22 December 2017

Published December 20, 2017 by rochellewisoff

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PHOTO PROMPT © Björn Rudberg

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Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

THE MANLY ART OF GIVING

            The bars clanked behind me. My pulse thudded in my ears.

            My first interviewee, a hulk you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley, put me at ease.

            “It gives ya peace of mind.” DeShawn looped pink yarn around his sausage-sized fingers. “This gonna be a blanket for my niece.”

            Several tough-looking inmates proudly showed off scarves and hats they’d made for inner city kids for Christmas. 

            “It don’t change what we done, but I hope it makes up for some of the hurt we caused.” DeShawn’s ebony eyes gleamed. “Every strong man has a pair of knitting needles.”

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121 comments on “22 December 2017

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I’ve heard of this before; it’s so worthwhile! You’ve portrayed the incongruity between ‘hulks with sausage-sized fingers’ and the ‘gentle’ activity of knitting so well.

    Best wishes,
    Magarisa

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Björn,

      You sent me 22 photos from your trip to Madeira. I saved them all. 😉 You never know when one of them will pop up.

      I’m amazed at how many men actually do knit and crochet. Thank you. 😀

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Neil,

      Cynical indeed. Did you happen to click the link after the story? It will take you to a video with the true story. I suspect the prison is judicial in which men are allowed to knit in a controlled environment. And the needles are left behind when the session’s over. 😉 Thanks for coming by. 😀

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Suzanne,

      To just incarcerate a criminal does nothing for any of us. I’m was impressed by the true story behind my flash fiction. I hope you clicked on the link to watch the video. 😀 Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Sandra,

      I myself could never make knitting needles behave. Years ago I made a pathetic attempt at a scarf which my dear father in law accepted graciously as a Christmas gift. Thank you re my story. 😀 Happy Christmas.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • I’ve dabbled with a bit of crochet a long time ago. I was pretty decent at it and let’s leave it at that. 😀 This was a beautiful story, Rochelle. The youtube link you had provided was pretty awesome too.

    Cheers, Varad

    Liked by 2 people

  • A great story. I also enjoyed the video clip. I really believe that our prison system can be really messed up and more programs like this are needed, particularly for anybody that will walk the streets again, as these inmates will. It helps both the inmates and larger society – win-win.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Trent,

      Our prison system is definitely in a mell of a hess. Granted, there are hardened criminals who are past hope. But,in many cases, the prison system reinforces criminal behavior. 😦 Glad you liked my story. 😀 Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Brenda Sneezingfitz W(T)F,

    I tried to knit once, but my mother put corks on the ends of both needles as I was not allowed to play with sharp objects. Needless to say, the finished piece looked more like a fishing net than a scarf.

    I thought all convicts came out as either preachers or lawyers. I guess knitting helps them pass the time while watch soap operas and Jerry Springer.

    Happy Hanukkah,
    Monkey Man

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Monkey Man,

      Are you the other half of Tweeter and the Monkey Man?

      Better a knitter than a…well you know…The image of you knitting with corks on the end of the needles is an amusing one. My one and only attempt at knitting was slightly less than successful. it was also my last attempt. Perhaps if I’d been a captive student I would’ve fared better. 😉 Thanks for …achoo!…coming…haaack….by.

      Shalom,

      Brenda Snezingfitz W(T)F

      Like

  • This is great. I used to take an AA meeting to the prison with a few other guys. One time I was all by myself. It’s a strange feeling when they close the door and you’re alone in a room with sixty convicts. They all know you are the only one who can leave.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Brilliant, as per usual. I, for one, refuse to be cynical and believe that you have to earn a place in this special group, therefore nothing bad will happen with the needles. The prisons are filled with guys (and gals, I imagine) who don’t stand a chance to reform. Why not teach them something that is relaxing (once you get the hang of it!) and can benefit others?

    I remember reading or seeing something about this a good while ago. So glad you brought it back to the fore!.

    Lotsa love,

    Dale

    Liked by 2 people

  • Dear Rochelle

    I enjoyed this story and the video. It’s great to see the way that knitting engages the inmates and creates a positive and productive atmosphere. It’s also heartening that the items they produce benefit others. Thank you for sharing this.

    Best wishes and season’s greetings

    Edith

    Liked by 2 people

  • Absolutely loved it. And it so perfectly encapsulates the Christmas spirit. In India, a few prisons have started selling goods made by prisoners recently, hopefully, it will catch on much faster. Everyone deserves a chance at redemption.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Anurag,

      Not everyone in prison is a psycho murderer. There are those who will be back out on the streets. Teaching a skill and giving a purpose just might prevent them from returning. I agree with you about redemption. 😀 Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • This is wonderful, Rochelle. Such a positive, uplifting story. Love your dialogue, which works really well. Prison is a tough balance between punishment and rehabilitation. Although many members of the public would prefer the former, the latter is much more effective in preventing reoffending. Thank you for sharing the clip too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Anna

      Thank you re my story. Happy to have you aboard. I also found this to be an amazing writing tool that taught me the truth of the the quote: Brevity is the soul of wit.” Again, thank you and a very Merry Christmas to you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Great story. I don’t know why knitting is seen as a women’s thing. Fishermen used to knit there own Aran jumpers – it gave them something to do while searching out fish. And apparently knitting is good for behaviourally disturbed children – it affects brain waves and is a soothing activity. So possibly good for keeping tempers under control in a prison? Your story goes to show, no one is wholly bad.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Sarah Ann,

      Actually, knitting was originally a masculine activity. I, for one, could never get the yarn to submit. I’m pretty decent at embroidery,though. 😉 Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Claire,

      I’m not sure what’s mysterious about my story. Perhaps if you click the link at the end of the story it will answer some of the questions. At any rate, thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • wow this was lovely I have no idea how to say what i want sooo i will just say ’tis the season and you have captured, what is ( in my personal opinion) true holiday spirit

    Liked by 2 people

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