Speculative Fiction

All posts in the Speculative Fiction category

1942

Published January 3, 2020 by rochellewisoff

The following story is written for the following photo prompt provided by Writers Unite!  for their Write the Story  short story challenge. All photos used by WU are public domain and require to attribution. However the story is © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. 😉

1942

             When Sylvia uttered, “Hail Mary full of Grace…,” she saw Sister Honorina. With her white veil, blue eyes and round face, she resembled the paintings of the Blessed Virgin with Baby Jesus hanging on the wall of the dormitory Sylvia shared with seven other girls.   

            After praying the Rosary with Sylvia in her gentle Viennese-accented voice, Sister Honorina added the shema. “I promised to your father never to let you forget the words of your ancestors. We say them together now.”

             Sylvia recited the prayer in unison with Sister Honorina both in Hebrew and English exactly the way Papa did. “‘Shema yis’ra’el, Adonai Eloheynu, Adonai echad. Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.’”

            “Sehr gut. Your Papa, he would be so proud.”

            “When are he and Momma coming back for me?”

            Tears welled up in the nun’s eyes. She dabbed them with her sleeve. “We must leave it in God’s hands.” Tucking Sylvia’s Teddy bear in beside her, Sister Honorina kissed the child’s forehead. “Sleep now, kleine schvester.

            Sylvia curled up on her side, hugging her bear. Frost formed intricate patterns on the window. The way the streetlight outside the convent illuminated them fascinated the eight-year-old. She remembered Papa’s stories about frost-faeries with icicle paint brushes. Closing her eyes, she heard Momma and Papa.

            Momma sounded angry. “You’re filling her head with stuff and nonsense. How’s this equipping her to face a world filled with discord and oppression, Aaron? How?”

            “Esther, she’s only six.”

            “You don’t hear the news? Six-year-olds are being slaughtered in their beds. Babies murdered in their mothers’ arms. No synagogue is safe. No Jewish market. Just like my grandparents in Poland. How long before they throw rocks through our windows?”

            “We’re an enlightened society, Esther. Consider our technological advances. Never again. The pogroms aren’t going to happen here.”

            “My Aaron, the scientist. My Prince Charming who still believes in fairytales. I love you, but you’re wrong. Dead wrong.”

            Sylvia shivered and pulled the covers over her head. It happened a year ago. A year after her parents’ argument. Momma’s frightening predictions came true. Sylvia saw their beloved cantor beaten to death—right in the shul, the words of the Kaddish Shalem on his lips. She could still smell the sulfur odor that hung in the air—hear the screams and moans of the dying.

            By some miracle, Sylvia and her parents escaped that Shabbos day, the day the Shoah began in earnest. Many of their neighbors had already gone into hiding. Momma and Papa decided it would be safer for Sylvia to place her with Christians. With her blonde hair and blue eyes, she might escape being pegged as a Jew.

            Papa carried her in his strong arms. He smelled of aftershave and chocolate. His heart thumped against her chest. “You will do what the sisters tell you, Silver Girl, do you understand? Even when you think it’s strange.”

            “We will take good care of her, Mr. and Mrs. Green.” Sister Honorina reached for Sylvia. “We’ll allow no harm to come to her.”

            “How can you say that?” Momma stroked Sylvia’s hair. “How can anyone in this godforsaken country make such a promise?”

            Tears streamed down Papa’s stubbled cheek. “Never forget who you are, my daughter.” He placed her in Sister Honorina’s arms. “We’ll be back soon, sweetheart.”

            Momma covered her mouth with her gloved hand. “Oh Aaron.”

            Sylvia reached for Papa. “Pinkie swear?”

            His lips trembled. He engulfed her pinkie finger in his. “As the frost-faeries are my witness.”

            March wind swooshed outside the convent. In the beds across the aisle Elizabeth Nusbaum and Naomi Resnick who were both twelve spoke in stage whispers.

            “Naomi, do you think they took our parents to the death camps?”

            “Probably.” 

            “Girls, shh.” Sister Honorina shone her flashlight on them. “This is not the time to speak of such things.”

            “Seriously? When do we talk about it? After another six million have perished?” Elizabeth bolted upright. “It’s 1942 all over again. I saw it on CNN. There are camps in Colorado and Arizona and more being constructed in New Mexico.”     

  

                

R IS FOR ROCKET

Published October 14, 2018 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman goes to Roswell, New Mexico, USA.

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by this week’s location. You can use the image supplied or you can visit Roswell yourself via Google Maps and find your own inspiration.

Once your piece is polished, share it with others using the linkup below. Reading and commenting on others’ work is part of the fun.

In April my husband and I visited Roswell so I took the liberty of using my own photo. No matter what your take on aliens,Roswell is a major tourist trap. Kind of fun but next time I want to go to the Grand Canyon. 😉

Thanks to Karen and Josh for facilitating the fun. 

