July 9: Flash Fiction Challenge

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.

July 10, 2014

Carrot Ranch Flash FictionA river slants across Boise in southern Idaho. To the northeast are mountains; to the southwest are high desert plains. Both areas were contorted by geologic forces–one region rose to the occasion as the other flattened. Water did the rest of the carving.

Water. Out west it is a precious commodity that spurs modern range wars. Special interest groups solicit favor for wild mustangs, endangered cui-ui fish, cattle grazing rights, farm irrigation, salmon spawns and big city hydration and sewage.

Precipitation is crazy sporadic out west, much like the crazy terrain. Within the borders of Idaho, Sandpoint in the north averages 34 inches of rainfall a year whereas Boise in the south averages 11 inches. North, the grass is tall, choked with daisies and looks soft as a horse’s muzzle. South, it’s as crisp as crackers.

Water makes a difference, yet the lack of rainfall or snow pack in one region doesn’t mean there’s a lack of water; just water distribution. One of the largest rivers, the Snake, winds in a curve like that of a Lazy C cattle brand, cupping the south region in a vast high desert. Smaller rivers up north cascade through conifers that tower over 70 feet tall.

Both areas are equal in distance from the Pacific Ocean, but weather patterns funnel differently. There are days that the sky in Boise is like a blue parched bone. And there are days in Elmira (north of Sandpoint) that the Pacific Ocean seems to crash over the peaks of the Selkirks like a sky-turned-heaving-ocean.

Driving home from Boise to Elmira, the Hub fondly gazes at brilliant patches of green growing atop desert ground. He grew up in Nevada, the great high desert basin and range country of the US. He knows that deserts grow the best alfalfa, onions and cantaloupes. He’d love to farm a flat swath of desert. All it takes is water.

We follow the Lower Salmon River as it flows north. In some draws, meadows and forests hug the slopes and in other draws, brown grass barely covers exposed rock. Yet we follow the same river. And it’s hot. We pull over at a cement block toilet encircled by cement picnic tables. Cottonwood trees and a few pines offer shade.

I’m looking for water. Following a paved trail I come to the edge of the Salmon River where deep blue water eddies  into  swirling patterns. I roll up my pants, keep my Keens on my feet (after all, they’re water shoes) and wade into the cool river, feeling the tug of its current.

Water. Sweet water from the well quenches my thirst. Hot water from the tap washes away the stress of a long day. Streams, creeks and lakes with sandy bottoms beckon for my feet or even a swim. The soft swish of a fly-line is zen-like, fishing for salmon or trout. Hooded mergansers glide upon the waters of Elmira Pond. Is there any greater daily luxury in my life than that of water?

From the depths of the Salmon River I’ve found the weekly prompt.

DSC_0069

July 9, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write story about water.  What significance does water have to the story, the setting or character (s)? How is water evocative or manipulated? What river flows through your imagination? Respond by noon (PST) Tuesday, July 15 to be included in the compilation.

Tolo Lake Graveyard by Charli Mills

One Saturday morning local volunteers gathered around the small mud flat littered with dead branches. The local Chamber had donated coffee.

“Listen up,” called out the state biologist. “We’ve drained water from Tolo and with your help we’ll begin mucking out the bottom to improve fishing.”

“Damn snags,” said a Grangeville farmer, swishing the last of his coffee. “I’m gonna find those Castmasters.” He walked over to the largest branch, wiping away black mud, recognizing a bone. All the branches were bone.

Tolo Lake, a small water artesian in the middle of farmland, was a mass graveyard of mammoths.

