Friday Fictioneers says good-bye to creator Madison Woods this week and hello to our new home with Rochelle  Wisoff (no “h’)-Fields,   Madison, we hope to read your stories often; Rochelle, thanks for taking up the torch.  Now sit back and enjoy the read.  As always, click on the little icon at the end to access all the stories.  Oh, yes…thanks, Ron, for the picture.

Forever, Love

Their f­­­irst trip to their daughter’s as new citizens and their 60th anniversary.  Truly a special day!  He smiled at his wife; took her hand.  He knew she really didn’t look the same as when they met, but that’s what his heart saw.  Thinking of their grandchildren, he tightened his grasp; chuckled.

Last stop before they arrived.  Only a few people got off, including the young man who’d been sitting in front of them.  As the bus started, he noticed the forgotten backpack.  Perhaps they could stop.  He called to the driver, “Excuse…”




Bus Explodes—Terrorism Suspected
Over 80 dead

  1. Paul says:

    Wait a minute. Where I live it’s only Wednesday. What gives? Oh, who cares. I love what you did with this prompt. Just wish you didn’t have to end with the new flash. I guess you would have generated too many queries without it. It’s something I’ve criticized in the past whenever there’s a terrorist attack; you get days and weeks on the background of the terrorist, a perfunctory list of his victims. your 100 words brings it all home better than any report I’ve ever read. Thank you.

    • Thanks so much, Paul. As for Wednesday…well, I spent all afternoon washing the siding of our house by hand so I think I may never get out of this chair, therefore I have lots of time to write what came to mind while working all those hours. 🙂 However, I may still be here in the morning!! A Guinness and some of my lasagna has rarely tasted to good!

      • Paul says:

        No offense to your cooking but a guiness would make anything taste good after the day you seem to have had. I’m making dinner while imbibing a glass of wine. To surprise the wife when she comes home from tutoring. Aren’t I a good husband?Well, only half good. I make the mess, she cleans up after me. It seems to work so far!

      • 🙂 I like wine, too, but when it’s just me, if I open a bottle, I have to drink some every night so it doesn’t become vinegar. Not that it’s a problem, but sometimes I don’t feel like having a drink. So beer is easy and I like Guinness. As for the cooking-cleaning up division, I think it’s great!! If I cook, I appreciate someone else cleaning up and other way ’round as well. You ARE a good husband. Keep up the good work!

  2. whoa! that was a twist and a sucker punch at the end! I’ve been working on my story but will probably not post until tomorrow sometime. I don’t know if I’ll be able to put the linkz tool on my blog without upgrading. :/

    • I wish I could help but I have no idea. I had a terrible time the first week getting one that worked. 🙂 I got mine done early because I had hours for the prompt to percolate while on the ladder scrubbing my siding. Oddly, though, I didn’t even think about it until almost at the end. The mind is an interesting thing. And btw, thanks for taking of the Fictioneers. I would have hated to lose it. Glad you liked the story, too. I wanted to put the punch line far enough down that readers wouldn’t accidentally see it before they started.

    • Rochelle – thanks for taking over. I think you’re a great choice. Really appreciate it. Randy

  3. What a powerful, wonderful, gut wrenching, horrible, beautifully written, ugly, sad, realistic story.
    What a great job!
    You ought to send that off some place – even if it’s just a local paper, church newsletter, political party bulletin, city/town magazine.
    Thanks for writing it and for sharing it. Totally unexpected.

  4. Nice unfolding of the story and effective setting of the scene. It grabbed me at the end! I didn’t know Madison was giving it up, but I’m glad Rochelle is taking it on.

  5. Wow, and wow! You led me down the path, then sucker punched me! Touching, heartbreaking, scary…well done.

  6. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Miss Tea,

    Life hangs by a thread, and what happens to us from moment to moment is almost entorely chance and circumstance. I like the way you ended your story….that hanging sentence, lost forever to the blast wave and the meat grinder that is history. Well done.



