Literary Fiction

All posts in the Literary Fiction category

SWIMMING LESSON

Published December 17, 2017 by rochellewisoff

A resounding HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to Pegman. Can you believe it’s been a year already? Many happy returns to Karen and Josh. You’re doing a great job. 

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

This photo didn’t take me to Iowa, but to the back woods of Arkansas. The story is an edited snippet from a story in my short story anthology THIS, THAT AND SOMETIMES THE OTHER which is out of print (save copies still available from the author 😉 ) It’s still available on Kindle. The story is based on one of my husband’s memories of spending summers with his best friend Ray (Francis Ray Stills). We had fun working on the longer version together.

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150

SWIMMING LESSON

Granny Stillwell’s shack, built into the hills, was propped up on cinderblocks. Another rough-hewn cabin sat just the other side of a vegetable garden. A tire-less, 1940’s pick-up truck, also set on cinderblocks, had been pushed up against one wall “to keep it from a-leaning too much.”

After supper, his stomach full of catfish and rhubarb cobbler, Kenny Lord lazed on the porch and thought about the day.

“Hey, Lordy-Lordy, know how to swim?” 

“No.” 

“Time to learn.”  

He would never forget his terror when Boyce shoved him off the cliff to the Buffalo River 50 feet below. Boyce’s evil laughter filled his ears until water surged up his nose and his panic-stricken lungs blazed.

Kenny seethed. “Boyce better watch his back.”

“He was jest funnin’,’” said Frankie-Ray Stillwell.

Granny spat out a wad of chewing tobacco. “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.”

Kenny smirked. “That’s me, Kenneth Donald Lord.”

THE SWIMMING LESSON

 

LEGACY

Published November 5, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman walks through  Córdoba, Argentina.

Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post. Use it to inspire you however you like. We ask that as a token of respect for your readers that you keep your piece to 150 words or less.

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

I didn’t think I’d have time to write for Pegman this week, but when the muse says “write it” I must obey. This week marks the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht so it’s where my mind and heart went this week. The following story is based on the experience many Jewish descendants (myself included) have had. 

Shalom

This picture from the Cordoba, Argentina speaks ‘olive branch of peace’ to me.

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150

LEGACY

            Rosita’s grandparents had managed to survive Ravensbrück and Auschwitz. In 1945 they immigrated to South America where they built a new life. Ingrid’s grandfather emigrated from Germany the same year.

            With a myriad of conflicting emotions, Rosita watched the newscast beside her best friend. A bunker had been unearthed in the Argentinian jungle loaded with Nazi artifacts, not too far away.

            Although the apprehension of war criminals in Argentina was hardly news to the twenty-year-old college student, the discovery of the hideout unearthed a hidden truth.  The direct descendant of one of her grandparents’ torturers now begged for absolution.

            “Lo siento con todo mi corazón,” said Ingrid, her fair cheeks wet with tears streaming from her ocean-blue eyes.  

            What an esqueleto to tumble from the armario. Rosita’s heart ached for her friend who was as much a victim as the Jews. What could she say?

            “Perdono con todo mi corazón.”      

Glossary:

Lo siento con todo mi corazon. – I’m sorry with all of my heart. 

Esqueleto – skeleton

Armario – Closet

Perdono con todo mi corazon. – I forgive with all of my heart. 

 

 

 

 

COUNTRY ROADS

Published October 8, 2017 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman returns to the Western Hemisphere to take us on a tour of Littleton, West Virginia. Although I missed the challenge last week, a story formed pretty quickly for this one. I’m a day late and see that this group is growing. Nice to see. Thanks to Karen and Josh for hosting. I so appreciate the two of you on more than one level. 😉

To enjoy this week’s stories or to submit your own, visit the inLinkz button:

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150

This story is dedicated to the forgotten veterans, the women who unassumingly served as nurses and ‘Donut Dollies.’

COUNTRY ROADS

“My dearest Jimmy,

Remember 1971?  We came home from Vietnam that year—the same year John Denver’s song became a hit. I think he must’ve written it with you in mind.  

‘Littleton,’ you laughed, your eyes shining like the stars over the Shenandoah River. ‘It’s just a Podunk town in the middle of nowhere.’

Nonetheless, to you it was home…’almost heaven’.”

Sharon set aside her pen and paper. Picking up Jimmy’s guitar, she strummed the melody and sang, “…West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountain…” She closed her eyes. “Life is old there, older than the trees, younger than the mountains…”

A gentle breeze riffled her hair. “You promised to bring me here after the war. And so you have.”

She folded the note, tucked it inside the guitar and propped it against his headstone. Forever she would carry his face and hear his last words, “Nurse, please don’t let me die.”

*

*

*

In this image provided by the U.S. Army, the 2nd Brigade was faced with a new problem at their Bien Hoa, Vietnam base: from Fort Rilay to Vietnam come the 93rd Evacuation Hospital complete with nurses on Dec. 19, 1965. The problem of getting a private shower for the girls fell to Company B 1st Engineer Battalion. In the interests of the health, welfare and cleanliness of the nurses, the men of Company B decided to give up their own air-conditioned shower. The dressing area of the shower was boarded up and the entrance-way closed off. An appropriate “Off Limits” sign was made and posted. (AP Photo/U.S. Army)

16 December 2016

Published December 14, 2016 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

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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Genre: Realistic Fiction with a side of History

Word Count: 100

CONTRA-BUN

            Mary watched the snow blanket the ground and opened her book. “Good reading weather.”

