May 20: Flash Fiction Challenge

Written by Charli Mills

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

May 21, 2015

May 20It’s dark, but City Marshall George Conniff can see three figures hunkered down behind the Newport Creamery. It’s a cool September evening in eastern Washington and Conniff knows that it’s late enough to be suspicious. All sorts have been passing through. After all, it’s the Great Depression. He calls out to the men in the darkness and they answer with gunfire. Conniff dies the next day.

Since that dark night, September 14 this murder has gone unsolved for 80 years. What the burglars were after is known — a rash of milk robberies had hit the area around Spokane. Washington.

Milk robberies? It sounds like something from the school cafeteria or a heist thought up by five-year-olds, wanting something wet to wash down cookies. But this was the Great Depression. Perhaps a destitute family? Hobos passing through on the rails?

Actually it’s more insidious than craving milk.

Last weekend, the Hub and I ventured around half of the Selkirk Loop to explore Metaline Falls. My adventure is posted for the theme of connection at Elmira Pond. After exploring, we stopped for 50s-style burgers and hand-packed milkshakes. The Hub knows most the town (population 238), including the Border Patrol officer with whom he chatted for 10 nerve-wracking (for me) minutes about — of all topics — sniper guns. I don’t care if the Hub is the delivery man to this region, law enforcement is suspicious of such things.

Once our burgers were served and Border Patrol left without making any arrests, a woman approached. She told the Hub, “You seem to know about this place. I’m looking for a tavern.”

Of course, I’m thinking she’s trying to find a current business, but then she mentions that she is researching a book she read about a sheriff who solved a cold case from 1935. The tavern features into the mystery. She had already visited the creamery in Newport where it happened. Yes, I was on red-alert, making a mental note to look up old murders in this region.

That’s how I learned about Conniff. And the sheriff who died mysteriously (fell from a bridge) in 1950 when he was close to unraveling a murder that led back to the Spokane police force and a restaurant called Mother’s Kitchen. It was not as innocent as milk. In fact, the rash of creamery robberies were to stock the pantry of Mother’s Kitchen where waitresses were also prostitutes.

Fast forward to 1980 and another local sheriff began a masters thesis to record historical men who shared his position. That’s when he discovered the near-solved murder. Remarkably, he was able to piece together earlier accounts, witness statements and recovered the alleged murder weapon.

The stuff of stories, right?

Well, Timothy Egan beat me to this one. He was intrigued by this tale, too and wrote Breaking Blue. He’s a regional author I can’t wait to read (my print copy is in the mail).

So we are going to explore the impact of old mysteries on today. Are they relevant? When I think about a story that features dedicated law officers and corrupt ones, I can’t help but think of current headlines in the US. Perhaps nothing is ever a new crime. Perhaps no one seeks to steal milk in the middle of the night, but certainly, thieves are still thieves.

May 20, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write about an old mystery in the current time. Is it a discovery? Is it solved? Does it no longer matter, or does it impact innocent generations in between?

Respond by May 26, 2015 to be included in the weekly compilation. Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

I’m on a wicked time crunch at the moment. My internet went down in the middle of posting today. I lost all my photos over at Elmira Pond (and I had two posts there today). Thus I had to restart in town at Starbucks and they close in 13 minutes! Yikes! I can’t write a 99-flash under that kind of constraint. So, like you, I’ll be posting mine later.

Tomorrow is my birthday, and inspired by Sarrah J. Woods’ flash last week, I’m going on a solo adventure. I’m taking a boat cruise on Lake Pend Oreille that is 3 hours of geology and history on the water. I’m excited! Not sure when the internet will be back up, so I might be spotty checking in over the weekend and if I do so with my phone, forgive the typos — it has words of its own (thou is its favorite replacement for you).

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  1. Pat Cummings

    Something in the Conniff mystery spoke right to my Id, rummaging around to turn up the mystery of what is found Between the Studs ( )

    • Charli Mills

      Great story, Pat! I’ve heard of crazy things lining old walls. Thanks for kicking off the stories!

    • mj6969

      Really enjoyed the story – and the prelude to it as well. Mining old places really can turn up the unexpected, including the unwanted or undesirable.

