Friday Fictioneers: 97 Words of Grief

I have been absent and treading water:  NYC, Boston, Cape Cod, Tel Aviv, Port Townsend, Bainbridge and now Denver; in the past 8 weeks I’ve been home for 4 days! Each week I see the photo prompt, delivered generously and regularly by the indomitable Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, and I’ve had to pass. No time. Today, I saw this beautiful image, with the date–– and the story was waiting. It took me minutes to type it out. I’m looking forward to getting back into a regular FF groove; I’ve missed my Flashy friends!

If you would like to join Friday Fictioneers, or read the other fantastic 100-word stories, check out Rochelle’s blog Addicted to Purple. As always I welcome honest, constructive feedback. Please leave a comment, and tell me what you think.

© Jennifer Pendergast

© Jennifer Pendergast

97 Words of Grief

There was no time to pack our boats for passage to the next realm.

We gathered our possessions that morning, with little thought of endings or goodbyes, in briefcases, purses and bags–– packed the same way day after day, with no anticipation of crumbling Trade.

The contents of these bags­­–– floating on debris clouds and caught in an otherwise perfect bluebird sky, rained down on shocked faces. Identification was sifted from dust and particles left, DNA the only marker for many.

Just another day, until that moment… now rusted metal and three numbers scar our collective memory.

*    *     *

GIPYHelp Me Reach My Goals! I’d love to see the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page reach 800 likes in 2015. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. I love to hear what readers think. Honest, positive or constructive feedback is always welcome. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.  ©2015  Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
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51 Responses to Friday Fictioneers: 97 Words of Grief

  1. mamaheidi60 says:

    Your words, the imagery, and the canoe! What a terrific blend!


  2. Welcome back Dawn. As powerful as ever.


  3. Good to see you back… Your story so filled with sadness with deep references to disasters..


  4. Glad you’re back. Three numbers we can never forget. Prayers for all who perished.


  5. Dear Dawn,

    Our daughter in law was on her way up to work when the second plane hit and they were told to stay put. Baruch HaShem she disobeyed orders. She was running late that morning. Had she been on time…
    Your 97 words say it wall and beautifully so.




    • Rochelle, I remember getting chills the first time you told that story; I just got them again. I lost two people I knew that day, and several others who were directly impacted, like your DIL. It changed so many Things for so many of us. Thank you, as always, for your thoughtful feedback. xox


  6. Whoa! You just blew me away with the subtle descriptions that hit me bang on the head. Very well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lest we forget. Welcome back, Dawn, from so many places, from one who’s also back for now.



  8. Powerful story, Dawn. It’s hard to believe how long it’s been since that day. I remember seeing it on TV when I was staying with my husband’s relatives here. I could hardly believe it. I knew a couple here who lost a relative. I later cried when it fully hit home, because my dad had been a fireman, and my kids were about the age of many who died. Welcome back. —– Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think there were many of us who were emotionally impacted, on so many levels, Suzanne. I too knew some of the victims, and remember the shock and horror of that day, so clearly. It still pains me to see a picture of the towers, or the videos of the plans hitting them. Thanks for your feedback.


  9. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Yes, 9/11. It’s hard to believe that it was fourteen years ago. So many souls lost, and they didn’t have time to understand what was happening. Your poignant words (only 97!) capture that time, that place, those feelings… well done, Dawn.


  10. ceayr says:

    Great piece of writing, subtly understated.


  11. Sandra says:

    Beautiful tribute and a reminder of a very dark day. I still remember that afternoon, in a crowded office in the UK, all of us with our heads down working on our computers when suddenly someone who was surfing the net instead of working said “Jesus will you look at that!”. One by one, everyone switched from Word or Excel or Powerpoint and clicked on Sky News… dreadful memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel like I still have PTSD regarding the events of that day, Sandra. Some day I may write about it, but it still chills me to the core. I think so many of us, wherever we live, remember the day in horrific details. Having grown up in the Boston area, where 2 of the planes originated from, there is hardly anyone I know from home, who didn’t know someone who died that day. My SIL had 4 neighbors killed; they all carpooled to NYC each day.

      Thanks for your feedback, and for sharing your memories.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Dale says:

    A horrid day indeed. Pretty much everyone knows where they were when it happened… Beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. ansumani says:

    Welcome back Dawn ! No one was prepared for that day indeed. You have beautifully told that heart-rending tale. I boarded a ferry that day 14 years ago with some of those “possessions” that settled on me as ash…..


  14. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Dawn, One of the most memorable days of our lives. How could it happen – to us? Well it did and everything changed that day. I guess it was sort of like our parents learning of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Well both my parents had passed when 9/11 happened but I know what they had to have felt. What a horrible day! Good story Dawn – really dramatic! Nan


  15. We visited the Memorial a few years back. A moving experience indeed.


  16. rgayer55 says:

    We never know when we leave home, do we? It’s hard to pack for eternity. No matter what I wear I’m afraid it will make me look fat. Hopefully, some wings will take care of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Dee says:

    This has brought back so many memories. I visited Ground Zero on a trip to New York a few years ago, I just had to go, but the trip ended for me that day. The remainder was just going through the motions. As Russ has said so simply, we just never know.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. gahlearner says:

    A wonderful tribute. I was at work here in Germany when a retired coworker phoned in, crying, telling us that the world was about to end and WW3 had started. We looked on the web, and couldn’t believe what we saw and read. I have a friend who back then worked in Washington DC, and I was worried for him, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Margaret says:

    Your story is wonderful. The images capture perfectly the tragedy of that awful event. I echo Nan’s comment – the world changed that day.


  20. Amy Reese says:

    Dawn, what a powerful story. Those three numbers evoke such pain and sadness and are forever changed. I really think this is one of your best. Great to see you again. You are quite the traveler!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s great to be back, Amy! Although I still haven’t gotten to read… :-p Busy first weekend back!

      I’ve thought so many times that the numbers 911 are forever changed. It’s strange, in and of itself, that 911 is for emergency and will also always remind us of such a traumatic time.

      Thanks for the lovely feedback; you always make me smile!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. It’s still fresh in our minds but history to young people who are becoming adults today.
    Thankful for that; that the day has come and gone without incident.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. elmowrites says:

    Travelling is fun, until it’s not. I hope you get to settle down soon! Tough story, but I lik the subtleties there.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. wildbilbo says:

    A sincere and powerful story on a painful subject. Nice work.

    Liked by 1 person


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