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Genre: Questionable

Word Count: 150

R IS FOR ROCKET

My son tugs at my coat. “Mommy, can I get the green man souvenir?”

            His sister jumps up and down and squeals. “I want the stuffed alien so I could sleep with him. Say ‘yes’ pleeeeeeease, Mommeeee.”

            I shake my head and glare at my husband. “I can’t believe you talked me into coming to this tourist trap? You can’t walk five feet without running into another gift shop. And they all have the same pathetic junk.”

            Taking his wallet from his pocket, he hands the cashier just the right amount for the toys. “Aw, lighten up and have a little fun.” His eyes glow and spin.

            My daughter’s antennae poke out from under her wig. She cuddles her stuffed friend. “I’m sleepy. Can we go back to the hotel?”

            The teenage clerk gasps. “Y-you aren’t from around here, are you?”

            “Next year, Phlox,” I mutter, “we vacation on Gorgon.”

😎

😎

😎

Shmoozing with Aliens in Roswell

8 June 2018

Published June 6, 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 © Roger Bultot

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Genre: Speculative Fiction

Word Count: 100

DAY OF ATONEMENT

“Pardon me, Frau, what year is this?”

            “Why 1889, of course.” The young mother lifts her son from his wicker pram. “5 October to be exact.”  

            My heart thumps. Weinstein, that lunatic genius has done it. It’s 200 years ago. 

            “Could you direct me to Salzburger Vorstadt 219?”

            “That’s our address.”

            “Frau—Hitler?”

            “Ja.” She presses her cheek against the baby’s. “Adolf, let’s show the nice man the way.”   

            I tighten my hand around the gun in my pocket. The child gazes at me with innocent blue eyes.

            What can I do? I’m doomed to let history run its course.

 

It’s a rhetorical question. Think hard before answering. Given the opportunity, could you pull the trigger? 

*Note: October 5, 1889 was the highest of high Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. What better day to off the future Fuehrer?

This is a bit unusual for me, but one FF’r took it upon herself to write her story as a solution to my protagonist’s dilemma. Here’s the link to Melody Pearson’s post. 

MY PRECIOUS

Published October 6, 2017 by rochellewisoff

An unusual week for me. A second story came to mind and I felt compelled to share it. Thank you for your indulgence. 😉 

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

Genre: Fantasy

Word Count: ONE HUNDRED (Title doesn’t count)

MY PRECIOUS

Waves lapped against the boat’s hull. Moonlight made the water sparkle. Thoughts and ideas flipped inside the author’s head like Spanish dancers.

She opened her laptop and, for a moment, stared at the blank screen. With relish, she typed sentence upon sentence, her excitement mounting. Her fingers seemed to take on a mind of their own, tapping across the keyboard.

She grinned. “Too good to stop here.”

Before she knew it, 100 words grew to 200. Not one of them could be spared.

A gossamer-winged faerie settled on the writer’s shoulder and whispered, “Way too good to meet the challenge, eh?”

 

In case you wondered about the Spanish Dancers:

 

 

1 September 2017

Published August 30, 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 © Roger Bulltot

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

TOUR GUIDE AT ROOSEVELT ISLAND

            Edith studied the yellowed photograph of a young mother cradling a toddler with dark curls on her lap. She had arrived at Castle Garden from Poland only to be diagnosed with the dreaded disease.

            Surveying the overgrown, supposedly haunted ruins, Edith imagined her 19-year-old great-grandmother, stricken with smallpox and imprisoned behind the granite hospital walls.  

            “Left to die without her child. It must’ve been terrifying,” Edith whispered to the sobbing girl beside her. “But haunted? Nonsense.”

            “Iz es itst, grandoter?”

            Edith whipped around in time to see Great-Grandma Edith, pockmarked cheeks wet with tears, vanish like smoke through a keyhole.

 

CLICK

 

Note – The translation for the Yiddish is “Is it now, Granddaughter?”

23 June 2017

Published June 21, 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 © Ted Strutz

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Genre: Speculatively Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

DESIGNATION

 

 Slow moving traffic and gray skies contributed to Ted’s equally gray mood. The rhythmic thump and swish of windshield wipers lulled him.

            He had almost drifted off when banging on his passenger-side window startled him. Leaning over, he opened the door.

            “Mahalo, hoaloha. I must get back to my sheep near the harbor.”

            “Friday Harbor?” Ted stared at the stranger’s crescent-shaped eyes and old fashion clothing. “Where’re you from?”

            “Hawaii, but I work for Fort Cowitz.”

            “They shut down in 1869. What’s your name?”

            “Poalima. ‘Friday’ in English.”

            A horn’s blast made Ted jump and the stranger vanished like steam.  

*

*

*

Mahalo, hoaloha – thank you, friend.

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QUEEN OF THE ILLYRIAN SEA

Published April 9, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman takes us to Dubrovnik, Croatia.

