24 November 2017

Published November 22, 2017 by rochellewisoff

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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

Please be respectful of your fellow writer/readers and keep your story to 100 words. Thank you. 

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Wrote a longer piece? Don’t think you can cut it back? The following excerpt from my second novel FROM SILT AND ASHES turned flash fiction was originally 308 words long. Obviously that would go way over the word limit. So, first I had to decide what I want to say in 100 words. Once I decided, I tweaked some of the sentences to fit and lost four other characters in the chapter. 😉 Naturally it’s my hope that this will whet your appetite to read the longer version, ie the book and, perhaps the trilogy. I thank you. Havah thanks you. 😀

Genre: Historical Fiction (circa 1905)

Word Count: 100

A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND

A pile of torn paper remained on the floor where Rachel had been playing. Havah’s anxiety mounted. She only turned her head for a moment.

What if her blind toddler meandered out into the path of an oncoming automobile?  

Kreplakh cocked her head, barked and scampered around Havah’s feet.

“You fell down on the job, you stupid mutt. Rachel! Rachel!”

Kreplakh ran to the closet and scratched at the door.

“You want in there?” Havah yanked it open and sank to her weakened knees.

There in the laundry basket, amid petticoats and linens, thumb in mouth, slept little lost Rachel.

 

 

108 comments on “24 November 2017

    • Dear Sandra,

      As you know I get a bit irritated when a writer prefaces his or her flash fiction for the 100 word challenge with, “I couldn’t lose a word.” Nonsense! You can always lose words…well almost always. And if you can’t (or won’t) try a challenge that allows for more. 😉

      I love Kreplakh, too. Another reader criticized me for writing in a guide dog at a time when they weren’t trained for such work. I have a blind friend who assures me that animals have appointed themselves as caretakers since the beginning of time.

      At any rate, thank you for such a nice comment. Sorry for the long-winded reply.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Josh,

      That clock was my consolation prize for staying with Hy-Vee for fifteen years. For my 20th I opted for a set of knives…much better choice. I suppose I keep the non-functional clock for a stage prop. It hasn’t worked in years. 😀 Thank you for your kind comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Linda,

      As I told an interviewer last year, the names have to be authentic. For me they’re up close and personal. My Hebrew name is Rachel (pronounced RahKHEL) Esther and my mother’s Hebrew name was Havah. As for Kreplakh…it’s Jewish form of ravioli. I had a dog who was mostly Cocker Spaniel I named Shayna, but my dad always referred to her as Kreplakh. I hope that’s not TMI 😉 Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • As a real nervous parent, I can sure identify with Havah’s panic here. Everytime, we go to a crowded place with our kid, I keep checking and re-checking his presence much to my wife’s amusement and occasional annoyance. That being said, brilliant editing here Rochelle.

    Cheers, Varad

    Liked by 1 person

  • Every parent has experienced this at one time or another – several times f you have a particularly adventurous child! Love the way you used the dog’s questioning cock of the head, then its seeking out of little Rachel, as if the dog had understood Havah from the start. Moving but sparingly done Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  • I love Kreplakh’s personality. And having momentarily lost my child in a store once, I could identify with Havah’s anxieties and fears. Happy that Rachel is safe. The picture you have painted in the end is so adorable- a sleeping child with thumb in mouth.🙂
    A wonderful read, as always and thanks also for sharing the amazing portraits.
    A Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Rochelle.
    Gratitude and good wishes,
    Moon

    Like

    • Dear Moon,

      Like people, animals have their own unique personalities, don’t they? I, too, have personally experienced that anxiety of ‘losing’ a child. What parent hasn’t? 😉 Thank you for your kind words. I’m thankful that you’re a part of Friday Fictioneers.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • I never have a problem with a piece being too long… rather I built it from around 60 words and flesh it out a bit… but this worked excellent… I wonder how a complete novel would work if we cut it down in the same way… would it be too terse or would it be seen as an even better novel….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Björn,

      I don’t know about a complete novel being that brief, but I did write one chapter in my second novel that ended up being 95 words long. While I wouldn’t distill an entire novel down to few words, doing flash fiction has certainly made me aware of superfluous exposition. It’s also a great tool for writing the dreaded synopsis. 😉 Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Randy,

      When I was in my teens I had a pair of pups my mother named Shayna and Leben for Shayna Leben, her term of endearment for Yours Truly. 😉 My father referred to the dogs as Kreplach and Louie. I hadn’t thought of this little Kreplach being the Jewish Lassie but indeed she is. Glad you enjoyed. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • It would be interesting to see the 308 words which got edited down to this nice, concise vignette. I would have added an ‘apostrophe D’ to She’d only turned her head for a moment. , to clearly indicate past action, without changing word count.
    I love Kreplakh, not least because (s)he reminds me of a time years ago, when network television had three simultaneous shows, with titles that began and ended with K – Telly Savalas in Kojak – Darren McGavin as Kolchak – and a third, lost in the mists of time. Mad Magazine spoofed the coincidence by suggesting a few more, like Kodak, Kodiak, and Kreplak, the crime fighting Blintz. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Archon,

      Those 308 words can be found in a chapter of FROM SILT AND ASHES 😉

      Now you have me trying to remember who the 3rd K was. I don’t remember the Mad spoof either but great names.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Such a lovely story! I can see the little one all curled up asleep on the laundry 🙂

    Funnily enough, I was watching an episode of Big Bang Theory yesterday. The lads were playing Klingon Boggle and one reckoned “Kreplakh” was a Klingon word (it should be) while another insisted it was Yiddish for meat dumpling 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ali,

      A few years back I started studying Hebrew (also a very guttural language). My son accused me of speaking Klingon.

