Friday Fictioneers: No Star To Follow

Up late; saw this prompt, and had the intro (below) written… pow! Those stories that come to you in minutes. This one was tickling my brain all day, and Roger Bultot’s bright picture of a diner was the final nudge. No doubt, I’ll find the typos later, after I’ve slept.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus, Happy Kwanza or whatever you may or may not celebrate this time of year. I want to stop and say that the Friday Fictioneers is something I look forward to every week. While this year was the first in the 3 I’ve been doing this, that I missed some, I think of it every Wednesday. I look forward to reading the stories and I SO appreciate all of you who read mine. Wishing each of you a happy holiday season and another year of great stories!

If you’d like to participate in Friday Fictioneers, stop by Addicted to Purple with Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, our fearless and multi-talented leader. Her new book As One Must, One Can has just been released; mazel tov! And congratulations as well to Louise Jensen’s whose first novel The Sister, made Amazon’s top 10, and her second novel, The Gift, has just been released. I’m always with inspiring company, with Friday Fictioneers!

I want to also plug something, as most of you are bloggers. I am hosting the 3rd annual #BloggersUnite for #50HappyThings on my blog, Tales From the Motherland. You may have seen Rochelle’s list, or Louise’s. All are welcome; the instructions are on my post. Last year 74 bloggers joined, and the gratitude grew exponentially. I’d love to see y’all contribute; it lasts until January 3rd.

I apologize for the lengthy intro, but good things beget more good things! As always I welcome honest, constructive feedback.


© Roger Bultot


No Star To Follow

As she stirred the gray water, she glanced at her hungry children. The buses would be ready soon, they were told over and over. It was cold; they were hungry, and still they waited.

She fanned the small flame, hoping the hot broth would warm; knowing it would not nourish.

Two days without shells or guns was a blessing. She said a quiet prayer and called them to eat.

Soon they would gather their things and leave the only home they’d ever known. Hoping for peace, she knew it would be hard. There is never room at the inn.

(99 words)

I realize I started with happy tidings and ended here… but the news is too hard to ignore, as so many celebrate another displaced child, whose mother had nowhere to go. The images, tweets, and stories are a stark reminder that we really should count our own blessings.

*       *      *

Help Me Reach My Goals!   KAPOW!  The Tales From the Motherland Facebook page recently hit the 2015 goal of 800 likes (which I set after hitting the 700 mark)! I’m going big for the next year and aiming for 1,000!! Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated.

Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.  ©2015  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, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; 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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79 Responses to Friday Fictioneers: No Star To Follow

  1. Dear Dawn,

    That news has been so hard to watch. You captured a snippet of it well. Grey water that won’t nourish. Well said. Happy Merry HanaChristmukkah.



    Liked by 2 people

  2. wmqcolby says:

    Since I have been on vacation, I have been spared all the bad news I usually am paid to watch. Displaced people, especially children, still very important and relevant today. I remember being at the one hospital in Israel where refugees are treated. What a joy to know that there is always hope somewhere.
    Super story to kick us off with, Dawn! Have a terrific Hanukkah!


  3. neilmacdon says:

    Unflinching and unsentimental. I liked this

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a terrifying time for these people! Thank you for telling their story 🙂


  5. Iain Kelly says:

    Excellent writing Dawn, powerful and touching and, sadly, a reminder of the very real human tragedy behind the headlines. Well done.


  6. Good writing, Dawn. It breaks my heart to see people, especially children, suffering. At least they’re finally bussing the people out of the living hell that’s Aleppo. Now we have the killings in Turkey and Germany. This was a timely story. Happy Holidays to you and yours. 🙂 — Suzanne


    • The worlds is upside down, Suzanne, that’s for sure. Bussing them out is surely a relief, but to where… many of them only struggle to survive, somewhere else. Heartbreaking, for sure! Thanks for your feedback and the merriest of holidays to you and your family! xo


  7. Great story. We seem to be on the verge of a new dystopia. Humans always endure, though. You capture that in this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. rgayer55 says:

    A very powerful story, Dawn. We watch this on the news and it seems so distant from our own individual realities that it’s hard to really grasp what those people are feeling. You made it very real without being mushy. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sandra says:

    A great story for a less than great episode in our history. Well done, Dawn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed. The song Little Drummer Boy has been running thru’ my head all week. 😦 Such hopelessness there… Thanks Sandra, for this and each comment thru’ the year. I really do love this world of wonderful & supportive writers! All the best to you and yours these holidays. xo


  10. We have much to be grateful for indeed. So pleased about the gratitude blog party again this year.


  11. Caerlynn Nash says:

    Wonderful, powerful, timely. Nicely done!
    Merry Christmas to you. See you in the new year.


