Carrot Ranch Communications

Home » Flash Fiction Challenge » November 19: Flash Fiction Challenge

November 19: Flash Fiction Challenge

Help Grow the Ranch & Create an Imprint!

Contact

208.627.6056
Text or email anytime.
wordsforpeople@gmail.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,349 other followers

Archives

Follow me on Twitter

#LinkYourLife Fridays on Twitter

#LinkYourLife

S.M.A.G. Kindness Among Bloggers

S.M.A.G., Norah Colvin, @NorahClovin

Proud Member

For Early Childhood Educators

readilearn, Norah Colvin, @NorahColvin

Carrot Ranch Flash FictionPrivileged in my pissing, I sit upon my porcelain throne. Outside, remnants of wooden outhouses covered with moss and void of original paint decay with age. Primitive reminders that school children once doubled-up for potty breaks in these two-seater relics. The teacher had her own private place to poop, discretely built beyond the school and behind the teacher-house next to the wood shed.

Blogger, Anne Goodwin, asks us to give a thought to toilets today, November 19. She wrote a short story, Bathroom Suite, which demonstrates how vast a gap exists between those who sit upon porcelain and those who shit where they can.

Pardon my potty mouth today, but it’s World Toilet Day.

UNICEF declares that we can’t wait while 2.5 billion people go without the porcelain privilege. Worse yet, millions of women lack safety and are assaulted going to the toilet. THINX, an innovative panty company, is reaching out to the millions of girls denied education because of the lack of sanitation.

Anne’s story is based on the reality girls without toilets or sanitary pads face.

I looked at those outhouses today and realized that I would have thought them such a hassle. There’s nothing private about having to march outside in front of everyone. They all know what you are doing in there. Yet what an improvement the privy was over chamber pots and open pits.

In fiction, we don’t talk about toilets. Our characters sip merlot, coif their hair, button up (or down), cook breakfast and kiss one another madly. They have adventure and conversation. But rarely do we see them on the toilet. This week, we spread awareness that toilets matter.

Help spread the call for human dignity and basic sanitary health. If you have a blog where you post your response, please link to UNICEF and continue to raise awareness of this campaign.

November 19, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the toilet. You can be funny, serious or prim-and-proper. Any variation of toilet is fair fodder (loo, privy, outhouse, shitter, porcelain throne, potty, latrine, necessarium, little girl’s room, the water closet, powder room, comfort station, etc.).

Respond by November 25 to be included in the weekly compilation. Rules are here.

Here’s a clip from A Christmas Story about the importance of the only room in the house that a boy of nine could find privacy:

***

Finding Relief by Charli Mills

Becky fidgeted. Twice, Mrs. Hart turned from the chalkboard, glaring her into stillness. At recess, Becky bound to the porch, grabbed her coat and pushed past Tommy. A foot of snow covered the ground with a packed trail leading behind the schoolhouse. Becky ran, her leather boots slipping.

β€œBecky!” It was Tessa calling from behind. Becky motioned her friend to follow. Both girls reached the outhouse, pulling the wooden door shut behind them, fumbling with skirts, petticoats and knickers to finally sit in relief.

Stepping outside the boys had spelled their names in the snow. It was not fair.

###


57 Comments

  1. I love this. You have finally answered a writing question I have always pondered. Don’t the characters ever potty? It seems natural they would. Do you write it in though? And this is a cause many never think about but it is so desperately needed. Loved your story. Boys and snow, it happens every time, age doesn’t matter.

    Like

    • Charli Mills says:

      I know! Characters seem to have these endless bladders. But it’s interesting that in our toilet taboo we have neglected to think about the impact of the need to go on every day life. Yeah, I have an old toddler (aka the Hub) who still thinks peeing in the snow is fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am laughing so hard from the clip from A Christmas Story! I think I woke my kids up. πŸ˜€

    This is a fantastic prompt. I can NOT wait to see where everyone *goes* with this one. Har. Somebody stop me.

    Like

  3. TanGental says:

    Note to self. More toilets in my tales. It’s a worthy cause too. I will go look at Anne’s next

    Like

  4. Annecdotist says:

    Charli, thanks so much for taking this on board in such a big way and so love your flash. I’m sure there’ll be lots of humour this time. And of course the smallest room in the house is a great place for letting our imaginations run wild.

    Like

    • Charli Mills says:

      Thanks for pushing the potty! Yes, humor will find its way, I’m sure but it is a worthy topic to take up in consideration of a greater world-wide need. I even managed a potty scene in my WIP yesterday!

