21 June 2013

Published June 19, 2013 by rochellewisoff


As always, writers are encouraged to be as innovative as possible with the prompt and 100 word constraints. 

Henry David Thoreau said it best.

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”



Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and end. (No one will be ostracized for going over or under the word count.)


Make every word count.


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Genre: Literary Fiction

Word Count: 100


            “Daddy, tell me a story.”

            Ellen grabbed the remote, turned off the television and climbed onto Jeff’s lap.

            “Not now, Doodle-bug.” He gave her a gentle nudge.

            After countless life-or-death decisions and run-ins with EMT coworkers, he sought escape through mindless entertainment.

            With four-year-old persistence, she settled against his chest. “Once upon a time, in a castle far away, lived a king and his bee-yoo-tee-ful little princess.”

            “Then what happened?”

            “They…” her voice faded into a yawn and her eyelids drooped.

            Jeff’s taut muscles eased. He set down his beer, kissed her silken curls and whispered, “…lived happily ever after.”

110 comments on “21 June 2013

  • Soft words…of course the tragedy is in the last line…the little girl one day will learn life is not so lovely as she thought it was…very subtly done.


    • Dear Managua,

      You get the prize for seeing beyond the words to the story. Thank you for the lovely picture. I can’t wait to see how many different takes there will be this week.




      • I think the writing was dosed so well that one only realises the depth of those words and how her father feels a second after reading. I certainly felt it. Better start mine then – thank you so much for posting, wonderful surprise. I had a few of guards, but this is a woman guard, which impressed me.


          • Oh I’m sure it’ll surface where least expected!….in a later tale far yonder…but am impressed about the research..the only thing I know is the palace is bigger than that one in London, which you can’t get near of course, but also that one or two Swedish royals have had unsavoury connections I read in a paper – to say the least, but then they all have.


  • Rochelle, I like the stark contrast you paint between the little girl’s innocent fairy tale mentality and the father’s job, which involves some pretty horrific stuff. It’s a sweet story though; I hope she can live happily ever after.


  • What a cute and lovely story… I like how he never had to confront reality with fairy tales…as she fell asleep.

    This one is both hard and easy for me, and I have actually been on guard in front of the castle once (with less fancy uniform). …


  • Hopefully all Jeffs have Ellens in their lives to bring them back to what might be and to what’s important and grounding. Your story reminded me of how many people deal with horrific situations daily and the toll it takes on them. Thanks!



  • Ah! A gentle and sweet slice of life. Your stories are always so tightly written!

    (I had some weird trouble linking up — maybe you could figure out how to delete the first one with the odd picture (don’t ask). I hate for the writers to waste time with a dead link. Many thanks Rochelle —😀 Linda)


  • This is such a cute little story of one little girl’s love for (and from) her Daddy. I love the characterization you put into both, even in so few words.
    Sorry last week’s comment didn’t feel like a nice one – I shall endeavour to choose my words more carefully.


  • Delightfully written, Rochelle. Most loving parents will indeed present the best interpretation of things that they can for their children, to protect them as long as they can from the harshest things in life, or at least try!


  • I liked it on first reading; then read it again and felt tears. Very acute, deceptively simple. Love of one’s child and the quiet, tragic, irony of the last words, set against the dulling life of work, work…..


  • Sometimes, it’s better to believe in happily ever afters, if only to dream and to cushion ourselves against the inevitable ‘sads’ that come our way. Great story Rochell. It’s been a while. I hope to join you guys tomorrow.🙂


  • Oh dear, the bum should have given it away, it’s the first and obviously only thing I noticed.
    Girls are all princesses to their daddies. Till they go. I haven’t been one for almost four years now.


    • Dear Mary,

      I always relish comments, however I’m completely baffled by this one. What bum? Should’ve given what away?

      I, too, was my daddy’s princess. Gone since 1984. I still miss him.




  • Dear Rochelle,

    I think this sweet and beautiful story is one of your best ever. Layers within layers reveal all the joy and love a father has for his daughter and the daughter for her father. Oh, so subtle and oh, so perfectly poignant.




  • Last week, my laptop took a gainer off the table and the case cracked. Been afraid to use it, and now it’s out to the repair place for whatever it needs. I’m stuck on the slower than a seven year itch desktop that’s giving me inet fits…hopefully, I’ll be able to get out to the library to post this week.


  • Rochelle,
    Excellent image. I read this story with both envy and jealousy. It wasn’t until I was married and Hubs read the Christmas story on Christmas eve that I ever remembered being read to. Every now and then, when I hear or see scenes like this, my heart aches with having missed that kind of thing.


    • Dear Erin,

      I did have a good father figure in many ways. Although he was far from perfect, he encouraged creativity and instill humor in his offspring.

      I noticed your story also had to do with a father. I’d say we both had some good influence in the daddy department.

      Thank you and Shalom,



  • yes, how often we try to turn off our minds…. nice — it took me a while to figure out the guard was a she. It was the posture, then the hair bob.


  • Dear Rochelle
    This brought back memories of childhood bedtimes and stories told that created a certain kind of magic. All stories that begin ‘once upon a time’ usually end with …’they all lived happily ever after’. I don’t remember when I found out that in real life, those words are a rarity, but they certainly sent me happily off to sleep many times.
    Take care


  • I removed the link from Undead in the Netherworld because it was well over 100 words. If anyone wants to see it, it’s here.

    I trained as an EMT but never actually worked in that capacity other than during clinicals, because an entry level EMT only made $8 an hour, and I was making more than that at my current job. I saw a bunch of emergency vehicles going by tonight when I was heading to work. I thought what an interesting time they must be having, then I felt sorry for whomever was causing them to have such an interesting time!


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