  12. Ouch. I “love” that last line. The more I hear about what’s happening in the world, the more I appreciate warm food, hot water, and clean sheets. Really, it doesn’t take much to make us human. Well done. Travel safely.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. mamaheidi60 says:

    Okay! I wrote a Friday Fictioners post. Let’s see if I succeeded in posting it appropriately. A lot to learn! >

    Liked by 1 person

  14. mamaheidi60 says:

    I appreciate how you can bring so much to a 100 word piece!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Rowena says:

    A poignant response to the prompt, Dawn and well done for raising awareness of homelessness at this time of year. My heart has been with people battling health issues, very ill family and trying to be there in some way. I drove around dropping cards off yesterday and caught up with a few people that way. Christmas is a very hard time of year to have serious issues or to have lost someone..or your home.
    I struggled to get my head around the prompt at first. I live in Australia where diners aren’t common and I have sense of diner culture at all except from American movies. However, I was pleased with it in ht end.
    xx Rowena


  16. trentpmcd says:

    There is no such thing as a non-destructive war, but this one has been so brutal.


  17. Michael Wynn says:

    “Grey water that won’t nourish” sums up the whole problem in a sentence, it’s brilliant, albeit written about one of the horrific situations prevalent in the world today


  18. liz young says:

    Every time refugees are on the news I ache for those mothers. This story brings one woman’s struggle vividly to life.


  19. Dale says:

    So well done, Dawn. And yes, a well-thought connection to the spirit of Christmas and the horrors of Aleppo…
    I saw a meme on FB today stating that in 20 years a movie called “Aleppo” will win 7 oscars and everyone will say “Something like that should never be allowed to happen again”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve seen that meme too… on Instagram. I got into a bit of a “tiff” with someone, when they said “it would be different if they were jews,” and I responded: it did; it’s called the holocaust. 6 million Jews were killed; we all said this should never happen again, and there have been several Oscar nominated movies… they went on to attack me re: Jews and Palestinians. So sad, because we/the world, has in fact stood by and watched this happen. Our dollars have helped fun radical Islam, and now we want out… it’s ugly and horrible, and paralyzing! Sorry… rant there, Dale, but this stirs me up so feverishly.

      Thanks for taking the time, and for sharing something deeper… xox

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dale says:

        I so hear you, Dawn. They are comparing this to a holocaust and really… it does feel like it, doesn’t it?
        And we are letting it happen, aren’t we?
        Hugs to you and yours xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks Dale. It does feel like it, but when comparing to The Holocaust (which is so often done), we must always remember the scale. The Holocaust saw 6 million Jews killed, but another 5+ million non-Jews (Gypsy, Gays, Poles…) were also targeted and killed. Those numbers (12 million) are still shocking, and why things are compared to Hitler and the Holocaust… nothing has really compared, since. Thankfully. That, however, does not change the impact of what we are all seeing… and seeing it, on the news, online, all over, is that much more jarring. Sorry… such a hard and complex topic! Next week I’ll write about elves. 😉

          Liked by 2 people

  20. The news keep me awake at night, there seems to be no end to how bad it can be… It has to turn some day… it must.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Tears for every person displaced by violence today and every day. There are no winners in war, only losers.
    I’m counting my blessings,

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Very great way of combining the contemporary with the classic and showing that the world is still the same!


  23. Merry Christmas and happy New year!


  24. Your story truly conveys what it must be like. I stay up at night thinking of what they are enduring. I am so blessed not to have to face such a nightmare on a daily basis.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SO wonderful when you stop by, Darla; thank you! I feel like I haven’t slept well in weeks; these things naw at me and leave me feeling chronically anxious. It is beyond horrific… I don’t want to be the person who turns off the news, and doesn’t watch- I think we must watch! But, it’s hard to let go. Thanks for stopping by, and all the best in this coming New Year. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  25. yarnspinnerr says:

    That was a beautifully crafted topical take. Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Amy Reese says:

    So sad, Dawn. I feel so much anguish over what’s happening in Syria. I hope they can find peace in their lives. Great job with your story! Wishing you a wonderful holiday!! xox

    Liked by 1 person

  27. plaridel says:

    she must keep hoping for better things to come even though everything looks grim. once she loses hope, all will be lost.


  28. A stark reminder indeed.
    Thank you.


  29. subroto says:

    A stark but moving tale about the unsaid hardship and horrors that the common people face in this time of conflict.


  30. rogershipp says:

    Well told! Enjoyed!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. agshap says:

    As I search to find other bloggers out there, I came across yours and feel so inspired. 2017 will be a good year – leaving 2016 behind…every day is a new day….have a great one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you landed on Tales From the Motherland, and thank you for your time and thoughtful comment. Check out the #BloggersUnite for #50HappyThings, on my blog and join us; we’d love to have your list added to the blog hop! All the best in 2017!

      Liked by 1 person


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