7 February 2014

Published February 5, 2014 by rochellewisoff


Seize the opportunity to free your muse and allow her take you on a magic carpet ride. 

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 a few words over the count.)




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Genre: Speculative Fiction

Word Count: 99


            “Remember our first house in aught-five, Orville? You hated them wires and incandescent lamps. Said they jest wasn’t natural.”

            “Still ain’t, Jessie.”

            “Can’t stop progress, you old coot.”

            “They’re gonna progress us to death.”

            Aside from my grandparents’ friendly arguments in the early 1950’s, I never gave the light bulb much thought. It was a fact of life, like radio and later, television, computers and cell phones.  

            In retrospect, Grandpa might’ve been ahead of his time.

            Today, rather than suffer the expense of government mandated CFL bulbs, candles and lanterns light my home—that is, until they outlaw fire.



134 comments on “7 February 2014

  • I like your story Rochelle. True modernization with the new light bulbs we have to use now – never mind they are over $8 a bulb. I guess that’s the price of progress! I like your grandpa’s comment though. Good writing! Nan


  • Dear Rochelle,

    I cannot hold a candle to to your story, but I carry a torch for it. Or something like that.

    I notice most people do not like your story. Luddites all. Soon all over the nation, people will be huddled around the light of their big screen TV’s, waiting for the talking heads to tell them what to buy in stores before the next polar vortex strikes.

    CFL bulb? Must mean Candle Flame ‘Lumination. My work here is done. I’d write more but my lamp is guttering. This song is for you…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVLvM_jUsak




    • Dear Doug,

      At this point the story’s only been posted for two hours. In 24 hours I’ll worry. 😉 You know me, waste not, whine not.

      You mean we’re not already huddled around the big screen waiting for orders from headquarters?

      Glad you liked and didn’t flame my story.


      Rochelle SDYLI


    • Dear Michael,

      You might be right. Although Grandpa Orville wasn’t so enamored with the electric light. Seems, so far, the grandparents are in the Friday Fictioneers forefront. In any case, I’m glad you liked my story.

      Thank you.




    • Dear Michael,

      I skimmed a bit of it and will have to go back to it. Aren’t collaborations fun? Exactly a year ago Doug MacIlroy and I combined our two Friday Fictioneers stories. When I read what he’d written in his draft I asked what he thought about my writing the other side of the story. We worked for hours via email and facebook getting our stories and extra photos to connect. Together the stories totaled 200 words on the button. It was an incredible experience. I don’t know if we’ll ever repeat the performance but I know I’ll never forget it. Here’s the link to his http://ironwoodwind.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/departure-clearance
      and the link to mine https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/8-february-2013/.

      Not exactly the same kind of collaborations. 😉




      • Thanks Rochelle, I shall go look at your and Doug’s work. I’m not sure how often this happens but we think we have made the story work even as you go along you can see more questions being asked than you have space to use. But that’s the challenge go a short story. Thanks for reading our effort Rochelle I appreciate it.


  • You go girl! This is one of my pet peeves as well. They have no right to force this on us. I’ve learned of two different situations where those new bulbs started fires in homes. And they don’t last as long as they claim they last either. More importantly, they do not give out the same kind of light. I’m also fed up with the so-called “energy efficient” appliances. My new washer won’t put out the hot water I want. It’s made to put out only so much hot, no matter what I set it to do. The washer technician told me that is the only kind of machines that are manufactured now. Talk about losing our freedoms one step at a time!

    You did a great job on this. The conversation of your grandparents was the perfect kick-off.

    P. S. Thanks for the opportunity to vent.


    • Dear Sandra,

      There’s definitely a reason I look forward to your comments. If anyone “gets” my rhymes and reasons, it’s you, my friend. I didn’t know about the washing machine, but am not surprised.

      I don’t like fluorescent lighting to begin with and to be forced to light my home with it doesn’t please me to say the least.

      Your “venting” makes me feel like I’m in good company in my peeve petting. This story really does go hand in hand with my last story. One freedom at a time.

      Thank you for coming by.




  • This is going to have to be a pretty big hobby horse because I think many of us are riding it. We’re being governed to death, down to what bulbs we may or may not use. Of course, having a bulb that needs hazardous waste treatment for the mercury if broken is much preferable, right? Maybe my story this week should have been about stocking up on “old” bulbs as soon as I heard they were going to be outlawed. I’m sure wax will be endangered next, so…



  • I’m scratching my head trying to come up with a bright idea for a comment, but the light bulb just isn’t going off. Instead, I’ll leave you with these words to ponder: If you weren’t on some government watchdog list, you are now. How dare you speak out against government in story form! 🙂


  • Rochelle,
    There has been a steady increase in the Amish population so they must be onto something. I do love candlelight, personally. However, we have to keep the Internet, unless you’re willing to do Friday Fictioneers by snail mail. 🙂
    Shine on~


  • love this. I think that CFLs are a government conspiracy…they NEVER last nearly as long as they’re supposed to, and they contain mercury, so they’re WORSE for the environment…so I suspect they’re costing us more financially and environmentally in the long run.


