Historical Fiction

All posts in the Historical Fiction category

THUMBNAIL SKETCH

Published June 8, 2019 by rochellewisoff

 This week Pegman takes us to the capital of England, a modern city with a history going back to Roman times.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to write up to 150 words inspired by the week’s location. You can use the photo supplied with the prompt, or find your own view from the virtually endless supply of streetview or photospheres throughout the city.

Once your piece is polished, share it with others at the link up below. Reading and commenting is part of the fun!

Thanks to Karen and Josh for facilitating the challenge. 

Purple inLinkz Frog

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The following is an excerpt from two of my books FROM SILT AND ASHES, the second novel in my Havah Cohen Trilogy and from A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY, the coffee table companion book. The art store was established in London in 1855 and still is a successful business today.

I couldn’t decide between the two photos so I’m including them both. 😉 The second is lifted from a film shot in 1903. I used it as a visual to write the scene.

Genre: Historical Fiction Excerpt

Word Count: 150 

THUMBNAIL SKETCH

With a leather portfolio under his arm and his medical bag in his hand, Nikolai wandered London’s streets. Since his chief errand was accomplished, he had no particular destination, so he seized the opportunity for an afternoon of sightseeing.

Passengers crowded themselves into square compartments atop coaches whose side and back banners advertised such necessities as Lipton’s Teas and Nestlé’s Milk. Above all else, London’s churches fascinated him with their clock towers. A man never needed to ask the time in Britain.

Now and then, he paused to read shop signs. One particular shop caught his interest with its display of paints and drawing papers. He read the sign aloud, “L. Cornelisson and Son. Artist Colourman.”

Suddenly, a flagrant dervish of henna hair and purple feathers in chartreuse skirts swirled past him. Curious to know what a woman of her ilk would want in an artist’s shop, he followed her.

 

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17 May 2019

Published May 15, 2019 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

HOMMAGE À ALFRED NAKACHE

The guard tossed his dagger into a tank. “Bring this back to me in your teeth, like the Jew dog that you are.”

            Alfred jumped into the fetid water. Diving under, Auschwitz disappeared and he remembered the crowd cheering when he set the world record for the 200 meter breastroke.

            At night he’d lie in his flea-infested bunk and dream of Annie and Paule. Determination to reunite with his wife and daughter gave him the strength to survive the death march to Buchenwald.

            In 1948 Alfred Nakache returned to his passion and went on to become a French national champion.

Alfred Nakache will be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019 during the Honoree Induction ceremony in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, May 18, 2019.  For more information about him CLICK HERE

 

10 May 2019

Published May 8, 2019 by rochellewisoff

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The following photo is the PROMPT. It is proper etiquette to give credit where credit is due. Thank you.

PHOTO PROMPT © Jean L. Hays

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As this post goes live I will be preparing to leave for Israel on a humanitarian trip 😀 So my responses and comments are bound to be slow for the next couple of weeks. 

I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone that I’m a huge Fiddler on the Roof fan. I suppose it’s because it depicts my heritage in such a lovely way. One of my favorite characters in the iconic movie has always been the Constable portrayed sympathetically by Louis Zourich. So here’s my take on what the Constable might have done after the eviction of the Jews of the fictitious town of Anatevka. You may notice, I gave him a name since he never had one that I’m aware of. 😉

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

SUNRISE, SUNSET

Ivan strolled along the deserted streets of Anatevka.

“What choice did I have?”

He had been a model officer, following orders to the letter.

Men and women, babes in arms, the old and lame—they took what few belongings they had while he made certain the edict was carried out.

Why did there have to be such strife? What made these Jews less human than he? Why shouldn’t Tevye hate him? The dairyman who addressed his poverty with faith and humor had earned Ivan’s undying respect.

He entered the commissioner’s office and laid his badge on the desk. “I resign.”

 

Tevye the dairyman

The Constable

3 May 2019

Published May 1, 2019 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 © Roger Bultot

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“WE ONLY KILL EACH OTHER”

Eastern European immigrant Max Siegel held his eight-day-old son on his lap on a pillow.

The mohel smiled. “Don’t worry. I’ve clipped dozens of schmeckles.”

Once the deed was done, the rabbi blessed the baby. “We welcome you into the covenant of Avraham on this day, in New York City on the 11th of Adar in the year 5666—March 8, 1906”

The rabbi dropped wine into the squalling child’s mouth. “May you teach the brotherhood of mankind and may the name of Benjamin Siegel be a blessing in the House of Yisroel.”

Max kissed the baby and murmured. “Omayn.”  

