For instance, for one story I started with the history of the Edsel and ended up writing about history of the Frisbee which came out the same year as the car. https://rochellewisoff.com/2014/11/05/7-november-2014/
          Sometimes, as in this story, I know where I want to go, but the story might not be what I thought it would be. I wanted to write something about Rod Serling but after watching a documentary and reading a few articles I decided t write from his mother’s point of view.
          I do love finding obscure nuggets of history and if I can work them into a story, even better.
          I hope that answered your question…at least to some degree.

          Shalom,

          Rochelle

          Liked by 1 person

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