29 May 2015

Published May 27, 2015 by rochellewisoff

Snorkeling in St. Thomas


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The following photo is the PHOTO PROMPT. What does it say to you? I dare you to look beyond the subject. I double dare you!

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Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100


           “Mommy,” cried Elise, “there’s a monster under my bed and a dragon in my closet.”

            “You’re letting your imagination run away with you,” she heard her mother’s voice say. “Relax and close your eyes.”  

            “I’m afraid.” Like a child Elise pulled the covers over her head, but demons fomented rumors in her head. Her mind was awash in confusion and pain until finally she drifted off into a fitful, sweat-soaked, nightmare-riddled sleep.

            When morning came, she rolled out of bed and stumbled to the bathroom. She stared at her tired reflection and muttered, “I’ve got to find a better job.”           


Second Hafiz and Globe




All your worry

Has proved such an





Find a better



102 comments on “29 May 2015

  • Hi Rochelle. Nicely written story. Can’t quite figure out if Elise is imagining her mum’s voice in some kind of brief reversion to childhood. Mainly as the last paragraph could mean it’s Elise who needs a new job.


  • If Elises’s job gives her nightmares about childhood monsters and fears, she definitely needs to rething her career. The nightmare is very vivid, and I could empathise with tired Elise.


  • Ok, I’ll be honest – I missed your intent here (until I read some of your responses)🙂 I couldn’t figure out why the child suddenly became an adult… Then again, I’m super tired from work, so that’s probably got a lot to do with it.

    Missing this bit meant I don’t feel I got all of what you intended here.

    Ah well, next time I’ll endeavor to be more switched on when I read!


    • Dear KT,

      I understand tired from work. My job makes me nuts sometimes.

      After more than three comments admitting to confusion I thought it necessary to go back and make it a bit clearer as to who Elise is and that she’s actually an adult the entire time. I hope my changes help.

      Thank you for taking the time and for being honest.



      Liked by 1 person

  • technically, sweat soaked and nightmare riddled should be hyphenated because “sleep” follows them. that would save you two words. however, as you well know, you don’t need to be technically correct to be emotionally effective.


  • Gawd. If the job is doing that to her, it’s definitely time to look elsewhere. Nightmarish regressions to childhood are not a good sign. Hafiz was indeed, right. Great story Rochelle!


  • The transition of Elise from child to grownup in one night was first a bit confusing…but reading the comments it seems she went from grown-up to child that night. Good advice from Hafiz!


    • Dear Ansumani,

      The first time a friend shared that poem with my I cried.

      I’m glad you figured out my story. However there was enough confusion that I went back and changed a few details. I hope it’s clearer now.

      Thank you.




  • Very evocative, although I must admit I wasn’t sure I got it without reading the comments. I think I needed a little extra clue to her age in the morning scene, although I’m not sure I can offer any suggestions as to how you’d do that without spoiling the flow. I’m with BrainSnorts above on the hyphens – those phrases tripped me up a little – so maybe you could use those saved words on the clue.


    • Dear Jen,

      As you know, I’m willing to change things when necessary. I did exactly as you and Rich suggested. I hyphenated the four words, making them two. Then I did a bit of tweaking which I hope makes it clear enough without having to make people wade through the comment. Thank you for your honest input.




  • Haven’t I met this Elise character somewhere before?🙂

    As a couple others have mentioned, I was confused by the transition from childhood to working and finding another job.

    I do like the Hafiz reference.

    Marie Gail


    • Dear Marie Gail,

      Oh I’m sure you’ve met Elise before. She’s a very close friend (and sometimes enemy) of mine.😉

      As you know, when more than one person makes such a comment as to being confused, I feel the need to take another look. This I’ve done. I hope it’s clearer now.

      I love Hafiz…thanks to Doug.

      Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Well done as always. I agree she should get another job. One where she brings pleasant dreams.

    Would please do me a favor. I moved too fast and the prompt photo came up instead of my dragon eye. I now have two of the same ff stories. Would you please delete the story with the photo prompt so only the story with the dragon eye stays.
    Thank you.



  • I read this early, early this morning – before bed. It was a little confusing but I thought I was tired. Came back just now and read it again and it made sense. Then I read the comments – about your edit. So the edit worked!

    Yes, a better job – retirement. Yay!


    Liked by 1 person

  • Lovely, imaginative piece. I can relate to the feeling of monsters waiting to pounce – working in a stressful job has that effect. I love your description of her self-examination in the mirror. Cheers, Margaret


  • Nice story! When I read the words “Like a child…” I realised that she was actually all grown up. I think there are very few of us who haven’t woken up in such a state after a nightmare and then realised with resignation that the work day is about to start.


    • Dear Ali,

      In my original post I didn’t have “Like a child…” which caused a lot of confusion. I’m grateful to those who were honest enough to say so. A bit of tweaking seems to have helped I think.
      As for the nightmares…retirement’s looking sweeter all the time.

      Thank you for your kind comments.




  • Ah I feel this was written just for me and the story works so well with the poetry of Hafiz. Fortunately Friday Fictioneers keep me sane. But you needed to put in the lines that came next after the first stanza.

    “And while you at it, scouting about town
    and fine tuning your resume, maybe light a
    candle in some church.”
    Brilliant! This man would have been a great consultant, just missed it by 700 years😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Subroto,

      In the book I have of Hafiz poetry there weren’t any lines after “find a better job.”

