June 22: 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.

June 22, 2016

June 22The girls each grab a metal rail, slightly rusted and possibly moldy. Or maybe it’s just black grit. One is 15 years old, the other 12. Despite the difference in height, they unhook the bottom of each rail  and push skyward. An old striped awning unfolds. I know it’s old because it first unfurled the year I graduated from high school. 1985. The year my husband exited the US Army as a Sgt. E-5, Ranger 1/75.

What do these numbers mean? Nothing, really. Not now. I try to focus on the rails and the “crabby” side the 15 year old wrestles with and advises me how to jimmy until it pops into place. For now, the rain has ceased. The awning is not needed but is nice to have. It’s attached to my new home; a home on wheels; a home that wasn’t my home the last time I tapped keys at Carrot Ranch.

Who am I? I don’t know I would answer that question the same way I would have in May of 2016. I feel like the crabby rail that needs shaking to work correctly. I feel rusty, moldy. I want my bed but I now sleep in a cubby where I can’t sit up for lack of space. I feel the need to urinate frequently only because I’m panicked over where I’m supposed to pee. I discover at age 49 that I have claustrophobia.

But family send me Facebook messages that my experience is fun. Evidently, I’m a pioneer.

Ah, at last, something to cling to. If this what it is to be a pioneer, I have a greater appreciation for the women who looked at the Conestoga wagons that clearly couldn’t fit their heirlooms, kitchens and children only to mouth, WTF to their husbands. Adventure, they’d mouth back, as if adventure made the loss worthwhile. So I think, did women respond to the call of adventure, or did they shrink under the weight of all they lost? Home matters more to women, I’m convinced.

Mary McCanles didn’t follow her husband, Cobb immediately to Rock Creek, Nebraska Territory. About the time he voiced his Grand Solution to the unraveling politics of antebellum North Carolina, Mary responded with two words: “I’m pregnant.” Yet, many wives gave birth on the emigrant trails to California or Oregon or the Promised Desert of the Mormons. Mary stayed behind until she gave birth. The child before was born blue of a difficult labor; the child would need special care all her life. As typical of the times, Mary could have let the babe die; failure to thrive was considered a merciful end to a dependent life. But she and Cobb raised that daughter. And Mary gave birth to their last child before she left her home.

Home. What is that?

Home is where the heart is.

Home sweet home.

Home is where your story begins.

Let me introduce you to Dr. Danni Gordon. She loves the comfort of her home. Danni is a historical archaeologist, working less and less each year in Idaho for the US Forest Service due to budget cuts. She makes her home with Ike, a former Army Ranger. He likes smelly things, like reloading bullets, tanning animal hides and hunting dogs. They do not exist in her home where she stores her Oregon Pinot Noir, vintage aprons and historic railroad maps. Her home smells of vanilla cream candles and home-cooking from recipes found in old cookbooks. Yet, home is threatened when Ike decides to re-enlist to help out in Iraq. She becomes responsible for the smelly things until he returns. But what if he doesn’t? What if a glitch in his pay creates a foreclosure situation her meager salary can’t recover. What if Ike goes missing and she and the dogs lose their home?

Welcome to the revision of Miracle of Ducks. Originally, my novel explored what it means to serve and how we all need community. Now the protagonist, Danni, faces losing her home after her husband goes missing on a mission in Iraq. It’s a book that explores what life is like for the spouses left behind when the home-front is threatened by capitalistic systems that fail the very families protecting the capitalistic nations. Why? Because women in the US have had to cope with loss of home throughout our history from the pioneers to the soldiers’ wives foreclosed upon. And it’s a topic I can adress with some experience.

For now, let’s suffice to say that I found a sliver of home in the two girls who showed me the quirks of my replacement — a camp trailer on wheels. They loved this trailer for family memories while camping. It’s all I have between me and the rain outside. I grieve the loss of my office. I want my bed like a toddler craving a special blanket. I have no idea how to cook in this tiny space despite bringing my best copper pan. Yet I forgot a spatula. I have no running water and I only have electricity if someone lets me plug in to theirs. Home is where the heart is? I’m not sure where my heart is at the moment, selfish as that sounds. Home sweet home? It stinks. Home is where my story begins? Sure.

