Friendship

All posts in the Friendship category

4 August 2017

Published August 2, 2017 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 © Dale Rogerson

Please be considerate and try to keep your stories to 100 words. Thank you. 

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Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

PERSPECTIVE

            Linda sat at Bridgette’s kitchen table and pointed at two floral arrangements. “Who are they from?”

            Bridgette’s aquamarine eyes sparkled. “One’s from Noah and the other’s from Frank.”

            Even in her late 40’s Bridgette maintained her slender form and vibrant red hair.

            “You’re such a femme fatale.” Linda sighed and gulped her espresso. “Me? I’m just fatal.”           

            “Nonsense, ma chère! You’re adorable. I just haven’t found my Prince Charming like you. I’m jealous. You have it all.”

            Linda fingered the crumpled divorce papers in her pocket served by her adulterous Prince Charming that morning. “Yes, I’ve certainly had it…all.”

PEDIGREE

Published July 31, 2017 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to Cape Town, South Africa.

Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:

For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.

Once more I’m late to the party. Many thanks to K Rawson and J Hardy Carroll for hosting this prompt. 

Although I chose a photo from Cape Town, I traveled far afield. The architecture puts me in mind of the old part of Charleston, SC. So I took a story I wrote for Friday Fictioneers a couple of years ago and, as Karen graciously put it, breathed new life into it. At the same time, when South Africa comes to mind, I think of Apartheid. So there’s kind of connection…right? That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

PEDIGREE

            I adored our handsome houseboy “Black-Jack.” Mama had a special smile just for him. Nobody told a better story. Sarah and I shared his lap, laughing and crying by turns.

            One night I kissed his bronze cheek. “I wish you were my daddy, too.”

            “So does I, my sweet li’l magnolia.”  

            When Sarah and I turned eight, Grandma sold him.

            Mama swooned. I dried Sarah’s tears with my lace petticoat. 

            “Stop that, Emma.” Grandma snapped. “She’s your slave.”

            “No! She’s my best friend. My sister.”

            “Never!”

            I still feel the sting of Grandma’s hand across my lips.

             A month later the old biddy sold Sarah.

            On my seventeenth birthday I was married off to a plantation owner near Charleston.

            This morning I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who bears no resemblance to either her blond father or me. In fact, she’s the spitting image of her Aunt Sarah.  

Real life twins.        

30 June 2017

Published June 28, 2017 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: Memoir

Word Count: 100

“I AM STILL ZVI.”

He smiled from his front seat on the bus. Zvi obviously enjoyed his job—introducing a group of dusty pilgrims to Eretz Yisra’el.

“The field on the left is 100% cotton. On the right—50% polyester.”

Looking beyond his twinkling eyes, one could see the depth of his faith and commitment to his ancient homeland. I only imagined what he experienced as an IDF soldier in 1967 for he avoided speaking of it.

Eleven years later I still hear his voice and his daily greeting.  

“Today in Israel there is no rain, there is no snow. Don’t worry. Be happy.”

PRICELESS

Published June 19, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman takes us to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:

For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.

Thanks to K Rawson and J Hardy Carroll for heading up this challenge, one that I can’t seem to avoid. 😉 I’m not even caught up on my Friday Fictioneers reading, commenting and replying.

The Gold Souk in Dubai

Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 150

PRICELESS

            “Cash for your old gold,” boasted a reputable local jeweler.

            He set up a table at the front of the grocery store where I worked as a cake designer. There he made his offer to employees and customers alike.  

            “Wish I had something to trade in, I could use the money,” said Maggie, my coworker. “You got anything?”

            My husband is something of a jewelry junkie and bought some stunning gold pieces while stationed in Dubai during the Gulf War. Nothing I care to part with. My favorite is a simple heart ring, the symbol of storms we’ve weathered in our marriage.

            “Nah, but I wonder what this is actually worth.”

            Maggie took it and left the bakery. When she returned she tossed it on the counter. “It’s fake.”