      I relate so well to what you say. When I first started with Friday Fictioneers I was going through a very tough time on the job. I quickly made some lifelong friends and the exercise of writing flash fiction every week gave me something to look forward to beside the daily nightmare. So when Madison announced she was stepping down as FF facilitator I begged to take it on. Even my husband would tell you that Friday Fictioneers is one of the things that kept me sane during a very stressful time.

      Happily, the worst of the nightmare has ended and the rest will be over in October.

      As for Hafiz, when I was introduced to his magnificent words, I literally wept.

      I’m glad you’re a part of us, Subroto. You’re one I look forward to seeing every week.




    • Dear Tracey,

      After a few saying they were confused by my abstract offering (even after a bit of editing) your comment is affirming. How many times in the milieu of work and being an adult have just wanted to curl up next to my mom and hear her say everything will be okay?

      Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • I’ve had to steer clear of FF for a couple of weeks… too much on my plate, and too little time! So the too much work resonates! Admittedly, I was confused this week, which is rare with your stories. While there are clues, “like a child,” for instance; I still wasn’t sure if she was a child or an adult. The line: “heard her mother’s voice say,” threw me off too. I was guessing that it was a voice from the past (thus, not “heard her mother say”) but admittedly, it was reading the comments that clarified these details. Again, this is rare–😉

    Your stories always take me places, and I don’t know how your balance FF with all the other stories and work going on in your life right now! You’re inspiring in your generosity and verve.


    • Dear Dawn,

      This one was one of those that some saw clearly and others didn’t. I hope my story took you places regardless of the confusion. To some degree it’s about what goes on in Elise’s mind as she tries to balance career and job demands.

      Your kind words and support make me smile. One of the reasons I continue with Friday Fictioneers. Admittedly there are times it’s a bit daunting. In other words, there will be reruns from time to time.😉

      Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • I’m sure there’s many who would rest far easier with a different job. The description of her sleep is great. Oh, that sounds like a horrible sleep all right! Well done, Rochelle.


  • Rochelle,
    worry really is a terrible business, although it’s one that’s very hard to quit. Wonderful description and great poem at the end. That really ties it together. I’ve never heard of him before.


    • Dear David,

      Hafiz’s poems seem so current when in reality he lived nearly seven hundred years ago.

      I hate it when worry and stress from work spill over into my off-the-clock life.

      Thank you for taking time to read and leave nice comments.



      Liked by 1 person

  • I once had a job that literally gave me nightmares. Two weeks after I quit the police came looking for “officers” of the business – including my managerial position – because of fraud committed by the boss. I was so lucky to get out of there when I did.


  • Dear I. B. Reddy,
    Sounds like U.B. Reddy for retirement.🙂 One of my favorite scriptures is where Jesus say, “Who, by worrying, can add a single day to their life?” However, I know people who wouldn’t be happy if they didn’t have something to worry about. They seem comforted by their troubles. Proving once again, that misery truly does love company.
    – Mac

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Mac,

      I.B. more Reddy for retirement than I can say. It won’t be long now. Working at not worrying but those monsters in the closet are a real problem some days.

      Thanks for coming by.


      IB Reddy


  • Dear Rochelle

    Your story makes me glad that I gave up on the notion of being employed many years ago in favour of creative venture, although my finances are less stable!

    Also, my husband chucked in being a lawyer about 20 years ago, and became a self-employed musician and furniture restorer instead (the two things he’d wanted to do in the first place, before his parents told him he needed a “proper” career).

    So there we are, the pair of us not so wealthy but also not having so many sleepless nights. It took me many years not to have nightmares anymore about being late to work, or forgetting to take my nurse’s uniform with me. Although occasionally, I dream these days of being late to a singing performance, or opening my mouth in front of a huge audience and nothing coming out.

    I guess that no job is perfect, but some are definitely more satisfying.

    All best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah

      I’m looking forward to no longer having to punch the time clock. It won’t be long now. I imagine the dreams will continue for a while.

      So you’re a singer? Fascinating.

      I always enjoy your comments.



      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Rochelle
        It’s great not having to punch the time clock, although I often have it punched for me by Mister, who is the human equivalent of a speaking clock. Also, my Labrador has a built in clock in her stomach.
        Yes, I am a singer but haven’t done any solo recitals for the last few years, as I had a series of viruses that did unpleasant things to my voice for a while. It has recovered now, but at the moment I’m just singing in a choir, often jumping parts where my voice is needed — anything from mezzo soprano down to tenor! I also train junior choristers.
        Ditto, I enjoy your comments, too.
        All best wishes


  • Ah, yes…you’ve just described almost every out of home job I’ve ever had. I don’t do well with the whole 9-5 routine, and I still have nightmares from time to time about them. Wonderful piece.

    I’ve moved blogs, so if/when you get the chance to check out my link, be prepared for a change.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • A reversion to childhood in your dreams is your subconscious trying to escape the responsibilities and stresses of adult life. With the nightmare as well I’d say she definitely needs to find a new job!


  • I love it but I thought it was the Mom looking in the mirror saying she needed to find a new job other than motherhood. I then realized it was the “child” looking in the mirror and was slightly confused. When I reread it, it all made perfect sense. Well done.


  • Sounds like my life! But I got a new job – retirement. 🙂 Still sees goblins and gooks sometimes but they give inspiration for story telling. Thanks for yours.



    • Dear Liz,

      Soon the stress of my day job will be no more and I’ll be able to devote more time to writing and promotion. Although I think the first week of retirement might be spent swimming, eating and sleeping.😉 Oh yes, there will still be Friday Fictioneers.




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