  2. Sacha Black

    Sorry for being distant for a few weeks, have buried myself in my actual novel – you know… the reason I started writing in the first place! haha – I think blogging had distracted me. Anyhoo, have participated in this week (see below).

    I love your lead in story this week. There is nothing better than a local story, and mystery. I was telling Ali the other day – where I grew up is where Mary Queen of Scotts was held just before she was beheaded and one of the (now) hotels (where she was held) is meant to be haunted – supposedly you can hear the screams in the night and nails scratching the walls – and there are scratch marks in the stone walls too. The church where she was first laid to rest in a place called Fotheringhay is stunning too – one of my fave churches to take photos of especially in winter when it’s covered in snow… anywhere thats my story for you. Now for my 99 order – not my best work but then I’m rusty after a few weeks break.

    Hook’s Treasure by Sacha Black

    Not quite daring to touch it, I sank to the ground, exhausted. I was inches from fame and fortune; Hook’s lost treasure chest. Its delicately carved exterior was blander than I expected, with just a single gold band edging round the chest.

    “How did I ever find you?” I said slowly reaching for the lock.

    I’d endured a decade of taunts while I searched for this box. “Pirate treasure?” they’d laugh, “you’re a fool. Curses and empty boxes, that’s all you’ll get.”

    But I knew better. I lifted the lid. On a trove of gold lay a single hook.

    • mj6969

      One person’s search for “treasure” is another person’s junk? The value lies in the perception. I liked the idea of finding the actual “hook” very much 🙂

      • Sacha Black

        Thank you. And I completely agree funnily enough I had that phrase in mind whilst writing ????????

      • mj6969

        That was definitely something I picked up on as I was reading 😉

    • TanGental

      Well they say a good story must have a hook and I guess you nailed yours this time. Neat!

    • Charli Mills

      My hope, Sacha, is that Carrot Ranch can fill in when writers have a need to be inspired, like a fun jam session or a friendly sandbox. Sometimes that need is intermittent and other times it is regular. No obligations and I’m happy to greet the week’s ride! That book is primary, Rough Writer! 🙂

      I don’t think I’ll ever grow weary of pirate tales! Hook is the most fantastical pirate of all, and your flash makes Neverland seem real.

  3. Norah

    Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Charli! Happy birthday to you! Have a wonderful time on your three-hour boat cruise filled with learning of geology and history. It is so you! Forget about the internet going down, and typos on your phone. Even our awesome leader is allowed some time off. In fact she should be modelling for us!!!! 🙂
    This mystery is a great story, isn’t it? I can see why it would have appeal for you. If only you’d got in first. But then you can’t be everywhere at once! And that cruise is calling your name. I look forward to hearing about it and seeing the pics.
    I am disappointed for the internet troubles you have been experiencing, especially the loss of your work. It is very frustrating.
    Look after yourself. Most of all – have enormous fun! I’ll be celebrating for you over here! 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      I heard you singing all the way in Idaho! 😀 Thank you, Norah! The boat ride was spectacular. To see the mountains from the 43-mile long lake was awesome. I learned of the great glacial floods of 17,000 years ago that formed the lake and saw an eagle’s nest and an eagle on shore. I also heard a rumor that actor Matthew McConaughey bought one of the lake islands. Okay, I modeled what a full five days off looks like! 🙂 I gardened, went on a garden tour in town and read when the sun went down! Splendid! Internet was up this morning and now I’m getting back at it! I’m hoping we can convince Frontier to extend fiber optics to us in July. Fingers crossed! If not, my neighbor and I might be commuting to Starbucks more regularly.

      • Norah

        Oh no! I can’t sing a note in tune! Only in my head! 🙂 But I’m pleased the wishes reached you. 🙂
        It sounds like you had a wonderful celebration and got to have a bit of “down” time, which sounds great; and I’m not talking about the internet down time, which doesn’t! I do hope you get the fiber optics in July. I don’t want coffee stained blog posts!

      • Charli Mills

        I make more typos on coffee so I’m hoping for improved service! 😀

  4. kalpana solsi

    Happy birthday to you , Charli. have a nice time. Enjoy.

