15 May 2020

Published May 13, 2020 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 © Jan Wayne Fields

Click the Frog to Join the Party

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

TROPICAL VACATION

As a journalist, I’ve looked forward to my assignment in the island paradise of Tonga—interview deportees.

Uhila sets aside his machete. Sun through the palm trees beats down on his bare back littered with tattoos. “My dad was God. I couldn’t fight God, so I fought everyone else.”

Taking notes, I ache for the hurting child inside the man until he says, “I shot a guy for looking at me wrong—four times in the stomach. Now I’m the trash California State threw away.” He mops his brow with his forearm. “Here I don’t know shit about nothing.”

127 comments on “15 May 2020

  • Wow! This is chilling. We start with an island paradise and end in murder. So much going on here – the voice feels so truthful, a man who can’t control his anger against his father, the anger he aims at other people. That last line speaks volumes about how worthless he feels. And you wonder if he has any future of worth at all. Absolutely gut-wrenching, Rochelle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lynn,

      The story is based on interviews I caught on YouTube. Uhila is a melding of four such men who’ve been deported by 3 or four different countries. They had never been to Tonga, even though it’s where their families came from. They really felt like misfits. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment which made this piece worthwhile for me.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      PS, the man who had committed the murder, was remorseful and trying to better himself. However the circumstances don’t do much to help. 😦

      Like

  • Quite a twist there going from Tropical vacation to killer interview. It sounds like the interview subject still blames someone/something else for his actions & hasn’t come to terms with it yet. If I were interviewing him, I think I would tread cautiously and watch what I say to him very carefully. Good story & a bit different from your usual subjects.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jan,

      Actually “he” was actually “they”. Sorry it didn’t come across, but each of them did take responsibility for their own actions on the YouTube interview I watched. Hard to convey everything in 100 words. I did use their own words. Yes, you do want to tread cautiously when interviewing a large man with a machete at his disposal. Mission accomplished. Twist was what I was going for. Thanks, m’luv.

      Like

    • Dear Lyneane,

      For what ever reason I found both of your comments in my trash folder. At any rate, I didn’t know this either, but ran across a video interview while looking for things about Tonga. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • This is a different style for you. Welcome to the Dark Side. Excellent imagery with “My dad was God. I couldn’t fight God, so I fought everyone else.” With the implication that his father had a wrath comparable to the deity of the Tanakh (Tanach?). All too often children are cursed to carry on certain “family traditions.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Nobbin,

      When I find them…this one found me as I was looking for Tonga in YouTube. I came across a video called Gangsters in Paradise. Uhila a bit of each of the men interviewed. As for the Dark Side, I’ve a novel being shopped that’s been turned down by a couple of publisher’s because it’s ‘darker than they would normally publish.’ 😉 Tanakh/Tanach…both are transliterations of the Hebrew. I agree…curses are passed from generation to generation.
      Thank you for your encouraging comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Great read, Rochelle. Our country (Australia) now engages in this dubious practice, slipped through the back door of deporting terrorists legislation. (Damn your eyes, though, because I’ve now got a Johnny Cash earworm stuck in my head – ‘I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die’.) 😉

    Like

    • My great great grandparents had a ranch near Folsom Prison. It was the second pony express stop from Sacramento. A prisoner escaped and cut off the chain attaching the ball to his ankle. I have that ball. That would be a good photo prompt I think. Now you have me singing that song, Doug. Thanks a lot.

      Liked by 2 people

        • Dear Doug,

          “Damn your eyes.” Love it. Thanks for the ear worm. 😉 (You can blame me for starting it, but I didn’t mention the song).
          The video that inspired my story is called Gangsters in Paradise. Those interviewed included Tongans who had been born elsewhere and deported from the US, Australia and New Zealand. One can only say just so much in 100 words.
          Thank you for reading and commenting. “When I hear that whistle blowing, I hang my head and cry.” (you’re welome.)

          Shalom,

          Rohelle

          Like

  • Intergenerational pain is real! If you do the work and heal, you can break the cycle.
    Gut-wrenching story there, Rochelle. I was saying to my husband just the other day, ‘for any job, you need qualifications and some experience, but for the one with the most responsibility, you need neither.’
    You wove some many strands together so skillfully in so few words.

    Liked by 1 person

  • You’ve packed a lot of story into 100 words, Rochelle. And such beautiful writing too. This is my favorite of the week so far. Great job. I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy. It’s a crazy world out there these days, eh?
    -David

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear David,

      Such a wonderful comment. Thank so much. We’re staying safe and healthy. I’ve spent a lot of the time with a paintbrush in hand…when I’m not writing I’m rendering watercolors. It is crazy out there and it doesn’t look like sanity’s anywhere on the horizon, does it? Thanks again. Hope you’re safe where you are and can soon be reunited with family.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • It appears the interviewer is in for a real roller coaster of a time. Should he have been deported to a country he’s never known? Should he have been allowed to stay after what he did? Can we blame his childhood? Those who fall through the cracks…

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Ralphetta Kramden W(T)F,

    I’ll be sure to wear my sunglasses and mask if I run into Uhila. The machete sounds even more painful than the 4 gun shots. Makes you wonder how he’d react to a mime, doesn’t it?

    BTW – someone hocked a loogie on one of the seats in the bus.
    Colton

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    What a gut-wrenching tale. And every sentence is packed in a punch.

    It’s a pity how for generations parents end up scarring their children for life. This has got to change.

    Thank you for your words and for hosting. I’m back after many, many moons. 🙂

    Take care and stay safe.

    Natasha

    Liked by 1 person

  • There are multiple layers like father-son relationship or the lack of it, lack of self-esteem, violence being narrated in a matter of fact way that denotes the life Uhila had lived, his punishment and his repentance, within these 100 words and that’s the hallmark of a fantastic writer. Great little tale, Rochelle.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Querida Rochelle,
    Muy bien escrito. Su cuento es uno que mi esposo me decía muchas veces.
    Powerful writing, mi amiga. I love the line “I ache for the hurting child inside, etc.” WOW …
    that grabs the reader and shakes him to the core. GREAT story this week …
    Have a wonderfully loving weekend … 😍 😍
    Abrazos y carino,
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

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