            “Whatcha reading?” Laura pointed over Mary’s shoulder at a picture of a spider on an intricate web. “Neat drawing.”

            “Charlotte’s Web.” Mary showed her the cover. “‘Pictures by Garth Williams.’”

            “Controversial artist,” said Charlie, their older brother, stretching out on the sofa. “The White Citizens Council in Alabama had his book The Rabbits’ Wedding banned from their library in 1958.”

            “Yeah, right.” Mary frowned. “For what?  Excessive cuteness?”

            “Interracial marriage.” Charlie’s lips twisted into a wry smile. “One bunny was white and the other was black.”

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the-rabbits-wedding

Although I was unaware of this controversial book growing up, I loved Garth Williams’ illustrations in the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. His work had a huge influence on my own work. 

little-house-in-the-big-woods

charlottes-web

5 August 2016

Published August 3, 2016 by rochellewisoff

Summer Showcase

Summer is the time for vacations, picnics on the beach and reruns on the telly. For me it has been a time to meet a deadline in July for my third novel in my series entitled AS ONE MUST ONE CAN. These are happy times! The deadline has been met, but there are edits to do and more business ahead. So the Summer Showcase will continue for a few more Fridays. Many thanks to those of you who responded to my plea for your favorite reruns. 

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Another Highway

The following photo is the PROMPT. This week’s retread request is from CEAYR. If you’re one of those who wrote a story for this prompt feel free to re-post it and enjoy the respite. Remember that all photos are private property and subject to copyright. Use other than Friday Fictioneers by permission only. 

Copyright-Ted Strutz

PHOTO PROMPT- ©Ted Strutz

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Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

Original post from May 2013

HANAI

            I met Kevin online. Our connection began with shared interests and blossomed into more.

            “You should visit in person,” said my sister.  

            “Fat chance. He’s in Hawaii, I’m in Nebraska.”

            Last week I received an airline ticket.

            “Next Saturday. Icon Grill. Seattle.

                                    Aloha,

                                    Kevin.”

***

            He slides into the booth across from me. “You bring it?”

            From my purse I take a faded photograph of twins, a boy and a girl. Korean War orphans. I’ve carried it for forty years.

            His almond-shaped eyes crinkle as he fishes an identical photo from his wallet.

            “Jah-meh, I always hoped to find you.”  

*Jah-meh – Korean for sister

4 March 2016

Published March 2, 2016 by rochellewisoff

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The following photo is the PROMPT. Keep in mind that all photos are the property of the contributor, therefore copyrighted and require express permission to use for purposes other than Friday Fictioneers. Giving credit to whom credit is due is proper etiquette. 

Please be considerate and make an effort to stay within the suggested word count. 

Copyright-Sean Fallon

PHOTO PROMPT © Sean Fallon

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Many of you will remember this prompt. It’s one of my first as Friday Fictioneers Fairy Blog Mother. This week I feel the need to direct my writing energy to another project so I’m falling back on a re-run. It’s one of my favorite photos and stories from nearly four years ago. Looking back on the link from that prompt I see that quite a few of you wrote stories for it. Thank you for sticking with it. ❤ Feel free to take a break or write another story. 

Genre: (hopefully not) Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

A WELL-ORDERED LIFE

            Prototypical milquetoast, Benjamin Parker wore bow ties and kept to himself. 

            Three days of no-call, no-show to work passed before anyone missed him enough to call the police.

            When we broke into his immaculate apartment we found his pajama-clad body in bed. There were no signs of foul play.

            Jars filled with things like batteries, safety pins, wine corks and matchbooks lined cabinets and counter-tops.

            “Quite the collector. Wonder if he jarred his tidy whities.” I flung open the closet door and choked. “What the—?”

            In single file on the top shelf human heads floated in name-tagged gallon jars.

***

This coming Sunday, March 6, I’ll be interviewed on local TV at 7:50 AM CST. It will be streamed live here.  Click the red new button and then “Live Streaming.” 

And for your listening pleasure.

5 February 2016

Published February 3, 2016 by rochellewisoff

FRIDAY FICTIONEERS NEWS FLASH!!!

OUR OWN SANDRA CROOK HAS TAKEN FIRST PLACE IN FLASH 500 

Read her AWARD WINNING STORY 

HERE

Sandra Crook

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Please be considerate to the reader and keep your word count down. 

The next photo is the prompt. It’s proper etiquette to give credit to the contributor. Remember, all photos are copyrighted. Use other than for Friday Fictioneers requires express permission and, in some cases, remuneration. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Erin Leary

PHOTO PROMPT © Erin Leary

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Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

COLLATERAL ORANGE DAMAGE

            “Farewell, Rob.” I laid my battered dog tags on his grave.

            Prostate cancer took him. Doctors say I’m next.  

            Please try to understand. We were soldiers following orders.

            “A little defoliating agent to clear the jungle and expose the enemy.” Our commanding officers assured us. “Nothing that will harm a human.”

            I had to go back and see for myself.

            Last night I visited a children’s hospital in Ho Chi Minh City where the fruits of our labors languish with twisted or missing limbs and eyes that bulge from enlarged skulls.  

            We have exposed the enemy, and he is us.

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