Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

#FridayFictioneers – 18/01/13 – Inheritance

with 33 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo to stimulate and inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry. Every Friday the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word stories.

Visit Rochelle’s site for the rules on how to join in and check out the other stories by clicking on the blue guy.


I’ve had trouble trying to be too clever this week. Following on from Doug’s double-bill last week I wanted to examine Rochelle’s photo from two angles. The idea makes sense in my head, but I haven’t worked it out in words. The order of the stories is important, but I’ve failed because neither is strong enough to stand alone.



Inheritance (1) (100-words – Contemporary Fiction – December 2012)

The tin on the table between them: bashed, bruised, not a scratch of paint left.

‘Is that it?’ Ben asked. ‘A battered tin, a phone, paperwork and a candlestick?’

‘It’s a menorah.’ Amy said.

‘Uncle Steve was Jewish?’

‘Does it matter?’

‘He might have wanted a different send-off.’

She half-smiled. ‘Too late now.’

Ben touched the tin tentatively. ‘Why did he leave this to us?’

Amy frowned. ‘To tell us who he was?’

‘We knew that.’

‘Where he came from?’

‘Does that matter?’

‘For God’s sake, Ben. Stop speculating, help me sort though this stuff, and maybe we’ll find out.’


Copyright-Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Copyright-Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


Inheritance (2) (100-words – Historical Fiction – December 1938)

The tin on the table between them, as pristine as the day Uncle Matthew had brought the Hanukkah rugelach. Stefan could smell the cinnamon still, feel the succulent raisins between his teeth.

His mother redirected his gaze with a forefinger kiss to the cheek.

‘You go with Mrs. Mallory now, Stefan,’ she said and pressed the tin into his arms. ‘Remember, use the phone if you want to talk to us. Even if you don’t hear us, Papa and I will be listening.’

His face squashed against scratchy coat. His mother walked away, leaving his hand held by a stranger.



The idea behind Inheritance (2) was the kindertransport.

Written by Sarah Ann

January 18, 2013 at 9:09 pm

33 Responses

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  1. I disagree completely, I don’t think you’ve tried to be too clever, I think these work perfectly. The only thing I’d do would be to add the year to each story to highlight when they’re supposed to have taken place. Loved Doug’s double-bill last week and love this one too. Excellent writing 😀


    January 18, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    • Many thanks for your comments. I’m pleased you enjoyed them – will go and add dates now.

      Sarah Ann

      January 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm

  2. dialogue in the first was very good. believable.

    so many lines I like in the second:

    “a forefinger kiss to the cheek”
    “his face squashed against scratchy coat”
    “even if you don’t hear us Papa and I will be listening”

    I enjoyed both of these.


    January 19, 2013 at 1:22 am

  3. oh, the last sentence in #2: “His mother walked away, leaving his hand held by a stranger.” is heart ripping painful!!
    i love both your entries. ❤


    January 19, 2013 at 3:25 am

  4. I loved that last story. There were so many children separated from their families during WWII. It had to have been heart-breaking.


    January 19, 2013 at 4:17 am

    • Thanks Janet. And family separations continue. I think this story might have been influenced by me watching Oranges and Sunshine this week, a film that details a delightful period of British history when children in children’s homes were told their parents were dead and shipped off to the colonies. Years later, all they wanted to know was where they came from.

      Sarah Ann

      January 19, 2013 at 1:10 pm

  5. Great job on both stories…Very realistic, I am especially partial to the first one. Well done


    January 19, 2013 at 4:32 am

    • Thank you. 🙂 I’m pleased you found them realistic. It’s difficult to know when writing. I thought both stories were finished, then read them outloud as a last edit/ proof-read, and had to re-write the last lines of the second one because it sounded all wrong.

      Sarah Ann

      January 19, 2013 at 1:19 pm

  6. The second one had more impact on me – there were a lot of ‘tactile’ images in that. Both were very well done – enjoyed them.


    January 19, 2013 at 9:53 am

    • I’m glad you liked the images. I was trying for sensory memory, which is why it had to be a scratchy coat rather than a woollen one. I spent ages trying to get inside the head of a small boy. 🙂 Thanks.

      Sarah Ann

      January 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm

  7. wow two stories.. but the second, utterly heartbreaking! “Remember, use the phone if you want to talk to us. Even if you don’t hear us……..” very well-written line


    January 19, 2013 at 11:40 am

    • Thanks, kz. That line was written so many times before I felt it worked, so I’m pleased you picked it out.

      Sarah Ann

      January 19, 2013 at 1:21 pm

  8. You haven’t failed at all. These are beautiful pieces. So much great imagery in the second. I wonder if they might work better the other way around – chronologically?


    January 19, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    • Hi Claire. I’m glad the images stand out. I had thought about posting them chronologically, but I think no.2 begins to answer Ben and Amy’s questions, so no.1 wouldn’t make as much sense coming after. But I’m happy to take advice!

      Sarah Ann

      January 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm

  9. Dear Sarah,
    The second story touched me deeply. The mother’s anguish at leaving her son with a stranger to save his life, though understated came through. Lovely bit about the phone…even if you can’t hear us….heart wrenching.


    January 19, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    • Hi Rochelle,
      I’m pleased the telephone line worked. I wasn’t sure it wasn’t too understated!

      Sarah Ann

      January 20, 2013 at 12:06 am

  10. Two different takes… I liked both. Some nice lines. Loved the description of the coat.


    January 20, 2013 at 2:18 am

  11. Both well done, Sarah. Expressed beautifully. I found the last to be particularly sad and moving, especially the last line….his hand held by a stranger. It’s little details like that make this a strong piece. Well done. – Amy

    The Bumble Files

    January 20, 2013 at 5:41 am

  12. Hi Sarah Ann,
    Both stories are well written, but I think I liked the second one a little better with its dramatic parting scene. Ron


    January 20, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    • Hi Ron. I prefer the second one for its emotional impact. It’s difficult to know whether what I hope to convey gets across until I get your comments So thank you.

      Sarah Ann

      January 21, 2013 at 1:18 pm

  13. in the first one – less talking – more doing – well done.


    January 22, 2013 at 4:12 pm

  14. I like the casual observation: “‘He might have wanted a different send-off,’” in the first story, and the telling comment: “‘Even if you don’t hear us, Papa and I will be listening,’” in the second. Two different tales with two different feels–nicely done.


    January 22, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    • I’m pleased those lines worked for you. I didn’t want the send-off one to be too flippant so I’m glad you liked it. Thank you for your comments.

      Sarah Ann

      January 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm

  15. I had to reread to confirm that Stefan is Uncle Steve, which made this all the more wonderful. I liked the difference in tone, too. The first piece felt more modern, more light-hearted… two relatively care-free young adults going through a dead uncle’s belongings vs. a child in the midst of one of history’s most horrifying events. Each piece is excellent on its own, but together, they are most touching. Very well done!


    January 22, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    • Many thanks, Lisa. I wanted the stories to be linked but not too obviously, hence Stefan and Steve. I’m pleased you made the link and I’m over the moon that you picked up on the different tones of the pieces.

      Sarah Ann

      January 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm

  16. I liked both stories, and they worked well for me. The dialogue in the first was excellent.

    Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    January 23, 2013 at 10:35 pm

  17. The second story is particularly sad, but at least Stefan grew up to be an uncle. (I have a backlog of blogs I follow, hence the late response)


    February 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm

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