      Like

  5. susanzutautas says:

    Sorry I’ve not been around lately but I’m looking forward to getting back to Flash Fiction. Love the prompt and we all gotta go when we gotta go πŸ™‚

    Like

  6. Sherri says:

    At last catching up here Charli! Thanks for pointing us in the right direction (no pun intended, ha) re UNICEF and World Toilet Day, I honestly had no idea such a day existed. It wasn’t uncommon for those in my grandparents generation to use outhouses as loos but obviously, what you share here is a very different matter. Love the flash prompt (and your flash)so many ideas already flowing (now that one was intended) πŸ˜€ A Christmas Story is one of my favourite Christmas films of all time, love, love,love this. My middle boy always wanted a B B gun (he did get one) and I was always going around saying ‘You’ll shoot your eye out with that thing’ πŸ˜‰

    Like

    • Charli Mills says:

      I didn’t know about World Toilet Day until I had read a flash story that Anne Goodwin wrote earlier. It was one those stories I couldn’t stop thinking about. So when she posted a remember of the upcoming event, I made it my aim to potty talk! πŸ™‚ It’s a broad subject stretching between luxury and daily deprivation. Since we don’t really talk about toilets in literature, I think we fail to see how innovations have developed or how basic needs still need to be met. It’s a worrisome topic for girls, especially. It will be fascinating what stories will be flushed out this week! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Annecdotist says:

    Well, I had some odd reactions on Wednesday telling people at my choir about World Toilet Day, but at least they’re a little bit wiser. I’m so pleased you’ve found this way of getting the message to so many more people.
    So I’ve done my flush (I mean flash) and added it to the end of my original Toilet Day post:
    http://annegoodwin.weebly.com/annecdotal/world-toilet-day-the-twitter-gems-you-might-have-missed-last-year
    I’m off to check Sarah’s now.

    Like

  8. […] side to toilets which is the reason that something to do with toilets became the topic of this prompt given to us by Charli. World Toilet Day. Amarnaik tells us that “daily 620 million Indians are defecating in the […]

    Like

  9. Impressed by all the piddling words you managed to get into your first sentence and love that you have taken up the cause. So many more people will know of it now as a result of these flashes and preambles. Mine is here
    http://irenewaters19.com/2014/11/23/99-word-flash-fiction-toilets/
    Off now to look at Anne’s, Sarah’s and Geoff’s. Your flash brought back those memories of busting to go and also the inequality between men and women when it comes to where we relieve ourselves. I’ve always thought it unfair.

    Like

    • Charli Mills says:

      Not only are we getting toilet stories, but a great collection of puns! Some days recess couldn’t come fast enough and our toilets were accessible from outside so I recall trudging through the snow and battling to get to the one stall first! It was easier on the boys.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. […] Anne Goodwin started it with her post on World Toilet Day. A serious topic that is reeks of humour. Charli Mills, never one to keep the lid on aΒ  good idea, has now prompted us thus: […]

    Like

  11. rllafg says:

    Preliminary Flush by Larry LaForge

    Ozzie and Izzie give each other the nod. They know the drill.

    These two water molecules have pledged to maintain their hydrogen bond through thick and thin. They’re in the toilet β€” literally β€” but have a plan to escape unscathed.

    A sudden movement from above alerts them. Exactly as planned, Ozzie and Izzie immediately begin rocking back and forth in unison. The patron takes the bait, instinctively hitting the flush lever after seeing a disconcerting water ripple in the bowl.

    Ozzie and Izzie high-five each other as they joyfully exit through the plumbing.

    They made it out before the storm!

    *****
    The 100-word version of this story is posted at larrylaforge100words on Flash Fiction Magazine:
    http://flashfictionmagazine.com/larrylaforge100words/2014/11/23/preliminary-flush/

    Like

  12. […] November 19 Prompt: Toilet (Write a story that includes a toilet. In honor of World Toilet Day) Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch […]

    Like

  13. Norah says:

    Hi Charli, great post, prompt and responses so far. We had the old outhouses “dunnies” at home until I was near ten. We used newspaper (no tissue toilet roll), and a scoop of sawdust to cover our addition to the can which was collected weekly by ‘the dunny man’ and replaced with a fresh can for the next week. Am I glad those days are long gone! I have written a response but may not get to post it as I have no internet except on my iPad. I’ll just have to hold on for a wee while longer!

