18 April 2014

Published April 16, 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: Literary Fiction

Word Count: 98


            When other kids give Mrs. Loftis flowers she’s all giggly. But when I bring them she gets frowny.

            Why don’t she like me? I read better’n anybody else in first grade and I color in between the lines.  Mommy says it’s my ‘magination.

            Tonight sirens and mad grown-up voices wake me up. I run to Mommy’s room. She’s crying. So’s her boyfriend.

            There’s a gun on the floor and a policeman is putting handcuffs on…Mrs. Loftis? Her face is all twisty and red.

            “You cheap husband-stealing tramp!” she shouts.

            Guess it’s not me she don’t like after all.        


141 comments on “18 April 2014

  • Wow Rochelle! Perfect intrigue! At least the little girl knows it’s not her that the teacher doesn’t like the girl, she HATES the mother! Now, what’s the boyfriend going to do?
    Good story Rochelle! Top notch! Nan🙂


    • Dear Nan,

      The story’s based on a recent conversation with a friend. Of course I upped the drama a notch or three.😉 I’m sure it’s a night to remember for all involved.

      Thanks for you comments and compliments.😀




    • Dear Doug,

      A little more early education than any child should receive. I have to wonder if this story hasn’t played out in reality more than once. I hope not too often. Glad you like the title. My muse is particularly good at those.😉




  • Thank goodness there wasn’t a historical connection to that one! Enjoyed the tease with the word ‘boyfriend’! The story shines. This is an example of what a 100w flash fiction should be …for anyone reading this!


  • Another stellar story from you, Rochelle – your timing (if that’s the word) is always fantastic. The child’s voice is unique and very internally consistent. I have to say I was a bit surprised at ‘Grade 1’; the kid felt a bit older to me, but I know NOTHING about children over the age of 17months14days, so you are even more welcome than normal to ignore my reaction.


    • Dear Jennifer,

      Ignore you or your reaction? I should say not. I think you’ll be surprise when Sebastian is six how observant these kids can be. And, as is sadly the case all too often, some children are forced to grow up too soon.
      My eldest son was one of those precocious kids who at four was going on thirty.

      Thank you for commenting. Makes me smile.




      • I’m going to have to reread this when I’ve got more time and try to pinpoint what bothered me, because it wasn’t what he noticed or commented on (those felt spot on for what I remember of being five), it was something to do with the language. The voice put me in mind of a kid like Huck Finn or that sort of age, so the first grade comment surprised me. Like I say, I’ll try to put some time into figuring out why…


  • What an unexpected twist! I agree with everyone else, the dialect you used for the child seemed very authentic and really brought the character to life. I feel bad for the poor child, as a vengeful teacher could truly impair the child’s success and learning. A fresh take on the whole “sins of our fathers” theme.Though in this case, it’s the mother!


    • Dear Adelie,

      At first I tried this from the POV of the little girl grown up, looking back on it. It fell flat. To put it in the child’s POV felt more immediate and personal. I’m glad it worked for you, too.

      Thank you




    • Before I got distracted by getting the granola out of the oven before it burned, I mean to add that it’s a shame similar situations happen much too often in the real world. Not just the children are hurt.


      • Dear Janet,

        This is based on a true story told by a friend. although it wasn’t quite as dramatic. Unfortunately it does teeter on the brink of fact for too many.

        I’ve added the hyphen.😉 98 words now.




  • want to make sure i followed this correctly. the teacher, mrs. loftis, doesn’t like the kid because the kid’s mother stole mrs. loftis’s boyfriend. and then mrs. loftis showed up and shot the kid’s mother. i’m not trying to criticize the story. i’m just not sure if i’m following the events correctly. it feels like it should be a no-brainer, yet i doubt myself. not sure why. maybe my confusion is because it’s “mrs.” loftis and not “miss” loftis.


    • Dear Dawn,

      Nope. Nobody died. Mrs. Loftis threatened with a gun, but either the police got there in time or she couldn’t pull the trigger. It is humorous in a dark way. (I like dark. )😉




  • Rochelle, My favorite part was the little kids character, such a distinct voice. Have to say I loved the twist of momma as the adulterer and that her kid at least understood who was actually hated. I think they might of had a teacher parent conference like Steve Carrell in Crazy, Stupid, Love.


  • Oh boy! Another child pulled into adult drama. You tell it well, Rochelle.

    I like the child’s voice. Words like “frowny” make the story ring true. I’m curious though as to why you chose to use “don’t” instead of “doesn’t.” Most intelligent grade schoolers that I know would get that word correct unless they live in a particularly uneducated area or low-income slum.

    I also liked “twisty and red” as well.

    Good picture this week too. I think we’ll see a wide variety of tales to accompany it.

    Marie Gail


    • Dear Marie Gail,

      I used the “don’t” as apposed to “doesn’t” to make the child seem younger. Also I had the low-income demographic in mind. Even the most intelligent kids may use bad grammar, particularly the younger ones.

      It is a fun picture. A lot going on in it if one takes the time to look.

      Thanks for commenting. Glad you liked it.




      • The low-income dem makes sense.🙂 I taught younger children in the middle of Kansas and seldom if ever heard this usage from any kids over 4, but in the younger kids in the inner city it would be used because it’s what they hear regularly. In writing, as in real estate, it’s location, location, location.🙂

        Marie Gail


  • it’s not easy to write something through what is called the “unreliable narrator.” he’s telling us what he sees. he doesn’t “see” what we see. yet he gives us enough to “see” what he doesn’t. well done. also, “husband-stealing” would be hypenated in this context, making it now 98 words. two bonus words to add somewhere!!!