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, Kalpana! I had a lovely extended birthday weekend.

  5. Pete

    Papa’s Hand

    Papa grunted as Travis hopped up into his lap. The television was green with golf and a bowl of pretzels sat on side table. Travis turned to Papa’s hand, examining.

    “Tell me again what happened.”

    “Well, we were out at sea,” Papa started. The boy’s wide eyes fastened on the nubs. He’d even touched them once. “The wind picked up and the clouds rumbled overhead….”

    Another head peeked over the armchair. “I thought it was on a safari, Papa?”

    “Oh, that was this one.”

    Papa wiggled the thumb stump. Grandma smiled. Safari sure beat “happened at the packaging plant.”

    • Pat Cummings

      “Never spoil a good story for the sake of the truth!” My parents taught me well, and my spouse’s parents gave the same lesson…

      • Charli Mills

        Missing fingers deserves a good story! What a great way to captivate curious grandchildren. 🙂

  6. Pete

    Oops, I had a typo, here fixted it….

    Papa’s Hand

    Papa grunted as Travis hopped up into his lap. The television was green with golf and a bowl of pretzels sat on the side table. Travis turned to Papa’s hand, examining.

    “Tell me again what happened.”

    “Well, we were out at sea,” Papa started. The boy’s wide eyes fastened on the nubs. He’d even touched them once. “The wind picked up and the clouds rumbled…”

    Another head peeked over the armchair. “I thought it was on a safari, Papa?”

    “Oh, that was this one.”

    Papa wiggled the thumb stump. Grandma smiled. Safari sure beat “happened at the packaging plant.”

    • mj6969

      An interesting form of “mystery” – especially from a child’s point of view – seeking out the adventure of all things unexplored. Well done 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      I feel like this is one of those “find the error” games. 🙂 I can’t find the typo!

    • paulamoyer


    • A. E. Robson

      You gave me shivers. Love the ending.

    • mj6969

      Interesting use of myth or tale meets modernity – and it has just enough of a “creepy” hint that makes one wonder.

    • Charli Mills

      I can see both scenes, the old and the new, tied together by a full moon and sound. We think that we are safe in our modern world, but always the mysteries of the past tap on our shoulder!

  7. A. E. Robson

    Set Free
    By Ann Edall-Robson

    Papa had said, “He’s the man for you.”

    At 17, she had wed the cruel eyed monster. He was 15 years her senior.

    She had born thirteen children; and, still grieved for those that had not lived.
    His callous words haunted her. “Another dead? Can’t you get anything right?”

    She hated him. She would have done anything to get away. She plotted in her mind for things to happen to him.

    At 82, she could still hear the shotgun’s thunderous boom. It was the day she had been set free.

    If only she could find out who to thank.

    • mj6969

      I really loved the last line – made me wonder though – when did it happen – which I guess is part of the mystery too. Well done 🙂

      • Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

        Yes I wondered that also. Did she suffer him most of her 82 years or did respite come sooner.

      • mj6969

        definitely leaves one wondering 😉

    • Charli Mills

      Just as circumstances could be hard in the past, so could people. Your flash is one of those mysteries that could have a hundred stories behind it!

    • A. E. Robson

      In the 99 Word (plus a lot more) version, the mystery was unravelled in several different ways.

      This prompt has given lots of food for thought; and left me with a start to a story that waits to be finished.

      • Charli Mills

        I like it when a seed is planted!

  8. Rebecca Patajac

    I never really had an interest in history, but after this post and hearing about your 3 hour adventure, I am curious to discover the vast array of stories behind. . . everything! It’s incredible how many different things can happen in this world, and each and every one is worthy of being written about. It’s exciting! I can’t believe what I’ve been missing out on.

    Keen to get on top of this prompt ASAP. So much fun, thank you Charli! And I hope you had an awesome birthday.

    • Rebecca Patajac

      One more thing:
      My mind is going crazy! I just looked up out the window to our backyard and I’m imagining stories behind the bricks, the railing, the blades of grass. You have opened my mind. . .how have I not seen this before? I can’t thank you enough 🙂

      • Charli Mills

        Yes! You have become a story-catcher! May you never run out of material for your curiosity, writing, parenting and living!

