Friday Fictioneers: Mama K

Posted: September 3, 2015 in Friday Fictioneers
Tags: , ,

It’s been many, many months since I’ve written one hundred words for Friday Fictioneers and it may be some time before I write again.  But while out for my morning walk today, a story to go with this photo came to mind, so I offer it to you, hopefully for your pleasure.

bay window copyright rochelle wisoff-fields

copyright rochelle wisoff-fields

Mama K

No one knew how to pronounce the Middle-European hodge-podge of mostly consonants comprising her surname, but even little children mouthed, “Mama K.” The neighborhood glue through all its metamorphoses, she reigned supreme from her window, somehow seeing everything. No matter her age, food appeared for hungry families, young people were lovingly taken to task or encouraged; even gang members deferred to her.

The day her face didn’t appear at the usual time, we all knew.   The flowers, cards, stuffed animals, photos, and other items of loving remembrance grew high as the doorway. The gaping hole her passing left remains unfillable.

  1. It’s sad to lose such people who were always there and who became a part of our life… I think a lot of people know or knew a “Mama or Papa K”….

  2. we’ll all miss her….

  3. If only each neighborhood had at least one person like this, we would all be better off. 🙂

  4. micklively says:

    Such “salt of the earth” characters are what communities are made of.
    Good piece.

  5. Dear Janet,

    It’s wonderful to see you in the neighborhood again, no matter how brief the visit. Everyone should have a Mama K in their life. There aren’t enough of them. Well written.



    • Thanks, Rochelle. No time to read any stories today as I leave for work shortly and between work and praise team practice, I won’t be back in the neighborhood until tomorrow. But I look forward to catching up with some of you. It’s been too long.


  6. brainsnorts says:

    Though there are minor edits that could be made, nothing would add to the abundant thoughtfulness already included.

  7. That story gave me a chill. Very poignant. I hope you are inspired to write fiction again soon. That was really good. And would love to see you expand in future writings on the Mama K character. What a story that could be!

    • Lisa, I’m glad you liked Mama K and the story. I’ve written close to 100 flash fiction stories of this type (for Friday Fictioneers) and if you’re interested, there’s a category on the left side of my blog that will lead you to them. I hope to be doing a bit more writing, too, as I enjoy it as I do photography.


  8. rgayer55 says:

    It was certainly a wonderful surprise to see your lovely face in the Hollywood Squares line-up this week. And what a heartwarming story too. What a wonderful legacy she left.

  9. I grew up in a neighborhood of Brownstones in Brooklyn, NY with a great many Mama K’s. The old neighborhood holds memories that reflect the photo prompt. Well done, Janet.
    Isadora 😎

  10. Sandra says:

    Lovely to see you here, Janet, and with a great story that rings true. Society today has a good deal fewer Mama K’s than when I was growing up. Nice one.

    • Nice to be back, Sandra, and I’m happy you liked the story. More Mama K’s would be great. I recall reading stories of how women banded together in areas where drug dealers were running rampant and the women took back the neighborhoods. Gives me hope.

  11. Tears to the eyes. Well done. People like her are irreplaceable. Lovely character sketch.

  12. Indira says:

    Great story Janet.

  13. Dee says:

    So good to see you here Janet and with such a heartwarming story. Like many others I guess, we had a Mama K near us, she knew every child by name and every parent too. Not many Mama K’s left nowadays I fear. Our loss.

    • Hi, Dee. Good to be back again. I agree that a lack of Mama K’s is our loss, although we might have sometimes thought them intrusive at times. 🙂 Have a great weekend.


  14. ceayr says:

    Excellent portrait of a character.
    Nicely constructed piece.

  15. MythRider says:

    All I can say is wow! Wish I wrote as well. Keep at it.

    • I’ve taken a rather long hiatus from Friday Fictioneers, but I plan to keep writing, no matter the genre. Thanks for the encouragement and the lovely comment.


  16. Nice to have join us Janet. You’ve been missed as much as Mama K will be.

  17. gahlearner says:

    A beautiful story. If there were more like Mama K, the world would be a better place.

  18. Alice Audrey says:

    It’s sad that she couldn’t live forever, but also a mark of a life well spent that she is missed.

  19. Amy Reese says:

    Nice one, Janet. I think all neighborhoods need a Mama K.

  20. erinleary says:

    Lovely homage to the kind of neighbor we all should be so lucky to have. Nicely done,

  21. draliman says:

    Very poignant story. I can imagine her as the anchor holding the neighbourhood stable, up in her bay window, seemingly immutable.
    It’s great to see you here again 🙂

  22. Margaret says:

    You’ve built a very endearing character. I like the idea of her being ‘the neighbourhood glue’. Good story.

    • I think many of us live in neighborhoods that aren’t really neighborhoods any longer, at least in this sense. Also easier when everyone is living (literally sometimes) on top of one another.


  23. Very nice story as we all know some Mama K’s or people who in some manner are like one. Thanks, Janet!

  24. Very poignant. Are we losing those characters who lived in the same house for decades? And are we worse for that? I think so

  25. MissTiffany says:

    A whole town mourns when someone like this passes. Nice take on the prompt.

  26. Lovely story, Janet. I have many loving memories of great friends, relatives, and neighbors. People like the woman you wrote about are exceptional. They become part of the history of a neighborhood. Well done. 🙂 — Suzanne

    • Thanks, Suzanne. I’m happy to read that so many people have known people like Mama K. Hopefully some of us will grow into those roles for the next generation. Appreciate your reading and comments.

  27. Beautiful, poignant tale of a great life (and those that we know who are Mama K’s).