9 September 2016

Published September 7, 2016 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

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I’m not sure at this stage of the game when my next novel As One Must, One Can will be released. However this prompt is perfect for the following excerpt. The operative is excerpt and, admittedly, it is not a complete story. It is set in Kansas City, Missouri in the year 1908 where Arel Gitterman makes his living as a tailor. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 99


            Two electric fans only circulated hot air, thick with machine oil and chalk dust, in the tailor shop. Arel’s rigid collar irritated his neck and he pushed his wet hair from his forehead. His sewing machine hummed and afternoon light glinted off the bobbing needle as he guided a shirtsleeve under the presser foot. A drop of sweat rolled down his cheek and dripped onto the cuff.

            Whipping the linen shirt off the table, he hurried to wash it before the stain could set in. A wave of nausea swept over him and a sharp pain seared his chest.




Thank you to our own GAH Learner for such a lovely review blog of PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME. (Click title to read.)

Original Artwork - © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

AREL GITTERMAN – Original Artwork – © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields



94 comments on “9 September 2016

  • Very evocative. I felt I was there. I think the idea that people laboured away over sewing machines in ill-ventilated workshops and while still dressed in shirts with rigid collars is quite arresting. A nice taster of what’s to come. Looking forward to it.


    • Dear Sandra,

      The prompt just cried out for that scene.😉 It’s hard to believe that once upon a time, people lived without air conditioning.

      From what I’ve read, those stiff collars men wore were nearly as damaging as the corsets women wore. Ah fashion.

      It won’t be long now.😉 Thank you for the photo and for your kind words.



      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Michael,

      It seems the fashion industry took their toll in those days between starched high collars and corsets. If the working conditions didn’t do you in, the clothing did.😉 Thank you.




  • Dear Ann,

    All I can say is, “A tinker, a tailor, and candlestick maker.” Tough occupations all. Let’s hope none of them sign up with Mr. Ayr as their instructor.

    As for the shirt. I usually wear plaid as the stains are far less noticeable.

    Happy sewing,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Stephen,

      Signing on as one of Mr. Ayr’s students could prove deadly. I don’t know if I trust that mild exterior.😉
      Just remember, even a poor tailor is entitled to some little happiness.




  • Very atmospheric and being one who detests wearing collared shirts in hot weather I felt for him.
    It’s also ironic, because my machine had to judder to a halt because I was searching for the name of the part you have now shown me is the “presser foot.” My character was also going to lift it to stop the machine, but when I couldn’t find the word, I had to change things, so that the machine just stopped.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Michael,

      Collared shirts in 1908 were nearly as bad as corsets from everything I’ve read.

      As for the sewing machine juddering to a halt, I could see that but it would mean the power going out or the operator takes his or her feet off the pedal. The presser foot merely holds the fabric in place. If you raise that up while the operating the machine you have a mess.

      At any rate, thank you for such a nice comment. Atmosphere is what I was going for.😉




  • Querida Rochelle,
    Yes, I’ve been missing. To be honest, I wasn’t sure when you were starting up the new challenges. I decided to write something on this photo prompt because the photo brought back a memory. And so … a bit of non-fiction in flash fiction.
    I’ve missed being in your neighborhood. Your story is stellar. If it’s a hint of what’s to come: enticing.
    I remember as a child (in my old Hassidic neighborhood) the local tailor in his hot, hot non-airconditioned workshop/shop mending and making clothes for the Rabbi’s and families of the orthodox people. Your story leads me to a time when the tailor wasn’t around for awhile; then returned. A bit of another walk for me, in your story, down memory lane.
    Hope you are bien de salad y contenta …
    Muy agradecida de tu trabajos
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • Querida Isadora,

      It’s good to have you back in the neighborhood.😀 The reruns did provide a few of us with a respite and a way to revisit some favorite stories. As for me, it was necessary to keep my sanity while meeting my deadline for my third novel.

      The story is meant to be enticing.😉

      My grandfather was a tailor so we most likely have some similar memories. Thank you for sharing yours with me.



      Liked by 1 person

      • Ahhh … I’ll bet we could go down memory lane with tailor tales. I watched through the window of the shop. Perhaps, you played with his thread cuts. Such a different time. I’m looking forward to that new book. Good Luck … Buena Suerte … Matzol Tov …!!!
        Isadora 😎


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