Make Every Word Count

All posts in the Make Every Word Count category

17 August 2018

Published August 15, 2018 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 © Yvette Prior

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Genre: Histrionic Faction

Word Count: 100

UNLUCKY STRIKE

            Remember how commercials bombarded us with catchy slogans?   

            “I’d rather fight than switch.”

            “Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should.”

            Serling delivered his famous Twilight Zone intros while wisps of smoke framed his face.

            During his renowned interviews in the 1950’s, Mike Wallace brandished his ubiquitous coffin nail.

            I coughed. “I wish you’d quit smoking those nasty things, Mommy.”

            Taking a long drag, she covered a burn hole in her skirt with a daisy applique. “I need them to calm my nerves.”

            She finally quit in 1980—just a year before lung cancer claimed her.

            “Were they worth it, Mom?”  

 

These little goodies came on the back Raleigh cigarettes. You could save them and buy all kinds of things, from jewelry to appliances. We used to joke that Mom would use hers for an iron lung. Somehow that’s not as funny as it used to be.

SIBLING REVELRY

Published August 12, 2018 by rochellewisoff

SIBLING REVELRY         

My brother Jeff was six when I came along and a sibling didn’t fit into his plans. As far as he was concerned I didn’t exist. He went to great lengths to let our parents know of his displeasure by not coming home from school on time.  

One night he was three hours late. Mom was frantic. A crowd of police and neighbors met Jeff when he finally decided to show up. An officer sat him in the squad car to lecture him about the consequences of such behavior and how it worried his parents. After the officer finished, Jeff asked for the time. When the officer told him, my sensitive brother replied, “I missed Howdy Doody.”

Fast forward a year or two to the present. Jeff and his wife Debbie have retired to Wilmington NC where they enjoy living 15 minutes from the beach. Due to geographic distance, we don’t see each other often, save an occasional Skype session or Facebook post.

I decided it was time to pay the Wilmington Wisoffs a visit. The first week of August seemed the perfect time since my husband would be going to Sturgis for the annual bike rally.

Although my connecting flight from Charlotte to Wilmington was delayed and I didn’t arrive at ILM until after midnight, Jeff, Debbie and I sat and talked until after 3:00 AM. After a short night’s sleep, we had leisurely morning, drinking coffee and chatting some more. This was pretty much the pattern for the week—lots of coffee and conversation.

The first day—Wednesday—Jeff and Debbie showed me around the area which included a walk on the beach.

Thursday it was time to suit up and ‘swim’ at Kure Beach. However the waves were particularly forceful. While I didn’t spend a lot of time in the water, I did snap a few shots of wine glasses on the beach as models for future paintings.

After dumping at least a pound of sand in the shower, we settled in for a cozy evening of conversation and a wonderful salmon dinner. Or was that Wednesday night’s dinner?

Friday night we went to downtown Wilmington for a wonderful seafood dinner at Elijah’s Restaurant and a free concert in front of the courthouse with AC/DC tribute band Shoot to Thrill. Not my favorite kind of music but I was with two of my favorite people.

Every day I enjoyed my furry fixes from my three canine nieces, Pip, Lacee and Jackie. Pip, in particular, is a lover. I call her Pip-Plop since all you have to do is make eye contact and she falls on her side for a tummy rub. Jeff says I’m just another pair of hands to her, but I’m sure there was some bonding. You’re buying this, right?

Saturday we visited Airlie Gardens to see the Gnome Invasion. However rain put a damper on things so it wasn’t a lengthy visit, albeit an interesting one. Even under gray skies, the scenery was gorgeous.

Sunday night we went to see Mary Chapin Carpenter, whose music I honestly wasn’t familiar with. Where have I been the past 30 years, right? In any event, she and her backup musicians were fantastic as was her warm up singer, Emily Barker from Australia. Both of these ladies can entertain.

On Monday the shops were closed so it was the perfect time to see if the ocean had calmed any at Kure Beach. I’m happy to say it had, but not calm enough to swim laps. The waves are more geared to surfers but it was still fun to attempt a breast stroke or two.

Tuesday, my last day in Wilmington, we went back downtown to shop. There are quite a few art, clothing and curio shops. Jeff and Debbie showered me with a lot of early birthday presents.

Alas, the week went too fast. I had a very early Wednesday morning-before-sunrise flight, leaving little time for much coffee or conversation.

More than anything I will cherish the memory of this vacation. No one can reminisce about shared parents the way a sibling can. I hope I apologized for taking advantage of my status as “Daddy’s little girl” to find many ways to get him in trouble. What can I say? I was a brat. So the best moment of the week came when my big brother, my hero said, “I’m sorry it’s taken 60 years for me to really appreciate my little sister.”

 

 

 

 

10 August 2018

Published August 8, 2018 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 © Ronda Del Boccio

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Genre: Realistic Fiction – Based on more than one true story.

