Friday Fictioneers: “Thus Spun Saffron”

Friday Fictioneers * Rochelle Wisoff-Fields * Photo Prompt by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields * “Thus Spun Saffron” * 100 words * Angela Shaffer * 1 July 2016

Thus Spun Saffron

Saffron thought doily curtains were designed after crystalized snowflakes. Perfume trapped the elements of flowers. The daintiest of cakes are hinted with lavender. Any beauty created by human hands found example in nature. Ten years passed like shifting sand — the accumulation like frosty fingers. Only the first few issued pain, then a strange numbness set in her limbs. Saffron made herself cold, isolated, strong as the frosted glass. The harms of the world could not shatter personal fortitude. Positioned here, high up in her cave-like fortress, Saffron created reality for those too tired, for those unaware that they could.

Hello Dear Readers and Fellow Writers…

Every Friday, the lovely and talented Ms. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields shares a photo prompt, and creative Friday Fictioneer Authors create a story for the picture. Very cool<>… I look forward to Fridays for our outstanding fictional challenge. I like considering writing prompt practices as “exercise” for the brain. As hinted at through Saffron’s story above, We are the Artists – let us continue sculpting reality. Fiction presents a playing field for inventive imagination. Curious? …give Brian Boyd a read – On the Origin of Stories and see how fiction shapes experience.

Click the BlueFrog below to read the works of Friday Fictioneer Writers. Feeling creative?… I hope so 🙂 follow the link at the bottom of the BlueFrog’s page, follow directions, and add your own story as prompted by the photograph.

To a grand weekend, Darlings…Keep on dreaming<>

Angela aka @MmePhilosopher aka MadameWriter



Friday Fictioneers: “Gilbert’s Big Win”

Friday Fictioneers * Rochelle Wisoff-Fields * Photo Prompt by Rich Voza *

“Gilbert’s Big Win ” * 100 words * Angela Shaffer * 24 June 2016


Gilbert’s Big Win

Shuffling through the airport necessities, Gilbert’s mind drifted. Hours ago, he faced the ultimate wager. Time spent counting cards no longer tasted of success. Money bought problems not happiness. Years — just chasing the river. The proposition from Count La Fuse involved more than money. For once, Gilbert’s poker schemes produced some good. Facing foreign high rollers and eclectic thugs, he came up aces. Staring out the window, Gilbert felt like the hero. He cracked a smile when gate A19 lit up. The winning card caught a two on the flop. Gilbert won the pot and a mail order bride.

Hello Dear Readers and Fellow Writers…

About a month has passed since I’ve contributed to Friday Fictioneers. Apologies, but… I am in the throes of theory. Only four weeks left for my Master’s capstone project! I am filled with anxious terror and determined hope. MTF.

Who knows why I saw Gilbert’s story in this photo, but here he is. Recently, I’ve had a deep distaste for those who gamble carelessly because of personal experience. I do not gamble, I just watch others lose lose lose. Gilbert sounds self-important and bizarrely off-kilter as to what is good/right. Even in his semi-human moment when he realizes money does not buy happiness, Gilbert still takes the bet in efforts of buying a spouse. Seems my frustrations is surfacing here in my fiction, as I could not grant the character much human decency due to his gambler “nature.” Well, at least it is out of my system. Maybe now I can get back on positive reinforcement.

If new to Friday Fictioneers:  Click the Blue Frog below for a redirect link that houses all the stories written for this photo prompt. Talented and charming Friday Fictioneer authors post 100 word stories once a week as prompted by Ms. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Feel inspired to craft your own story? Plz do…the Frog also has a posting link.

Dr. Friedrich Stein Character Profile

Hello dear Readers ~

This is a scene from a short-story idea I developed last year. I was inspired while attending a local community event {I think it was a tomato-tasting}, almost a decade ago, when I noticed how inter-mixed the gatherers were – from sculptors to medical doctors to writers to construction workers. I wandered how opposite natures would work when thrust into an opposing world. I thought an interesting relationship could be formed from one character who was committed to reality and another who reached for fantasy. Or, an artist and a logician. I want to see how the muse and the scientist work together, or – how astronomical the explosion of opposites could result in.


Waiting on Mistresse…

Flickering candlelight tickled the air, clinging like silk to his skin. He felt a delicate bead of sweat take form on his brow, but refused to wipe it away. He couldn’t let her know that she unsettled him. Returning his gaze to the candle did not soothe him – she preferred candlelight. Things like lace, candles, cream, stilettos, satin, chilled berries belonged to her, elements of her configurations. He called their conversation the night before to mind – she demanded to address an exponential critical factor, insisted it convey face to face, and instructed him to arrive at the Manor at 8:15 sharp. The directness of her requirements were not suspicious, the cause to alarm came from the lacking of sensual innuendos.   Their arrangement was a tangled web of subterfuge, a contractual affair of unusual bonds – Friedrich’s saving grace. Their relationship bordered on toxic, yet tasted too savory to imagine life without the eccentric flair.

Friedrich dared a scratch to his unruly head and stole a glance at the receptionist. 8:23. The girl was elegant and plain. Brunette, reed thin build, and opaque makeup donned in black like all of her women. The receptionist wore an unimpressed air of superiority and addressed Friedrich in short staccato bursts.

“Lady-Mistresse is eager to speak with you, Dr. Stein. She regrets a previous meeting detains her. She recommends you take in the night air on her private balcony.”

“Of course,” Friedrich said through clenched teeth, “one cannot rush Mistresse, can they?”

