13 February 2015

Published February 11, 2015 by rochellewisoff

Flowers from the Hill Thoreau

Friday Fictioneers Farm Path

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😀 In case you missed it we were mentioned in WordPress’s Daily Post 10 February 2015  https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/highlighted-blogging-events/

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Where does it take you? Tell me in a hundred words or less. 

My story follows the prompt and the Blue InLinkz frog. I appreciate honest comments and constructive criticism. 

get the InLinkz code

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

VICISSITUDES

            When Sarah and I were five, Grandma sold Jack. Mama took to her bed for a month.

            “Why she sell my daddy?” asked Sarah. 

            I dried Sarah’s tears with my lace petticoat. 

            “Stop that, Emma.” Grandma snapped. “She’s a servant.”

             Six years later the old biddy sold my best friend. I haven’t seen her since.

            On my seventeenth birthday I was married off to a plantation owner near Charleston.

            This morning I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who bears no resemblance to either her blond father or me. In fact, she’s the spitting image of her Aunt Sarah.                      

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Black and white twinsReal life twins. It can and does happen. 

115 comments on “13 February 2015

    • Dear Björn,

      I could just imagine something like this actually happening.

      I have some very dear black friends and the thought of them being slaves turns my stomach. Well, the thought of anyone being someone else’s property turns my stomach. This is definitely a blight on American history.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Your participation is one of the lovely aspects of Friday Fictioneers.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Well I expect that put the cat amongst the pigeons then. Sadly, I think I know who will get the blame here. Such an ingenious story; I confess I had to read it and think about it before I actually ‘got’ it. But as you say, it happens and what a world of conflict it must bring when it does. Well done, Rochelle.

    Like

    • Dear Sandra,

      It does seem the world…at least in the Western world that people are more tolerant of biracial marriages. In that day and age I’m sure it caused quite a stir.

      Ah the limitation of those hundred words. But if you had to read it more than once and think about it my mission’s accomplished. 😉

      Thank you for the read(s) and the lovely comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Hi Rochelle.
    Your story made me think. Slavery is a never ending issue in an ever growing world. It keeps finding new ways to haunt the society. A lot might have changed about it but it still exists.

    Like

  • A bitter sweet story. Slavery is a terrible thing – it’s been around for ever and all over the world and it’s still rife in many places. But I’m sure we can all identify modern-day ills that need to be addressed almost as urgently as slavery ever was.
    Where’s that soap box of mine?
    Oh, and from now on I promise to spell your name properly. You should have said something.

    Like

    • Dear Patrick,

      I’ll be spending the week agreeing that slavery is a terrible thing and still exists. Yes on both counts. Humanity hasn’t gotten any smarter and we ignore history and repeat it. I hate it that it happened in America’s not all that distant past and some of my good friends are descendants of those slaves.

      On the name thing…well my name is as big as Texas on across the top of my blog, yet there are quite a few who insist on spelling it wrong. Maybe I need to start saying something. 😉 I kind of felt the need when it was misspelled on the Daily Post. I’ve never seen Wisoff with an added c before. H or e yes and sometimes k. First time for everything.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. It means a lot. Regular writers like you make Friday Fictioneers fun and noteworthy. This is the third time we’ve been spotlighted by WordPress. I couldn’t do it alone. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • I’m new to the Friday Fictioneers, as you know, and I love it. I needed to read your story more than once, too, to get all the details. It is chilling (and admirable) how you describe the cruelty and racial bigotry with so few words, every word bites. That Grandma, what a horrible woman she is.

    Like

    • Dear Gah,

      Grandma was very much a southern belle and couldn’t sully the family tree with Jack’s offspring. Of course Emma was born white so Granny gave her a pass. At any rate my story’s fiction, the horror of slavery and bigotry are real.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. It’s much appreciated.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I know, Grandma did what she thought was best for everyone she considered ‘people’. Far too many people everywhere still do this, with horrible results. That’s what makes it so chilling–and the story so good.

        Like

  • Ok, I just read this and I had to go back to my story and add a disclaimer – let’s just say I see some similarities!

    There are plenty of dark moments in every country’s history – the US has simply done a better job of recognising it (I might contrast with Australia, where I get the feeling that slavery is ‘airbrushed over’).

