2 June 2017

Published May 31, 2017 by rochellewisoff

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Please be considerate and keep your flash fiction to 100 words. Thank you. 

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


           “Love that forgives is our theme,” said Carole.

            Addie, tall for fourteen, Denise, the dress-up princess, Cynthia, and Carole, the Girl Scout who had earned every known badge, prepared for the youth service. I envied them as they tied each other’s sashes. I was only four, too young to participate.

            Cynthia’s dark eyes sparkled. “How many times should we forgive?”

            Her smile illuminating the Birmingham church basement, Addie, winked at me. “Seventy times seven.”  

            Moments later, the Grand Dragon spewed fire and brimstone. Time halted at 10:22 that September Sunday morning in 1963. Eternity claimed four angels.  

            I cannot forgive.




“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

99 comments on “2 June 2017

  • I too have decided to stick with love in these hate filled times. The picture, grotesque as it was, brought to the fore the despicable horrors of certain men and their mindless ideologies. Keep spreading love through your lovely writings. What else cal i say, dear Rochelle.


    • Dear Neel,

      Our stories could’ve been two sides of the same coin. I saw the brown doll and my thoughts immediately went to the church bombing. One of the most heinous chapters of American history. Thank you re my writing. 😀



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Neil,

      I’m afraid we’re in for a raft of sad stories this week. 😦 As soon as I laid eyes on this photo, my mind went to the Birmingham bombing. Such a tragic slice of American history. Thank you.




  • GROAN! (the pain of memories) Seen too much hatred in this world lately. I think society as a whole NEEDS the reminder you wrote for us this week, Rochelle. I’ve spoken before of seeing the hatred of prejudice, of seeing a father beaten, tied upside down on a cross, and then burned in front of his home while KKK members beat the shit out of his family. The memory still sticks with me to this day, and that was in the 80’s in a Midwest, bible-belt town. This weeks picture brought back that memory, but no way to write it in only 100 words. I’ll think of something else, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Great and powerful. You can paint the whole picture in just 100 words. Living among so much terror and mindless killing can’t forget and forgive. Though I’m all for love but sometimes…Shalom.

    Liked by 1 person

  • The bombings are grotesque and gruesome but should be brought to the fore to be reminded to the future generations the futility of war and hatredness. Instead let all races and religious join hands to fight famine, poverty, disease and environmental degradation.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    One thing is for sure, people are often heard referring to the “good old days” but humans are as violent as wild animals and always have been, although without the excuse as they’re meant to be blessed with higher intelligence and powers of reasoning. Unfortunately, their reasoning is often flawed and skewed, as your story illustrates. I love that quote from Martin Luther King, but we’ve really got to get to the roots of what causes hatred. As Kalpana says in the previous comment, all races and religions need to join hands to fight famine, poverty, disease and environmental degradation.

    That photo prompt certainly calls for a grim story, but I may pass on that. If I can think of a remotely positive story, you may see a contribution from me this week but no promises. Also, my internet is playing up big-time due to maintenance works in my town, which is most frustrating and why you’re probably thinking I’ve vanished into thin air!

    Hopefully, we’ll have an opportunity to chat in the not too distant future.

    All best wishes,

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Sarah,

      I have noticed your absence from the internet. Hope you get those issues ironed out soon.

      Martin Luther King Jr. chose love and yet was felled by the bullet of someone filled with hate. Would that we all could join hands. Where some of us see a beautiful rainbow, others see a threat to their (superior?) way of life. Wild animals indeed.

      Thank you and Shalom,


      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Rochelle,

        The darned internet is still playing up today, but I’m just snatching a few moments online while I get a chance and it goes down again. I’m very fed up with it. I might try visiting FB later, but I expect the techno-gremlins will immediately strike again D:

        All best wishes,


  • An utterly animalistic act. Unbelievable how anyone at any time could think that this is an acceptable way to bring about change. Incomprehensible, Rochelle. As so often with your historical fiction, you bring a humanity to tragic events, shining a light on the individuals involved, bringing large events down to a human scale. Thank you for the quote from Dr King – we all need to keep reminding ourselves that he was right, no matter how hard that is.
    No, I can’t imagine there will be many cheerful tales this week.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Horrifying. You write the best historical fiction. I had a hard time with this photo. It’s one of those ones where only the most obvious story comes to me first, and so I put it aside. Your story is, of course, where my mind went first — not specifically, but generally. I’m glad you wrote it and not me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Helena,

      As you see, my mind went specifically to that story the moment I laid eyes on it. As I looked into the history, I could write nothing else. Thank you for your lovely comment/compliment, darling.