###

Rules of Play:

  1. New Flash Fiction challenge issued at Carrot Ranch each Wednesday by noon (PST).
  2. Response is to be 99 words. Exactly. No more. No less.
  3. Response is to include the challenge prompt of the week.
  4. Post your response on your blog before the following Tuesday by noon (PST) and share your link in the comments section of the challenge that you are responding to.
  5. If you don’t have a blog or you don’t want to post your flash fiction response on your blog, you may post your response in the comments of the current challenge post.
  6. Keep it is business-rated if you do post it here, meaning don’t post anything directly on my blog that you wouldn’t want your boss to read.
  7. Create community among writers: read and comment as your time permits, keeping it fun-spirited.
  8. Each Tuesday I will post a compilation of the responses for readers.
  9. You can also follow on Carrot Ranch Communications by “liking” the Facebook page.
  10. First-time comments are filtered by Word Press and not posted immediately. I’ll find it (it goes to my email) and make sure it gets posted! After you have commented once, the filter will recognize you for future commenting. Sorry for that inconvenience, but I do get frequent and strange SPAM comments, thus I filter.

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115 Comments

  1. Paula Moyer

    Greatest of the Great Lakes

    By Paula Moyer

    Jean never took the “Express Highway” up the North Shore of Lake Superior. It was always the scenic route. Even then, “scenic” really took off north of Two Harbors.

    She hungered to memorize the twists and turns of Highway 61. Turn, turn, turn. Glimpse, glimpse, glimpse through trees. Then: big hilltop vista, carpet laced with glittering blue diamonds. She could hear a kettle drum with each viewing.

    Somewhere north of Gooseberry Falls, she would enact her ritual. Walk to shore, place towel on rock. Remove shoes. Wade in up to the knees. Cherished, cold shock. Liquid ice, beloved lake.

    • Charli Mills (@Charli_Mills)

      That body of water is so majestic to behold and you’ve captured that essence. And how cold it is! Liquid ice, beloved lake…I think that beats in the heart of everyone who has fallen in love with the Northshore.

      • Annecdotist

        Makes you want to be there with her, Paula

    • TanGental

      excellent stufff

      • paula moyer

        Thanks!

    • Norah

      A wonderful description. Love ‘carpet laced with glittering blue diamonds’ and ‘cold shock. Liquid ice.’ Very evocative!

    • georgiabellbooks

      Lovely images here, Paula.

      • Paula Moyer

        Thanks, Norah and Georgia!

    • Sarah Brentyn

      Wow. How did I miss this? It’s so pretty! I want to be there. Nice flash!

  2. MrBinks

    Stumbled upon you via Twitter. First time here, I hope you enjoy.

    Water Wants Water
    By Mr Binks

    Walter smiled. His previously clenched eyelids had loosened but not opened, and his eyes twitched beneath them…

    https://meyoucoffee.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/walter-wants-water/

    • Charli Mills

      Howdy MrBinks! Glad you stumbled in! That’s a mighty fine flash and an iconic western scene–the delirious man parched in the desert dreaming of water. Great use of juxtaposing gritty details with the character’s imagined ones. Ride with us anytime–new prompt posted on Wednesdays and a compilation of all the flash responses posted the following Tuesday.

    • Norah

      Great imagery!

  3. Sarah Brentyn

    Lady of the Lake

    At the end of the dock, Phoebe dipped her toe in the lake. Her grip on the post so tight, it left indentations in her palms. She watched the still water. No girls floated by in bikinis, sunning themselves. No guys ran down the dock and jumped high in the air shouting “cannonball!” No children sat in the sand, slathered with sunscreen, digging with plastic shovels.

    Not today.

    Everyone was out walking, searching, calling. Looking for Phoebe’s sister, Kaia. They wouldn’t find her. She was gone. Drowned. Of this, Phoebe was certain. She hadn’t let go until Kaia sank.

    • Pete

      Wow Sarah, that was powerful stuff. I didn’t read it until after I posted mine, looks like we’re kind of on the same path today!

      • Charli Mills

        We have firmly established thus far that water is not always peaceful.

      • Sarah Brentyn

        Okay…weird. And thank you. 🙂

        These challenges can lure you to the dark side. Tread carefully. (See what I did there? With the “tread”? And the water theme?)

      • Annecdotist

        Oh naughty naughty Phoebe. Anyone with a sister should keep away from water.

      • Charli Mills

        My daughters want to go tubing down the Clark Fork River…but I don’t know which one to warn!

      • Sarah Brentyn

        Anne. “Naughty” is making me laugh. She certainly is that, if not a… This is a G-rated site. 😉 (Yes, you should definitely modify that to “siblings”.)

