Not Allowed

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.

December 8, 2016

not-allowedThat’s not allowed. Sometimes the phrase is spoken or is like a sign on the grass. Other times what is not allowed passes without expression.

This week writers explored the phrase and the ideology behind it. In a tumultuous world climate, perhaps growing pains to growing globally, what is and isn’t allowed is scrutinized. Writers have explored, using flash fiction as the lens.

The following are based on the December 2, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about something or someone not allowed.


Not Allowed by Norah Colvin

She knew they were in there. She heard their chatter. Her knocks began timidly, then louder. The room hushed. There was rustling, then padding feet. She waited. The door opened a peek. Her loving sister’s smiling face appeared, then contorted unrecognisably.

“You’re not allowed!” the monster screeched, and slammed the door.

She froze – obliterated, erased, smashed to smithereens. She was nowhere, nothing. Why? What had she done?

She could only shrug when Mum asked why she wasn’t playing with her sister.

Later, at dinner, she viewed her sister’s sweet smiles cautiously. Was she real? When would the monster reappear?


Emergency Delivery: Hjordis by Liz Husebye Hartmann

She’d traversed the mountain, her skis crackling and sparking as she streaked down the final slope. Just a few kilometers more across the icy flatlands; she would reach the Hold before full sunrise.
The half-human bundled to her chest moaned as she swayed from side-to-side, and the blizzard drew nearer. Looking down at her niece, she growled comfort, but continued apace.

Kicking her skis off at the back gate, the giantess crossed to the kitchen window, gently laying the woman on the snowy stoop. A light flickered. She dashed into the shadows and watched with her goat’s eyes.



The Book of Rules by Irene Waters

“Don’t do ..”

“You’ve got your rule book out. Every day it gets longer. Can’t do cause its Monday, don’t do cause there’s an R in the month, don’t do, don’t do.” She could hear the angry frustration in his voice.

“No, it’s danger…”

“I don’t care. We’re doing it. I’m sick of you. Always negative.” He stacked the wood inside the deconstructed bookcase. Lifting the timber to edge the trolley under it the loose timber fell forward. He watched the skin peel off her leg as easily as she removed her stockings.

“See, I told you it was dangerous.”


Silence Please by Ellen Best

She shushed me as the door slammed,

My arms full of books.

People peered above their spectacles,

Gave me dirty looks..

She wagged a silent finger and

pursed her lips tight.

When I slipped to the carpet

And toppled off the light.

My card was marked at the library door,

When a cough sent bubblegum

To skid across the parquet floor.

Her sole was stuck fast

As I staggered past.

just to round the debacle off

I snorted as I laughed.

Her teeth you couldn’t fail to miss

As the librarian delivered an Almighty hiss…

and pointed to the quote


Flash Fiction by Pensitivity

She had watched over her children for several decades, but now her time had come.

In a few short weeks, she would be removed and taken away, her caring stance no longer welcome by the hypocritical world of ‘correctness’ and those imposing restrictions on beliefs and traditions.
Her sightless eyes wept, though none would see her tears as they mingled with the rain.

No-one would witness this travesty as the deed would be done by cover of night so as not to be thwarted.

Representing purely an Image of Peace, she could not protect them from what lay ahead.


America As Seen by A Canuck by Bill Engelson

Well, I tell you, looking’ back on it, we Canucks were quivering in our boots.

It seemed to some like waking up on November 9th and finding yourself in bed with a grizzly. You don’t have the remotest interest in cuddling, no ‘well, aren’t you the cutest thing!’

You just want to put some distance between that bear and you.

But countries can’t pack up and move. You’re neighbours for life.

Some joked about us building our own fence.

That isn’t the Canadian way.


We’ll send our logs south, have you process them and you’ll build the fence.


Flash Fiction by Kate Spencer

“Hey Gladys, they’re allowing the church bells to ring again this year. How long has it been?” asked Jim, looking up from the newspaper, his reading glasses perched on the end of his nose.

“’Bout time this town got some Christmas spirit back,” said Gladys, wiping her hands on the dish towel.

“It says here that old St. Andrew’s is going to chime a different carol, three times a day until December twenty-fifth.”

“They should start with ‘Joy to the World’. That’s what these bells will bring.”

“And will you be singing along with them?”

“Darn tooting I will.”


Thwarted (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli MIlls

“Ma’am! You’re not allowed to leave your vehicle.”

Danni stopped. Ike had slipped through the airport doors beyond the security officer who wasn’t about to let her chase him down. Damn these men in uniform.

Driving home in the snow, scraping ice off the inside windshield because the defrost quit, Danni lost it. She pounded the steering wheel, yelling, “Not allowed! I’m not allowed to say whether my husband can go get himself killed in action.” Red and blue lights flickered from behind.

Danni groaned when she got the ticket. Evidently she wasn’t allowed to run stop signs either.


Get Out! by Allison Maruska

The enemy jet comes straight for me. He fires.

“Not this time!” I dive. The rockets fly over me, falling to the ocean.

I shake my fist. “Ha ha! You think you’re so cool!”

He loops around. My alert sounds. Woop woop!

Banking to the right, I avoid his rocket and launch my own. I hit him! Kablooey!

