24 June 2016

Published June 22, 2016 by rochellewisoff

Summer Showcase

Summer is the time for vacations, picnics on the beach and reruns on the telly. For me it’s a time to meet a deadline in July for my third novel in my series entitled AS ONE MUST ONE CAN. Many thanks to those of you who responded to my plea for your favorite reruns. 

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The following photo is the PROMPT. This week’s retread request is from C.E.Ayr If you’re one of those who wrote a story for this prompt feel free to re-post it and enjoy the respite. The photo is from Rich Voza. Remember that all photos are private property and subject to copyright. Use other than Friday Fictioneers by permission only.

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I’m really pleased that C.E. chose this particular prompt. It’s one of my all time favorites, not because of the photo itself but because of what it meant to me. I am posting two stories with permission from Doug MacIlroy who is currently MIA and says, “Tell the FF gang I said hello and that I wish them well and that like a relative of mine once said, ‘I shall return’.”

When Doug shared his abbreviated story with me via email in February 2013 I asked what he thought about my writing the partner story. Between iPhone texts and photos we worked to make our stories exactly 200 words between the two of them. It was a labor of love and a magical experience in writing. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 

Original posts HERE and HERE

Doug’s story is in the photo below.

Genre for both: Speculative Fiction

Word Count: 65


Departure Clearance

Word Count: 135


            “Flight delayed.” Amelia snarled and closed the US Airways website. “Damn business trips!”

            Memories of their argument right before Chase left gnawed at her. She regretted her spiteful words.

            “I hate your job!”

            “You like the money.”

            “You’re never home. Your daughters don’t even know their father.”

            “Next time, babe, you and the girls are coming with me.”

            “What if—?”

            “‘What if’ never happens.” He gathered her into his arms. “Flying’s safer than driving on the freeway.”

            Five hours ago he’d texted from Phoenix. “Just a little turbulence. Nothing to worry about.”

            “Mommy?” Four-year-old Katy tiptoed into the room. “Daddy sat on my bed.”

            “It was only a dream, Kitten.”

            “No it wasn’t. He talked to me!”

            “What’d he say?”

            “He’s sorry he can’t come home.” 

            Her phone chimed. Message from Chase.

            “Dearest Amelia…” 

.Chase's last message

Jet Crash with houses.



86 comments on “24 June 2016

  • Hi R.
    The last time I read this I was the new kid on the block, didn’t know anyone or anything.
    Your joint story gave me goosebumps then, and did again today, even though I knew what happened.
    Intensely powerful writing by both of you, quite masterful.
    Please give Doug my best regards, he was an early inspiration for me here.
    You remain so.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear CE,

      I share your goosebumps on this one, but for different reasons perhaps. The experience of writing this was incredible. We carried these two pieces out via emails and texts. As a matter of fact, Doug is still Chase in my phone’s contact list.
      Thank you and I will pass on our regards, if he hasn’t already read them himself.




  • Loved it then, love it now too, Rochelle. I remember how excited Doug was about this one too, although I think it was one of his last😦
    Once again, my husband is on a business trip, though, as I read it, so I’d probably rather have not!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Jen,

      I’m sure your husband’s business trip will have a better outcome. Actually this wasn’t on of Doug’s last. It certainly cemented a friendship, though. Thank you for coming by. Slow go for me this week. Nearing the end of the first draft.




    • Dear Björn,

      This one is hard to forget for me. It’s at the top of my all time favorites…of my stories. The collaboration was so much fun. I look forward to Doug’s return, too.




  • This is horrible…but really well told! What great creative teamwork! Finishing the text message ‘Love y’ as if he knew he didn’t have time to finish typing was really effective. It’s like he was cut off mid-thought and it mirrored the way he was suddenly ripped from their lives. Using a photo of the text message rather than typing it as part of the story was also very clever.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Thom,

      All of the above. I can’t take credit for Doug’s part as far as the brilliant idea of telling his story in a text message. It was also one of the reasons his had to be no more than 65 words. You can’t get 100 words on the iPhone screen. What a fabulous experience it was to collaborate.

      Thank you for such nice comments.



      Liked by 1 person

  • A powerful story, full of mysterious and frightening resonances. And I miss Doug. Sent him a message some weeks ago. He always encouraged everyone, and his stories were always excellent.
    I love this collaboration between you two – seamless! I’m glad he came to visit, at least.
    (And please let your husband know I’m sorry about his father’s demise in a crash. I read your comment about how he appeared before your husband at that point, and I had goosebumps.)

    Liked by 2 people

  • I remember this one so much. It held a personal memory for me and gave me goose bumps when I read it. A great, although sad, story. Don’t leave home without hugging, kissing or saying “I love you” to your loved ones. You never know………

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,
    A fantastic piece of writing! Heart breaking and very real. I had a similar event (with the dad appearing to the child) myself when I was little. It was my nanny, sat on the end of the bed, after I told my mum what I’d dreamt she then told me she’d died that night. Freaks me out a little bit lol
    Huge hugs,

    Liked by 2 people

  • Sad and educational, too. I never knew what those terms meant. Amazing how such a small thing can cause so much havoc. I love the cross between different mediums (texts on different phones and then the brief narrative.) A really beautiful effect.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Rochelle, I remember these two stories from when you posted them originally! Doug’s made a big impact on me, especially the unconventional way he presented it. I’m glad he’s doing okay; I miss seeing him around here. Not that I haven’t been a little MIA myself lately.🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  • That’s a brilliant delivery and excellent melding together of the two stories. I’ve often wondered if spirits do get that one last visit to a loved one. There seems to be so many reports of happenings like it and I saw my father, we shared a laugh together but, whether it’s the state of mind of the living person or whether it actually happens we’ll probably never be able to prove.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Dear Violet,
    I remember this one well. One of my all-time favorites. Excellent collaboration with Mr. MacIlroy. It’s still as hard-hitting and powerful today as three years ago.

    Staying grounded,

    Liked by 2 people

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