13 March 2015

Published March 11, 2015 by rochellewisoff

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Friday Fictioneers and Poppy

Note: When linking your story, backspace over the info in the middle box and leave your name. It makes it easier on everyone. Thank you. Let me know if you have any questions. 

My story follows the PHOTO PROMPT below and the inlinkz frog. I appreciate honest comments. 

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


            Au revoir, mon ami.” Marie kissed Pierre’s ice-cold cheek.

            “Where Papa?” asked fourteen-month-old Eve.

            “He’s going to sleep his last sleep beneath the earth,” said eight-year-old Irène.

            Marie placed a bunch of periwinkles and Pierre’s favorite photograph beside him. The picture was of her on the balcony of their first apartment on rue d’Allemagne.  Refusing a black drape, she and her daughters adorned his coffin with flowers.

            “I’ve no future without you, Pierre.”

            “Remember our dream for humanity,” she heard him say, “for science.”

            Days later Madame Marie Curie returned to the laboratory, her haven of discovery, joy and solace.








129 comments on “13 March 2015

  • Dear Rochelle,

    You capture the essence of humanity within history the way x-rays reveal the structures that underpin all life. Imaginative in conception and smooth in execution, your story shines light into the shadows that time has cast on the events you describe. You illuminate. You enlighten. Good job.



    Liked by 2 people

  • Such a fascinating story.. and finally radioactive poison also claimed Marie. Apparently everything including her notebooks are still too dangerous to handle.. so maybe the biggest wonder was that she survived so long.. and she is still one of the very few to get the Nobel Prize twice…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear J Hardy,

      It’s always interesting for me to see where people will go and what the general theme will be. I always hope that writers will step outside their cubicles and see beyond the photo. I hope this meant you like the direction I took.🙄



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Suzanne,

      Finding excerpts from Marie’s journal was a boon. Rather than being a dull scientist I always imagined, she was anything but. She was a passionate young woman who was devastated by her husband’s untimely death. I’m happy to have shared what I learned. As you might have guessed by now, I love old photos, too.😀




    • Dear Liz,

      The Curies were amazing, particularly Marie. Iréne went on to become a scientist herself and was a devoted daughter. I didn’t find anything about Eve. Although Pierre was ultimately killed in a horse and buggy accident, the accounts say that he was weakened by their work with radium.

      Thanks for coming by.




  • Dear Rochelle,

    I’ve realized that I’m spoiled. Your prompt is so very organized that everyone else is not as good. They put the picture and their story on two different pages and don’t always have the blue box or the link to get the text to put the box on my page. I want to tell them, “For goodness sake, check out Rochelle’s blog to see how it’s done correctly.” I don’t of course.

    Anyway, I’ve decided not to let it bother me. Thanks for being so organized.



  • Marie Curie’s story was one of the first we studied at school. Your story reminds me of the dedication and commitment that served as an example for all the girls at our school. Well done Rochelle.


  • Lovely, Rochelle. As usual, you educate without it feeling like a lesson, and you take me right into the hearts and minds of people I’ve heard of but could never meet. I marvel at this every week, because it’s so easy to read about the people of our history and never really think of them as people with feelings and families and lives beyond whatever made them famous. You see past all that and give me humans I could imagine as friends (or enemies).
    Great marker for (close enough) International Women’s Day too.

    Liked by 1 person

  • What an expert you are at saying so much in so few words. You are also an inspiration in your own right. You provide craftsmanship that is a measuring stick by which so many others can judge their progress and learn to excel even more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Hamish,

      You never know who will be covered. It all depends on where the path leads. I’m not quite sure how I arrived at this story, really.

      Thank you for your kind words. Nice to have you back in the neighborhood.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Hi Rochelle,
    I found your story touching. Irene expresses a very mature answer to Eve about their father.
    Flowers draped on the coffin seem very peaceful. A very interesting story for the prompt.
    p.s. I do have a question: in writing a story is language that is not considered appropriate acceptable. The story I am writing deals with people who use blue language. I don’t want to offend anyone nor do I want to disrespect your challenge. I may change it anyway but want to know the rules more clearly. Thank you so very much. : )


    • Dear Isadora,

      Thank you for your lovely comments on my story.

      As for your question, I don’t presume to dictate to anyone what they can or cannot write on their own blog.Personally I’m not fond of use of profanity for the #$%^ of it.😉 However, if you feel it’s necessary to the story go ahead. You can always preface your story with a warning for any who might be offended. I would also caution you about going overboard with it. Like dialect, overuse can detract from an otherwise good story.

      Thank you for asking. I hope that helps.

      The only rule I really impose is that of the use of the photo prompt.




      • My comments are in response to your amazing writing so “Thank You” and Your welcome.

        I appreciate your answer to my question. I must agree with you on language. It’s not me. I’m not a fan of it. But, the minute I saw the photo I had the story. It popped in my head while
        having a cafe at Starbucks.
        I took longer to post because I didn’t want to use the blue language. My brain froze.
        However, I eliminated a few but for the intensity of the story left a sprinkle here and there. Hope you enjoy my story. And, I apologize in advance if it is offensive.
        Thank you for hosting this wonderful challenge. It has helped me so much in a very short time. : )


  • Rochelle, you have once again taken names and faces from our history books and shown them as people who love and are loved and who have suffered terrible personal loss for their contribution to humanity. Sad and beautiful and a pleasure to read.


