19 May 2017

Published May 17, 2017 by rochellewisoff

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THOUGHTS ON WORD COUNT. It can be painful to slaughter darlings and the writer may think, “Impossible. My story won’t have the same impact without those 50 extra words.” Surprise! 99.9% of the time it’s not only possible, but preferable. That’s what this exercise is about. Learning to say more with less. Take a second look before posting. Start with adverbs and passive voice. Instead of “I was running as quickly as I could…” try “I rushed…” THINK ABOUT IT.

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 © Roger Bultot

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Genre: Historical Faction

Word Count: 100


            “What’ll it be, George?” Evalyne poised her pencil. “The usual?”  

            With a nod the man at the counter gestured towards the bulge under her apron and grinned at six-year-old Jeff. “That your baby brother?”  

            She tore the order from her pad. “Give this to Daddy, Jeff.”

            Glowering at Evalyne, the stout cook, once slender and charming, snatched it from his son. “Scram, ya little putz!”

            She clenched her teeth as Jeff slunk back into her protective embrace.  

            “It’s gonna be a sister.” Patting her tummy, he looked up at George. “Daddy don’t need another pest in the neck like me.” 

82 comments on “19 May 2017

  • So sad. At least Jeff has his mom to cling to, though moms back in the day were often silent, not daring to contradict the father authority or simply fearing his wrath.
    I wonder if a lot of moms didn’t wishfully convince themselves that “Dad’s remarks can’t be that damaging. Surely Jeff knows Dad doesn’t really mean it”?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Oh, that’s just so sad. Poor little Jeff! Seems to me as if the once suave and slender George regrets his life choices and takes it out on his little lad – how many of us have seen that in real life? Makes me wonder what kind of man Jeff will grow into too. Very sad, Rochelle and very well written.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lynn,

      A little clarification, George in the story is the customer who is unwittingly watching the family dynamics. However, the cook who was once slender and handsome, did regret some of his life choices. My dad wasn’t a contented man. Jeff grew up with plenty of emotional issues of his own but is a good man dealing with those early seeds of discontent. He’s married and has three dogs he considers his children. (I’m in the story…look under Evalyne’s apron. 😉 ) Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s a sad way to spend your life, unfulfilled and unhappy, isn’t it? I know a few people like that, though some I suspect would be discontent whatever life had given them. Great story, Rochelle and I’m glad you peeped out from under Evalyne’s apron! 🙂


  • Great story Rochelle. So much hinted at, but so much untold and left to speculate upon. I wondered what the cook’s own father was like and, if he was horrible too, how many generations would be trapped in the spiral of bad parenting. Also, is Daddy always like this, or is this just a bad day? (Business troubles maybe or has Evalyne recently revealed that the new baby’s father is actually someone who’s still slender and charming?). That’s no excuse for taking it out on little Jeff, of course, but what parent hasn’t spoken words he or she would like to take back?
    All that from 100 words!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Björn,

      Actually Evalyne’s husband was a jealous man, although that wasn’t the intent of this story. Jeff learned a lot from both parents and, in many ways, that he and I laugh about, is very much like our dad. (Yep, Jeff’s my brother.)

      Thank you.




  • Dear Rochelle,

    It’s such a shame in life that some words once uttered can’t be taken back and forgotten. I sometimes think that it’s parents who should watch their P’s and Q’s, and not children. They so often load all their angst and disappointments upon their offspring. When parents argue, children can feel responsible for that argument even when it isn’t their fault? In particular, when youngsters haven’t yet reached the milestone of abstract thinking, they can easily take a teasing comment literally.

    Your story so demonstrates just how much responsibility we have as adults, to think before we speak.

    Well told.

    All best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah,

      This is one of those “write what you know” episodes from the Wisoff family–not to be confused with “I Love Lucy” of the same year. 😉 My brother still carries the emotional baggage. It’s the reason he never wanted to have children and opted for dogs instead. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear StepHonie,

      That fry cook was my dad. There were a lot of moments that went terribly wrong. Loved him dearly nonetheless but the way he treated my brother was awful.
      Thank you.




    • Dear Liz,

      About conception I can’t say. It’s hard to think of one’s own parents…well, you know. 😉 I do know that he threatened to leave her if the baby was another boy. Thank you.




  • Thankfully Evalyne and Jeff have lovely customers like George to care for them. Jeff is too young to feel as he does. So full of emotion, good and bad, and we can only imagine why Daddy is so bitter.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Ouch! Sounds like too many youths who call at my work trying to patch the painful cracks of their past. So much said in this story and the reader can imagine so many different scenarios in their home. As always, beautifully written, Rochelle.
    Shalom, Cheryl-Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Clare,

      I think you might have Jeff and George confused. Sorry to have thrown in the monkey wrench. 😉 But Jeff was definitely matter of fact about wanting a sister. My mom repeated that ‘pest in the neck’ comment (in a different context) many times. Thank you.




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