    Well written.
    KT

    Like

    • Dear KT,

      Our stories did have similarities but vast differences as well, so no real need for a disclaimer.

      I suppose every country has a dark side because they’re populated by humans. I’ll never understand the superior mentality.

      Thank you for your kind comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Great story, Rochelle, though I also see trouble ahead for the poor mother in that day and age. I read somewhere that there will be such a continued mixture of races in centuries to come, most of the population will no longer be fair. I suspect some people would get a shock if they had their DNA checked. 🙂 Creative and well-written as always. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

    • Dear Suzanne,

      I’ve read those articles, too and biracial folks are becoming more and more part of the norm at least in the US. I find it fascinating.

      I would really be interested to see what a DNA test would show in my history.

      Alas for poor Emma, society wasn’t quite so accepting. No doubt she would be accused of fooling around with a slave herself.

      Thank you for reading and leaving such nice comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Ken (May I call you that here?),

      You might find me very different in person. 😉 I’ve been accused of being a media extrovert while being an introvert. Pretty spot on assessment really.

      Writing fiction is a great way to get my thoughts and opinions out.

      Thank you for such an affirming comment. I enjoyed our conversation the other day and am still smiling.

      To more years…

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Like Sandra, I must confess I needed to read this several times before I got it (I think!), and I suspect the blond husband won’t accept her explanation of his brown baby, so I see trouble ahead.
    History is with us today, in so many ways and places, and of course, such things still go on, more often than we’d like to imagine. You have a wonderful way of giving us characters from the past (real or fictional) and making them feel real to your readers.
    And congrats on the Daily Post link too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jennifer,

      I really didn’t mean for this story to be confusing but there’s the rub of telling a story in a hundred words. On the other hand if it gets me four reads, is this a bad thing?

      I’m sure her blond husband isn’t going to believe that baby’s his. To have a brown baby in the deep south, not cool in those horrible days of slavery.

      Synopsis of the story: Mama was upset when Grandma sold Jack, her lover and father of her twins. Sarah knows him as Daddy but Emma doesn’t realize he’s her daddy, too. (or maybe she does). And the story goes from there. Sorry to confuse.

      I don’t know what makes some people think they’re superior to others and have the right to kill or enslave.

      Thank you for such lovely compliments. And I extend the congrats back to you and all who make FF possible. It’s certainly not a solo act. Madison had a great idea and I’m forever grateful (most of the time) for letting me adopt her baby.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle
    Enjoying your story (as ever) and the comments.
    (Interesting talk of names as I always see my surname (Lewis) neatly fitted inside your name!)
    We all indeed see the same things differently. I looked at the picture prompt long and hard before reading your post and the chocolate-box perfect white columns and green lawns said falseness to me, something going on under the serene surface.
    Your story certainly delivered by peeling back a layer to show us what was really happening.

    Like

    • Dear Joy,

      I suspect having a brown baby back in that day and age brought about some serious repercussions for Emma, particularly if her husband looked at her true lineage. Remember, Emma’s daddy was Jack, too. 😉

      Thank you for reading, thinking and commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Rochelle for the explanation. I really enjoyed your story and the photo at the end. 🙂 Hope your book (both new book you are writing and finished book are doing well and making your dreams come true). 🙂

        Like

    • Dear MJ,

      This couldn’t be farther from the truth. We visited a place called Historic Village in upstate New York last summer. I took the picture from the balcony of one of the buildings. Would that we had a country retreat LOL. We stayed with our son and his wife on their horse farm so I suppose you could call that our country retreat. 😉

      I’m glad you liked my story.

      Now that you mention it I do see Lewis embedded in my handle. I’m on a bit of a campaign this week on the proper spelling of Wisoff.

      I appreciate your comments.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • The 3rd recognition of your blog is a testament to your abilities to hold the attention together for so many bloggers. Congrats on 3 years here. As for your story, I suspect any story you write would be re-written if everyone “got it” on the first read. You always have to have that “ah ha” moment. Well done m’luv.

    Like

  • Well, I liked the story even though I read it 4 times and still don’t get it – other than to say it was another immaculate conception with great irony or a miracle with great irony or someone switched babies which was not ironic but with malice for what has happened in Emma’s life.

