Historical Fiction

All posts in the Historical Fiction category

POETIC INJUSTICE

Published January 22, 2017 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman has gone to Moscow. Many thanks to K Lawson for graciously hosting. To choose your own photo click here. Write your own flash fiction of 150 words or less. Click the blue frog to add your own link.

Here’s the photo I chose:

moscow-street

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

POETIC INJUSTICE

           “I adored the stage,” said Bubbe Gittel of her time in the Moscow State Jewish Theater. “I had a crush on the director, Shlomo Mikhoels. What a performer he was!”  

            I switched off the TV. My grandmother’s stories beat summer reruns. Even in her 80’s she could still recite Shakespeare—in Yiddish.

            “During the war Mr. Stalin kept us safe from Hitler and made Shlomo the head of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. The show would always go on. So I thought.”

            Bubbe’s smile faded. “The war ended and with it, Stalin’s favor.”

            “What happened, Bubbeh?”

            “They called it an accident, but I saw it with my own eyes. A KGB monster shoved Shlomo in the path of a speeding truck. Other members of the committee were arrested for treason—poets and writers they were. Four years later, they were executed. Their real crime? We know what that was, don’t we?”

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Click for Encore

solomon-mikhoels

 

20 January 2017

Published January 18, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Erie Canal

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PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

I’ve gone ‘there’ again. When the muse leads, I follow. But as EagleEye so aptly coined last week, “It’s a time too horrible to remember, too vile to forget.”

THE SONG’S STILL HEARD IN SELVINO

            “It’s almost sundown,” said “Uncle” Moshe Ze’iri.  

            Clenching his fists, David followed the others to the huge Sciesopoli dining room. The familiar aroma of chicken soup filled his nostrils. It stirred memories of home and his parents, slaughtered before his eyes. After three years of lice and torture, why should he trust this smiling stranger or the Italians who had allied themselves with the monster?

            “Shalom aleynu,” sang Uncle Moshe, his face aglow in the Sabbath candles, his voice tender and melodious. “Peace upon us…”

            In that sweet moment the stone in David’s chest softened and beat once more.

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moshe-zeiri2CLICK

ARMED WITH PAINTBRUSH AND KEYBOARD

Published January 17, 2017 by rochellewisoff

burning-shul-complete

Chapter One

NATALYA, MOLDAVIA, THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT, EASTERN EUROPE, NOVEMBER 1899

 Gunshots and screaming woke sixteen-year-old Havah Cohen from a sound and dreamless sleep. She ran to her window and saw flames shooting through the roof of the synagogue. Dense clouds of black smoke poured through the windows as men with shovels and rocks smashed the stained glass. By moonlight she could see her older brother lying beside the road in a bloodstained night shirt. Her other brother, a few feet away, lay face down.

“Papa!” She screamed when she saw him run from the inferno clutching the sacred scrolls.

                                           ~~From PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields 

Published by Argus Publishing

Represented by Loiacono Literary Agency

***

burning-shul-step-2Above is the opening paragraph to my first novel PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME. To my knowledge, a shetl called Natalya, Moldavia never existed. On the other hand, the 1930 census lists my grandfather Sam Weiner’s birthplace as Rosinia, Poland which doesn’t seem to have existed either. I’ve searched the internet for every imaginable spelling. Then  last year a Holocaust survivor from Poland confirmed what I’ve suspected for some time. Rosinia was probably one of those villages destroyed by pogromists. 

I’ve often wondered how close to Havah’s story Grandpa’s came. All I know of his background came from my mother and a cousin. According to Mom, he came burning-shul-step-6over from a part of the country that went from being part of Poland to being part of Russia. It was part of the Pale of  Settlement in any case, the Jewish ghetto of Eastern Europe. Grandpa came to America at the age of 19 “with nothing but the shirt on his back.” He didn’t know his own birthday because those records that were kept in the synagogue had been destroyed. He taught himself to be a tailor. 

Sam Weiner circa 1940-Something

History tells many stories of rabbis who sacrificed their lives to save the Torah scrolls. Havah’s father, Rabbi Shimon Cohen does just that as PLEASE  SAY KADDISH FOR ME opens.