Glossary Words:

Mohel – A Jew trained in the practice of brit milah, the “covenant of circumcision.”

Schmeckles – Guess. 😉

Now if you’re still scratching your head and asking yourself why the name Benjamin Siegel should ring a bell:

 

Click to know more about BUGSY SIEGEL

REDEMPTION

Published April 30, 2019 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman travels to Lod, Israel. The town takes its name from the biblical City of Lod, significant Judean town from the Maccabean Period to the early Christian period.

Click on the photo above and feel free to wander around. When you find inspiration, write 150 words on your blog and link it to the other entries via the blue frog below. Remember that reading and commenting is part of the fun!

Do your best and have a good time learning about a new place and the people who may live there.

I am shamefully  shamelessly late for the party this week. It was a crazy busy weekend, but when I saw the location, of course, I couldn’t resist. As always…thanks to Karen and Josh for the challenge that takes us around the globe. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

REDEMPTION

I’m Tirzah, a warrior beside Judah Maccabee, the Hammer. We resist the Greeks and we will prevail.

            I’ll never forget the day Antiochus’ men defiled our sacred altar. They sacrificed a pig. Then they slaughtered my baby brother Ezra and forced my mother carry his body, tied around her neck.  I still hear Abba’s tortured cries when they beat him. His blood splattered my face.

            My feet turned to stone until a soldier cast his lethal glare on me. “Pretty little Judean creature.” My gorge rose when he stroked my cheek with his filthy paws. He licked his lips and reached for my breast.

            I spit in his face and ran.

***

Tirzah Rabinovitz skimmed her fingertips across the rough stones of an ancient building in Lod. “1949 in the Promised Land.” She hugged her infant son Ezra. “Antiochus could not destroy us. Nor could that German pig. We will prevail.”

19 April 2019

Published April 17, 2019 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

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***

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

A SHOT IN THE DARK

Dora never took “no” for an answer. As a wife and a balabusta extraordinaire, she kept her Bronx apartment in immaculate order. With her children she was a rough taskmaster.

            She doted on her eldest son, a docile, studious boy. “Always your head’s in a book—destined for greatness.”

            She kvelled when he exceeded even her expectations.

            After his City College graduation with a Bachelor of Chemistry degree, he informed her he had set his sights on law school.

            “Lawyers are a dime a dozen, Jonas,” said Dora Salk. “Go to medical school. The world will thank you for it.”

Yiddishkeit Glossary:

balabusta – homemaker

kvell – burst with pride, to boast (What? You never kvelled over your kids? Say it isn’t so. 😉 )

***

*Remember Polio? If you don’t, Jonas Salk is the man to thank. I, for one, am grateful for those times I had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into Dr. Cohen’s office for polio shots. A stick in the arm beats Infantile Paralysis any day of the week. 😉

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SANCTUARY

Published April 7, 2019 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman takes a trip to Tbilisi, Georgia

This ancient cobblestoned city has a complicated history of Persian and Russian rule. Its diverse architecture encompasses Eastern Orthodox churches, ornate art nouveau buildings, and Soviet Modernist structures. Walk around and see what strikes your fancy.

The purpose of this prompt is to inspire you to write 150 words about this place. You can use the Google link to stroll around until you see something that strikes your fancy. When you’re done, remember to link your story to the others using the InLinkz frog below. Reading and commenting is half the fun.

Enjoy yourself and do good work!

CLICK ME! PLEASE!

I considered not participating this week. But as it often happens I found an historical nugget that couldn’t be ignored. Thank Josh for the prompt this week.

The Great Synagogue in Tbilisi, Georgia

SANCTUARY

Aaron prepared his Torah reading for his special day. “Tell me about your Bar Mitzvah, Didi Babua. Wasn’t it during terrible times?”

            “No.” Aaron’s great grandfather stroked his thick white beard. “It was a beautiful time—in this very synagogue.”

            “But you were thirteen in 1943. What about the camps? What about Hitler?”

            “May wheels run over his skull for eternity. Before me, my father read from the holy scroll in this same place in 1905.” Didi Babua’s faded brown eyes brimmed. “His family escaped from Kishinev.” He kissed the cover of his threadbare prayer book. “This has been our safe haven for five generations.”

            “Were there never any pogroms?”

            “According to our rabbis, anti-Semitism has been unknown here in Tbilisi for twenty-six centuries. Enough questions already. Study hard and make me proud.”

            Grinning, the boy read, “Hodu L’adoshem ki tov, give thanks to Adoshem for He is good!”  

 

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