Life’s Ephemeral Nature

All posts in the Life’s Ephemeral Nature category

9 December 2022

Published December 7, 2022 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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81 years ago today, December 7, 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed it a “date which will live in infamy.”

Genre: Historical Fiction
Word Count: 100

Click below to hear the author (me 😉 ) read:

HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS

A few flakes floated by the window and colored lights reflected in the glass. Dennis Day sang a romantic tune on the radio. Laura sipped hot chocolate and read Fred’s letter at least a tenth time since it arrived Friday.

“November 26, 1941

My dearest,

Happy Thanksgiving from the USS Arizona! I sure do miss your cooking. I swear our gravy was mixed with fuel oil.

I hope my presents get there on time. You’d love Hawaii. The flowers. The beaches. But, golly, it won’t seem like Christmas without snow and my best girl.

“Ladies and gentleman, a special announcement…”

*No, it wasn’t happy news. There were a total of  2,335 military personnel killed, including 2,008 navy personnel, 109 marines, and 218 army. Added to this were 68 civilians, making the total 2403 people dead. 1,177 were from the USS Arizona.

25 November 2022

Published November 23, 2022 by rochellewisoff

Monday, November 28 makes 51 years of the sometimes rocky road called marriage. Happy Anniversary to my husband Jan Wayne Fields.

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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 © Sandra Crook

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If this photo prompt and story look familiar to you, thank you for being a Friday Fictioneer for at least seven years. It’s a rerun from 2015. This Thursday, November 24th is the holiday we in the States call Thanksgiving. Being thankful for what we have is a good thing. Celebrating with family and friends is also a good thing. I’m looking forward to spending time with family and eating the traditional bird along with trimmings.

It is also Native American Heritage Month. Let’s not forget at what cost our freedom came.

Genre: Somewhat Historical Fiction
Word Count: 100

KESHAGESH

            “The Pilgrims stepped off the Mayflower onto Plymouth Rock,” Matthew read aloud. “Friendly Indians helped them plant corn and—”

            “They should’ve been called Pillagers.” Rita fumed, snatched his paper and ripped it apart.  “We’re indigenous and this is not India.”    

            “Mom, that’s my homework.”

            She handed him another sheet of paper. “Write this, Matthew Thundercloud, not what you think your teacher wants to hear.

            “They robbed graves, stole our land, enslaved us, murdered our children, forced their Christian religion upon us and gave us smallpox.”

“What if she gives me an ‘F’?”

            Just smile and say, ‘Happy Turkey Day.’”

The following should explain my title:

11 November 2022

Published November 9, 2022 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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As we open this Wednesday, November 9, it is 86 year to the day since the violent Kristallnacht. This week I honor the often forgotten victims of the Holocaust.

Genre: Historical Fiction
Word Count: 100

AMIDST THE SHADOWS

My parents met in a displaced persons camp after the liberation. Each of them had lost both a spouse and a daughter. Finding solace in each other’s arms, I think they married more for convenience than love.

Born in 1949, they named me Sarah-Elisheva after their slain children.

One morning when I was ten, I made breakfast.

“What’s wrong with you?” Dad grimaced. “My Elisheva never burned the toast.”

“I’m not Elisheva. I’m not Sarah! I’m me!

He flew into a rage and slapped me. Mom screamed.

Obscured by my sisters’ memories, Auschwitz will forever be tattooed into my soul.

4 November 2022

Published November 2, 2022 by rochellewisoff
Another Hightway

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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 © Brenda Cox

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November 9–10, 1938, Nazi leaders unleashed a series of pogroms against the Jewish population in Germany and recently incorporated territories. This event became known as Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass) because of the shattered glass that littered the streets after the vandalism and destruction of Jewish-owned businesses, synagogues, and homes. This was only the beginning of one of the most barbaric and vicious times in recent history.

We say “never again.” But...

Genre: Historical Fiction
Word Count: 100

THE SPIRIT NEVER DIES

With eyes that pierced her soul, Dr. Mengele told 16-year-old Edith, “You’ll see your mother soon. She’s just going to take a shower.”

            That same evening, he forced her to dance for him.

            For decades she grappled with guilt. “Why me? Why did I live?”

            When her patients, Vietnam veterans, would ask her the same question she realized, as a clinical psychologist, she’d never found the answer for herself.

            In 1990 she returned to Auschwitz where she allowed her mother’s final words to heal her soul. “No one can take away from you what you put in your own mind.”

If you have a few minutes to spare, you can listen to Dr. Eger’s story in her own words. HERE

***

HAPPY NEWS!

My work in progress, LAST DANCE WITH ANNIE, is under contract with Ozark Hollow Press!

Short Summary

Elise, a military spouse and mom in the throes of midlife, dances three times a day with the most relentless partner, her secret nemesis she’s nicknamed “Annie Wrecks-Ya.” Will Elise’s strive for perfection kill her, or will she learn to let go and face the truth: she’s an addict. At the same time, her devoted husband Tony feels helpless to save her as he battles demons of his own that followed him home from war.

Can Elise and Tony join forces and defeat these threats to their lives and their marriage? And can Elise learn to dance again, this time with the carefree joy she experienced as a child.

28 October 2022

Published October 26, 2022 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 © Bill Reynolds

Genre: Historical Fiction
Word Count: 100

DEFINING MOMENT

The signs posted by neighboring farmers declared in bold letters, “Don’t buy Max’s milk. He loves the Hippies.”

The son of a Jewish immigrant from Minsk, Max’s anger burned as he read the words. “My father came to this free country to escape such nonsense and hatred. It’s my land and I’ll rent to whomever I please.”