        Charli. Are your girls home safely?

      • Charli Mills

        It was a draw. Neither drowned the other. Perhaps their both plotting against the brother…

    • zsasushi

      Loved how you set this story up. Lulled until the last words.

      • Sarah Brentyn

        Thank you!

    • Charli Mills

      Oh, chilling…my goosebumps got goosebumps! I’m digging it when you let your inner Stephen King come out to play! You have a good feel for pacing horror. The title has such a mythological resonance to it and it adds to the over all feel of the piece. Great flash! Wow, who knew water was going to be such a terrific prompt! We’re all ready to drink, drown, discover and who knows what’s next!

      • Sarah Brentyn

        I’m actually laughing out loud here. My inner Stephen King coming out to play. 😀 Oh, dear. Gone are the days of the rainbows and unicorns. What the heck? This one was supposed to be nice. It just…turned on me.

        I guess I can’t keep yelling in comments about how I don’t like reading/writing horror. Hmm… Anyway, thank you. And I loved Tolo Lake. Fantastic.

      • Charli Mills

        There must be some connection to the idyllic and its opposite. 🙂 You write horror really well…And, thanks–thought I’d take a McCandless break and push something new.

    • Lisa Reiter

      Wow Sarah – this is brilliant! Mine will surely be very wet in comparison!

    • TanGental

      Glad my stomach was settled when I read this; bad day at the office, Sarah? Great story though..

    • Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

      What a fantastic build up of tension with a sudden twist at the end. Superb flash. Another one that will leave me with nightmares.

    • Sarah Brentyn

      Lisa – Thank you. And yours will be wonderful, as always. Still working on my memoir for this week… That’s my challenge.

      Geoff – It’s always a bad day at the office. 😉 Hey, this is what happens when I write flash. I guess I can’t help it. I’m going to embrace my inner Darth Vader.

      Irene – Thank you so much. Though I am sorry about the nightmares.

      • Sarah Brentyn

        HA! That’s hysterical! 😀 That is going to be playing in my head every time I write flash now!

      • Charli Mills

        Oh…just wait until you see how it inspires…

      • Sarah Brentyn

        Norah – I had a quick reply (“nothing”) but now you have me thinking… Who is Kaia? Is there more? DID she do something? What’s wrong with Phoebe?

        Georgia – First, thank you. I thought you’d appreciate that twist. 😉 But, see above. I had this immediate response but then started thinking and read your comment about a first paragraph… See that’s how these things start. Not a bad thing, that. Thanks!

    • Norah

      Oh dear! That’s a sad story. I wonder what Kaia did wrong?

    • georgiabellbooks

      Ohhhh. Dark. Love it. This is a wonderful first paragraph for a longer story.

  4. Pete

    I guess mine is kind of sad, but it’s just what came forth….so here you go…

    Cruel Summer

    Phillip squinted at the sparkling pool, rippling with playful screams and splashes and colorful pool toys from one end to the other. He sat down next to his mom on a lounge chair, already drenched in sweat as the sun burned through his shirt.

    “Hey Phillip, you getting in?” Owen asked from the edge. Phillip watched the water dripping off his skinny arms.

    “Maybe later.”

    He’d been so fearless before, and felt the stares clinging to him like his shirt on his hips. Today he would wait until dark, when he’d plunge into the still water shirtless and alone.

    • Charli Mills

      It is sad, how someone (especially a child) can feel so isolated when the pool is full of kids and toys. Whether it’s from past experiences or bullying or just being more timid than the boisterous kids. And the adults don’t seem to notice, “Go play…Get in the pool…Why are you sitting in the sun..” is all they say instead of questioning why the boy lingers. It’s interesting too, how a prompt can illicit something that we didn’t know was there. Ah, but the beauty of a prompt is discovering what wants to surface. Even if it is sad.

      • Annecdotist

        Especially if it’s sad, but I’m all for misery. I wondered if he were especially self-conscious this year about taking his clothes off?