At that moment Havah’s idyllic childhood ends and her journey begins. PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME, FROM SILT AND ASHES and recently released, AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN follow Havah, her friends and family from that night in 1899 to 1908. 

havahs-triplets

Amazon  Amazon AU  Amazon UK  Amazon CA  Amazon DE  Amazon IT  Amazon FR  Amazon ES  Amazon IN  Amazon JP  B&N   Smashwords  KOBO  Scribd  Goodreads

Before the completion of AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN, my publisher asked if I would be interested in compiling a coffee table companion book that would include the character studies I’ve posted. It took a split second to answer that one! Presently I’m hard at work on this book which is due out this spring to be entitled: 

a-stone-for-the-journey-cover-idea

13 January 2017

Published January 11, 2017 by rochellewisoff

 

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PHOTO PROMPT © C.E. Ayr

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

THE HEAVIEST WHEEL ROLLS ACROSS OUR FOREHEADS

            When I was a little girl in the 1950’s, Mom used to take me to visit my aunt in St. Louis. I looked forward to those train rides. Sunlight dazzled through the trees as they whizzed by and the rhythm of the wheels clicking along the track soothed me.

            Dad, on the other hand, hated trains, but would never tell me why. Only once did he accompany us.

            As we left Union Station, tears trickled from the corners of his faraway eyes.   

            “Daddy, what’s wrong?”

            “The stench was unbearable. Fifty of us crammed into a cattle car. I alone escaped.”

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death-train

6 January 2017

Published January 4, 2017 by rochellewisoff

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PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

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Genre: I’ll take Historical Fiction for 100, Alex

WORDS OF LOVE

Hemda mourned when her sister succumbed to consumption, but how could she honor Devorah’s final wish to go to Jerusalem to marry her grieving widower, Eliezer the heretic?

“Israel,” he insisted, “must have one language.” 

The rabbis seethed. “One uses the holy tongue for prayer—not idle chitchat.”

Nonetheless, Hemda dedicated herself to her husband as, side-by-side, they activated the wheels of change. Together they developed a modern Hebrew dictionary.

Her heart swelled when 30,000 attending his funeral proclaimed him a national hero.

British historian Cecil Roth later wrote: “Before Eliezer Ben-Yehuda Jews could speak Hebrew; after him they did.”

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אליעזר בן יהודה ואשתו חמדה עובדים על מילון עברי

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.ben-yehuda-stamp

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.milon

 

APOLOGIES TO ROBERT BURNS

Published January 1, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Feel free to stroll around using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post. Great fun and a few more words for this Friday Fictioneers Facilitator. 😉

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:


For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.

Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s prompt. If you’d like to suggest a location to Pegman, visit the contact page.

***

Here's the photo that struck my fancy.

Here’s the photo that struck my fancy.

Here’s my bit ‘o’ fluff for the week. Happy New Year! 

Genre: Questionable

Word Count: 150

APOLOGIES TO ROBERT BURNS

            From the moment we met my heart belonged to him. His voice was like wind song and his words like tinkling bells on a sleigh.

He told me he was born 3 kilometers south of Ayr in Alloway in the year 1759.

              But how could this be? This is New Year’s Eve, 2017.

             Nonetheless when he recited poetry time had no meaning.

“As fair are thou, my bonie lass

So deep in luve am I,

And I will luve thee still, my Dear,

Till a’the seas gang dry.”

               Lost in the depth of his blue eyes, I sipped my fourth Scotch. “I’ll stay with you always, my love.”

               “Impossible, m’lady.” His cheeks flushed from pink to crimson. He dried my tears with the tip of his trunk and whispered in my ear. “Dinna fash yerself, lassie. We’ll tak a cup ‘o kindness now, but an elephant can’t stay forever.”

 

30 December 2016

Published December 28, 2016 by rochellewisoff

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PHOTO PROMPT © Shaktiki Sharma

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Genre: Biting Satire

Word Count: 99

QUAFF A CUP TO THE DEAD

“Those eyes,” she whispered. “They set my eighteen-year-old heart aflame.”

My grandmother, an actress and fashion model in the 1930’s, fascinated me. She turned 87 on New Year’s Day 2000. Even in her illness, she insisted her silver hair be perfectly coifed.

“He’s coming for me today. I must be ready to greet him.”

I kissed her rouged parchment-thin cheek. “Nana, he passed away in 1956.”

“Lies! Dracula never died.”  

On the television screen, in black and white, Bela Lugosi bent over the ill-fated Mina. A wheezing sigh escaped Nana’s crimson lips as they spread into a peaceful smile.

 

If you’d like to know more about Mr. Lugosi click HERE.

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