3 November 2017

Published November 1, 2017 by rochellewisoff

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Once more another excerpt from my trilogy as I prepare the coffee table companion book, A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY. Designed for those who like art and very short stories. 😉 This is an excerpt from the third in the series, AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN. A little background for those unfamiliar. The menorah in the story is a ‘character’ of sorts. Crafted by Yussel’s father, it has survived the pogroms and the long journey to America.

Genre: Historical Fiction circa 1907

Word Count: 100


            Arel scowled. “Lev, where’ve you been?”

            “The library, I—” 

            “You missed supper.”  

            Havah grasped Arel’s arm and whispered, “Please let him explain.”

            “My house. My rules.” Arel slapped Lev, knocking Yussel’s menorah off the table.

            The ground listed beneath Havah’s feet.

            Lev gasped.      

            Yussel cried out, dropped to his knees and searched with trembling hands until he found the broken pieces. He hugged them to his chest.  Tears quivered in his sightless eyes.

            “It’s only one branch, Papa.” Havah knelt beside him. “Surely it can be fixed.”

            “Once a limb is severed can the tree be made whole again?”

108 comments on “3 November 2017

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I remember this passage well. I can so feel Yussel’s pain at having a – no, THE, family heirloom broken. It is more than a piece for the mantel.

    Lotsa love,


    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear What’s-Her-Name W(T)F,

    Ha, the library. A likely story. Let’s hope this doesn’t lead to 7 years bad luck.

    Nice excerpt – BTW. Filled with emotion. You certainly know how to make the reader care about the characters.

    Junior, Jr.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Oh dear, Rochelle. How sad. Arel was a bit aggresive here, she managed to hurt peole physically and emotionally, by breaking someting that had great meaning for the person. (Sorry, I’m afraid I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know how the are or what their relationship is). The flash is effective in its sharpness.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Querida Richelle,
    Hace tiempo … era tiempo para empezar otra vez.
    I felt that slap and more as I read this excerpt from your book … a back flash from when I had read it. “Once a limb is severed can the tree be made whole again?” this question has so few words but, I’m sure, many opinions could be discussed. Bravo … tears and tissues. 🙁
    Your artwork with the sepia tones are perfect for your drawings. You are a super artist. Faces and figures are difficult to do. You’ve mastered them beautifully.
    Shalom y Abrazos,
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  • A very poignant piece, Rochelle. Our actions, knowingly or unknowingly, can sometimes cause distress to others and the last line expresses it very nicely.
    Oh, and lovely drawings, too, Rochelle. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • Yussel’s heartbreak is palpable and Havah is clearly the diplomat and negotiator in the family. Such strong characters. Hopefully Yussel’s pain will pass in time, with the repair of the menorah’s arm. It won’t be the same but, like the tree, it can be strong again.

    Liked by 1 person

  • On first glance, some might dismiss an object as just that – a mere thing, not as important as the people around it. But when an object is at the centre of your faith, a focus for family gatherings, when it has survived so much, it becomes a symbol of just that – survival. A survival of the family, a survival of faith, of a culture some seem determined to destroy. I can see why Yussel is so devastated.
    Beautifully, sadly told, Rochelle.
    Sorry I’m so late joining in this week – nice to catch up with everyone eventually 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lynn,

      I think we all have heirlooms that remind us of someone special. I have a lead crystal bowl that belonged to my parents. It fascinated me as a child and is one of my prized possessions now. I hope that my children will cherish it, too. Thank you for your affirming comments.

      As to your tardiness,…not to worry. I’m just now getting around to answering my comments. 😉 And then wrote a Pegman story on top of that.



      Liked by 1 person

      • Must be getting hard for you to keep up with it all, as the numbers for FF keep growing and growing. You’ll soon need to employ a secretary to take on some of the load! Yes, although belngings are never as important as people of course, they can also embody them, hold your history in them. There’s something slightly supernatural about a very old object, everything it must have seen, the people who owned it. I’m sure it’s my imagination, but I almost feel these objects absorb a little of the world.


  • What a gripping last line, Rochelle, and what a wrenching tale. I can imagine how important this item is to the family, and how crushing it is to have it broken, especially so needlessly. I’m very sentimental about family objects myself, more so than the rest of my family I think. Enough that I’m still lugging around grandma’s old dining room table, even though it’s far too big for my apartment and it desperately needs to be completely refinished But it’s grandma’s! All those memories!

    I won’t be around much this month because I’m focusing on writing for NaNoWriMo, and not doing any flash fiction challenges, but I wanted to say “hi” and remark on what an interesting photo you have this week! Have fun with FF while I’m “gone”. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Joy,

      I notice our numbers down a smidge this week and suspect it has something to do with NaNoWriMo. 😉 All my best to you. I’ve too much else going on to get involved.

      At any rate, thank you for stopping by to read and comment. It means a lot. I, too, have possessions that I wouldn’t part with.



      Liked by 1 person

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