      • Charli Mills

        That thought struck me too, as I was rereading the story. It makes the “skinny arms” reference more telling, as does wearing the tee-shirt in the hot sun. Breaks my heart, the last line about waiting until dark. Good observation, Anne.

    • TanGental

      so sad…. reminds me of me aged ten or so.

    • Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

      This is sad. I think that his friends know something is wrong but don’t know what it is. They have noticed his behaviour is different but don’t realise how desperate it is.

      • Pete

        Thanks for commenting guys, I had the idea of a heavier kid who wanted so desperately to swim and enjoy the water with his friends but couldn’t shake his self conciousness.

      • Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

        I think Geoff was spot on with his comment then. I know I thought he was planning a suicide at night. What is sadder is that my brain immediately jumped to this conclusion possibly as Australia has a huge youth suicide rate and it is an often discussed issue. It was still a good flash though.

      • Charli Mills

        That’s sad to hear. I was studying the suicide phenomenon on Baffin Island for my second novel project. One thing they have done is to introduce hip-hop. As to why it has been effective, they claim it gives voice to youth who feel disconnected and powerless. Evidently hip-hop rose out of American ghettos for that very reason.

      • Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

        Yes Charli I think the pressures on teenagers and younger is huge and their hopes not so hopeful leading to dire consequences. I don’t know whether hip hop is something that has been tried here or not. Certainly I would advocate dancing of any type to lift your spirits and delay dementias so I can well believe that it would be effective.

      • Sarah Brentyn

        Irene – I thought the same thing about suicide. Especially after Pete’s comment on my flash. That is awful about the high rates in Australia. I had no idea it was any different (higher or lower) than other countries. What is going on?

        I’m going to look at that Baffin Island study, Charli. Thanks.

      • Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

        Thanks Charli for the link. Finally watched it and think it is a great initiative. Sarah suicide is in the three leading causes of death in the 15-44 age group and the 2nd in the 10 – 24 age group. Worldwide it is set to become one of if not the leading cause of death by I think (don’t quote me as this is from memory which we know can be unreliable) by 2030. At the moment worldwide there is one death from suicide every 40 seconds. The Australian Institute for Suicide research and prevention is working hard on creating a multi-agency including health, education, media, industry +++ to try and do something to stem the flow. It is a very sad state of affairs.

      • Charli Mills

        That is staggering.

    • Sarah Brentyn

      Aww, Pete. Yah, I pictured a really heavy child being too humiliated to take his shirt off. I could feel his pain when you wrote about the days of staring and him watching the “skinny” arms on another kid. 🙁

    • Norah

      It is kind of sad. It leaves me quite flat, wondering why Phillip feels like that. You have created the mood well.

    • georgiabellbooks

      Oh, that is sad. But it feels very genuine.

  5. zsasushi

    My dunderhead-brother insisted his facts were impeccable; insisted I span the river alone; and refused to listen to my concerns about the rattlesnake den just beyond the bank. I could see a papery skin caught on a rock. I knew the nest was full of diamondbacks.

    Axel expected me to swim over to the north side of Obion River, rig up a U-hook in the rock, tie a rope to it, then swim back. He had plans for a whack-job fishing outfit only he couldn’t swim.

    “You’ll be safe. Snakes can’t swim.”

    Famous last words. Why did I listen?

    • Charli Mills (@Charli_Mills)

      Eek! I thought it might be the usual sibling concerns, but when I read “rattlesnake den” I wanted to shout out loud! I love how you minimize the danger through the character’s sassy narration. I’m wondering if you just gave us an example of the “stolen head”? Because if snakes can swim, and I know they do because Texas cowboys warn greenhorns about it, then your narrator is dead. If the narrator died in this incident, but is telling the story, that would be an impressive example of the “stolen head” in 99 words. See Anne Goodwin’s review–http://annegoodwin.weebly.com/annecdotal/-the-embodied-you-and-me.

      • Annecdotist

        Hurrah, the stolen head again, thanks Charli. And I should revise my comment to Sarah above: anyone with SIBLINGS should keep well clear of the water.

      • Charli Mills

        Great to see the stolen head in action, especially in a flash. And yes, I must now warn my son, too.

