Realistic Fiction

All posts in the Realistic Fiction category

14 July 2017

Published July 12, 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 © Janet Webb

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Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

BUTTON-DOWN CONFESSION

             My mother’s button collection fascinated me. Among my favorites were pearly ones with silver trim or grape-shaped ones made of glass. Like the jar in which she stored them, they smelled of stale mustard.

            One afternoon I dumped them out on the table. A shiny blue straggler embossed with curvy white leaves rolled toward the edge. Mom caught it.

            Her faraway eyes sparkled like the button itself. “My dress fastened in front. Indigo satin.  He called me Princess Blue Belle.”

            “Cute. Daddy’s clever, isn’t he?”

            “Oops!” Blushing, she crammed the button into her pocket. “Time to clean up for supper.”

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Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

7 July 2017

Published July 5, 2017 by rochellewisoff

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PHOTO PROMPT © Claire Sheldon

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Genre: Hysterical Fiction

Word Count: 100

GEM OF AN IDEA

            Darren scratched his ear with a straightened paperclip. Gina slapped it from his hand. “Stop! You’ll perforate your eardrum!”

            “Then I won’t havta hear your nagging.”

            “Ohhh, just do your homework.”

            “Do your own.” He rolled his eyes. “Sisters.”

            “My report’s done.” She stacked three typewritten pages and paper-clipped the corners together. “Consider the lowly paperclip. Know who invented it?”

            “Who cares?”

            “Some think it was Johan Vaaler, a Norwegian. But it was actually an American, William D. Middlebrook, who even patented the machine to make them in 1899. Whaddya think?”  

            “I think you need to get a life.”

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HEAD TRIP

Published June 5, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman walks along the docks of Cebu City, Philippines

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.

Another week, another Pegman tour. Thanks to J Hardy Carroll and K Rawson for hosting this weekly challenge. 

Fort San Pedro

What writer among us has never suffered from writer’s block? 

Genre: Questionable

Word Count: 150

HEAD TRIP

“Señorita Wisoff? Daydreaming again?”

“No, Señor Scott.” I snap my head to attention. A twitter travels around the classroom. My cheeks blaze with embarrassment. “I—I guess I dozed off.”

“Can you tell me which explorer landed in Cebu in 1521 and converted Rajah Humobon and his queen to Christianity?”

“Vasco de Gama?”

“Guess again. This explorer met his death soon after.”  

“Pope John?”

“Where’s your homework, Señorita?”

Sweat trickling down my backbone, I open my notebook to a page of scrawled sentences. “I did my deberes gramáticas.”

Eyes aflame, my high school Spanish teacher rips out my paper and holds it aloft. “You see, class, what comes of not paying attention.”

Suddenly I’m up to my knees in Pacific Ocean, surrounded by angry natives wielding bamboo spears.

“Holy Magellan! What a nightmare!” Snapping open my eyes, I kick off the bedcovers. “What on earth can I write for Pegman?”  

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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.               

 

 

 

 

THE VIRTUES OF SIMPLICITY

Published March 26, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman takes us to Nassau, Bahamas

How I wish this trip could be made in person. A virtual trip will have to suffice for now. The photo below is my choice from the Pegman Buffet. 😉 

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

Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 150

THE VIRTUES OF SIMPLICITY

            “I’m tired of cartoons,” said the little girl with round eyes the color of ripe cocoa plums. “Tell me a story, Great-Grandpa.”

            He clicked off the television. “Soul-destroying nonsense. Shall I tell you about Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty?”

            She wrinkled her nose. “Tell me what it was like when you were a boy in the Bahamas.”

            He gathered her onto his lap. “We were so poor we didn’t have a telephone or electricity or even indoor plumbing. But we had the bluest skies at our temples and the ocean at our feet.”

            “What did you do for fun?”

            “I climbed trees, ate wild bananas and went swimming almost every day.”

            “You were lucky! Did you ever go to the movies?”  

            “I didn’t even see a movie until I was twelve.”

            “And now you’re a movie star like Denzel Washington.”

            Sidney Poitier kissed his great-granddaughter. “Nah, I’m just an ordinary guy.”

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Sidney Poitier in one of my favorite films, “To Sir with Love”in 1967

 

Sidney Poitier receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009

24 March 2017

Published March 22, 2017 by rochellewisoff

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PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

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

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Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 100

COLD CASE

Mystery shrouded the vacant house at the end of the block.

According to the fifteen-year-old newspaper article I found while researching for a term paper, the place belonged to a young couple. One night someone broke in and savagely gutted Mrs. Jenson in her eighth month.

I asked my parents about it.

“Mr. Jenson hung himself,” said Dad. “Pity, they never found the baby.”

Mom flinched. “Glad they’re finally tearing that eyesore down.”

Dad’s spectral smile vanished and Mom turned ice-white when I presented them with the yellowed clipping and a photo of Mrs. Jenson who could’ve been my twin.

FLOWER AND WILLOW WORLD

Published February 19, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman visits Tokyo.

ありがとうございました
Arigatōgozaimashita, 
thank you to Karen Rawson for hosting this unique challenge. 

To enjoy other 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.
My photo choice from stroll through Google

My photo choice from stroll through Google

Again, I’m late for the party, but couldn’t resist the challenge. Maybe it’s the extra 50 words or the fact that I’m merely a participant. 

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150

FLOWER AND WILLOW WORLD

A thousand butterflies swirl in my stomach as I peer out the window, watching for the car that will bring my Hoshi-chan, my shining star, for a brief visit.

After we left her at the Okiya in Kyoto, six months ago, I cried for a week.

“It’s all for the best, Fumiko-chan,” said my husband Ichiro. “She’s following her life’s path.”  

“What does she know of life? She’s only fifteen.”

“We’ve five more children and can hardly feed them.”

I cannot argue, but Hoshi is our only daughter, my ally in this man’s house.

At her Misedashi—formal presentation ceremony—my heart swelled with pride. In exquisite silk kimono, painted face and jeweled hair, Hoshi, renamed Kikuyu, was welcomed into the secret society of Geisha.

She glided to me on lacquered getas and uttered those words I will forever cherish. “Okaasan, when I come home, please cook me a hamburger.”

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geisha-doll-painting

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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