    • Dear Bryan,

      I believe you have to call a Hazmat team if you break one. How is that better for the environment? For the most part I have to agree with you. 😉

      In any case, the important part is that you like my story.




  • Rochelle,
    The folksy conversation at the beginning of this story pulled me in, but I was disappointed with the ending. It’s easy with a flash fiction story that has political motivation to “like” or “dislike” it depending on the side of the issue on which you stand. Personally, I sell candles, so I’m totally down with people using them as a light source, and there are certainly issues with CFL bulbs. As to your story, however, I think it could be improved by ending it with a modern conversation instead of straight prose-style reflection. Bring some of that charm from Grandpa’s speech patterns into your conclusion. Perhaps the narrator could have a conversation about lighting options with a spouse.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail


    • Dear Marie Gail,

      There are many ways to tell a story. I’m always one to take into consideration different approaches. However, in this case, it was my intent for the ending to contrast the charm of the beginning.

      I do value your comments and, who knows? I might rework it into a longer piece on down the road/ 😉 All work is in progress.

      Thank you.




      • 😉 Just let it simmer a while. All recommendations I make are optional, of course. I understood what you were going for. In my experience, this stark of a contrast can come across as too heavy-handed, alienating those who disagree with the thesis and leaving your story to simply “preach to the choir.”

        Thanks for being a good sport on the feedback. I’ll let you have a go at mine once I get it up tonight. 🙂



  • Rochelle wonderful as always. I happen to love candlelight and lanterns. Very arcane of me but progress does not always mean forward movement and the costs are often too great. I’m not saying I don’t appreciate the modern conveniences. I just don’t want them forced upon me.


    • Dear Dana,

      Candles are wonderful. Seems that the only time we use them, though, is during a power outage. I agree with you about modern conveniences. Although I’ve never considered the good old light bulb particularly antiquated and it’s inexpensive. We have a few left but they won’t last all that long. Like you I’d like to have the choice.

      I appreciate the feedback and glad you liked my story. By the way, when I go swimming now I think of you. 😉




  • They have outlawed collecting rain water so fire is the next logical step. I enjoyed the story for the language, reminded me of my Grandparents. So glad to have found this and I even participated. Which is really odd for me. But this seems challenging and fun. So Thanks!


    • Dear Sarah,

      I wasn’t aware that collecting rain water was illegal. Not surprising. There’s a lot I don’t know. At any rate I’m glad you enjoyed my story. I’m looking forward to reading yours. Welcome!




  • I have often wondered whose pockets got lined when they outlawed regular light bulbs. It’s the same here in Canada, can hardly find the old style, my house is almost all new ones and I hate them! Great story Rochelle, I can see my grandparents saying the same thing! Now I have to think a bit on the pic and see what I can come up with.


  • Very fun! I don’t have the drawl, but I am prone to complaining about these new fandangled gadgets and gizmos. Gotta have ’em; don’t always have to like ’em. Double-edged sword…progress. hugs…


  • Ah CFL. One day we will all look back in disbelief that we ever used the ugly things with their bleak soulless light and their refusal to be dimmed. Just be careful if you break them, I hear that the powder inside is poisonous! By the way, I rented a flat a few years back that had a clause that stated no naked flames were allowed. Watch out, the future is coming! Still, if not for technology I wouldn’t be able to read your stories so it’s not all doom and gloom. 🙂


    • Dear Dawn,

      I was beginning to wonder if anyone had listened to the song. It’s a little out of context as it was a song from Wild in the Streets. On the other hand, given today’s society, perhaps not. In any case, the words seemed to fit my story well…’let the old world make believe it’s blind and deaf and dumb, but nothing can change the shape of things to come.’

      Happy you liked my story and caught all the angles.




  • There’s a kind of romanticism to this story. Oh, why must things always change. I think once a week, at least, we should all have just candlelight. Wouldn’t that be kind of nice? And with the price of right light bulbs, well it’s not surprising we always have a few out in our house! I loved your story and the music to go with. A pleasure!


    • Dear Amy,

      For some reason I thought the song matched the story quite well. 😉 On the other hand, some changes are good. Take indoor plumbing for example.

      It’s my pleasure to read your comments. You’re always such an encouragement to me and you should know how much I appreciate that.




  • another wonderful story, Rochelle. i’m thinking maybe we can return to the natural cycle. in bed by sundown and up by sunrise. just need a fireplace for winter and lots of windows open in summer.


