Biographical Fiction

All posts in the Biographical Fiction category

18 September 2020

Published September 16, 2020 by rochellewisoff

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

BIG RASCALS

“I was a baby when Mr. Roach hired me,” says George McFarland. “They still call me Spanky.”

Ernie grins. “I was one of the first back in the days before talkies. Sunshine Sammy, that was me.”

“I was Butch. The bully in the gang.” Tommy Bond adds with a twinkle in his eye, “Guess I had the scowl for it.”

Matthew Beard strokes his bald head, looking very much like little Stymie. “We was just kids. We went to school and played together. Black or white didn’t matter. Hal Roach loved kids.”

“Great times,” says Ernie. “I’d do it again.”

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*Some may remember the “Our Gang Comedy”  or, as it later became known in syndication “The Little Rascals.” Some may not. For a bit of a lengthy history CLICK HERE

28 August 2020

Published August 26, 2020 by rochellewisoff

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PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

LOST IN THE BRONX

“Oy the pain.” Jonathan Charasuchin would moan when his mother gave boarders his room, relegating him to sleep on dining room chairs.

“Quit your kvetching,” his mother would say. “We need the money.”

 His sympathetic father introduced him to opera on the radio and took him to Yiddish theater productions.

The boy fell in love with the stage and dreamed of someday becoming an actor. Diligently he worked on losing his thick Bronx accent, imitating British film stars.

Forty years later, Jonathan Harris delighted Lost in Space fans with quips like “You bobble-headed booby” and “Oh the pain. The pain.”

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17 April 2020

Published April 15, 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 © Roger Bultot

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Word Count: 100

Genre: Historical Fiction

I told myself I was going to give Historical Fiction a rest, but this story found me and begged to be shared. For those across the sea, let me introduce you to an American icon. (she should be) 

AFTER A FASHION

The sun rose on New York’s horizon, Lena’s adopted city since immigrating from Lithuania in 1895, as a 16-year-old orphan. The baby on her soaking hip crammed his fist into his mouth and whimpered.

            “Oy. My little pisher needs his vikileh changed.”

            Once the deed was done she sat at her sewing machine, sleeping infant on her lap. She yawned. “No rest for weary Widow Bryant. Miss Feingold needs her wedding dress.”

            Four years later, Lena opened her own shop. Thanks to the bank’s misspell on her loan, we now remember the designer of fashionable plus-size dresses as Lane Bryant.

 

  • Pisher is a Yiddish word for someone who can’t keep his drawers dry. Vikeleh is diaper or nappie depending on which side of the pond you’re on. 😉 

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17 January 2020

Published January 15, 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 © J Hardy Carroll

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

STRENGTH IN EACH TEAR

Lula cuddled and sang to her two-year-old son. The doctor’s words echoed through her mind. “I’m sorry, there’s nothing we can do. You need a miracle.”

            The screaming prayers of the itinerate preacher beseeching God for a miracle only served to add to Lula’s sorrow. Her baby would never enjoy the beauty of a red rose or a blue sky. Born too soon, the incubator stole his sight.

            “Don’t you worry. We’ll make our own miracle.”  

            Ten years later, Barry Gordy dubbed Lula’s boy Little Stevie Wonder, saying, “Mrs. Morris, your son’s musical gift is nothing short of a miracle.”

27 July 2018

Published July 25, 2018 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 © Ted Strutz 😀 (Thanks, Ted)

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Genre: Historical/Biographical Fiction

Word Count: 100

STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT

            After thirty hours of labor, at 3 o’clock in the morning, Dolly’s desperate physician resorted to forceps to deliver her baby.   

            Dolly clutched her sister’s hand. “Josie, is it a girl?  I don’t hear her cry. Is she—?”

            “Stillborn,” said the doctor, sweat beading his forehead. “He nearly killed his mama.”

            The midwife laid the motionless infant on the kitchen scale. “Thirteen pounds. Big boy for such a tiny mother.” She held him under running water. “Sveglia!” 

            He sputtered and cried.

            “Hello, piccolo sconosciuto.” Dolly Sinatra took her wailing son in her arms. “Just listen to my Francis sing.”

*piccolo sconosciuto is Italian for ‘little stranger’

Sveglia is “Wake up!”

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           Because a story about Old Blue Eyes wouldn’t be complete without a song, I leave you with one that Frank Sinatra hated when he first heard it. Doobie doobie doo. 

20 July 2018

Published July 18, 2018 by rochellewisoff


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Please be considerate of 70 or more participants and keep your story to 100 words. Thank you. 