    Like

    • Dear Randy,

      The hundred word limit…oy oy. Let me break it down. Sarah and Emma are twins, white mother, black slave father. Grandma sells him and later the black twin. Emma’s white, however even though she’s married to a blond plantation owner ( who is the biological father) DNA comes to bite Emma in the tush. Get it?

      Glad you liked it anyway. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Stephonie,

      I love that photo of the twins. I think they’re actually eight or nine now. White mother, black father just like Emma and Sarah. Unlike the twins in my story, the girls in the photo are loved and accepted.

      Your comments make me smile. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Another beautiful piece, Rochelle with a deeper meaning. Love the photo of the twins– life truly is filled with mystery and magic! I’m going to take a break from FF (reluctantly) until I’m back from Israel. My wifi access is limited, and I feel badly when I don’t have time to read the other stories! Be well. Shalom, D

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dawn,

      Your stories will be missed but I can completely understand. Enjoy the land and your daughter.

      Of course I’m pleased that you took the time to read and comment on my story. Genetics have always fascinate me. My mother was a fraternal twin. She had kinky black hair and brown eyes while my uncle had red hair and blue eyes. My aunt, her older sister was a blue-eyed blonde. My brother has green eyes and used to have blond hair. 😉 The one thing that does run in our family is the height deficit. G-d has an amazing paintbrush.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Louise,

      I don’t understand the mentality that says it’s okay to treat another human as property. To think that my black friends are descendants of slaves (and just a little over a hundred years ago) boggles my mind.

      Thank you for reading, thinking and commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,
    You took on a big challenge in telling this tale, but the photo at the end helped to explain things. I do love the story, and I think it would be a fun one for you to revisit and expand later–even to a mere 300 words. Will we see this in your next anthology?

    Peace,
    Marie Gail

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Marie Gail,

      At this stage of the FF game I have a thick notebook of stories that could be expanded. I think I have a full career ahead following my impending retirement. Actually, the next planned anthology is one of these flash fictions. But nothing’s set in stone at this point.

      This was a fun story to write on a subject I have strong feelings about.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • What a wild story. I guess mother nature and biology can really do whatever they please. It made me think of that wonderful moment when I laid eyes on my child for the first time. It’s a mystery for nine months and then, “Awww….” there are no words. Great story, Rochelle.

    Like

    • Dear Amy,

      As I captioned the photo, it can and does happen. So my mind went with ‘what if it happened during the days of slavery in the south?’

      I agree with you about that first time. And when I had my babies, we didn’t know the gender until it slid out.

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle, Gosh, I hope I spelled your name correctly! My fingers don’t always do what I tell them to do. Great story and I grew up in Arkansas and always thought how horrible it was that white people discriminated against black people and I’m so glad that things HAVE changed since then. There is still discrimination and stupid white people too but by and large, my sons friends who are black feel things are better. Good story! Nan 🙂

    Like

  • Wow! That follow on picture is amazing. I knew such things happen, but it’s still amazing to see it. Once again, you remind us of the tribulations this country has endured. We all need these reminders to know where we’ve all been. Hopefully, we’ll show more compassion to each other than we have in the past. Great story, Rochelle!

    Like

    • Dear Eric,

      I fell in love with those twins the first time I saw them. They’re eight or nine now I think. So my mind wandered into the “what if’s”. It’s common knowledge that masters slept with slaves. I don’t think it’s unbelievable for a master’s daughter to fall in love with handsome slave. ;). No doubt the old matriarch would do anything in her power to hide the family’s “shame.”

      I’m glad, as always, you came by to read and comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Powerful story, Rochelle – as always. Slavery and bigotry are such stains on our history. I had heard about twins being born with one looking white and one looking black, but I wasn’t sure if there was truth to it. Now, I do! I wish we could all learn to love a person for what is on their insides, not outside. Love can be such an amazing thing if we let it blossom and change us!

    Like

  • How bizarre that I had thought of the same period of time when I saw those columns and the big green lawns. But you did a fantastic job transporting the reader back to the dark times that gave birth to the image of such beautiful buildings (and in 100 words, no less!). Amazing.

    Like

    • Dear Michael,

      I think quite a few of us went to the deep south. 😉 In reality I took the photo in upstate NY at a place called Historic Village. It’s a representation of colonial New York.