      • Sarah Brentyn

        Haha! So true, Irene, but hilarious all the same. Why do they listen to each other? 😀

        Great flash!

      • Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

        I have to think on that – maybe because this is the first team you are part of or you have trust as you haven’t learnt yet that trust can be broken or that the chinese burns that the other can do are worse than those that you can apply.
        XD

    • Pete

      Very descriptive, made my skin crawl at the thought!

    • Norah

      Maybe your dunderhead brother wasn’t such dunderhead after all. Isn’t that what leaders do – send the willing and unwitting in where they don’t dare tread! Well done. I agree with the comments about stolen head and writing after death – great work!

      • Charli Mills

        Ha, ha! Hopefully leaders are better leaders than brothers who’d send you into danger!

      • Norah

        Hopefully!!

    • georgiabellbooks

      Love the word “dunderhead”.

    • zsasushi

      Thanks, all! I hadn’t heard of the stolen head idea, but will give it some review.

  6. Charli Mills (@Charli_Mills)

    What a terrific flow of flash already! Keep it pouring in! I’m having a FB issue–Carrot Ranch Communications won’t load. Thus I can’t post these glorious responses yet. Hopefully it’s just a glitch that will go away if I come back to it later.

    • Charli Mills

      UPDATE: Rebooted my computer and all is well on Facebook as well as that place can be. In addition to the compilation, I post each story at Carrot Ranch Communications FB page. I’m not a big fan of FB,but it is one of the platforms American writers are expected to have. My biggest beef with FB is that they formulate how page posts feed so I really have no idea about the reach. Of course, they offer to “boost” the reach for $.

      • Lisa Reiter

        I notice differences with my personal page that are bizarre, so it must be really frustrating for anyone with the slightest ‘commercial’ need. Simon and I have many of the same friends and sometimes see entirely different stories. It’s almost as if you would have to not participate to get a time based feed – otherwise it’s heavily filtered by heaven knows what.
        I hope there’s a revolt soon!

      • Charli Mills

        FB is notorious for changing its formulas and rules. One would “think” that if you had a page offering “free reads” of quality material that FB would like that. I’m ready for that revolt!

  7. Lisa Reiter

    Oh no! I’m peeking! Some great flash already. Love your piece Charli! Made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.

    This prompt instantly gave me some ‘negative’ ideas but I’ve set myself the challenge of writing something positive this week!! – Don’t hold your breath – in at the last minute as usual I expect 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      You never know what’s lurking below the surface of calm waters! Mammoths…bullies…sisters… Hold to the positive then, unless writing something negative would clear the mind to be more positive!

    • Annecdotist

      Fab, Susan. I can see that day coming soon. Water is a precious commodity that we don’t always value enough.

    • Charli Mills

      This was a great idea. The hand crank and quip at the end nail the piece. I think that what was unsettling about Boise–seeing how dry it was and how water was a competitive commodity. It felt so good to get home to my well and pod and green grass. But what will the future be as it heats up?

    • Norah

      Scary futures!

    • Charli Mills

      I’m going to go do laps in your ocean now…thanks for making an early flash!

    • Norah

      Great piece as usual, Anne.

  8. TanGental

    Cripes Charli, you’ve released the flood this week. Hardly a day into the challenge and look at the list so far. Mine’s under construction. Good to see some new faces too.

      • TanGental

        hope you don’t get swamped…

    • Charli Mills

      Ha! Well, you splashed us with yours! Great flash!

    • Norah

      Interesting story. I wonder how they waiting for the second act.

    • Charli Mills

      Mary’s character is deepening. Funny, as it began with Peter but seems to be evolving into a story about her. Yet this stands on its own, too!

    • Norah

      Definitely not a damp squib! Great flash! Love the way the story and characters are developing.

    • Charli Mills

      What a lovely flash inspired by the photo! You are so observant–I hadn’t seen the brown mountains reflected in the water and you described it so beautifully.

    • Annecdotist

      Agree with Charli. Great how you’ve drawn from the photo.

    • Norah

      A sad story told beautifully!

