Letting Go of Safety

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at CarrotRanch.com. She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

May 7, 2014

Carrot Ranch Flash FictionApril 30, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write about the experience of letting go of  something that feels safe like training wheels.







About ___________? by Norah Colvin

I don’t want to.
I don’t feel like it.
You can’t make me.
It’s not fair.
Leave me alone.
Sob, sob.

I don’t want to.
Alright. I’ll sit over there,
But I won’t do it.
You can’t make me.
I won’t even look.
Stomp, stomp.

Humph! Stupid.
It’s not even fun.
They can do it.
I don’t care;
Don’t know why they dragged me here anyway.
Told them I wasn’t going to do it.

Haha. What happened?
That looks like fun.

Hey! Let me do it.
It’s my turn.

Boy, this is fun!


Dogged by Geoff Le Pard

Harry dropped his gaze to avoid looking at Sally. No point; she didn’t know he existed. He looked at the dog.
Milton looked back; he scratched his ear before lowering himself into a squat.

“No. Christ. Not here.”

Milton held Harry’s gaze as he shat on the pavement.

“Great” Harry stared at the sticky turd. He patted his pocket. No bags.

Harry glanced up, wondering if he could leave it. To his horror, Sally was a few paces away. She held out her crisp packet. “Here.”


“For that.”

As Harry cleared up, Sally rubbed Milton’s head. “Cute dog.”


Bye Bye Betsy by Larry LaForge

He’s struggling with it, but knows he must dump her immediately after graduation.

They had a great ride for four years. He took her everywhere, and she never let him down.

She didn’t come with a manual, so he had to learn everything on the fly. It was rocky at times. Someone more experienced could have kept things running more smoothly.

Her presence at the big job interview was embarrassing. Now that he must impress his uppity colleagues, she just can’t be in the picture.

But deep inside he knows.

That’s the best pickup truck he will ever own.


To Let go..by Ruchira Khanna

Darci’s vitals are not co-operating; leaving the docs confused. She is equally dejected since she wants to live. She wants to be around her empire that she built.

With moist eyes, she looks outside the window and observes a bud that blooms into a flower, which eventually withers away. The process has been continuous for days, and this gives her the essence of her being. She has to let go her diseased body and make herself liberated from the bondage of sentiments, relations, and concepts. She stares at the dry rose, breathes her last, shedding her flesh and sorrows.


Flash Fiction by Susan Budig

Far and I crouched at the edge of the still-standing corn field, my haunches stiff from squatting low and quiet. Thor swung wide from the southwest keeping his eyes peeled for the tell-tail sign of a pheasant.

I loved the outdoors, but not the killing. I loved Mor’s cooking, though, how she dressed the bird and wreathed the plate with bright carrots and beets. Couldn’t have one without the other. To eat a bird, I had to put a slug in it first.

A rush of wings and squawking filled my ears, I tripped the Winchester’s safety and aimed.


Freedom in a Haircut by Paula Moyer

Jean sat in the beauty shop chair while the obviously-gay-but-deeply-closeted hairdresser whirled around her. She and her husband had been separated for three months. Yet she could not imagine life without him. In this 1970s world, making him happy was her world. But he never was.

The scissors stopped. She looked at this new creation in the mirror, and a three-sentence conversation ensued.

Her first thought was, “I love it.”

“But Charlie won’t like it.”

A pause.

“And how will that be different?”

The futility of making him happy manifested itself.

Minutes, later, she called him.

“Go ahead. File.”


Saving Face by Charli Mills

“I always thought a beard was protective,” said Dagen.

Alex paused, inventorying survival gear: sleeping bags, rations, fuel, water. He responded to the American who volunteered for the rescue mission. “A frozen beard is a frozen face.”

Numbering fifteen, mostly Clyde River villagers, they left on packed skidoos. Skirting massive outcrops of black rocks rising from white tundra, the group met up with three Inuit hunters outfitted with dog sleds. They joined the search for the downed Hercules yet days away.

When Dagen saw the polar bear he thought, “I’m a bearded climatologist. What am I doing out here?”


New challenge posted every Wednesday on Carrot Ranch Communications!  All writers welcome!

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  1. zsasushi

    Charli, I just read yours, but not the author and immediately thought it must by Charli’s!

    • Charli Mills

      Did you recognize it from my NaNoWriMo project? I’m actually getting excited to work on this manuscript.

  2. Annecdotist

    Yay, what wonderful stories, everyone of them. sorry not to join in this time, Charli, must check out your next prompt

    • Charli Mills

      Love having your words, Anne! But it’s a come and go proposition. Some weeks are busy, I know! Travel horror stories this week–though I’m at the Missoula airport enjoying the fastest (and free!) internet I’ve experienced in two years!

  3. Norah

    Thanks for compiling all the responses, Charli. There is a great assortment, each one interpreting the prompt from an individual point of view – so lovely to see that your prompt can elicit such variety and creativity. I look forward to the next one!

    • Charli Mills

      The variety makes for good reading and also provides learning and inspiration for next time! Thanks for contributing!

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