            Isn’t it sad that a “trained professional” didn’t recognize 24 carat gold?  

            Like my daddy used to say, “It’s always something.”   

*

*

It’s rarely left my right index finger since December 1999. 24 carat gold is soft and easily bent. BUT it’s never turned my finger green.

 

WAXING POETIC

Published May 25, 2017 by rochellewisoff

For the past five years, since joining Friday Fictioneers, I’ve written or posted a flash fiction at least once a week. My favorite genre is historical fiction, but that hasn’t stopped me from writing humorous anecdotes, realistic fiction or just plain nonsense. But any and all who know me very well will tell you that Jewish themes are my favorites. Nu? Why shouldn’t they be? I am after all, a Jew.  All four of my grandparents came from Eastern Europe to escape the pogroms in the Pale of Settlement or the Russian draft. 

Last month I met Eve Brackenbury, a gifted poet who co-owns Inklings’ Books & Coffee Shoppe in Blue Springs, Missouri, on Facebook. Social Media is my friend. 

Eve Brackenbury

Not only did I make a new friend that day, I also made a valuable connection on many fronts. Our first conversation dealt with the challenges of marketing. As we chatted in an IM she said, “You write Jewish Historical Fiction. Are you Jewish?” Is the Pope Catholic? 

Eve told me about the CloudBursT Jewish Poetry event and gave me Martha Gershun’s email address. Although I don’t write what I would call poetry, I thought perhaps Martha might be able to point me in the right direction as far as reaching a Jewish audience. I inserted one of my Jewish themed flash fictions in my email to her and, not five minutes later, the return email came with, “That’s really powerful. Would you like to come and read?” 

Martha Gershun- CloudBursT organizer and poet

I must’ve changed my mind twelve times as to which stories I would read. Finally, the day came, Sunday, May 21, and I’d narrowed it down to four of my favorites. The lobby of Congregation Beth Torah teemed with poets and their guests. We were warmly welcomed with food, wine and friendly conversation. 

So much Yiddishkeit. I felt like I’d come home. I particularly enjoyed Ellen Portnoy’s piece “The Nuances of Nu.” 

Out of 19 who read, I was third to the last, just before Eve. The ones I read are as follows:

THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT

            In preparation for his bar mitzvah, twelve-year-old Harvey Weinstein opened the book to his parashah. His stomach rumbled. “I’m hungry.”

            “Sh’mot beginning with Chapter 16,” said Rabbi Shmuel. “First in English, then Hebrew.”

            Harvey fumed. “I’m tired of Torah. I’d rather play Xbox.”

            “This is the perfect reading for you.” The rabbi winked and pointed to the page. “The children of Israel kvetched day and night in the wilderness. ‘Oy, Moses, we’re wet. We’re cold. We’re starving to death.’ Nu? Is there something we can learn from them?”

            “Yeah.” Folding his arms across his chest, Harvey smirked. “Jews don’t camp.”

***

FAMILY TREE

            “‘And they lived happily ever after.’” Leah shut the storybook.

            Shifra’s raisin-brown eyes, round as bottle caps, sparkled. “Bubbie? Did you love Grandpa at first sight?”

            “He was only eight when we met. Mama took him in…hid him from the khappers, bad men who snatched little Jewish boys from their homes and made them serve twenty-five years in the Czar’s army.”

            “Did she hide him in the closet?”

            “No she was smart, my Mama.”

            “He was like your brother, right?”

            Leah pointed to a tintype on the table of two little bonneted girls and grinned. “More like my sister.”

***

THE HEAVIEST WHEEL ROLLS ACROSS OUR FOREHEADS

            When I was a little girl in the 1950’s, Mom used to take me to visit my aunt in St. Louis. I so looked forward to those train rides. Sunlight dazzled through the trees as they whizzed by and the rhythm of the wheels along the track soothed me.

            Dad, on the other hand, hated trains, but would never tell me why. Only once did he accompany us.

            As we left Union Station, tears trickled from the corners of his faraway eyes.  