  9. rllafg

    Hi. This is my 99-word story about water. (Hopefully, there are no chemists in the Rough Writer group.)

    ********

    Hydrogen Bonding by Larry LaForge

    “Hold on Izzie!”

    “Don’t let go Ozzie.”

    These two water molecules, best pals forever, are in peril again. This time it’s not pollution. It’s the dreaded refrigerator icemaker.

    The incoming line was like a water slide, but now the freeze is on.
    Izzie hears the dispenser crank up and knows immediately it’s set on cubed, not crushed, ice. That’s good, he thinks.

    “We can make it, Iz,” Ozzie shouts as he clings to Izzie so tightly they appear to be one 2H4O molecule.

    As the freeze sets in Ozzie realizes they did it.

    They’re in the same ice cube!

    ********
    The 100-word version of this story is posted at larrylaforge100words on Flash Fiction Magazine:
    http://flashfictionmagazine.com/larrylaforge100words/2014/07/14/hydrogen-bonding/

    • Charli Mills (@Charli_Mills)

      Hi Larry! This is so brilliant in a nerdy-science way (I’m parent to three science nerds and they will love this)! But also just brilliant writing to show that we can create a character out of anything. Well done!

    • Sarah Brentyn

      Hee… This is adorable. Such a creative take on the theme and great flash, as always.

    • rllafg

      Thanks for the comments! I especially enjoyed the McCarrigles song posted by Anne.

      Breaking news on Izzie and Ozzie:
      They apparently survived the refrigerator ordeal and are back in the game. At last reading, the supermicro-gps unit attached to Izzie’s oxygen atom had them in the Pack River near Sandpoint, Idaho. Will keep on this and report back if they surface again (so to speak).

      • Charli Mills

        Ha, ha! It’s a mighty fine time to be floating the Pack River. Good for Izzie and Ozzie. Your story is trending this week on the Carrot Ranch FB page. As I told Geoff last week I have really no idea what that means! Thanks for the update!

  10. ruchira

    Phew! made it just in time for the Flash Fiction challenge 🙂

    http://abracabadra.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-ganges.html

    Will come back in a bit to read all about my readers contributions.
    Charli loved your take on this and having a theme is always a challenge that helps me scratch my gray matter 😉

    • Charli Mills

      Yea! Thanks for submitting your response Ruchira! We all can stretch our gray matter. 🙂

  11. Lisa Reiter

    A bit of a damp squib this week but thanks for the stretch, as ever. Interesting that this was hard especially as I decided to abandon drowning, death and destruction for one! Lisa x
    http://wp.me/p45xAV-ou

    • Charli Mills

      There’s such alliteration in “drowning, death and destruction” but I’m glad you opted for resiliency. Great use of details to set the dry scene. And I like the use of the young boy and his mother as character. His perspective shows the changes he might be seeing for the first time, but his mother has the wisdom to move on and find a water source.

  12. Norah

    Hi Charli,
    I love your flash! How exciting it would be to excavate mammoth bones!! I was a bit disappointed that Will and Sarah didn’t feature at first, but the mammoths made up for it! I struggled with this one – didn’t flow for me quite the way I had hoped. Never mind. They don’t always go the way you want. Thanks for the challenge. Here’s my contribution, in verse this time: http://wp.me/p3O5Jj-hW

    • Charli Mills

      That was my own career that never eventuated (had to use the word as I just learned it from your post). I studied quaternary science which melds 4 disciplines: biology, paleontology, archaeology and geology. In a nutshell, its the study of that geologic time when mammoths and early man roamed. I though I needed to challenge myself to something new. I’ll return to the wild west with Sarah Shull. Great post Norah! I usual, I have something to learn form you, which I enjoy. A new word, pondering flow and the realization that your politics are as shady as those in the US! Especially around the subjects of water and money.

      • Norah

        That science sounds fascinating. I haven’t heard of that before – an interesting combination. I know what you mean about needing a new challenge, but I have been enjoying the McCandless tales just the same.

    • Charli Mills

      Short and sweet posts are always welcome! 99 words is meant to make it quick!