Word Count: 100

BRICK BY BRICK

Kendra remembers the first magical moment she cradled her newborn.

Her pediatrician’s brow furrowed. “She has a slight heart defect but that’s not our foremost concern.”

Kendra became familiar with terms like ‘extra chromosome’ and ‘developmentally challenged.’

Defying all obstacles, Hanna trained as a gymnast with ‘normal’ girls, surpassing many of them in strength and grace.  At the Special Olympics, she walked away with several trophies and a boyfriend, a medal-winning swimmer.

Kendra blinks back tears as two kindred souls gaze into each other’s eyes.

Although her speech is slurred, Hannah’s halting words are clear. “I Hannah take thee, Calan…”

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Maryanne and Tommy Pilling have been happily married for 23 years.

For an inspiring true story CLICK HERE

3 August 2018

Published August 1, 2018 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. 

Note- I am out of town this week so my replies and comments will be delayed. Thank you for understanding. Shalom, Rochelle

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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Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

ANNIVERSARY WALTZ

            “Oh how we danced on the night we were wed.”

            Charlene remembers the song the band played for their first dance as man and wife. With his wavy blond hair, Larry was her Prince Charming.

            His hot breath in her ear gave her shivers when he sang, “Two hearts gently beating were murmuring low.”

            An unrestrained belch brings her back to the present. His golden curls are long gone, but his eyes remain as blue as ever. She leans her head on his shoulder.

            His hot breath still gives her shivers when he sings “My darling, I love you so.”

****

NOTE ON MY PROCESS

(not required reading. 😉 )

Without a doubt, there are some of you scratching your heads, wondering how I came up with this story from that photo. I understand. As briefly as possible I will try to explain. At first glance the photo said “Dust in the Wind.” (dry leaves, etc) From there my mind took me to crumbling relationships like marriages that end up being anything but “Happily Ever After.” From there I looked up the lyrics to the Anniversary Waltz. Somehow, my muse decided that my story should have a happy ending. So there you have it. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😉 

Shalom,

Rochelle

IF THY RIGHT HAND OFFEND THEE

Published July 29, 2018 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by the location. Feel free to use the image provided in the prompt, or chose from photo spheres around Kinshasa. Once your piece is polished, share it with others using the linkup below.

Many thanks to Karen and Josh for facilitating this challenge for globetrotting writers. It’s the extra 50 words that keep me coming back. 😉

Remember – Reading and commenting on others’ work is part of the fun!

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

IF THY RIGHT HAND OFFEND THEE

                                                                        August 12, 1896

Ma chérie,

I signed on for the Congo, eager to serve Leopold—to civilize the savage.  

I hold your face in my heart—the celestial blue of your eyes, the curve of your fair cheek and sweetness of your lips. But this vision is no longer enough to sustain me. Forgive, my love, another face has replaced yours. It is magnificent. Brown with midnight eyes. Every whit as handsome as our own Francois and no older.

I followed orders. I lopped off his right hand for not meeting our rubber quotas. What kind of savage does this to another human being?

________

Upon entering the tent, Andre dropped to his knees. “Dear God!”

Louis tutted and pulled a blanket over their fallen comrade.  “Why on earth did Thomas take his own life?”

Picking up a blood-spattered hatchet, Andre shuddered. “And how could he chop off his own hand?”

 

In 1896, a German journalist reported that 1,308 hands were collected in one day.

CLick HERE to watch the disturbing documentary.

27 July 2018

Published July 25, 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 © 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!”

CLICK for MORE

           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. 

WHO CAN FIND A VIRTUOUS WOMAN?

Published July 22, 2018 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to Melbourne, Australia. Feel free to use the photo provided in the prompt, or seek out your own using Google’s street view or photo spheres.

Your mission: write up to 150 words inspired by the location. Once your piece is polished, feel free to share it with others using the link up below. Or, if you don’t have a blog to link to, you’re invited to post your story in the comments of this post.

Many thanks to Karen and Josh for facilitating this challenge for globetrotting writers. It’s the extra 50 words that keep me coming back. 😉

Adass Israel School in Melbourne

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150

WHO CAN FIND A VIRTUOUS WOMAN?

Tonight Mama locked me in the cupboard under the stairs. “Beyz meydl! Evil girl!” I could hear her rant all the way down the hallway. “What dybbik enticed you to venture outside the safe confines of Adass Israel? Ours is a sacred community.”  

I only went to a bookstore in Melbourne. I want to read novels that don’t have half the sentences marked out. Why is this so wrong?

I hate the dark. When I’m there I see my principal’s hands. I can still feel them touching me under my blouse and skirt. She claims she’s performing a mitzvah and preparing me for marriage. Sometimes I think she might be the only person who has ever loved me. Other times I’m not so sure. If this is a good thing, why does Mrs. Leifer always close the door and lower the blinds? Why do I feel disgusting and rotten inside?

*

*

*

Malka Leifer

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