            “Daddy, what’s wrong?”

            “The stench was unbearable. Fifty of us crammed into a cattle car. I alone escaped.”

***

HATH NOT A JEW EYES?

            Do you know the word “Jew” is a common insult among Norwegian teens? Should this bother me? After all, I am a Norwegian Jew.  

            “If you prick us, do we not bleed?”

            Reptilian? I’ve been called this. Do people seriously believe this mishegoss—that Jews are lizard creatures from another planet?

            “If you tickle us, do we not laugh?”

             I will never forget holding my father’s hand as we strolled along a mountain path. Two youths shoved him and shouted, “Child murderer!”

             The memory of warm spittle dripping down my face sickens me still.

            “If you wrong us, do we not revenge?”

            Not in Norway. Instead, we hide in plain sight.

            Last summer a group of Hasidim invited us to a Jewish gathering in Oslo. We cranked up the music and danced in front of Parliament.

            I’ve heard that work makes us free, but we’re not falling for that again.               

 

 

 

 

ETHNOLOGIC

Published April 24, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman is visiting Peleliu.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:

For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.

Many thanks to Karen Rawson and her highly significant other J Hardy Carroll 

My choice from the Pegman Buffet

After spending two hours watching videos about Palau’s history, politics and current world status I ended up writing about a former coworker. This is the story that wouldn’t leave. I write about her in the past tense only because I’m gleefully retired from cake decorating. The story is mostly true. 😉 

Genre: Anecdote

Word Count: 150

ETHNOLOGIC

            Ivonne was one of the most exasperating decorators I worked with during my off-and-on bakery career. While creative and talented, she would be quick one day and move with glacial speed the next with nothing in between.

            This is not to say I didn’t like her. I did. She had a keen sense of humor and an easy smile. With kinky hair and dark skin, I assumed the obvious, until the day her mother came to the shop to visit her—a diminutive lady with almond eyes and straight black hair.

            “What’s her nationality?” I asked Ivonne. “If you don’t mind my asking.”

            “Nah. I’m used to it.” She tilted her head and stared off in the distance. “Dad was stationed in Palau. I was never black enough or Micronesian enough. Now I have two children who are all that and half Caucasian. What race does that make them?”

            “Human.”  

 

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

ACT OF GOD

Published April 16, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:

For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.

Many thanks to Karen Rawson and her highly significant other J Hardy Carroll for co-hosting this challenge.

One of the differences you might notice in my Pegman stories is that my stories do fit the prompt more closely than in Friday Fictioneers. The difference is that participants in this challenge can ‘make the punishment fit the crime.’ 😉 In other words, as long as we stay in the vicinity, we can choose the photo we want to use. Not to mention, there’s the sheer luxury of 50 more words. 😀

Today Pegman takes us to Christchurch, New Zealand

No surprises. My story is Historical Fiction. A little more recent than most, this takes place in Christchurch on February 22, 2011 when the city was shaken to its foundation by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake.

Word Count: 150

ACT OF GOD

            Sack full of cardboard containers in hand, I pushed the restaurant door open with my foot. The aroma of soy sauce and seafood made my empty stomach growl.

            I shoved the dog that blocked my path. “Out of my way! You’ll make me late for work.”

            Her ribs practically poked through her black fur. “Poor thing.” I reached into my sack and pulled out a piece of shrimp. “Now scat!”

            Moments later, amid screams, barking and smashing glass, I lay trapped under piles of debris.

            Two weeks later, following extensive surgery, my right leg and life as I knew it were memories. 185 of my coworkers at CTV had perished.

            The authorities wanted to euthanize the dog for she’d lost her hind legs. I couldn’t let them, could I?

            Today, Awhina the Wonder Dog shares my home. Looking back over the past two years, I ask myself, who saved whom?   

 

Note: Awhina, pronounced ‘Afeena,’ is a name that means ‘help or support’ in the Maori language. Kia Ora and thank you for reading. 😀

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