His eyes boiled with frustration, yet he attempted to maintain composure. She could be tricky, he knew. She could be dressed as one of her women milling about the establishment. She could be watching him at any moment. Right now, she could be coyly laughing. She enjoyed his reactions to uncomfortable situations; he discovered that tidbit years ago. This evening, however, he did not feel like entertaining his inner babe. Surely, that is what this is about: she must’ve received word that his grant was lost to a child genius in Japan. Yes; he wanted to throw a temper-tantrum, pull his curls out, and suck on his thumb…but he would not follow his desires, at least not without her to guide him. Not without her silken touch to his temples, her reassuring cadence that none were more intelligent or genius than Friedrich. Not without the lingerie and strawberries. He cleared his throat and craved champagne. Failure for Friedrich came only with coddling. Many things for Friedrich came only at her permission.

Friedrich rose off the black velvet divan and crossed the marble floor towards the balcony. A seductive smirk pulled at the corner of his mouth as he remembered his first experience by the wrought iron rails. He was young then, barely breaking through his twenties yet already a national phenomenon – “Friedrich Stein assumes doctoral position by 21 years of age. Dr. Stein to take on incurable diseases.” Published and polished, Friedrich was known to be ahead of his time, but he did not accomplish these things alone. If not for her unique tutelage, Friedrich could still be in that basement making LSD for undergraduates and slicing up rats for the veterinary clinic. The cool breeze on the balcony took him back. Back to that night they first met. Back to that card she put in his shirt pocket at the wine tasting. Back to that first glance she cast through downcast lashes.

Friedrich gripped the cool railing and looked down at the sprawling metropolis. The lights and whispers of the city drifted up, and he breathed it all in, letting the memory succumb him. The air was brisk that night, too. She wore Japanese silk in a sexy kimono style. Clinging one minute, flowing the next. She was like that silk – embodying your dreams or suffocating you in reason. Back then she was a poetess and scholar. A starving artist searching for meaning. She read her words that night beneath the stars. She wrote about love and sex and limits. She fell in love with light and sound. She lived her life like art, she insisted – and Friedrich wanted to discover if that was true. Her syllables tasted salty, of wants not achieved.

His obsession began with the jagged tear trickling down her cheek. So much beauty should not feel sorrow, he thought. Who were these lovers she described? Who could ever turn away from her starlit gaze? Sapphire eyes sparkled. Her pale hair fell in smooth waves to the middle of her back. Ivory skin shone through in places the silk couldn’t cover. She moved with the grace of the swan, gliding from guest to patron, smiling liquid succor like that of orchids in bloom – exotic, yet innocent and pure.   She was a wisp of a woman, petite and delicate, so thin a man could wrap her into himself. Absorb her energies and steal the muse…

8:35…Where is she?

“I’ll take a scotch, neat,” he said, knowing the girl would comply. He’d need something to stiffen his nerves. Friedrich sensed that something monumental kept Mistresse away, and he did not enjoy the circling turmoil resulting in the pit of his stomach. “Make it a double.”


Picture c/o:

Dr. Sheldon

He smoked hand rolled clove cigarettes, finger tips stained yellow. The taste was bitter, thick and heavy. Producing the type of stink that clings to clothes, skin, hair, teeth. That smell, the one he carried with him, made him want to vomit. The record breaking projectile vomit shit that only happens in movies. But the smell held purpose. Mainly, the attraction of hippy-esque college girls. Young, stupid and inquisitive. The perfect combination for fireside foursomes. Also, clove covered up the sweet skunk of marijuana.

He wasn’t a professor. He held exemplary talent with technology. Programs, mostly. Corporate bullshit. He worked from home. He dabbled in forgeries. His doctrine – fake. His awards – fake. He displayed them in glass frames, simple onyx inlays. The frames he carried in a briefcase, quick to toss them on the walls whenever a ‘student’ came to call. Four years ago, he happened open this cozy office, vacant. Lousy location, in the old gymnasium wing, but he never complained.

The name on the certificate was Dr. Sheldon Holmstead, graduate of Yale, degree in philosophy. Those college girls especially loved that he was Ivy League (in print) and possessed the audacity to choose a basically extinct theory of thought. No one contemplated anymore.

There were no great wondering thinkers walking the streets, and if there were people typically avoided them. Crackpots proclaiming the end of the world. Hookers, too doped up to realize that their problems didn’t matter. Musicians who haven’t bathed for a month belting out original melodies with no paying fans. Radicals disguised as ‘liberals’ – wanting equality, equality, equality, an underlying hint at socialism.

The ‘students’ loved his take on life. His subjective persuasion to enlighten the soul. He memorized Whitman and Longfellow to show off. He quoted Milton to humble the audience. He ended with Lenin to inspire revolution. He smoked pot to The Beatles and handed out acid. Who knows what the girls thought, hell, who truly cared. They loved his theories, but most of all they loved the sex and drugs. If a problem arose, say angered parents; Dr. Sheldon displayed the signed document of release which safely protected the university in question. The document clearly stated that pharmaceutical additives were required to participate in the study. This same document, presented to the girls prior to entering the course, was described to them as a petition to incorporate mind enhancing narcotics to public mainstream. Being college students, many wishing to practice law or run for office one day, were eager to agree with the good doctor to avoid a littered past. Four years sailed by smoothly. No discoveries, no problem. Dr. Sheldon acquired a lunch pass, parking space, and gym membership. The only thing the university wasn’t giving him was a salary. None of the higher ups knew that he existed. The philosophy program held low status, yet was required by alumni funded desire to stay operational. He avoided the philosophy professor at all costs, and informed his ‘students’ of a threatening past with Dr. Grettenhauser, life long rivalry and hatred.


Picture c/o: