Published February 25, 2018 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman is back in Europe, visiting the Czech Republic for the first time. You’re invited to stroll the city of Karlovy Vary and choose your own view. Take your inspiration and write no more 150 words. Once your poem, story, or essay is polished, share it with others at the link up below:

I’m a little late to the party this week, but after being MIA for the past two weeks, I’m happy to have made it. 😉 Many thanks to Karen and Josh for their dedication to their growing challenge. I’m pleased to announce that I’m rounding the bend of the final heat for A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY. Hopefully it will debut this Spring. 

Here’s the photo I chose from the Pegman Buffet. My story doesn’t exactly take place here but a few kilometers away in Prague.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150


Shadow monsters chased Franz. Twisted trees and thorny brambles caught his clothes. He snapped open his eyes. Demons vanished like steam over Mother’s cooking pot.

            The wind blustered and howled outside, sounding like shouts of tyrants and wails of children. Franz’s tongue cleaved to the bottom of his mouth.

            He cried out. “May I have a drink of water?”

            “Go back to sleep, you little insect,” his father hollered.  

            “Please, Father, I am so thirsty.”

            “Thirsty are you?” Heavy footsteps thundered down the hallway. Franz opened his eyes. Father loomed over the bed like the ominous forest creatures of his nightmare. Instead of comforting words the child longed for, Father carried him to the balcony. “Never disturb my sleep again.” The door locked behind him.

            Frigid wind whipped through the boy’s thin nightgown. For the rest of his all-too-brief life, Franz Kafka despaired of ever winning his father’s love.




Click here for more of Kafka

37 comments on “THE FROZEN SEA WITHIN US

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Or should I call you “Queen-of-Bringing-History-to-Life”? And this story made me Google him because, sigh, I’ve never read him. And now I want to! See what you did there?

    Lotsa love,


    Liked by 2 people

  • Unfortunately Kafka’s relationshiip with his parents was quite unhappy. I’ve never read a biography of him, but I’ve read the brief summaries of his life in “Amerika” and his short stories. You might be able to use more references to him because he was Jewish, although an atheist. He seems to be the type who can supply quite a bottomless pit of inspiration for all kinds of stories.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Larry,

      It seems to me that his Jewishness was less important to this story than his unfortunate (lack of) relationship with his father.
      I’m actually just getting into him for an upcoming group study. Sad to note that his family did perish in the Holocaust.
      Thank you for reading and leaving such a comprehensive comment.



      Liked by 1 person

  • You’ve really chosen your words carefully for this story, haven’t you? I particularly loved the father addressing young Franz as “you little insect”. And the wind outside sounding like ‘the shouts of tyrants, and the wails of children’. Great stuff!

    Liked by 2 people

  • I feel knocked over by what the video and your story say about Kafka’s life. I have read his books and their insight and imagery are part of my mental landscape. Didn’t know before about his atrocious treatment from the hands of his abusive father. Amazing that he wrote what he did.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Such a vivid story and wonderful, grimly fairy tale-like descriptions. You make us feel for that poor little boy, alone in the chill against the monsters. I too liked the ‘insect’ reference – you clever thing! – and it worked beautifully for the tone of the story and for what we know about Kafka, of course. I’m off to read more about him now. Thanks for a wonderful read, Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle

    I’ve missed your flash fiction storytelling. This piece is very grim, without any apparent ray of hope, and yet, it is compelling, as compelling as Kafka’s stories. The use of ‘insect’ is so clever. We have his father to thank for all those wonderful stories, which is ironic indeed.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Kelvin,

      I must confess that, up until last night, I’d not read any of Kafka’s stories. So far I’ve read Metamorphosis and The Country Doctor. (Yes, the insect line was deliberate 😉 ) The relationship, or lack thereof, tears at my heart. Thank you for your kind words re my story.



      Liked by 1 person

  • A hundred words did what a thousand couldnt – for years I have tried to pick up Kafka but couldnt empathize but now I cannot wait to read him. Thank you Rochelle for being that special teacher and showing the way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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