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 © Dale Rogerson

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Genre: Historical/Biographical Fiction

Word Count: 100

LOVE THY NEIGHBOR

            Resting his chin on his palm, Freddie pouted and stared out the window.

            Fred McPheely ached for his grandson whose asthma prevented him from roughhousing outside with other children.

            Sinking down beside him, Fred ruffled his namesake’s hair. “Feeling blue, kiddo?”  

            “Yeah, I guess so.” The boy sniffed. “Grandpa, why do neighborhood kids make fun of me?”

            “Can’t say. Maybe they just need love. One thing I do know…”

***

            Freddie never forgot what his grandfather said next. As Mister Rogers, he repeated it every afternoon to four generations of young television audiences across America.

            “You make my day very special.”

CLICK here for a little more.

Fred Roegers – 1928-2003

Farewell to Trolley, King Friday, Queen Sarah Saturday, Officer Clemmons, Mr. McPheely. Daniel Tiger and the gang. You made us all feel very special.

29 June 2018

Published June 27, 2018 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

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

UNFORGETTABLE

            When Nathaniel tickled the ivories, he mesmerized Chicago’s jazz club audiences. The talented sixteen-year-old played for hot dogs, soda pop and pure joy. In 1935, he and his band, the Rogues of Rhythm, challenged the great Earl Hines and his Orchestra to a musical duel—and won.

            Twenty-one years later, Capitol Records’ leading vocalist became the first African American to host his own television program. Performers from Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald clamored to donate their services. Despite rave reviews, white sponsors refused to back him.

            Fighting tears, Nat King Cole cancelled his show saying, “Madison Avenue’s afraid of the dark.”

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Buddy DeSylva, founder of Capitol Records, is quoted as having said, “If Nat Cole were white, he’d be bigger than Sinatra or Crosby.”

Here’s a clip from the ill-fated The Nat “King” Cole Show

2 March 2018

Published February 27, 2018 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 © J Hardy Carroll

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NOTE: Oops! Tuesday is NOT the new Wednesday. As some of you already know, I write and schedule my stories ahead. (Keeps my sanity…well…somewhat.) At any rate, I scheduled the wrong start date. At least the prompt is here…some might remember the week my page went live but the prompt didn’t show up with it. Thanks for understanding. 

Please be considerate of your fellow fictioneers and keep your word-count at 100 words or less–title not included. Thank you. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT

“What’s your name, kid?”

            Winded from his match, the coal miner’s son took a deep breath. “Volodymyr Palahniuk.”

            His prospective manager punched Volodymyr’s stomach. “Tight as a drum. And you’re lightning in the ring, but that moniker’s gotta go. Whatcha think of……say… Jack Brazzo?”

            “I like it.”

            “Atta boy.”

            Over the next year, Jack scored 15 victories and 12 KO’s. A force to be reckoned with until Joe Baksi, another coal miner’s son, outpointed him.

            Years later Jack, who changed Brazzo to Palance and turned to theater, said, “You must be nuts to get your head beat in for $200.”

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9 February 2018

Published February 7, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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“Reciprocity is the glue that holds communities together.” – Neil MacDonald

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 © JS Brand

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Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 100

FREESTYLE

            Yellow Tangs and Blue-violet perch floated before Elise, unconcerned by her presence. Sunrays beamed through the crystal ceiling, illuminating purple fan coral that swayed to and fro like dancers. Palming the water, she somersaulted and dove deeper, chasing schools of glistening fish.

            She flipped again, but before she could right herself, long tendrils of seaweed twisted around her wrists and ankles. Try and tug though she might, the plants held tight.

            With a gasp, she woke amid tangled blankets and bedsheets. “Roger Miller was right. You can’t roller-skate in a buffalo herd and you can’t go swimming in queen-size bed.”  

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And Just for Fun 😉 😀

26 January 2018

Published January 24, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook


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Saturday, January 27th is the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The following story is one that I discovered a few years back and never ceases to fascinate me. 

Genre: Realistic Fiction based on a True Story

Word Count: 100

RENOVATION

As he did every morning, Dov Ben Avraham recited the Sh’ma, “Hear O, Yisrael, Adonai is our Lord, Adonai is one.” The Hebrew words from Deuteronomy 6 were sweet to his tongue and uplifting to his heart. After saying his final amen, he added, “Thank you for making me a Jew.”

Later that night, at the synagogue he prepared to tell his story at a memorial dinner to honor those who perished at Auschwitz.

Gazing at a few survivors among the guests, Dov, Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger, said, “Please forgive me for the sins of my father, a Nazi tank commander.”

 

 Bernd Wollschlaeger, M.D.

 

To see an interview with Dr. Wollschlaeger CLICK HERE

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