      Perhaps the Klingons are the lost tribe. 😉 Yes, kreplakh is Yiddish for a meat dumpling. As for BBT…I love those guys!

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Ernestine Gibbons W(T)F,

    You must have pulled out the heavy duty chopper to cut this scene to 100 words. I think at some point in time all of us have felt the anxiety associated with a misplaced child. There is an old dug-well next door (by my Grandfather’s old house). Jesse had a friend over when he was little–and they came up missing. Connie felt an inner voice telling her to go to the well. Sure enough, that’s where they were playing. Shortly thereafter, she had me cover the opening with a huge rock that even one adult couldn’t move by themselves.

    Case solved,
    Detective Lowry

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Detective Lowry,

      Heavy duty chopper indeed. I hope this proves my point that, no matter how precious those extra words might seem to the writer, if edited correctly, the reader will never miss them.

      Our youngest son Christian put us through that anxiety more than both of his brothers combined (not to say that they didn’t). That boy would just meander off without a thought to his poor panic stricken parents. Now he’s his wife’s responsibility. 😉

      Thanks for coming by. (No idea where that invisible box disappeared to.)

      Happy Thanksgiving,

      Ernestine Gibbons W(T)F

      Liked by 1 person

  • Well dang it. I know I left a great comment and it done distappeared! Sooo… take 2

    Dear Rochelle,

    Proof positive you are the queen of the 100-word story! I remember this scene well and, even with all the snipping you did, I still felt Havah’s fear, frustration at poor Kreplakh and utter relief at finding little Rachel asleep in the closet.

    You da best!

    Lots love,

    Dale

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      Who knows? Perhaps in a week or two the first comment will show up. Remember those emails I sent to myself the other day? Never showed up but now I’m able to send things to myself…no problem. Go figure.

      I’m glad you remember the scene and that my giving it a nip and tuck worked as well. It will be used for Kreplakh’s ‘bio’ in ASFTJ. 😉 Thank you for the great comment.

      You’se da best, too.

      Shalom and love,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Oh dear!! I could feel the angst of turning for a moment to pay a cashier for ice-cream once and asking my mother to hold my 2 yr old grandson’s hand while I pay. I had not realized my mother’s dementia was that bad…the knots in my tummy and heart in my throat, I walked about two meters and there was the little guy waiting for the elevator to open its doors!!! I still get agitated thinking of this.

    You see how you write to well, Rochelle, I was in that moment all over again…thank goodness for real pets who are our best friends.

    Shalom, Cheryl-Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Cheryl-Lynn,

      I think all of who have children have experienced that panic at one time or another. I had a similar one to yours in the department store. Oh the things that go through our heads at that moment.
      Thank you for your kind comments and for putting a link to my books on your page .:D

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are very welcome…I have added a widget with 4 books and links on both blogs…I used to know a journalist who wrote for La Presse in Montreal. He wrote about the arts…anything related to the arts but he is retired now.

        Liked by 1 person

  • Querida Rochelle,
    I’m sure there are many mothers – or fathers – who have experienced what you so eloquently have written about. I know I have. I lost my eldest daughter in a Mexican shopping center. YIKES … she was 3 and could not speak spanish. I was back in Mexico as I read your vignette from your book. You always give us a great deal of imagery in your FF posts.
    I’m late with my story but found it in my files after my computer shut down because it wanted to. LOLOL Gracias por su buen trabajo de FF.
    Abrazos y Shalom …
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • Querida Isadora,

      Mejor tarde que nunca ¿No?

      As moms it seems we all have similar stories. Those niños have a way of wandering off, don’t they? My youngest was my worst when it came to that.

      Gracias para tus palabras.

      Paz y shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • I read some of the comments and enjoyed that with the fiction piece – we once lost ur older son – a tween at the time – for about five minutes at the Rockefeller Center in NYC – it was not too bad – but son did not get off the elevator with our small group and so we all lightly panicked as we ran up the stairs – he was waiting up there – relaxed but a little nervous – and we all hugged, etc.
    but then we noticed this appearance of numerous security guards – checking on our commotion – and it reminded me of the post-9/11 era we live in – very good security.
    anyhow, I could see Rachel sleeping here…. nice job cutting from 300 to 100 –

    Liked by 1 person

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