Let the next chapter begin.

Carrot Ranch is a place for writers. It’s a community that holds more heart than anything else in my life at the moment. It’s meant to support, and support it will continue to do. While my home travels from place to place (I’m visiting friends with flushing toilets, wi-fi and electricity), I’ll be revising two novels. One is bones, the other muscle. I’ll also be finishing the skin of the first Carrot Ranch anthology. Bones, muscles, skin? An analogy shared with me by a former baby-sitter; a young girl who once loved my home and children who now is a fine woman with her own. She’s currently in Manchester, England working on a literary thesis. A position she worked hard to earn. From Montana to Minnesota to the UK.

We are all connected here through our words. Flash fiction is our common ground. And my home is held in the hands of a community while I transition through a time of homelessness. Thank you for your encouragement, support and contributions. We are ranchers. We are pioneers. We are writers. And this is our home.

June 22, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about home. What is it? How does it impact a character? Explore the idea of home from any spark that creates a story.

Respond by June 28, 2016 to be included in the weekly compilation. Rules are here. All writers are welcome!


New Home by Charli Mills (from Rock Creek)

“Blue skies of home!” Cobb swept arms outward and Sarah leaned back, soaking in every scudding white cloud she claimed.

They labored hard that summer. Sarah set up the books and store. At night Cobb fiddled for pioneers passing through, no matter how tired he was from constructing the bridge and outbuildings. He dug a new well and bought a second road ranch.

When Mary finally arrived with Cobb’s brother, all the children safe, including the new baby, Cobb greeted her with the same sweeping gesture and homage to the prairie sky.

Mary glowered. “Home’s what I left behind.”


Line Open, Nobody Listening by Charli Mills (from Miracle of Ducks)

“Look you son-of-a-bitch, just because you have an error in your system doesn’t make you right,” Danni yelled into the receiver of the phone, ignoring Michael’s silent indication to stop. No way. She was right and this bank jerk-off on the other end was wrong.

“Mrs. Gordon…”

“Dr. Gordon, to you, asshole!”

“If you continue this harassing language, I’ll hang up.”

“Oh, scary. If you continue your harassing foreclosure letters without correcting YOUR error I will hang you like a vigilante.”

“Enough, Danni,” Michael whispered harshly.

She slammed the receiver, screamed at the wall in frustration. “It’s my home!”


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  1. Patricia Salamone

    HOME AGAIN/By: Patricia Salamone

    Home is not a physical place. Home is a feeling of belonging. It is the people that surround you.
    It is the smell of cookies baking, or bread in the oven. It is the laughter you share when recalling the crazy things you did in your childhood. It is sharing secrets with your siblings that no one else will ever know. It is loving those around you and feeling that same love in return forever. It is remembering the hugs and kisses and love. Home is not a dwelling. Home is where your heart will always be.

    • Charli Mills

      Welcome to Carrot Ranch, Patricia! That’s a sweet kind of home.

  2. Annecdotist

    Lovely to have you back among us, Charli, as you struggle with your temporary home. I’m always amazed at how beautifully you can write, when the world around you is falling apart. And I love that you’re managing to revise your novel in the light of this recent experience – what a superb triumph over adversity that might be.
    But I agree, it can be exciting to rough it when you’ve got a comfortable house to go back to, but not when it’s because you’ve been forced to leave.
    I wonder it’s women who feel the loss of home most, or mothers, given they take the major role in creating a secure place, if they can, for the children.
    I’ll be back later with my flash.

    • Charli Mills

      That reflection makes me think of a vital difference between Sarah and Mary. Mary was a mother and the home was her turf. Sarah never had another child beyond the babe she lost and never had those hearth skills. Good to be back at the ranch, but strange to be in the existence I’m in…yes, temporary…I have to hold on to that.

