Friday Fictioneers – Vive le Quebec libre!

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!


Vive le Quebec libre!

In my youth I travelled to many countries, and in July 1967 chance took me to Montreal. Strolling to my hotel, I was musing on de Gaulle’s inflammatory speech – ‘Vive le Quebec libre’, indeed! – and barely noticed a small group carrying a large and unseasonal Christmas tree.

The group was led by a rather attractive young woman, who asked if I would kindly take a photograph of them. She smiled, I obliged, went on my way and forgot the incident.

Until yesterday, when I received the following email.

‘It’s over fifty years since you took this photograph. Do you remember?’

Inlinkz – click here to join the fun!

30 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Vive le Quebec libre!

      • Me too! It was the first time I took the separatist movement seriously. Till then, I thought it was just sound and fury, signifying very little – mere posturing to achieve some social, political and financial advantage. My biggest shock was that the Federal Government had not anticipated it, and prevented it from happening. 😳

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Being born and raised and still living in Quebec, I almost didn’t keep reading past your title. Though I am a true half-English/half-French (lucky me) the separatist movement leaves a most bitter taste in my mouth. The forcing people (immigrants as well as Francophones who want to give their children a chance to be bilingual) to go to French schools, the allowing thee English name of your business to be printed only if it is half the size of the French and below it are a few of the things that make me want to spit.
    OK,.. Sorry about that. Your story is wonderfully written and one wonders how the woman who asked for the photo to be taken would know the photographer’s email, considering that back in ’67 there was no email… They apparently have kept in touch. And that is so cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale
      Happy New Year!
      I’m sorry my story, with its provocative title, upset you.
      You’re absolutely right to wonder how she knew his email – and I deliberately left that obscure, because I wanted to see what people made of the mystery. Your suggestion that the couple had kept in touch is perfectly possible, and I love that you think it’s cool. There are other possible explanations, some happy, some sinister.
      With love

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Penny,

    Strange things do happen in this world. Not too long ago I got an email from a woman in California I didn’t know. She was a book collector and she’d come across a book of poetry written by my paternal grandmother, Miriam Wisoff. I Googled her and found she was legit. How she traced that book and Grandma to me is beyond me. At any rate, due to her kindness, I have a rare treasure in my possession. I thanked the lady profusely in letter. I’ve not heard from her since.
    So how the stranger tracked down your MC is immaterial. Well done. 😉

    Shalom and Happy New Year,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle
      Thank you for such a detailed and encouraging comment. Your story about your grandmother’s book of poems is fascinating and dramatic – just the sort of event that I had in mind.
      I hope you have a Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just call me the bliss of ignorance. Honestly, in this case I enjoyed the comment exchanges so much. Maybe I need to return to Montreal for a bit of redux. 🙂 Well done, no matter how you flavored it, Penny.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That was two months before my eighth birthday. I remember having heard of Expo ’67. I’ve just looked up de Gaulle’s speech. It was so controversial. Your story is such a really nice little anonymous moment in someone’s personal life

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your perceptive comment, Larry. When you say “Your story is such a really nice little anonymous moment in someone’s personal life”, I think you get to the heart of it. I hadn’t thought of it like that before, so your insight is really helpful. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for that insight, Tannille. In fact, your reading of it as “I know what you did last summer” is spot-on for the backstory that I was working to. I was being deliberately ambiguous to see how people responded, so I had multiple possible backstories, but this one you identify was the main one. It was quite a revelation when so many people read it as romantic!
      And times steams forward? You bet! Never mind – let’s fill the remaining days whether many or few with love and with writing!

      Liked by 1 person

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