According to a close friend, Max traveled to Israel in 1971 where he met David Ben Gurion.

Max told the retired prime minister, “I’m Max Yasgur from Bethel, New York.”

To which Ben Gurion responded, “Oh yeah, that’s where Woodstock was, wasn’t it?”

Instead of the 75,000 expected, it’s estimated that 450,000 came to the 3 day festival that turned into 4.

And if you have the time…

21 October 2022

Published October 19, 2022 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

Genre: Non-Fiction Narrative/Memoir
Word Count: 100

GOOD MORNING, CAPTAIN

In October 1955, Bob Keeshan formerly Claribel on the Howdy Doody show, donned a white wig and, at 28, became gentle Captain Kangaroo, everyone’s beloved grandfather in a red coat with huge pockets.

His love for children shone through. Every morning. I joined him, carrot-nabbing Bunny Rabbit, Grandfather Clock, and Dancing Bear.  

However, in researching him, I found no juicy stories, save one:

After Keeshan’s death in 2004, his grandson Bretton buried a photo of the two of them on Mt. Everest. A tribute to the gentleman’s true character.

PS: Contrary to urban legend, Keeshan was never a war hero.

I don’t know if Captain Kangaroo ever made it across the pond, but those of us in the States of a certain age, he was a good friend and grandfather figure from 1955-1984. Every morning he showed us the wonders of his Treasure House.

Again to be noted, while he did join the US Marine Corps in 1945, he never went overseas or saw combat. He was however a hero to many of us children who were lucky enough to invite him into our living rooms. 😀

14 October 2022

Published October 12, 2022 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

Genre: All-Too-Realistic Fiction
Word Count: 100

MOURNING HAS BROKEN

Ubon sloshed through a puddle, stirring the leaves floating on the water. Why had she been so harsh with him that morning?

        ***

            “Banyat!” She smacked his bottom. “Hurry!”

            “Mamaaa, please. Don’t make me go. I miss my old school.”

His shrill whine angered her. “Do you want Mama to get fired?”

“Yes,” he replied with four-year-old logic. “Then we can stay home and play.”

***

Standing in the deserted playground, Ubon’s heart ached. What could provoke someone to slaughter babies?

            “Mama? Why are you crying?”

            She swept him up in her arms and held him close. “I’m so glad we moved.”  

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7 October 2022

Published October 5, 2022 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 © David Stewart

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Word Count: 100

SET FIRE TO THE RAIN

Rain pelted the restaurant window. Why had he come back to Nam anyway? Curiosity? His therapist called it “coming to terms.”

Anthony unfolded the yellowed stationery.  

                                    “October 3, 1968

“Dearest Tony,

Sweetheart, I feel like a rat, since you’re off in Vietnam. But I’m afraid you’ll get killed and I won’t have no one. I met this really nice guy named Ted. You’d really like him. We got married last night. I hope you understand.

                        All my love,

                                    Caroline”

“‘You’d really like him.’” Anthony held his lighter to a corner of the letter. “Why the hell did I keep it?”

*****

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At this writing I have 44 listings in my Etsy shop.

“Freestylin'”

30 September 2022

Published September 28, 2022 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

Genre: Hysterical Fiction (Wow, what a rush!)
Word Count: 100

If this is phto and story’s deja vu for you, it’s true. This is a rerun of a rerun. I wrote it in 2013 and posted it again in 2016 for the same reason I’m posting it this week. It has been an incredibly busy week and my muse is flat comatose. Since the high holidays are upon us, I take liberty…because I can.

If you’ve posted a story for this photo before, feel free to give yourself a break and post it again. Hey. It’s been 6 years. 😉 Who’s going to remember it? Right? Of course, right!

ASHAMNU

             Rhoda cast furtive glances in all directions, inhaled throat-burning smoke, held it, and then exhaled, handing the joint to Marcus.

            “Don’t be so paranoid.” His bloodshot eyes glittered.

            Candles illuminated the corners of his darkened bedroom. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida blared from the stereo and patchouli incense tickled her nose.

            After they’d downed an entire bag of chips, Marcus plopped his yarmulke on his head.

            “So much for fasting. Let’s get back before they miss us.”

            Side-by-side they sneaked into the synagogue and giggled through repentance prayers.

            Every year afterward, when Rhoda dutifully attended services, she chuckled as she recalled the “High” Holiday.

The Ashamnu  is a traditional prayer of repentance  recited on Yom Kippur, the Jewish highest of holy days or day of atonement. The word “ah-SHAM-nu” means we are guilty or we have sinned. 

23 September 2022

Published September 21, 2022 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 © Alicia Jamtaas

Genre: Historical Fiction
Word Count: 100

THE MEASURE OF A LIFE

“The space was no bigger than a closet,” said Hannah. “Only room for six of us to hide at once.”

“Were you scared, Bubbie?” asked eleven-year-old Corrie.

“Oy! So scared! I had claustrophobia. But as much as small spaces scared me, the Gestapo scared me more.”

“Did you have to stay there for hours at a time?”

“Only when the family had—visitors. Other times we children were free to play and sing. We even celebrated Hanukkah with potato latkes and presents. The Ten-Booms, such wonderful people.”

“I’m named after Corrie Ten-Boom, aren’t I?”

Ja. May her memory be blessed.”

To learn about this very special lady and her family CLICK HERE

*********

This past week I’ve finally gotten around to opening an Etsy shop to market my note cards. Please CLICK HERE to come by and browse. There are many more entries to upload before it the shop’s “complete.” 😉

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