  3. Norah

    Welcome back, Charli. It’s great to see you back here tending the campfire at the Ranch, and everyone else’s comforts. It must be hard not to scream back, “It’s not an adventure! It’s not a fun holiday! I don’t want to do this!” when others make comments attempting to convince you it is.
    We can listen, but it’s hard to know what to say in reply. Sometimes comments meant to buoy only serve to emphasise how crap it is. “It’s easy for you to say from your nice warm home!”
    In person we can listen, shake our heads, give a hug. Few words are needed.
    But in the blogosphere, if we but listen, shake our heads and send telepathic hugs, the comment box remains bare, as if we do not care. But care we do, it’s just the words that are hard, for no words can write away your pain. Only your own words can write you into another story. I’m looking forward to a better resolution to the next one. Write through these dark days quickly and move swiftly towards the light.
    Sending love and hugs and wishing for better days soon.

    • Sarah Brentyn

      What Norah said. ????
      Also, so glad you’re revising your book. Sounds fantastic.

      • Charli Mills

        It makes me glad I sat on it. My gut feeling was that it wasn’t ready. This gives me something real to add that I can also address through personal essay.

    • Charli Mills

      This is so true, Norah. I’m grateful for the blogosphere, though. We have little in person support. A lady at Starbucks complimented me on my shoes today. I always where my Keens, a type of rugged outdoor sandle. They do have a nice look, even old and dirty. I was tempted to tell her they were all the rage among the homeless fashionistas. Not that I was trying to be rude, but I felt so weird in my current situation and so disconnected from all I see around me. In the blogosphere, no one is looking at my hair or shoes, and I feel like I am “me”. And I’m glad to be tending the campfire here.

      • Norah

        I’m sorry that you have little ‘in person’ support. I’m pleased you have such a warm community of support here at the Ranch. Homeless fashionista. Now there’s something.Obviously you didn’t look it to her or she would probably have shied away or ignored you. You still give the appearance of normality (whatever that is, and it’s not meant to be disparaging!), while inside you are falling apart – not a mean feat. You are showing that strength here too, but not with your hair or your shoes!

      • jeanne229

        Well you managed to make me laugh with your apt term, “homeless fashionista” despite the grim but amazingly beautiful post. I don’t know how you do it Charli. So good to see you back head-honchoing your way into our thoughts and stirring up our creativity. Making us think and feel what is happening in this country. And as for your experience, I think you have three books in the slow cooker here, the two you’ve been working on (and love the new direction on Miracle of Ducks) and a memoir constructed of these chronicles of homelessness. You are in the historical moment, not cocooned from it. Just read a review and picked up the book last night, White Trash, about class in America, what one reviewer called “an analysis of the intractable caste system that lingers below the national myths of rugged individualism and cities on hills.” You might not be in the group that we traditionally think of when this ugly term is used. For one thing, you are from the West and well educated…but your experience illustrates how easy it is to wake up in this country with your struts pulled out from under you. It ain’t right.
        Having my own thoughts on home over here. Been enlightened about a whole segment of our population to whom no one will rent out a place, unless you can find some mom and pop outfit that doesn’t do a background check. My son at 22, the “felon” … I’m not excusing his behavior but damn if I understand how depriving someone of shelter helps them rejoin society. But that’s another story. You take care my reluctant warrior.

      • Charli Mills

        If ever there was a time to be fashionable! 🙂 Ah, Jeanne, that’s not another story, but part of it. And I’d love to read White Trash as I know and understand that class distinction. I actually come from white trash, roaming cowboys and their families…uneducated, isolationists, but always trying to act superior to their roots. This is my father’s family and my family of origin. My mother’s family were cowboys, too but the actual ranchers who owned the land. There’s the biggest distinction — who owns the land. Education, though, is the great victor over ignorant roots. I had to read in secret growing up, as if books were a bad thing. And I pushed hard to find my way to college. It meant so much to me that my kids never questioned its importance. They saw it. Further class distinctions are based on behavior and whether or not one has the money to overcome. For example, a felon from a wealthy family can almost have his or her past erased. A felon from any other background, even educated, faces the forever stigma. It’s not supposed to be that way. And here is where I BELIEVE in the POWER of VOICE! Voice doesn’t right any injustice or make landlords treat people as humans or eliminate the class distinctions, but voice can walk over the lines, speak out and speak up. Maybe there needs to be a writing workshop for felons finding place through voice. Yes, I’m a reluctant warrior and maybe you are destined to be one on behalf of others, too. <3

      • Charli Mills

        I’m beginning to question that sense of normalcy. I think it’s an easy slide from feeling normal to not. It’s going to take some strength of will to rise above this. But having such a caring community is the elixir to the journey and its dehumanizing challenges.