      • Rebecca Patajac

        It’s so enlightening, so much freedom, it’s incredible!

    • Charli Mills

      Ha, ha! It is a delightful gift to see stories everywhere! I’m glad you are willing to unwrap it and join in. Do you read Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time)? He writes fantasy of another place, but his writing is grounded in the history he grew up with in the South (US) and his experiences in life (Vietnam veteran, dance critic, pipe collector). He collected stories but put them into a huge sweeping saga of 14 books. Somehow, it makes me think of you and your WIP. All these stories can fuel even your futuristic unfolding. 😀

      And thank you, it was an extended birthday weekend (with lots of stories)!

      • Rebecca Patajac

        I think I’ve heard of Wheel of Time, but nothing other than a passing title. I’ll have to look into it! There’s a second world in my novel that I’ve been getting a lot of inspiration from history for. I’ve gone through our very early human evolution to understand the movements and migration of different races and I’ve taken snippets from all different cultures and belief systems and worked them into the different colonies on the other world, so I can understand where they have come from. Still a lot of work to be done, but it’s so much fun! I’ve just started reading Alastair Reynold’s “Blue Remembered Earth” and it’s an incredible change from the Sci-fi of 50 years ago (the Dune universe that is my favourite), so much more understanding and depth to concepts that he manages to weave into the daily lives of all people. It’s incredible.
        I’m glad your birthday went well 🙂 you can never have too many stories!

      • Charli Mills

        Amazing study you are putting into your work, Rebecca! I think you might like Wheel of Time. History helps us see patterns that we often miss in current culture.

    • Pat Cummings

      I liked the open-endedness of this flash – mystery left intact!

      • mj6969

        Thanks – it was a bit of a mystery to me – no pun intended – how to convey what I wanted to – considering I love watching and definitely reading great mysteries – but 99 words – well, not too much room to play – if heading at it straight up.

        Thanks for stopping in and commenting. 🙂 Appreciated!

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks! It was refreshing and a good thing the internet went down after giving me such grief last week. It was the perfect storm — celebration, sunshine and an “no internet” excuse to linger outside!

      Mysteries are so captivating, both the solved and unsolved.

      I’m so sorry, I realized I miss your story last week. I’ll get that in the compilation!

      • mj6969

        Oh heck, don’t be worrying about it – my “time coding” is stuck on UTC – so no matter what I do, it tries to do its own thing 🙂

        And you have enough to take care of anyhow – I’m not offended – but thanks anyhow.

        And – so glad that you had a wonderful celebration – it certainly sounds like an amazing way to refresh and explore in grand adventuring style 😀

      • Charli Mills

        It was refreshing, that’s for certain! And I got your story! 😀

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Larry! Uh-oh…another Ed situation. 🙂

    • mj6969

      Really interesting twist – a mystery solved – but perhaps no amount of flowers could possibly make up for the mistake?

  9. Norah

    The Gift by Ruth Irwin

    Sitting in her clear plastic box hanging by ribbon on the Christmas tree. Short brown curly hair, blue dress and smiling face. She was the most beautiful doll the two young sisters had ever seen. A gift to the youngest from their parents. It was very unusual for the parents to display gifts prior to Christmas Eve. The little girls spent long hours sitting looking at her longingly. Finally she was allowed out of her package and what fun the three had together. Sadly she disappeared without a trace. Where did she go? They searched for her into adulthood.

    • Charli Mills

      I can just see the girls memorized by the displayed gift in the Christmas tree. The last line clinches how memorable that doll was to both girls. So many possibilities, and I sense that the adults were silent on the issue.

    • mj6969

      Definitely makes me think there was something very tragic about to unfold – and so, the mystery continues – and is haunting.

    • Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

      Those mysteries of childhood. I am still looking for a book “Eloise in Moscow” that I had as a child. I can’t believe it disappeared without trace like your doll. It was a double mystery – why did her parents display the doll as they did and where did she go?