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.

Many thanks to Karen Rawson and her highly significant other J Hardy Carroll for hosting this refreshing prompt challenge.

Below is my prompt of choice. 🙂

Word Count: 150

Genre: Speculative Fiction

QUEEN OF THE ILLYRIAN SEA

            The sea laps against the shores of former Ragusa, Yugoslavia, now Dubrovnik, Croatia.

            In the words of exiled sixteenth century Portuguese poet, Yeshaya Cohen, “If I had to find a peaceful place to rest in my old age, above any other city I would fancy only Ragusa.”

            Although it sounds boastful, I must tell you I have survived two earthquakes and several major wars.

            Torah scrolls within my Holy Ark, Moshe Rabaynu’s words inscribed on lamb skin, are centuries old. A handful of the faithful still worship the God of Avraham, Yitzhak, and Ya’akov within my formidable 700-year-old walls.

            Humans can’t see my tears, but I’ve shed many. They seeped between the stones and juddered my walls when I helplessly watched beloved Rabbi Baruch being taken captive by swastika-ed guards. Babes in arms perished with him on the Island of Rab.

            Despite harassment and persecution, like my people, I stand.  

 

Inquiring minds click here. 

8 July 2016

Published July 6, 2016 by rochellewisoff

Summer Showcase

Summer is the time for vacations, picnics on the beach and reruns on the telly. For me it’s a time to meet a deadline in July for my third novel in my series entitled AS ONE MUST ONE CAN. Many thanks to those of you who responded to my plea for your favorite reruns. 

Phriday Phictioneers Phone

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Pane iced Banner

The following photo is the PROMPT. This week’s retread request is from Sandra Crook. 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. 

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Marler Morrill

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Marler Morrill

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Genre: Speculative Fiction

Word Count: 100

This story is from the week of 12 October 2012 when Madison was still Chief Fictioneer.

EIRONEIA

            Summer 1969, an American sailor stationed in Greece, I went on leave to Santorini.

In Pyrgos, I met sable-eyed Melina.

We drank each other. Her fragrant breasts welcomed me home.

“Marry me,” I whispered.

“I can’t.”

After that I never saw her again.

Summer 2010, I returned to Pyrgos.

On the street I stopped a silver-haired woman. “Melina Dimitri? Do you know her?”

“Why?”

“I love her.”

“Impossible! She was my great-grandmother. Died in childbirth in 1869. Here she is with my great-grandfather.”

When the woman flipped out an old photograph I gasped at the youthful images of Melina and…me.

24 June 2016

Published June 22, 2016 by rochellewisoff

Summer Showcase

Summer is the time for vacations, picnics on the beach and reruns on the telly. For me it’s a time to meet a deadline in July for my third novel in my series entitled AS ONE MUST ONE CAN. Many thanks to those of you who responded to my plea for your favorite reruns. 

Ellehcor Banner FF

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Another Highway

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

copyright-Rich Voza

copyright-Rich Voza


 

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I’m really pleased that C.E. chose this particular prompt. It’s one of my all time favorites, not because of the photo itself but because of what it meant to me. I am posting two stories with permission from Doug MacIlroy who is currently MIA and says, “Tell the FF gang I said hello and that I wish them well and that like a relative of mine once said, ‘I shall return’.”

When Doug shared his abbreviated story with me via email in February 2013 I asked what he thought about my writing the partner story. Between iPhone texts and photos we worked to make our stories exactly 200 words between the two of them. It was a labor of love and a magical experience in writing. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 

Original posts HERE and HERE

Doug’s story is in the photo below.

Genre for both: Speculative Fiction

Word Count: 65

DEPARTURE CLEARANCE

Departure Clearance

Word Count: 135

FLIGHT STATUS

            “Flight delayed.” Amelia snarled and closed the US Airways website. “Damn business trips!”

            Memories of their argument right before Chase left gnawed at her. She regretted her spiteful words.

            “I hate your job!”

            “You like the money.”

            “You’re never home. Your daughters don’t even know their father.”

            “Next time, babe, you and the girls are coming with me.”

            “What if—?”

            “‘What if’ never happens.” He gathered her into his arms. “Flying’s safer than driving on the freeway.”

            Five hours ago he’d texted from Phoenix. “Just a little turbulence. Nothing to worry about.”

            “Mommy?” Four-year-old Katy tiptoed into the room. “Daddy sat on my bed.”

            “It was only a dream, Kitten.”

            “No it wasn’t. He talked to me!”

            “What’d he say?”

            “He’s sorry he can’t come home.” 

            Her phone chimed. Message from Chase.

            “Dearest Amelia…” 

.Chase's last message

Jet Crash with houses.

BASH

TFOA

4 March 2016

Published March 2, 2016 by rochellewisoff

Thoreau NZ birds

Phriday Phictioneers Phone

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.

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