  • I love the research you put into your stories. Another story of an heroic outcome to a sad situation. They gave so much to mankind but, sadly, didn’t realize the full potential of their work. Great story, as usual.


    • Dear Ellespeth,

      Some weeks are like that. As John Lennon sang, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” I’m glad you made it by. Thank you for the read the comment.




    • Dear GAH,

      It’s true. Amazing people are still human. As the old saying should go, ‘he who dies with the most toys still dies.’

      Thank you for reading and leaving such a nice comment.




    • Dear Traceym

      If you haven’t guessed by now, historical fiction is a personal favorite of mine. Perhaps it’s because I need to see the humanity in it rather than dates and events. I certainly agree that women haven’t been given enough credit for their accomplishments.
      At any rate, I’m happy you liked my story and came by to say so.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Rochelle, how you manage to carve out a historical piece of fiction is always amazing to me. You shine a well-deserved spotlight on a female scientist. If only history could include more stories about women like this, we would have a more complete picture of events. Beautifully written and told.


  • Poor Marie; he was so young, and she an unconventional, high achieving working mother. You portray her discouragement and pain so clearly. The world is fortunate she returned to the lab.


    • Dear Jan,

      She was a dedicated scientist. I’m glad there are people like that in the world. If all were artists like us we’d be in serious trouble.😉 We’d be singing, painting and writing our stories on cave walls.

      Thank you for your wonderful comments.




  • As ever, Rochelle, you’ve captured a moment in history and managed to dramatise it in a way that encapsulates so much in so few words. Your story of Marie demonstrates how a woman can have a consuming passion for her work, share it equally with her husband, and still have the space to love her family. I’ve not read the biography of this great woman, but I assume she’d no idea that radiation could kill, as it was an unknown when she started out. It’s a bit like cigarettes being promoted by doctors for good health in the first place, and advertised as such. I’m sure that Marie wouldn’t have knowingly put her children at risk.

    PS Sorry I haven’t been around much lately to participate in Friday Fictioneers, but had to battle with squeezing a great deal into a shrunken time slot.


    • Dear Sarah,

      I do understand about trying to squeeze into a shrunken time slot. (Well said.)

      I’m sure the Curies had no idea about the effects of radiation at first. They certainly paved the way for amazing discoveries, didn’t they?

      Welcome back and thank you for reading and commenting.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jorbi,

      Like anything, it takes practice. Writing flash fiction for the past three years has had an amazing effect on my longer writings. You gain a sense of what is necessary and what isn’t. I’m very grateful to Madison Woods for creating Friday Fictioneers and then allowing me to adopt her baby.

      Thank you.




  • Hi Rochelle,

    Marie Curie’s story is just so fascinating. Medical history in general is very interesting. The humanity you captured, though, is what adds an extra kick to this part of the story. Well done!

    Take care,


  • Nicely done Rochelle with another slice of history for us. Four years after her husband’s death Marie Curie had a love affair with Paul Langevin, a married scientist five years her junior. She was hounded by the press to the extent that the the Swedish Academy of Sciences tried to dissuade her from coming to Stockholm to receive her Nobel prize. Her response to the academy was: “The prize has been awarded for the discovery of radium and polonium. I believe that there is no connection between my scientific work and the facts of private life. I cannot accept … that the appreciation of the value of scientific work should be influenced by libel and slander concerning private life.”
    But life is funny and now her granddaughter Hélène Langevin-Joliot is married to Michel Langevin, the grandson of Paul Langevin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Subroto,

      You make me want to dig deeper into Madame Curie’s life. I had no idea about the rest of the story. Thank you for sharing this.

      And thank you for your comments on my story.




  • I really like this one. I commend how you went more with the feeling of the picture rather than something literal or even an abstraction of it. The feeling of new-found loneliness and physical cold seems not only very unique to the story but unique to how the story was crafted out of a similar picture. Excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Michael,

      It’s always thrilling when someone understands how my story fits the prompt. You are exactly right. I was going with the feeling of the photo rather than the ubiquitous stump.😉

      Thank you very much.




  • Dear Bubbles,
    Once again you put us in touch with the emotions of great figures from history. Maybe someday people will look back and write stories about my discovery of HPSS (Home Project Shock Syndrome). Everyday I check the mailbox for my Nobel Prize nomination. It must have went to the wrong zip code.
    All the best,

    Liked by 1 person

  • I was a chemistry student and even for a while a chemistry teacher in what feels like a former life now.
    Wasn’t sorry to leave the strange world of the lab, but don’t regret it.
    Marie Curie was strong strong woman and probably deserves more of a shout – well done for reminding us what we owe her. I had forgotten that she had to work on alone without her Pierre.


    • Dear MJ,

      I’ll bet you have some interesting lab stories. When it came to science and chemistry I was the worst student. You’d probably have expelled me.😉

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Glad you liked.



      Liked by 1 person

      • The best/worst lab moment – being told, ‘Excuse me Miss, but the bin’s on fire.’

        Calmly putting out that fire, whilst my heart was racing away, probably shortened my life by a few years, but earned me a good few ‘cool teacher’ points.



  • Dear Rochelle

    What an amazing woman she was, in her times that must have beem so difficult. The world owes her such a huge debt.

    Well written as usual

    Best wishes



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