    Like

  14. ruchira says:

    Loved many writers insight into this πŸ™‚

    Attaching mine…
    http://abracabadra.blogspot.com/2014/11/potty-training.html

    Like

  15. Pete says:

    Mason was lapping up the water from his favorite commode when they arrived. He came up for air, tilting his head as toilet water dripped from his jowls.

    He arrived with a sliding to a stop, just before he ran out of hardwood. Aunt Janice scowled so Mason ducked under the table, finding Alice, who was always ready to scratch an ear. Detecting some cracker remnants, he couldn’t help himself from dragging his tongue up her cheek to check.

    β€œMason, no!” Steve said, but Alice laughed.

    β€œOh, it’s okay, they say a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a humans.”

    Like

  16. Pete says:

    Waterlogged

    Mason was lapping up the water from his favorite commode when they arrived. He came up for air, tilting his head as toilet water dripped from his jowls.

    He slid to a stop just before he ran out of hardwood. Aunt Janice stood scowling so Mason ducked under the table, finding Alice, who was always ready to scratch an ear.Detecting some cracker remnants, he nosed closer, unable to help himself from dragging his tongue up her cheek to check.

    β€œMason, no!” Someone yelled, but Alice laughed.

    β€œIt’s okay, they say a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a humans.”

    Like

  17. Norah says:

    Hi Charli,
    There’s still no internet available on my home computer so I am unable to post on my blog. I’m going to experiment by re-typing my flash response on my iPad and copying and pasting it into your comments. So if you are reading this, I’ve been successful! Yay! I’ll publish my accompanying post once I have full internet access again.

    Toilet Sanctuary
    “Miss. Marnie’s locked herself in the toilet and won’t come out.”
    “What now?” I thought, scanning the troubled face pleading for assistance as much as to be absolved of blame.
    “Okay,” I reassured Jasmine. “Let’s go see what’s up.”
    As we hurried to the toilet block Jasmine reiterated her innocence, she hadn’t done anything, she didn’t know what was wrong (it wasn’t her fault).
    “I know,” I smiled. The toilet cubicles had frequently been Marnie’s sanctuary. But not for weeks. Jasmine’s kind-hearted friendship had seen to that.
    “She’s got her unicorn again,” Jasmine whispered.
    “Oh,” I said.

    Like

    • Charli Mills says:

      Yay! You were successful! Bummer about the Internet, though. Hope you get back online soon! But also, enjoy the freedom! πŸ™‚

      This character of yours is getting into my heart. I hope you continue to write her story!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Norah says:

    Thanks Charlie. I’m pleased it worked. Just needed to think outside the box a bit! Thanks for your encouragement re Marnie’s story. I appreciate your prompts that enable me to explore it a little more. Will think about it taking it further, though fiction is not a priority at the moment. πŸ™‚

    Like

  19. Oh dear, talk about silly billies and woolly heads, this week I had the flash ready, all neatly tied up in bog roll in its blog post, published it, then forgot to post it on Carrot Ranch! And I soooooo enjoyed the theme this week too. Well, I’m posting it anyway, even if it is technically too late! So here it is, for the toilet humoured among us …

    http://wp.me/p4rcRJ-g2

    Slightly less than brightest blessings this week, but still blessings,
    Tally πŸ˜ŸπŸ˜ŽπŸ˜‡

    Like

  20. […] decided to use her flash fiction challenge to β€œspread awareness that toilets matter.” She invited readers to β€œHelp spread the call for […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Vote by June 2 Carrot. Ranch Nominated! Thank you Writers for making the ranch an inspiring space!

Bloggers Bash

Support the Writers at Carrot Ranch

Congress of the Rough Writers, Carrot Ranch, @Charli_Mills

Blog Tour for Anne Goodwin

Underneat, Anne Goodwin, @Annecdotist

New from Anne Goodwin!

Underneath, Anne Goodwin, @Annecdotists

New from Ruchira Khanna!

Breathing Two Worlds, Ruchira Khanna, @abracabadra01

New from Sarah Brentyn!

Hinting at Shadows, Sarah Brentyn, @SarahBrentyn

New from Geoff Le Pard!

Salisbury Square, Geoff Le Pard, @geofflepard

From Susan Zutautas

The Day Mr. Beaver Met a Moose, Susan Zutautas, @susanismyname

From Ann Edall-Robson

Moon Rising, Ann Edall-Robson, @AnnEdall-Robson

From Luccia Gray

Eyre Hall Trilogy, Luccia Gray, @LucciaGray

From C. Jai Ferry

Skeleton Dance, C. Jai Ferry, @CJaiFerry
%d bloggers like this: