12 October 2018

Published October 10, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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As always, please be considerate of your fellow Fictioneers and keep your stories to 100 words. (Title is not included in the word count.)  Many thanks. 

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

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


Ten-year-old Annie had never ridden on a train. Cousin Anastasia said it would take her and her brother to Springfield.  How odd. Stasia never kissed her before. What did Uncle John mean when he muttered, “Almshouse”?

            “D’ya think Nellie and Mama and Johnny are happy in Heaven, Jimmie?” Annie asked.

            His feverish snoring answered her. She wished she could see the scenery whizzing by.  

            “Not to worry, little one,” said her invisible faerie friend with an Irish brogue. “Someday you’ll do great things.”

            “Me? How? I’m only an ignorant blind girl nobody wants.”

            “Trust me, darlin’ Annie Sullivan. You will.”   


Helen Keller with Annie Sullivan Macy (Teacher)

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112 comments on “12 October 2018

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Wonderful! And to think she was born 98 years before I was 😉
    How did I not know she was blind herself? I, of course, clicked the link to see she had had operations which helped her regain some of it – which explains my not realising that. Oy!
    Beautifully brought to life by you. I expect nothing less 🙂

    Lotsa love,

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Dale,

      The link is actually not well edited but I thought was the best for a short look at the girl who became Teacher. I thought about posting a sequel on down the list, but Asher has taken over my limited headspace. 😉
      Thank you for your delicious comment.

      Shalom and hugs,


      Liked by 1 person

      • The link actually sucks, quite frankly. Awful, to tell the truth 😉 But still, we got the message that she was Helen’s beloved Teacher.
        Asher… I have no complaints about his residence in your head…
        Always, my friend!


  • Very good scene. I had a blind Aunt Emma…I am so very thankful to her for teaching me, even as a wee little lady, to “see” the world with eyes shut. It’s a completely new experience for those who’ve never tried it. You should, really.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Bear,

      Of course you know one of my favorite characters in my novels was Rabbi Yussel. Without physical eyes he saw more than most. Your Aunt Emma sounds very much like him. Seriously amazing what a person can do when robbed of one of the senses. I can only imagine. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • And to think I never spared a thought for who made Helen Keller who she was! Thank you once again Rochelle for yet another inspiring introduction. I seem to have struck a dead end even though I unfailingly visit your posts. I shall try again, perhaps, just perhaps one of these days (weeks or months) i will be able to move that block blocking my thoughts 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  • I love the movie, The Miracle Worker with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. I like how you used the prompt to make a wonderful tribute to Annie Sullivan, the remarkable woman and determined teacher who helped Helen Keller to become independent and to conquer her blindness instead of being conquered by it.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Another lovely anecdote into history and another story of a character often seen as a side-kick but who was oh-so-not! I adore your historical micro-fiction intros! Hellen Keller — and even more so, her teacher — have been unforgettable characters in my childhood. We had a series of ‘world greats’ in our home, and I remember reading Hellen Keller’s story and worrying about how much Anne Sullivan had overtired her eyes to read for Hellen Keller in college …

    Here’s my little addition (link already left at the link-a-think): https://naamayehuda.com/2018/10/10/the-loophole/

    Liked by 2 people

    • Na’ama Y’karah,

      From the first time I saw The Miracle Worker, Helen and Annie have fascinated me. I even wrote them into my second novel, From Silt and Ashes. Annie was definitely the wind beneath Helen’s wings. It took a brilliant teacher to bring the child out of her darkness. Many thanks for your comments.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Took me straight back to The Miracle Worker and that moment where Annie puts Helen’s hands under the stream of water from the pump. I have tears in my eyes. Your writing did that which is exactly what it should do. Brilliant.

    Liked by 2 people

  • It’s amazing to think what people accomplished in a time where people got around on horses. I started reading up on Sullivan and Keller and I learned a lot… About the eugenics movement. Apparently Helen Keller was in favor of some unsavory practices.

    It was enlightening to research though- the number of things one can accomplish despite being blind is mind boggling.I wouldn’t think it’d be possible, especially at their time.

    Great story, I’m glad I learned something along the way 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  • I enjoyed this glimpse into the childhood of Anne Sullivan. I was unaware she was orphaned and sent to analmshouse, but great tragedy early one sometimes brings great strength.

    The story of her work with Helen Keller I have always found very inspiring, being theparent of achild with a disability, though one not quite as challenging as being deprived of both sight and hearing, as Helen Keller was.

    The eugenics comment above I found a bit disturbing, a path for further research.

    I think the story of triumph against all odds for both Annie and Helen is what resonates in this story, so well told by you.

    Stories like this inspire change in the treatment of the disabled by others, and in their education–there was no right to public education for such children in the US in Helen Keller’s time or actually until 1975–so Anne Sullivan’s role in Helen Keller’s phenomenal success as a student and lecturer cannot be overstated.

    Thanks for reminding us of these perennial chacters from history.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Andrea,

      I think I’ve seen every edition of the Miracle Worker. Loved the movie and read Helen Keller’s
      “The Story of my Life” when I was in my teens. I’ve always been fascinated with her and her teacher. For that matter I wrote them into my second novel “From Silt and Ashes.” (See what I did there?)
      The eugenics comment disturbs me as well, although I did know that Ms. Keller was a progressive thinker.

      Now…you’ve asked one of my favorite questions. How did I get there? Often with a prompt I will start with the history of…such as umbrellas, cars or whatever. The Google trail leads in all different directions in many cases.
      Just for fun, here’s the link to a story that had quite a few readers scratching their heads. At the end I explain how I got “there.” https://rochellewisoff.com/2014/11/05/7-november-2014/

      With this particular prompt I knew a little bit of history behind the building since I snapped the picture. Among the many places the building in Council Grove, KS, this structure was once used as a Poor Farm. My immediate thought went to Annie Sullivan. One of the few things I knew about her was that she spent time in an almshouse where her brother Jimmie died (spot on the ‘feverish snoring’). I’m actually still following the trail with Annie in a biography written about her in the 20’s. So she may just show up at a later date.

      While Helen Keller was a brilliant woman, it took another brilliant woman to reach her.

      Finding the humanity in history is one of my passions as you might have already guessed.

      Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • A sensitively written story of a little girl’s traumatic journey to the orphanage. I enjoyed the whimsical comfort she received from her imaginary friend. The human spirit amazes me in its tenacity. It was encouraging to be reminded of the power of perseverance. I admire how much she accomplished in her lifetime despite the severe adversity she was born into. Thank you for including the link. What an incredible woman. Beautifully told as always, Rochelle.

    Liked by 2 people

  • When I was a child I read a boon called ‘Helen Keller’s Teacher’ all about Anne Sullivan. The two women and their story stuck with me ever since – I can even remember the illustration on the front cover! I’m delighted your story was about her and thank you so much for the link – I don’t think I realised what she herself had to overcome to achieve what she did. As always, you tackle a subject with tact and a gentle touch. Lovely, Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

  • I remember reading the story of helen keller & her teacher , while schooling. I was in awe to see her will power & her teacher’s dedication towards her. I believe there are many helen keller’s around us,who teaches us that “Nothing is impossible”

    They say that though god made them visually/hearing impaired,they are gifted with better senses than a normal human , which makes them more special.
    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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