    • Thanks, Doug. I believe there’s a purpose to what happens, although it’s not always apparent to us. But having said that, it often seems we’re swept up in someone else’s circumstances. I’m just glad they’d had a good life.

  7. Trudy says:

    You paint a very loving picture of this older couple, which is heartbreaking. Paradoxically, it’s the same reason I don’t leave the story feeling hopeless: they were happy, still in love, enjoying life, and making every moment count – right to the end.

    • I agree, Trudy. They had a long happy life and went together, something many people don’t have. And it was quick, no lingering with pain or being bed-ridden, which is also a blessing.

  8. Sandra says:

    That was a real surprise ending there … just wasn’t expecting that. Nice work.

    • Thanks, Sandra. I was thinking you were up early, then realized where you are. Time zones are interesting to me because it seems as if everyone should be on the same time.

      • Sandra says:

        Yes, it’s always weird to me that the site begins to kick-off about mid afternoon for me here. And it carries on long after I’ve gone to bed. 🙂

  9. Abraham says:

    I actually felt sad. Just when I was beginning to like the couple. I certainly did not see that coming.

  10. Tom Poet says:

    Killing off the happy people. I hope there is at least one a@#hole on that bus. Somebody planted a pipe bomb at a Home Depot on Long Island the other day. The Federal Reserve plot….Being a New Yorker this hits close to home. Nice work.


    • Thanks, Tom. It’s unfortunately that things like this actually happen. There are plenty of people I don’t like, some I really dislike and a few that I think it would be a blessing if God would somehow get rid of them. But none that I’d blow up unless they were trying to kill me and mine.

      • Tom Poet says:


        This is where we differ….I could fill that bus for ya! Just so you know you are not one of them…LOL! In all seriousness I think its best to turn the other cheek but the things people do make me sick sometimes and I just want to lash out…Even with good intentions you can become a part of the problem like they say “The road to hell is filled with good intentions”.


      • Lashing out isn’t the same as blowing people up (at least I hope not.) I used to get angry at things and people a lot more but realized I was generally the only affected so I gave (most) of it up, little by little and I feel much better!! So there’s the old geezer advice, but I’m glad you assured me I’m not on the bus you want to blow up. 🙂

  11. Tom Poet says:

    The saying is “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Sorry I am operating on about 9 hours of sleep over the last three days. Lets make it clear I do not want to blow up a bus but there are plenty of jerks I wouldn’t mind getting rid of. If you knew me in my youth you would know I am much calmer person now. I am not sure if it has brought me an extra happiness but it has given me less trouble. I think as we grow older we learn to accept things for what they are and as long as they do not affect us directly we can let them go…Much more Mellow and generally a happy guy.


    • Glad to hear it…and I didn’t really think you wanted to blow all those annoying people up. The thing that can probably tempt me to backslide more than anything else (other than politics, especially now) is driving. There are just a lot of bad a/o inconsiderate drivers.

      • Tom Poet says:

        Drivers don’t upset me, it is rare for me to get road rage. What gets me is manners….You hold a door open for someone and they can’t even say thank you or give you a head nod of approval…I go from being nice to just wanting to smack them in the back of the head in an instant. Normally I just mumble under my breath but sometimes I let out a loud “YOU”RE WELCOME” or “YEAH…THIS IS MY JOB” But i remind myself I am doing this because that’s the kind of person I am and it doesn’t matter if they notice or care…that’s their problem. However if they get me in a bad mood I can’t help but give them the nasty “YOU”RE WELCOME!” I am working on it and you would think at my age I would have down by now but I am little sensitive…I think I’m gonna go cry.


      • LOL. I find the lack of manners “angrifiying”, too. I’ve also been tempted often to say “You’re welcome” in similar situations. Console yourself that holding the door is demonstrating good manners and you’ve done the right thing, even if they don’t notice or care. Pearls before swine. 🙂

  12. brudberg says:

    Exactly the type of surprise ending I like.

  13. Russell says:

    When you stop and think about it, not a bad way to go (at least for the elderly couple). Too bad about the others on the bus. This was a great piece of writing, Janet. You led us down and sweet little path to a surprise ending. Well done.