  • I don’t blame her. I wouldn’t forgive them either. I do hope that monsters like the men that committed that atrocity suffer in the end. What they did was no accident. It wasn’t negligence either. Young girls shouldn’t have to die to please the sickness in a murderer’s black heart. Excellent piece of history, Rochelle.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Such a heartbreaking tale, Rochelle . “Eternity claimed four angels” tears me . Beautifully written .
    Such an inspiring quote on love as the torch .
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

  • So sad and tragic. I guessed who was responsible even before I Googled “Grand Dragon” – I had a feeling the KKK had ridiculous titles. You’d laugh at them if they weren’t such a hateful, hate-filled and evil bunch.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Reddy Kilowatt (with two “T”s)

    C.E. told me how you’d been getting online by wetting a finger and sticking it in a light socket. Is that what you call “Plugging in?” No wonder your hair is so curly.

    Another heart-breaking tale of man’s inhumanity to man. Yet the senseless killings and hate crimes continue today around the globe. I often ask, “What do they hope to accomplish?” when they bomb a concert or marketplace. How does killing common people more forward their cause? I choose love as well.

    Hate gives me heartburn,
    Speedy Alkaseltzer

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Speedy Alkaseltzer,

      In the 80’s when women paid $100 for a spiral perm I felt vindicated for all those years of setting my hair on soup cans and submitting it to the clothes iron. Viva light sockets and curly hair!

      As for the hate…I don’t get it either. It seems to me, that as different races and cultures we have so much to share. Blowing up innocent children accomplishes what? Plop plop fizz fizz oh what a crazy world it is.


      Reddy Kilowatt the hell.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Liz,

      I have to admire those who say they’ve truly forgiven. I am outraged by what happened then and by what’s happening now. I hope you are in a safe place this weekend.




    • Dear Suzanne,

      I had just turned 10. There was so much about the Civil Rights movement back then. I remember thinking what a wonderful man Dr. King was. In retrospect I still have trouble forgiving. Thank you.




  • Rochelle, how have you been lately? I hope the spring has been treating you well in KC.
    It sure is a lot easier to talk about forgiveness than do it, although I agree with your MLK quote. What a horrible situation, but well written as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear David,

      The tragic irony of the MLK quote is that he was struck down by a hater’s bullet. How would things have differed had he lived? Thank you re my writing. 😉
      Spring has gone directly into humid summer here, but I’m doing well. Preparing for art fairs and working on my coffee table book of illustrations here. More work than the writing actually.




  • Very authentically real one, Rochelle!
    Doing evil for evil never did anyone good!
    Learnt it from experience and now I constantly, consistently try to do overcome evil with good. Will try my level best, so God help me, to keep doing it!
    I am going to pass up on this one.
    The pic is too traumatic for me to even view it, let alone write about it!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Like Sarah, I am trying so hard to not go *there* this week. I am still trying to figure out what to write.
    No one does historical 100-word fiction, like you do, Ma’am! Hats off, always.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Another sobering trip back in time. I think forgiveness might be the key to life but it’s oh so difficult. Hopefully your narrator is able to find some peace in her next 100 words.

    Liked by 1 person

  • As soon as I read your final line, I instantly remembered the event (being old enough) and all the emotional feeling came back. You could not had picked a better event to stress “Forgiveness” and “Love”.

    Liked by 1 person

  • A very sad tale, Rochelle. Sometimes the past seems like such a cruel, terrible place. And then I remember there are still people that do such atrocious things. Glad to know there are plenty of people out there tipping the scale toward the side of love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Adam,

      I like to think that love abounds. Thank you for reading and commenting. If only the world was more like Friday Fictioneers where we are of different cultures but one heart. (At least I like to think of it that way. 😉 ) Good to see you back.




  • I was very busy this week and really would have liked to write something nice and happy… but this picture is so haunting so I couldn’t face to write it… your tale brought up a very dark piece and also how hate and actions can infest us… a very very tragic story….

    I hope to be back next week writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  • There is no comment I can make on this horrific story other than forgetting is not an option, and forgiveness in the gift of a few. On the writing, I really like the second paragraph and the way you described and summarise all the girls – neatly done.


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