  4. Susan Budig

    Your words and experience are sobering. The insight you’ve had regarding pioneer women and how they felt about home sounds true. I hope I find time to contribute this week.

    • Charli Mills

      I think reality is more aligned with uncertainty than we want to admit. It can lose its veil of stability in a day. Home really is about people, yet we lose family and friends, too. Deep, something thoughts. I hippie you get the chance to contribute! Thank you!

  5. noelleg44

    Welcome back, Charli. You are proving yourself a real pioneer woman – grit, hard word, determination, and the ability to see beauty in small things!

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Noelle! It helps to share the sights with a community that’s got True Grit.

  6. C. Jai Ferry

    So happy you’re back! Your predicament, in a word, sucks. But I know you will see it through. You will survive because you still have stories to tell. Many, many stories.

    • Charli Mills

      Just ranchin’ stories like Angus steers! Thanks!

  7. denmaniacs4

    I hope all is well, Charli, or at least a little better.


    No matter how many times he slept rough, even livery-stable rough, Dobbs
    was ever thankful that he was not burnished with the weight of place.

    Childhood in Virginia had been a prison.

    Houses were prisons, coffins that smothered you.

    Nothing, not even hired strokes of softness and love, remedied the crushing feeling of being caged.

    Still, as he sat in the Taylor’s kitchen, opposite a beaming Aggie Runacre, drinking a cup of coffee from a cracked china cup, waiting for Merle Taylor to fry up a fresh plate of flapjacks, he felt, for a moment, that he was home.

    • Charli Mills

      Doing okay for the moment, thanks. Your flash is full of contemplation. Hard to explain the appeal of chipped China, but you do it well, comparing the prison of one life to the freedom of another.

  8. ellenbest24

    Your 99 words are full and round. A strong 99 words to be proud of.
    I left my home and took clothes, photos, and a jam pan. I was invi’ pushed , not thrown as you were. But once I gathered myself and settled a bit, I realised home is inside you, and not in things, or structures. I could cope if I had to, but I never want to not again. Be strong you will make it .

    • Charli Mills

      Yes, home is on the inside, and yet I think it takes some settling to get to that sense. I’m glad some strength came through the flash. Thanks!

  9. Sherri

    Welcome home to Carrot Ranch Charli, how good it is to meet you at the gate <3

    • Charli Mills

      Lovely! That’s the perfect welcome…home is where the ranch is!?

  10. TanGental

    I feel awkward writing here. I’ve never known the gnawing uncertainty you know today. My roofs have been secure, lasting and until I had my own buttoned down I had my parents as back up. I imagine you sitting after pressing publish and looking at the screen thinking what next? A moment of writerly escapism before reality bites. Know only this Charli. After you return from each escape into your novels or our flash and stand at the minuscule sink wondering if water will appear, we are thinking about you. We are still there, not quite present. Is that a comfort? It is a promise I think that you should feel free to escape here whenever you can and we will be waiting, the Brits queuing and grumbling but making do as usual. We want you to succeed; we are rooting for you to succeed in each endeavour. That’s not thunder out there, threatening the integrity of the waterproofing; that’s a rolling cheer from all your rough writers. C’mon Charli! PS Flash to follow.

    • Charli Mills

      Well, I feel awkward, too. It doesn’t matter where we are on the spectrum of have/have not, I think it’s human to question our circumstances. It’s those who don’t, who don’t feel awkward, who fail to see the humanity in others. You certainly do see the humanity in others despite a moment’s awkwardness. Writing is an escape, but also a place to process thoughts and connect through communication. I love the UK all the more for the connectivity I have there. And yes, I’m expecting you to give a grueling challenge to Mary on the homefront!

