“For Mah Jongg Players Only”

(Photo Copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields)

My Mah Jongg tiles are racked. It’s the third round of the Charleston and I’ve got a great hand going. Sadie pushes three tiles at me. I don’t look at them. Instead, I pick one, replace it with an East, pass them to Molly. The chosen tile is a South. I stop the Charleston.
I go first. I discard a West, call Mah Jongg, and put up my seventy-five-point hand:
2010 NEWS 2010.
“Bunny, dear,” Sadie says. “It’s 2013, not 2010. You’re playing with an old card.”
2010. That’s the year I moved into The Home. That’s the year time stopped.

(Written for Friday Fictioneers. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. September 6, 2013.)

This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to “For Mah Jongg Players Only”

  1. helenmidgley says:

    That’s a really clever piece, well played 🙂

  2. vbholmes says:

    Great comment–most apropos.

  3. Dear VB,

    This one stopped me in my tracks. My mother was a avid Mah Jongg player. Twice a week come hell or high water, every Tuesday night and Saturday afternoon. You captured the game and told a poignant story besides. As Helen said,”well played.”



  4. I like the game and the backdrop of time stopping. This is a really strong piece. I just read Rochelle’s comments and it made me think it’s always so strange when we have things that connect within this FF group. I swear there’s a collective consciousness at work among us. It’s happened a few times with me!

    • vbholmes says:

      It was interesting to read some of the responses to this prompt–many associated the boxes with older relatives. It seems today’s world moves too quickly for the accumulation of physical reminders like boxes, scrap books and photo albums. Our memories are intangible and stored in the Cloud..

  5. AH.. yes Mah-jong — never played rules with those speciall hands though… learned from my aunt who started to play that those existed…. great end.. really was the whole story.

    • vbholmes says:

      The play described here is based on the modern American rules (started in the thirties). You try to match tiles with combinations printed on a Mah Jongg card. Mah Jongg is enjoying a revival here in the States and I just learned to play. It’s a fun game.

  6. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear VB,

    I don’t play Mah Jong, but i do know Moms Mabley. Does that count? Reading the comments, you seem to have nailed it with your late entry.



    • vbholmes says:

      I’m impressed! Winning the National Mah Jongg championship pales in comparison.
      (Full disclosure: I never entered, or won, a Mah Jongg championship so congratulations are not in order.)

  7. Dee says:

    Very cleverly done VB and the last line was really quite perfect.

  8. vbholmes says:

    Thanks, Dee. Interesting that we both wrote about aging and time–must be a natural association.

  9. rgayer55 says:

    There was an elderly lady at work who loved to play Mah Jongg. Sadly, she ended up with Alzheimer’s and in a home. Time did indeed stand still for her. This was hand well-played, vb.

  10. vbholmes says:

    Many thanks, Russell. I made light of your friend’s Alzheimer’s in a previous reply (of which this is an edit). I should not have done so–Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease which ruins family lives as well as those of the patients. I hope things are going as well as possible for her and her loved ones.

  11. Hi V.B.,
    I don’t play Mah Jong, but I do understand the significance of his being in a home for the past three years. Very innovative take on the photo. Ron

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