  • Dear Jeannie C. Riley,
    I assume this horrible event took place in the otherwise peaceful small town known as Harper Valley, USA. Evidently, your short mini-skirt caught more than the eye of poor Mrs. Loftis’ husband. I am envious of anyone who can color between the lines and hope to be able to achieve that awesome feat at some point in the next 30 years.
    congrats on your new hit record – Monty Hall


  • I hope the husband didn’t die! Oh, what a surprise of a story, Rochelle. Great one. I hope the kid recovers and gets out of that class, and quick! This prompt is not an easy one for me. Still fumbling over a story.


    • Dear Amy,

      No one died, but I think the cheating husband might have soiled his boxers. The kid doesn’t have to worry about getting out of class. Mrs. Loftis won’t be coming back.😉 Glad you liked.
      Thank you.




  • Very well done, as usual. I agree with the others …
    I like the twist at the end, I thought it was the child’s fault because he was not as smart as he thought he was and teacher was disappointed in him, but I guessed wrong. ;0)


  • Sorry I’m late to the party this week. Great story Rochelle, and I thought you did the unreliable narrator convincingly. I loved the ‘red and twisty’ face.🙂 Funnily enough, I saw the child as a boy, and I’ve been back to read it twice to check why I got that impression. I liked the fact that nobody died – that seemed right for the piece. Well done.


    • Dear Sandra,

      I don’t think it really matters if the reader sees the child as a boy or a girl. As long as it works, who am I to quibble? I didn’t think the child needed to see murder. Adultery was quite enough.😉




  • Happy Easter! Before I even write or read, the photo is already giving me a smile. Now, I’m off to see what I can write to it… that is, if I can contain the giggles. Too too many chocolate bunnies!


    • Dear Subroto,

      Well the incident didn’t happen quite this way. It was a story told over dinner that inspired me to write this. Not so much drama as I wrote. Thank you for your kind words.




  • It’s always the kids that suffer. At least this kid worked out that it wasn’t him/her after all, and I hope they manage to recover – quite a situation for a kid to experience.


    • Dear Ali,

      I saw her as a little girl but others saw her/him as a boy. I don’t guess it matters to my story one way or the other. Indeed, the children are always the victims. Thanks for commenting.




    • Dear Shirley,

      Glad to see you back and happy you were able to link. For future reference, I can usually link a person from my end as long as I have URL and email address which I can access in the edit section of your comment.

      Thank you for your comment.




  • Poor baby. As a teacher, I heard many a tale based on similar circumstances, but in those tales it was only the parents who were involved. However, in this day and age it is not an improbability. Good one, Rochelle!


  • Rochelle… perfection. Love this one! The child’s voice is perfect, as well as her descriptions of the world around her. The only thing I questioned was that final line. I like it, but I’m not sure it rings as true as the rest of the story. If she’d said: “s’pose she doesn’t like mommy either” or something along those lines, it would be left up to the reader to say “aha!” This child sounds very young, and I’m not sure she’d be mature enough (developmentally) to realize that it’s the mother not her that the teacher doesn’t like. Children are perceptive, but at that age their world is very small and internal. I think she would not really connect the dots…. That said, this read so beautifully, I’m not sure that it matters. That’s my two cents worth.😉 Shalom!


    • Dear Dawn,

      That was more like five cents worth.😉 If you hadn’t processed it so well on your own I’d say that there are some precocious kids in the world. My eldest son was one of them. .At the age of six he was processing things you’d never have expected from one so young. So in my mind, this child is one of those who would be able to not only connect the dots but color in between the lines as well.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I always look forward to your visits.




  • Oh wow. I don’t usually like cheating husband stories, but this is an exception. You grabbed me with the poor little child the teacher disliked, because I experienced the same thing as a child, though not for the same reasons… And then, when the sirens went off, and the angry teacher was at her house in handcuffs, and the final line, “Guess it’s not me she don’t like after all,” you made me laugh out loud. I was not expecting that ending, and it cracked me up. Great story!😀

    God bless you,


  • Rochelle,
    wow it took me a while this week! Actually, I read this on my phone on Wednesday, but couldn’t comment until now. This is some masterful writing. I love how the last line completes the title, summing up and linking the whole piece together. Just…wow.🙂


  • I love the child’s voice in this, and it’s such a clever little tale. We all had teachers who didn’t like us for one reason or another (or sometimes no reason at all), luckily we don’t all have parents like this child’s mother!!!


  • Am running awfully late this week Rochelle but a very close friend lost his Mom and I was feeling too low to really stir.Sigh!

    This is such an awesome take on the prompt,not that I have ever read anything other than awesome from you,Rochelle😀 Loved the child’s confusion and how the understanding dawns in the end.Also enjoyed the high voltage drama-so much in less than hundred words-kudos!🙂


  • Life through the eyes of a child. A little thing…not being liked against such a horrific backdrop…will inevitably resonate forever, and loom large in the little one’s life forever affecting everything he does. Sad, but unfortunately true more than we can ever know.



    • Dear Millie,

      Fortunately, this particular child is a work of fiction.😉 No doubt there are real ones out there. The idea for the story came from a friend in her 60’s. Although her memories weren’t quite as dramatic, they were no less real and impacting.

      Thank you for the hugs and the comments.




  • Poor little kid! How horrible for such a thing to happen at a young age. I think that Mrs.Loftis should have been more angry at her ex husband than at the child’s mom though-but I guess one woman will generally tend to blame the other for her distress and not the common criminal😀 I also liked the subtle humor in some parts of the story, it was very nicely put together🙂


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