  11. paulamoyer

    God love you, Charli. What a time you are in.

    Here’s my flash:

    Home: A Project

    By Paula Moyer

    Jean had moved so often that she had to imagine “homecoming.” Even her parents had moved after she was grown. The place where Jean visited them on holidays wasn’t “home”; it was just her parents’ house.

    Jean imagined that homecoming was something restful, like the progression of chords at the end of a composition, until the resolution, the tonic “aah” at the end.

    But this house where she and Sam lived? So cluttered that she had to balance a plate on her knee? Home was not rest. Home was work.

    Jean laughed. “Welcome to reality,” she whispered. “Welcome home.”

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Paula! We all have struggles with defining something that feels like home, and I think Jean has it figured out. Life is clutter and we balance our plates best we can!

    • Norah

      Love that “restful, like the progression of chords …”

      • paulamoyer

        Thanks, Norah — when in doubt, bring in another artistic medium, right?

    • elliotttlyngreen

      Bring it on home… i think it’s perfect into an “aahhhh” at the end. My kinda metaphor. Like it! And I can almost hear it =]

    • Charli Mills

      Hi Sarah! Good to see you again at the ranch!

    • Sarah Brentyn

      Saw this and wanted to share here: ????

      “The act of reading is a partnership. The author builds a house, but the reader makes it a home.”

      – Jodi Picoult

      • Charli Mills

        Love it, Sarah!

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Sarrah. I’m holding on until the breakthroughs! Good to see you back at the ranch.

  12. Kerry E.B. Black

    Here’s praying for blessings to lighten your burdens, Charli.

    On the Range
    Written by Kerry E.B. Black

    Winds whipped tall grasses, a prairie dance set to a windy orchestra. Mac’s palomino stiffened, nostrils flaring.
    Mac rubbed his horse’s trembling withers. “We’re almost there, you crazy old thing.”
    The saddle groaned as he mounted and settled into leather worn to cradle him. His shoulders throbbed, yet Mac kept soldier-straight posture.
    The horse’s ears pricked forward, and his strides lengthened.
    “That’s right. You remember, don’t you?”
    Blond mane lifted when he removed the bridle, revealing scars healed with Mac’s care. He uncinched the saddle and pad. He saluted. “The military thanks you. Now move, stallion. Your herd awaits.”

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Kerry! Aw, this flash makes me cry! It was typical for both the US Army and western ranchers to keep horses in natural herds on the range. Stallions kept their “harems” of mares and it was often the young studs brought in to be gelded and broke for cavalry service or ranch duties, though mares and stallions were used to. I love the imagery of the scared Palomino smelling home and finding his place to rest. I wonder if this act is important to the soldier because he feels he can’t go home?

  13. Ula

    It’s so nice to see you back here, Charli. My thoughts have been with you over the last few weeks. I can imagine how difficult this situation must be. On the bright side, I’m sure it’ll inspire many stories. Sending you lots of love. And I’ll be back with my flash in a few.

    • Charli Mills

      Good to see you here, to Ula! Thank you for your thoughts and bright side — it will certainly lead to stories and twists to ponder in fictional jaunts.

      • Charli Mills

        Thanks, Ula!

  14. elliotttlyngreen

    Great to have you back and the flash prompts. Charli, here is my contribution to this weeks challenge. Keep your head up and keep pursuing the dreams. I truly admire your story and your work.


    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Elliott! I will do just that. Glad to see you back at the ranch!

  15. julespaige

    Glad to saddle up again 🙂
    I had my grands a bit this week… better late:

    Recovery and Reclamation?

    So many times Tammy thought she was home. Each time she
    thought she was settled, her parents told her they were moving,
    again! And some things didn’t move with them. Like the large doll,
    or the metal dollhouse with the plastic furniture and the people
    who couldn’t move.

    Now she looked back over the last twenty five years of being in
    the same place. The place where she’d raised her family. The
    mortgage paid for and the grandchildren’s toys strewn about.

    How could the magazines proclaim homes stayed neat and tidy?
    Those homes must have never been lived in.