      • Norah


    • Charli Mills

      That’s a fun one! Did you learn of this when visiting Switzerland?

      • Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

        I’m glad you liked it. I discovered this for your challenge. I did know that Charlie Chaplin saw out his days in Vevvy on Lake Geneva hence photo of me with him there. I didn’t know of this mystery. I have some photos that I will use another time that I had been going to use with this post and I thought Charlie Chaplin must have some mystery surrounding him but was surprised on researching it just how much mystery and how that old mystery fitted in with your prompt so well having had the letter discovery in 2011.

      • Charli Mills

        It’s amazing to think that we can’t unravel his mystery, either. The letter is an intriguing hint, but so is his mother’s travel as an entertainer. He does look Roma!

  10. Norah

    Hi Charli,
    I have enjoyed following you down this path this week. It has taken me some interesting places. I’m telling a little more of Marnie’s story in this one. I hope you like it. Thanks for the challenge. 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      I’m glad you’ve liked the path this week! I’m having fun catching up on all the mysteries that rolled in. Marnie became a mystery to escape her life. I think many mysteries are to hide. This is a good way to reveal her!

      • Norah

        Thanks Charli. That time in between is still a mystery to me! So much else I need to figure out! 🙂

      • Charli Mills

        Follow Marnie; she’ll lead you there.

  11. paulamoyer

    Glad you had a happy day, Charli. Here’s my post:

    Evil Pajamas

    By Paula Moyer

    Nine years old, Jean loved exploring her grandparents’ attic. The puzzles were fine; old photo albums, also fine. The good stuff, though, lay behind closed doors.

    One afternoon, she discovered the storage shed. Dark and hot. What was this thing on a hanger? Then she saw. A white robe and pointed hood. A mask. “KKK” on the hood’s brow.

    On the way home, she announced, “I found Grandpa’s white pajamas in the shed. But why did he need that funny hat?”


    Now Jean knew. When she saw “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations, she felt called to make it right.

    • Charli Mills

      What a title! The child’s innocence, “Grandpa’s white pajamas,” and her adult realization are at such opposite ends. Good perhaps that some families did keep it so secret that it never became family tradition. Is it social pressure? Fear? Thought-provoking flash!

      • paulamoyer

        Thanks, Charli!

      • paulamoyer

        Also, Charli, there was an oath of silence that Klansmen took. You had to be in the club for a Klansman to acknowledge its existence.

      • Charli Mills

        Ah, well that makes sense for the silence!

    • mj6969

      Definitely well written and the mystery – later understood – makes for a stunning impact!

      • paulamoyer

        Thanks, MJ!

    • Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

      Her adult self must have been chilled by the realisation of what grandpa was and did. Those incongruities between loving and cruel are hard to grasp at any time. Glad though that she felt called to make it right

      • paulamoyer

        Thank you, Irene. Yes, these incongruities are difficult to digest. Jean’s intrepid, though.

  12. Ula

    Local history can be quite fascinating. Your prompt made me think of the mystery of art heists. Here’s my contribution:

    • Charli Mills

      Many of my favorite stories have been built around stolen art. I wonder what it is about art that beckons to be “owned”?

      • mj6969

        Probably the idea of “privilege” – and the egotistical notion that great art can only be truly understood and appreciated by the one who can set it and coddle it under the best of circumstances, as it often happens – much like preserving or aging the best of wines in cellars – I should think.

      • Ula

        Thanks, Irene, I’ll check it out.

  13. Annecdotist

    Hope you had a lovely birthday, Charli. I totally approve (not that you require my approval) of you setting off for an adventure on your own. Look forward to reading your flash when your Internet connection is finally fixed – oh that is so frustrating (I’m so dependent on mine, and can hardly believe what short time it is since I thought broadband was totally unnecessary). You’ll find my contribution over here on my blog

    • Charli Mills

      It was the right kind of day for an adventure, too! I met so many fascinating visitors on the boat, including an anthropologist. I think we have to go solo every now and again. The next day I went to a garden party with my neighbor and she took me out for a second birthday dinner! Mostly, I hung out in my garden barefooted and got good and dirty. All I have at the moment is dirt and high hopes for sprouting. I’d call that a grand weekend! As for internet…well, it returned today. I’m pressuring Frontier for fiber optics out our way. I did discover that Starbucks in Sandpoint has great WiFi. Off to read your contribution!