      Thank you for such a magnificent comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Gertrude Himmelfarb (and I hope you research that name),
    Once again history, even ugly history, puts on a human face and emotions through your vivid story telling. It’s always a treat to read your well crafted tales.
    – Phrett Phluster

    Like

  • Like others I took me several reads to fully appreciate this tragic tale. I’m glad I did because with each read I found myself more emotionally involved.

    I only spotted Friday Fictioneers a few days ago so today’s little tale is my first contribution. It is so good to find somewhere where my prose is not adrift in an ocean of poetry!

    Like

    • Dear Keith,

      Again, welcome. This is a great little community for feedback and practice.

      I’m gratified that you took the time to keep reading my story until you understood it. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • It’s hard to believe (or accept) that slavery still exists in parts of the world, though most of us know full well that it does. Racial prejudice is still prevalent all over the world, too. If only we had a way of wiping it out! But your story was very poignant and so well written. 🙂

    Like

  • A very raw story, Rochelle! The world should not point their fingers only on America, I am sure we can all lower our heads in shame if we look at our ancestors. I remember dating a really nice man, he was raised in New Hampshire but moved to Quebec. Being black here, I asked him if he felt it was easier here…he said in the US they can be blunt and some cruel but in Canada we are more hypocritical…I always felt our Canadian diplomacy was a fine line close to what he said too.

    Like

  • Such evil doings. I love how you’ve shown the progress of time and generations, and brought it so sensitively to a hopeful, positive conclusion with the birth of the baby who looks like Sarah.
    Cheers
    Margaret

    Like

    • Dear Margaret,

      I’m not so sure I thought of this as a positive conclusion as much as DNA coming back to bite the family in the rear. No doubt in those times Emma would be accused of having a slave lover in the woodpile. Certainly the blond plantation owner wouldn’t believe the child was actually his.

      Very evil doings indeed.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

      • Of course! I misinterpreted some details. I see it now, after more careful reading, and your synopsis. A new baby is the positive aspect I saw, but – oh yes – big trouble ahead. And I enjoyed going back to read it again – a great story.

        Like

  • Hi Rochelle! Loved seeing your name in Daily Post. Yours is a very popular challenge. This one is very sad. It’s still going on in some parts in my country, poverty is the main reason. Liked the ending.

    Like

    • Dear Indira,

      I fear it’s going on in many parts of the world, including my country. Only we don’t call it slavery now, it’s human trafficking. I’m sure it feels very much like slavery to those being taken.

      The Daily Post was a nice surprise indeed.

      Thank you for your comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • I had to read your story a couple of times to work out the relationships and what was going on – the photo of the twins helped when I got that far. I feel for Emma, losing her family at grandma’s whim and can’t imagine what her husband will say. A wonderful thought-provoking story.

    Like

    • Dear Sarah Ann,

      I’m pleased that you took the time to read more than once to understand. I saw Grandma as a shrewish matriarch. I doubt that Emma’s husband will believe the baby’s his.

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Rochelle,
    this is a great story, even for you. There is so much nuance and unspoken back story. This is definitely a how-to on writing a 100-word story. All the same, I’m glad you included the picture for a little extra explanation. 🙂 What a strange sort of occurrence, although when you think about it, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t happen sometimes.
    I’m a bit slow in reading and posting this week, but I’m glad I got to this one.
    -David

    Like

      • I have to say that with all that’s going on at the moment, personally and globally , I am fed up with ‘human nature’. There’s news tonight of more murders, ‘inspired’ by the Charlie Hebdo massacres. A synagogue was attacked, someone died. More than one. For a year I haven’t gone out onto the street without a personal attack alarm in my pocket. Of course, there are more good people than bad. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  • Lately, I am horrible at keeping up with all the wonderful stories, managed to visit and read only handful in last month. I feel especially bad, because so many people leave the nicest possible comments on my stories.
    I love this story, its complexity and all the layers. I remember reading many stories about similar family tragedies and even as a child I thought: What a sad world we live in.
    Beautifully written, Rochelle.

    Like

    • Dear Loré,

      I understand about keeping up. We continue to grow and gets harder to keep up.

      I’m glad you liked my story. It was a challenge to write and get the message across. I appreciate you’re finding the time to visit, read and comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

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