    Link to the post is the title.

    • Charli Mills

      It’s good to be in the saddle with you. And thanks for riding alongside me each day with a frog’s mindful journey. I like your take on the prompt — a home is lived in!

  16. elliotttlyngreen

    I love the fury in the Miracle of Ducks excerpt. Its so frustrating being bound to rules and regulations and inanimate chains of things on paper. Because its written so shall it be done.

    ‘No way’. I think we all get there.

    Powerful stuff.

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for acknowledging the fury. Danni is a furious little dynamo, but she’s also isolated. Her fury lessens as she connects to her community. Those witless chains of command, the inept agencies and the loopholes for the crooked might never go away, but people can rise up in community. Down with things on paper!

      • elliotttlyngreen

        You know i started writing with the intention and purpose that things need to change.. I started writing with a fantastic idea that no one should ever have to suffer a life such as mine. I started writing cuz i couldnt read any classics without thinking i want that encouragement and inspiration and i want some kid centuries foward to read my american dream and become ripe with charges to do the same. I started writing on paper. Aways focused on someday. And they are my only decaying letters. It has all been digital text for nearly a decade…… Idk you are in the story. I started typing intending to say that in some classical exchange.

      • Charli Mills

        I love that intention and dream,”i want some kid centuries foward to read my american dream and become ripe with charges to do the same.” Yes! Yes! Yes! Someday is what fuels us dreamers. I realized I might not actualize every dream I have, but I’ll die dreaming and believing in their actualization — stardust for the next kid.

    • Charli Mills

      Hi Susan! So good to see you, too! Beautiful flash!

  17. Larry LaForge

    Welcome back Charli!

    My contribution to this week’s challenge is motivated by Charli’s current predicament and what I see around me in my daily “power walks” through the great college town where I live. There is construction everywhere here, on and off campus, to provide new housing for a growing student population. But it’s not the usual campus dormitories. It’s the accepted strategy in higher education in the US that resort-like housing facilities are needed to attract students, even at state universities.

    It’s hard for me to reconcile what I see here with the challenges Charli is facing.

    With apologies to anyone who may be offended, here is my contribution:


    • Annecdotist

      Ha, I thought the boundary had been breached when they gave them ensuite bathrooms – I find no particular virtue in a denial of home comforts, but this is no doubt part of the commercialisation of education. Splendid flash, Larry.

    • Charli Mills

      Hi Larry, and thank you! Good to be back. Glad you all can’t see my lack of ensuite bathing facilities. I had a friend invite us over to shower at her mom’s house and that hot water felt so good! I’m now scoping out RV camps that advertise hot showers, but not on the agenda for today. It is hard for me to fathom the building of such structures when fair housing for low to median income is disappearing. Thank you for writing this!

  18. A. E. Robson

    Welcome back, Charli.

    Is every house a home? I don’t think so.

    Welcome to our Home
    By Ann Edall-Robson

    “Quite the house, you have here.”

    Work dictated moving to a new area. An invite to meet the neighbours was not high on the priority list. But we went.

    Curiosity would bring the neighbours to us. They would see our home. Belongings stored comfortably around each room. Books on tables. The smell of cookies baking. Jackets that didn’t quite make it to the closet.

    There was no closed rooms with champagne coloured carpet. Kitchens with everything out of sight. Closets with clothes lined in perfect order.

    They live in a house. We live in a home.

    Welcoming neighbours. Anytime.


    • Charli Mills

      Hi Ann! Thanks! And no, I don’t think every house is a home. I like the ones I feel welcome in. Recently, a friend invited me to shower in her mom’s home. It felt like a home! And I don’t think anyone with champagne carpets would have the compassion to such a thing. Home invites, it welcomes.

    • Charli Mills

      Hi Anne, what a rich post! Home is a deep touch point for us on personal and national levels. I’m so sorry about your transition in the UK. It is a sense of homelessness.