  14. rogershipp

    My Only Begotten

    That worn leather book had set on the top shelf of the glass-enclosed mahogany bookcase for as long as I remember. The night before Grandmother passed away Dad had gotten it off the shelf, taken it into her bedroom, and closed the door. I had completely forgotten about it until now.

    Organizing all the accumulations of one’s life for the final sale jars many memories. This book hasn’t likely been moved since Grandmother’s passing.

    A silent reverence fills the room as I gently remove the book. A yellowed paper it sticking from its upper corner. Adoption papers…. But whose?

    • Charli Mills

      Family Bibles can be a source of great mystery. I wonder if our ancestors that them a place to bookmark truths they did not want found out? It feels as if the character has waited a long time to open it.

    • mj6969

      Intriguing twist to a tale – that conceals rather than reveals more about a family’s history …. one never knows.

  15. Charli Mills

    Aunt Mollie by Phil Guida
    Mollie didn’t discover her real identity until 52 years after her birth. She was told she lost her parents a to fireworks explosion.
    She was raised by her aunts & uncles all the while playing among her brothers and sisters knowing them as cousins.
    Her Mother was proclaimed her sister and the secret was kept for 50 years, until the old man died and Aunt Tina spilled out the horrible truth of Rape and ignorance that bore Mollie.
    Some 60 plus years have passed since that time. Mollie is also gone, yet her story still resonates within the family.

    • Charli Mills

      Phil, my friend had a similar family secret. Her mother revealed her knowledge of it but had sworn to secrecy. Relations remain a confusing muddle because of it. It is a story to rock the family tree!

    • mj6969

      Depending on the “era” this was so commonplace – it is in a sense heartbreaking – not only from the point of view of not knowing the truth – but also, because often, there were deep resentments and unsolved issues that created undue tensions within the family dynamics. Of course, in a sense, it “protected” the child – but gossips are gossips and eventually “truth” will out.

      Great story Charli.

      • Charli Mills

        It’s Phil’s story, but I posted it her for him. Yes, good points about family dynamics and how closed this sort of revelation would have been regarded.

      • mj6969

        Thanks for clearing that up 🙂

  16. Charli Mills

    Stories Left Untold by Charli Mills

    “He was accidentally shot.”

    “Strange,” I say, thumbing through my cousin’s album. Our great-grandmothers were sisters.

    “Story goes that two cowboys got in a brawl, drew pistols and shot the saloon-keeper — my great-granddad.”

    There’s a photo of my great-grandmother and her only sister, both smiling, holding hands. All five brothers stand behind them like an honor guard.

    I hand him a newspaper clipping. It outlines his great-grandmother’s horrific demise…hair clawed out…fingers gnarled…face agonized… She died at 23, six months before her husband’s accident.

    “Was she poisoned?”

    We look again at the brothers and wonder at stories left untold.

    • Sherri

      Love your flash Charli. Oh for those stories left untold…a picture – photo in this case – paints a thousand words for sure. But those brothers aren’t giving anything away, leaving us to do nothing but guess at the words behind their story…

      • Charli Mills

        So much they don’t tell us, yet often with enough clues we can make some interesting guesses!

      • Sherri

        Oh yes…

    • mj6969

      I’m confused – did I respond to the wrong person just before?

      At any rate – this is a first rate mystery – and when it involves sisters of one family marrying brothers in another or simply large broods, it can be deeply fascinating in days when secrets where so well kept. Great story.

      • Charli Mills

        You responded to the right story, but I posted it for another writer.

        Facebook would have been silent in those days. They were terrific secret keepers. I feel like we are the secret seekers. 🙂

      • mj6969

        Smiling —- “secret seekers” — how apt! 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      A need to know, or perhaps from the writer perspective, a need to supply the “what if…” Sometimes the unanswered questions lead deeper into mystery.