  13. georgiabellbooks

    Sneaking in at the eleventh hour (as usual). Thanks to Sarah Brentyn for giving me the idea.

    The glass felt heavy in her hands; a welcome weight in contrast to her racing thoughts. Inhaling, she felt her heartbeat slow. Amber and toffee and a dash of pepper invaded her senses with nostalgia. Every breath reminding her of his warm, rich voice, his large hands showing her how to tie her shoes and catch tadpoles. Hands that had tucked her in each night, with a kiss and prayer to a god he didn’t believe in. “No water,” he’d said. “If you want to experience something, don’t dilute it, dive in.” She drank the scotch in his memory.

    http://georgiabellbooks.blogspot.ca/2014/07/no-water.html

    • Charli Mills

      I often need that eleventh hour to force the creativity out of the write now or else moment! Like wringing water from a rock somedays (it feels like for me). 🙂

      Really powerful piece, involving sense of smell with memory. It’s also an interesting contrast to Sarah’s earlier flash. Here we see the driving force behind the act, making it all a complex bundle.

  14. Sherri

    Hi again Charli! Look what the tide brought in, ha! Sorry I’m late again but at least I made it this week… just 😉 I’m posting my entry here instead of doing a post on my blog this week, due to award’s posts over there. I hope my flash isn’t too predictable and boring. Had the idea and my original was 300 words!!! I’m not sure fiction is my thing but I’m trying 🙂

    A Village No More

    Dark, orange sky urged Mary to quicken her step as she walked by the side of the lake. At last, she found the clearing.

    Stopping to check her watch, nothing but the sound of the water gently lapping against the lakeshore broke the silence.

    Then it happened: the lake turned still as a millpond. Mary heard the first chime of the bells before she high-tailed it out of there. The old village had been purposely flooded to make the reservoir and locals spoke of hearing church bells on certain summer nights.

    She hadn’t believed them but she did now.

    • Charli Mills

      Hi Sherri! That’s okay…looks who’s late to her own web page! It’s a “wash.” 🙂 Don’t ever worry about it being up to par because we have no par in practice. 😉 This allows us to get creative, but to also create future possibilities for longer stories or submissions to contests/magazines/grants. Here, we play, support, write and read! And, of course, discuss our ideas!

      Oh, your flash washed over me with chills! That’s a haunting story and more than ghostly bells. Something so eerie about flooded towns.

      Congratulations an all your twinkling rewards! Thanks you for the inclusion, too! Can you send me a quick email? wordsforpeople@gmail.com.

      • Sherri

        Thanks so much Charli! Yes, I can definitely see how ideas formed here for the flashes can lead to longer stories for submission. I will remember that! Fiction is definitely something I want to explore after I’ve written my book but it’s great having this weekly challenge to keep me on my toes in the meantime! Haha, glad you had a chill or two…I have a strong idea for a story about the flooded town and need to research it more…
        You are very welcome for the awards, my pleasure, and yes will ping an email over to you now…

  15. Charli Mills

    Just have to say this out loud–it’s taken me two bloody years to figure out how to get my gravatar to show up!!! Don’t even know what I did but I pushed a lot of buttons on my profile. Ha, ha! Technology will not yet defeat me! 🙂

    • Sarah Brentyn

      Good for you! That’s the spirit! Tech won’t take us down! (And all that jazz.) Say, it’s nice to see your face. 😉

      • Charli Mills

        Hee, hee…The quilty thing was okay, but I was looking all googly-eyed on Irene’s blog!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Water , water everywhere… | TanGental - […] Charli Mills has challenged us this week as follows July 9, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less)…
  2. Flash Fiction: Tree of Life | Lisa Reiter - Sharing the Story - […] week’s Charli’s flash fiction prompt at the Carrot Ranch […]
  3. Water wise | Norah Colvin - […] thought when reading this week’s flash fiction prompt set by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch: in 99 words…
  4. Timbergetters, Forebears, Water and BOTS | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist) - […] when Charli posted her challenge prompt and I not having a creative bone in my body decided that I would…

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