  19. Norah

    Hi Charli, I started out all over the place, unsure where to head, so I just headed back to my comfort zone, though my flash doesn’t portray that. http://wp.me/p3O5Jj-JS
    So nice to have you back in the saddle again. Will be even better when you’re home sweet home! 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Norah! Ah, that’s often what a horse does…wanders about and then heads back to the familiar barn.

      • Norah

        Thanks for giving me a smile. 🙂

  20. Sherri

    Hi Charli, here’s my flash. Not what I expected to write, but think I must have needed to write something light…and it’s a BOTS which I hope you and the Rough Writers enjoy 🙂 <3

    Black Magic

    “This car’s a piece of junk,” hissed Steve.

    “Shhh…I told you it would be,” whispered Tina, hoping the owner hadn’t heard. “You tell him, I need to check on Sammy…”

    “Dad, Mom, look, a kitten! Can we take him home with us, pleeeeeze……?”

    “Looks like your little boy’s found a friend!”

    Steve closed the hood of the car as he glanced at Sammy kneeling on the grass petting a tiny, black furball.

    “Think we’ll have to pass on the car, sorry…”

    “No problem. There’s something needing a home more than this old heap of rust. I’ll get a box…”

    • Charli Mills

      Hi Sherri, good to see you riding in and with a charming BOTS. That first line is onemy husband is repeating…about the trailer. We’ll fix it but it would have been nice to get a kitten instead…ha, ha!

      • Sherri

        Thanks Charli..I struggled a bit with it, writing in general at the moment…blahhhh… Oh that’s awful…a kitten would be nice to cuddle while you get your roof fixed. Great to see you back here, big hugs 🙂 <3

      • Charli Mills

        Thanks, Sherri. I seem to have a moose following me…woke me up last night, but I’m not going to snuggle a moose! <3

      • Sherri

        Yikes…no, that might not be such a good idea, not with a Moose on the Loose!!! 😀 <3

    • julespaige

      This reminded me of when I found a black kitten in a playground. I got to keep it for a short while…

      • Sherri

        Glad it brought back a happy memory for you, thanks Jules. This happened to my eldest son and we kept the cat all her 14 years 🙂

      • julespaige

        Lucky cat!

      • Sherri


  21. Deborah Lee

    I’m so sorry to hear of your reduced circumstances, but happy you were able to make a portable home work for you. I know all too well the feeling of being displaced! You truly are a pioneer. Find the bright spots…there *have* to be bright spots…and keep on writing. You’re awesome. 🙂


    • Charli Mills

      Hi Deborah! Yes a true pioneer and I wonder if they complained about leaky Conestogas. At least we don’t have to deal with mules. Getting an eyeful regarding the plight of homeless in our country. Just now realizing how many people “car camp.” Our dogs are a big hit.

    • Charli Mills

      Just having to learn the internet lay of the land I’m in! Although, ironically, I’m up in Sandpoint right now, waiting for Todd’s appointment then to dash to another back in CDA. Glad you got in a post!


  1. Maybe | Lemon Shark Reef - […] Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch […]
  2. Kitten Spring | A Bringer of New Things - […] Below are photos and a video, as well as a little 99-word flash story about this, called “Kitten Spring,” to fit…
  3. (f) Carrot Ranch / Recovery and Reclamation? (6.24) | Jules in Flashy Fiction - […] Prompt: https://carrotranch.com/2016/06/22/june-22-flash-fiction-challenge/ June 22, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about home. What…
  4. Home #flashfiction | Urszula Humienik - […] This flash fiction is in response to the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. […]
  5. Home sweet home #flashfiction #shortstory | TanGental - […] Mills has been away a while, putting the Carrot Ranch into a new mobile home, but is back with…
  6. Home is where the start is | Norah Colvin - […] my response to Charli’s flash fiction challenge to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about…
  7. Homesick (Jane Doe Flash Fiction) – 99 Monkeys - […] Carrot Ranch June 28 flash fiction prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write about home. […]
  8. No Place Like Home | C. Jai Ferry - […] about what home means to me, trying to prepare myself to write something for Charli Mills’ Carrot Ranch prompt…
  9. Home on the Range « Carrot Ranch Communications - […] New Home by Charli Mills (from Rock Creek) […]

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