  • Hi Rochelle,
    I could really relate to your story. In many ways, we live like pioneers. Pioneers with computers, cells phones and the internet. I’m convinced it’s just a matter of time until incandescent light bulbs are for sale in antique stores, along with buggy whips and victrolas. Everything old is new again. Ron


    • Dear Ron,

      I think many of us relate, I fear one of these days I’m going to end up in the antique store. 😉 Although I prefer “vintage” to “antique”. More and more I find items in the flea markets that bring back childhood memories because “I had one of those.”

      My MC just isn’t convinced that CFL bulbs are such a bright idea. 😉

      Thanks for commenting.




    • Dear Silent,

      Sometimes the ideas come quickly and other times I have to bang my head against the wall a few times. (I choose the photos but don’t have idea one when I do and give myself no more than three days to write it).

      Thanks for liking and commenting. I look forward to reading yours.




  • Loved this line ,” In retrospect, Grandpa might’ve been ahead of his time.”True!Though we still do not have such laws but many of us -at least in the urban areas,have opted for CFL as it saves on electricity-my house has it but I can see your pov Rochelle-to be forced to do something is not at all fun..But then,you are lucky to have romantic candle light dinners and baths everyday-Valentines 365 days ;-)Great story once again:-)


  • So many things to say about your story Rochelle, especially that I agree with you! I love the idea of simply not using electricity at all ! and love cande-light… have even wondered what it would be like to wake with the sun and go down with the sun… you’ve triggered all sorts of thoughts and dreams… lovely post, thank you Rochelle…


    • Dear Valerie,

      I wonder sometimes if I’m capable of going without electricity for any length of time. I’m so attached to certain people on the internet. But it does give me pause to think about it. When I was a child telephones had rotary dials, televisions were black and white and we really did go to bed at sundown and wake at sunrise. Now you’ve triggered my own thoughts.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

      Kia Ora,



  • Hello, Rochelle. I’m a new commenter and reader. I like your story, including the very authentic dialogue (as others have pointed out) of “progress”-ing one to death. Great take-away from the photograph! As a new reader, I’m having trouble with the InLinkz, so until I get it figured out, I’d like to throw my link out there for anyone’s suggestions and/or to share their stories with me (I can only follow the ones here in the comments, as I can’t get anything to happen with InLinkz): http://leighswordsmithery.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/friday-fictioneers-100-word-challenge/ Thank you for offering this interesting springboard, and best regards!


    • Dear Leigh,

      Welcome! I’m not sure what the problem might be with the link. Usually the problem is with linking but not with clicking on the link to take them to a blog. I can help you link up but I can’t help with the rest.

      Thank you for commenting on my story. These little flash fictions became my passion from the first in April 2012 when Friday Fictioneers was hosted by it creator Madison Woods. I haven’t missed a week since.

      Happy to have you aboard, Leigh.




  • Dear Rochelle (our Captain) 😀
    I’m new and am already enjoying immensely.

    I loved this piece especially the use ‘outlaw fire’
    but It can’t ever be done..can it?
    you can kill the blaze but never the spark 😛
    *just the view of an anarchist*

    Looking forward to an unending friendship 🙂


    • Dear Smudged,

      I’ve lived long enough to see things happen that were merely the science fiction of my childhood. So who knows what’s next? I shiver at the prospects.

      Glad you’ve come aboard 😀




  • I like your story Rochelle! And thank you for your kind welcome! As I said there, I may not be here every week, but I’ll enjoy popping in now and then. I loved this piece, I know what it is about the CFLs. I stock piled the old style, but I’m sadly running low already – it’s like all my lights decided to burn out at once. Ha! Nice story 🙂


    • Dear Melissa,

      Glad you joined and, of course, happy you like my story. Pop in whenever you like. Some, like me, never miss a week and others have lives. 😉 We still have a few of the old style, inefficient bulbs, too. But, when they’re gone, they’re gone.




  • Traveling back in time to see what I missed… I don’t like these new bulbs either. You go into my dad-in-law’s bathroom and ten minutes later it’s bright enough to see… love the personalities in this story. Is it partly autobiographical?


    • Dear Jennifer,

      How sweet of you to come back here to comment. No autobiography on my part in the characters. My husband’s grandparents were Orville and Jessie Carpenter but that’s where any similarity ends. But when I need folksy characters I can always draw from his side of the family. 😉
      I have those bulbs in my office. They do last a long time. I think I’m going on four years with them or more. However it does take quite a while for them to actually illuminate.
      My biggest quarrel isn’t the bulbs themselves so much as the fact that I no longer have a choice of what I can buy. It seems the choices are now “take it or leave it.”




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