    • mj6969

      Definitely an interesting interpretation of this challenge – and very well done.

      • Sarah

        Thank you!

  17. Sherri

    Oh I do love a good mystery Charli, and I’m fascinated by the one you share here as well as the story behind the story. True crime is my favourite of all genres. I’ll be back with my flash later on. And so glad that your internet is up and running once again 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      When I did have television that was my favorite thing to watch — true crime stories! Yes, good to have connection! 🙂

      • Sherri

        Oh yes, I remember we shared our mutual love of true crime didn’t we? That was more than a few Flash’s ago…wow…

  18. plaguedparents

    Here you go Charli:

    In the linked post I couldn’t help but add some background for anyone who might be interested.

    • Charli Mills

      Well, that would be me! I’m always interested in background! 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      And I show up in the 15th! Kinda like my boat tour — I arrived “just in time”! 🙂

      • Sarah Brentyn

        Uh oh. There must be more to that story. Did you write about it at Elmira?

      • Charli Mills

        I did. Complete with photos. 🙂 Well, not of me arriving just in time…

    • mj6969

      Interesting turn of phrase to end the story – which could be interpreted in many different ways. Great job!


    Hi Charli,

    Made it again, I’m pleased to say. Couldn’t really not for this week’s prompt as it soooo perfectly encapsulates the beginning of Earth Magic, and paring it down to only 99 words was so cathartic!

    So, here it is:

    St Gall: Monastery or Myth?

    “How it came to be here, in this 6th century context, is a mystery. That it was built at all, and to the perfect specifications of Charlemagne’s 9th century plan, is miraculous. That it overturns archaeological theories of technological capabilities during these centuries, we do know.”

    Vanda turned from the image on screen, pressed a button on the lectern, and prayed.

    “This artist’s impression shows how we think the buildings of the monastery looked … And this,” another image blinked into place, “is how it will look once it’s rebuilt. But for that I need money, and lots of it!”

    And here’s the link to the post on my bog, oops, blog 🙂

    Brightest Blessings to ALL, as always,

    Tally 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      That’s fantastic when the prompt helps with the greater work! Hee, hee, I will visit your bog! Thanks for visiting mine. 😀

    • Charli Mills

      Tally ho! Jumping over the hedges to the ranch! 🙂 Oh, good, you’ve let your dark side come out and play. 🙂

      • Sherri

        LOL 😀 😀 😀

    • Charli Mills

      Last minute contributions welcome! I’m always the latest to arrive. 🙂 And yes, it was fabulous! Thank you! 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      The Ranch is open-range 24/7! 😀

  20. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

    You have me wanting more. Why did he bury her way back then and why is he so fearful she has returned? What did she do when she was 8 years old? Great flash

  21. paulamoyer

    This is marvelous!

  22. mj6969

    A really wonderful idea and presented with such depth – it certainly makes one consider the possibilities of such an idea!


  1. Doppelgänger | Walk A Mile - […] May 20, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write about an old mystery in the current…
  2. 99 Word Flash Fiction: Charlie Chaplin | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist) - […] This week Charli has given us a prompt to look at an old mystery. […]
  3. Understanding family relationships | Norah Colvin - […] At the Carrot Ranch this week Charli Mills is talking about cold cases and challenges writers to, In 99…
  4. Father’s Poppy Painting • #shortreads #flashfiction | confessions of a broccoli addict - […] This flash fiction is in response to Charli Mill’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. […]
  5. Old Mystery | Love a Literary Life - […] to the Carrot Ranch’s weekly challenge. Inspired by both Charli Mills’ prompt, an Old Mystery and my better half…
  6. Exercise in Vanity - The Plagued Parent - […] is my response to the latest prompt from Charli’s Flash Fiction Challenge. The goal was to deal with some…
  7. He’s Gone | Lemon Shark Reef - […] Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch […]
  8. Foxy Lady: 99 Word Flash Fiction | A View From My Summerhouse - […] long last, time for some Flash Fiction! Charli’s Flash Fiction prompt this week asks us to write about ‘an…
  9. It’s a mystery… | TanGental - […] is Charli Mills latest […]

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