    • Russ, you’re right. It’s much better than suffering, no matter who you are, although with younger people, you think about what might have been. I’ve always said if someone drops a nuclear bomb somewhere where I’m living, I want it to hit squarely on top of wherever I am and I’ll be gone to somewhere better! Glad you enjoyed the story.

  14. Sheila says:

    So sad in so many ways. Your story really shows how random and insane these things are. I’m glad they were holding hands at the end though, and that they had a good life together.

  15. Cindy Marsch says:

    I agree with Trudy–they had a good life, and don’t we all sometimes think a quick finish would be better than a long, lingering one? It’s certainly motivation to live each day to its fullest, each moment, even!

    Here’s my silly contribution for the week:

  16. HI Janet,
    You had me feeling all warm and sentimental, and then . . . BOOM. A bomb on a bus, what an ending! Excellent writing! Ron

  17. writeondude says:

    Wow, didn’t see that coming! Sad that we live in a world the disaffected deal with their problems this way.

  18. unspywriter says:

    A good depiction of the utter randomness of terrorism. I don’t get a sense of place, though, but perhaps that isn’t necessary because this kind of crime is universal.

    Here’s mine:

  19. Jan Morrill says:

    Very sad and very appropriate use of the prompt. It started happy, but turned tragic in the surprising twist. Really liked this one.

  20. A mix of emotions: pleasure that the elderly couple were together, and still in love, right to the last. Relief, because it was so quick. And sadness that anyone ever chooses to end others’ lives in such a way. So very well done!

  21. elmowrites says:

    Urk. There was something too good to be true about those early lines, but the ending still hits where it hurts; at least they died happy and together though.
    Like some others, I’d have liked to lose the newflash. But I’m not sure how you could have made the ending as clear without it; I’m in two minds…

    • I know some people liked the newsflash and I thought it the most effective way to end in an obvious yet not predictable manner and without using too many words.

      As for dying when happy and together, I think that definitely has more upsides than down. There’s lots of sorrow and lots of joy in the world and they often go hand-in-hand.

      The “too good to be true”…I’ll just say I was a happy ending person until I joined Friday Fictioneers. 🙂 So glad I did as I learn every week. As always, thanks for your thoughtful comments and for reading.

  22. What a chilling story, and it started so warmly! An effective way to dramatize the evil of terrorists.

  23. vb holmes says:

    “…new citizens and their 60th anniversary. Truly a special day!” Makes your story even more poignant. Good one.

  24. rich says:

    this makes me sad, which means it was very well written to affect me like that.

  25. keliwright says:

    Brutal. Sentimentality to slaughter. Don’t know a broader range you could have covered!

    • I think all deaths of this type (and others) have this sort of pathos and individuality if only we look at them personally. But of necessity, papers and other news tend to cover them en masse or to only focus on one or two mostly likely to draw in the readers.

  26. Lora says:

    Hate to say this but I expected a story such as this and predicted the ending…probably because I live in NYC. It enters my mind every time I use public transportation or walk by Grand and Penn RR Stations. Regardless, featuring the old couple’s personal story was a nice touch.

  27. It does seem when bad things happen, the path leading up to them are so sweet and innocent and totally clueless. Great story, but upsetting too, which I think means you did a good job with pulling the emotions out of us.

  28. billgncs says:

    wow — like punch to the midsection — it hits hard.

  29. debraaelliott1960 says:

    Chills… I see we were on the same wave link. Thanks for stopping by my blog and your comment on my bus story.

  30. What a terrible twist. Very well done.

  31. Oh, no! That was a beautiful description of an older couple and a shocking ending. I’m not sure whether to smile over your writing or frown over the travelers’ fate!

    • You can do both. I wanted to bring to life some people often skipped over when something horrific happens. Not that it’s done on purpose, but all these people are real and have lives, loves, etc. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  32. flyoverhere says:

    sad that this may be closer to truth than to fiction!

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