At dusk, the Legend sets sail for Bermuda. On my stateroom balcony, I watch below as the ship cuts through waves, the small crests forming shapes reminiscent of the six-inch stuffed polar bear I carried everywhere as a child, until one day at the beach a rip current snatched her out of my hands.

I cried myself violet that day—as I do now, on what was originally an anniversary cruise, until that secretary and her ripped stockings snatched him out of my hands.

In the white foam, I see her little paw reach up and dream for a reunion.

It’s Day 4 of Bloganuary, and the question is: What was your favorite toy as a child?

The real story has a much happier ending. A boy surfing a little further down the beach found her in the water, heard me screaming my head off, and figured she belonged to me. She’s never left my side since.

Yes, Nala was named after Nala from The Lion King. Yes, I’m aware she is not a lion.

Chronicles of a Single Black Christian Female: Episode 2

Pastor says, “No Christian woman should be online dating.” But the only males in church are either married or teenagers.

Granddaddy says, “Do you expect Mr. Right to break into your house?”

Only undesirables, who follow you home and never leave, are available at the bar and club scene.

So I find myself at the Ruby Tuesday, planted in a booth next to the all-you-can-eat salad bar, trying not to look too desperate that I scare away potential suitors, but just lonely enough that a friendly stranger sits down, buys me a drink, and maybe asks for my phone number.

It’s Day 3 of Bloganuary, and the prompt is: Write about the last time you left your comfort zone.

Short answer: I’ve taken myself on a date only twice. Both times were very awkward—people tend to stare at the person eating alone. But that could all be in my head…

Deep down: I first published Episode 1 of Chronicles of a Single Black Christian Female way back in 2018. It was supposed to be the first installment of a new serial story. But Episode 2 never came, until now, because of the long answer: I’m a Christian woman who writes romance fiction, sometimes about Christian people who sometimes have sex, sometimes outside of marriage. Because that’s life, that’s real. And too many protagonists in contemporary Christian fiction (that I’ve read) are “holier than thou” caricatures, and it doesn’t show the truth: that we’ve all fallen short, and that’s okay because there is forgiveness in Christ. And I know some people won’t like that, some will judge me, call me a sinner, that I’m not doing the work of God, blah, blah, blah. And maybe I am and maybe I’m not. And maybe that’s why I hesitate to hit publish for some posts on this topic, and maybe that’s why I go back and edit censor certain love scenes, and maybe that’s why I don’t tell people at church that I’m a writer. And maybe this is a conversation I should be having with God instead of blabbering online.

But at the end of the day, I just hope you can accept my work for what it is, fiction, and me for who I am, human, just out here trying, like everyone else.

Honeymoon Road Trip

He bought a Confederate battle flag from the Civil War Museum gift shop at Fort Fisher, our first stop on a two-week cross-country road trip. Fourteen states by the end of it—all below the Mason-Dixon line.

He hung it in our RV’s living area window. As cars passed on the highway, looks of anger twisted into confusion.

Black girl, Brown guy. Didn’t make sense.

“It’s a symbol of Southern pride?” he said.

“For some.”

“We’ll make it our own.”

“Like the N word?”

That night he took it down, spread it across the bed, then lay between my legs.

It’s Day 2 of Bloganuary, and the question is: What is a road trip you would love to take?

Short answer? Coast to coast with the hubby, honeymooning in every state. 😉

The Girl in Booth Seven

“Ready to order, hon?”

“Cof—” She coughs into her fist. “Just water.”


“Cheesy grits. Can you cut up little sausages in it? Fried egg, medium. Oh…I probably can’t have it runny. Hard then. And can you put that in the grits too? Well, I guess I can do that.”

She turns and gazes out the window at the gray sky and wet asphalt of the diner parking lot.

I recognize that look. I had it at 17, as a runaway and seven weeks pregnant.

“I’ll put it all in the bowl. And decaf works.”

She smiles. “Thank you.”

Saw that a few blogging buddies are participating in Bloganuary. I’m not fully committed yet, but I liked today’s prompt: What advice would you give to your teenage self?

Parting Gift

I guide her into the wine cellar. “Pick the best year.”

I shut the door, lower the latch behind her.

“Babe?” her muffled voice calls.

“You remember what I said our wedding night? ‘There’s nothing we can’t overcome as long as you never lie to me’? You lied. I saw you with Brent.”

Panicked knocking, her voice now shrill. “We were just working on a project!”

“You’re a hospital administrator in the middle of COVID. What the hell kind of project requires you to tongue your boss?”

Her silence is confirmation. I turn to leave her to her final drink.

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Written for Friday Fictioneers. Honestly, guys, how can you look at this photo prompt and not immediately think “Cask of Amontillado”?

Still in Therapy

“Tell me about your dream.”

“It all seemed so easy. Short lines, getting through security. Even testing was a breeze.”

“So why didn’t you ultimately get on the plane?”

My gaze drifts to the framed PhD certificate mounted on the wall behind her. I can just barely see my reflection, the tears welling in my eyes.

“Joan, you have this habit of self-sabotage. When something feels too good to be true, you often presume that it is.”

I spin the wedding band on my finger so fast it flies off and lands in her lap.

“Why don’t you call him?”

Tips on Ghosting to Avoid Being Murdered

So he’s insane. Batshit, truly. And the way he kicked his dog clean across the room for snapping at his ankle—he’s capable of anything. Isn’t that what they say about serial killers? They start off as puppy murderers.

But ignoring his calls is an invite for him to show up at your place, or worse—your job.

Your only option is to sell your house. Buy a ticket. Only text him when you’re on the plane so he can’t make plans to join you. Tell him anywhere but the place you’re actually going.

When you arrive, lose your phone.

Baked Spaghetti

After I professed my arrant disgust of all men at the last family gathering, Grandma was convinced I’m a lesbian.

It’s been judgment and condemnation ever since.

Today I bring groceries and offer to cook her favorite: baked spaghetti.

She snatches the pot from my hand as I’m filling it with water, brushes past me to the stove muttering Romans 1.

“Speak up, Grandma.”

She switches her tone. “Maybe you just haven’t found the right man yet.”

As if Grandpa’s “other” daughter doesn’t live three doors down in Aunt Mae’s house.

“No man’s good enough.”

Surprisingly, to this, she agrees.

Recurring Dream

It’s not an occasional thought. Every night I close my eyes and dream of him. Rocking him. Kissing his little button nose.

“Hi, my love,” I coo.

Morning comes and pulls me away. This can’t go on. I fear I’m an awful mother.

I tell my husband I want a baby.

He doesn’t look up from his computer. “We’re not ready.”

“I know kids are expensive, but we don’t have to be millionaires.”

My voice disappears under the clatter of his typing.

Wrapped in a blanket, I curl in the corner of the couch, think of him, close my eyes.

Another Therapy Session

“The seasonal depression is coming in hard this year, Dr. Sims.”

“Why do you think this time of year gets you so down?”

I never know how to answer this question. Loneliness? Overworked?

I glance out the window. The sky is completely clear of clouds. The sun shines brightly. The leaves are still on the trees, still a deep forest green.

“It’s pretty warm for December, isn’t it?”


“Seventy the high, right?” I didn’t even wear a jacket leaving the house. Now I’m thinking of that song.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…

No snow this year. More disappointment.