His parachute opens as the fiery remains of his jet splash into the water.

I raise my arm. “Woo hoo! Victory!”

My door creaks open and Mom peeks in. “Lunch is ready, honey.”

I drop my toy plane. “Mom! Get out!”


Not Allowed by Ann Edall-Robson

“Birthday cake, everyone?”

“Not allowed!”

A questioning look bounced around the table resting on Grandpa sitting in the head chair. Sometimes the outbursts were prodded on for no reason.

“Why not Grandpa?”

“You know.”

Silent stares and shrugs spoke volumes between those gathered for his 90th birthday celebration. The younger generation did not understand the explanation.

The matriarch Aunt finally spoke up.

“It would be O.K. for today, Dad. You can have some cake. It’ll be our secret.”

“I’ll get found out. I didn’t finish my supper, no desert!”

Grandpa had once again regressed to his childhood reasoning.


Wild Fire by Felicity Johns

It was the kind of kiss that started wild fires. He took her hand and held it with his in her lap. He leaned across the console. “Every touch is a promise,” he said, and his voice was soft and deep and warmed her like aged whisky. His lips brushed her nose, and she closed her eyes and instinctively tilted her head. How did she know to do that? It was not only their first kiss…

“But you’re not allowed,” he said, and the tip of his tongue brushed the cupid’s bow of her lip. “To fall.”


Even in Fiction by Anne Goodwin

From their very first meeting he’d set her spine atingle. Now, as he confessed his desire, her juices pooled in her pants. For weeks she’d suppressed her own yearning, averting her gaze from his groin. Slowly, she rose from her seat and turned the key in the door. Swapping professionalism for passion, she pounced on the couch, and cradled his crotch.

With a sigh, Anne highlighted the paragraph and pressed delete. It wasn’t only the threat of being nominated for the Bad Sex Award. Even in fiction, therapists aren’t allowed to have sex with their clients.


No Service by Ruchira Khanna

The bell chimes when the door opens.
This was a usual affair of this restaurant that served an economical menu to anybody and everybody who would walk in.

But today when the door creaked open, all eyes fell on this individual. The noise of cutlery dimmed. The jaws of many customers dropped as they stared at this person who walked in with confidence. As he stood at the counter waiting to be seated.
The waitress gave him a dirty look.
He looked poised and unperturbed.
“Excuse me, Sir,” she said with an acerbic tone, “No Service if No clothes!”


Naivete, Nativity by Geoff Le Pard

Mary hurried forward, followed by Paul. ‘If they’d let me park where I wanted… Not allowed indeed.’

Mary stopped by a row of empty seats, guarded by a boy. ‘Hi Tim. Can I…?’

Tim blushed. ‘Sorry, they’re for my grandparents.’

‘Oh of course.’ Mary turned towards the back.

A woman passed her stopping by Tim. She ushered two children forward. ‘In here…’


‘We need these seats. Curtain’s nearly up.’

‘But they’re taken.’

‘Tsch.’ The woman pushed passed. ‘Not allowed I suppose.’

Tim’s family reached the row; no one argued with Alice. Paul smiled. ‘This’ll be the real drama.


 At Home by Sarah Brentyn

The other 5th graders’ desks were covered with pink and red Valentine’s cards. Hers was empty. At home, her tears were met with laughter and reminiscing of “school days”.

Rumors went round the 7th grade about her and Marcus Paloni. She stood alone. At home, her tears were met with suspicion and annoyance of “gossip girls”.

Peter Morris dumped her three days before prom. It was a prank. At home, her tears were met with wistful sighs and talk of “childhood crushes”.

At home for Christmas.

Her tears were met with anger and accusation. Other people have “real problems”.


 Forbidden Grass by Jane Dougherty

‘Keep off the grass’. One of the first things she learned to read. The neat little notice stuck neatly on its little stick in a sea of smooth close-clipped green. With the years, the fear of stepping where feet were not allowed turned into a terror of stepping out into any open space, jumping into the placid water of swimming pools, entering examination halls, impeccably carpeted rooms. It took a student dare, to scale the railings of the park at midnight, make love in the middle of a summer silvery lawn, to end it. Grass didn’t bite after all.


Flash Fiction by Lady Lee Manila

The ground beneath my feet begins to crumble
I’m left with nothing to hold on to, null
I have to admit, I have lost the battle
You are there, so far away, unreachable
I say this, you say that, misunderstanding
Causing pain in the heart and soul, shattering
For what I’ve done, I’m blameful
The world is against me, my fight is extinguished
You have abandoned me, the one I cherished
Forbidden love is painful
Forget the pain and move on, as I mull
I’ve learned my lesson, time to rise again
Rainbows and sunshine, all beyond my ken


Whites Only by Diana Nagai

As the college sweethearts said goodbye, Maya remembered their hurtful conversation.

“Why don’t we do Christmas together?”

His pause cut into her heart. “But where would you sit?” His grandmother, the matriarch, was set in her traditions.

Maya wondered if there really wasn’t room for one more or if he wasn’t serious about their relationship.

Later, he confessed his grandmother’s racism; he was protecting Maya from the “Whites Only” atmosphere. Maya tried to understand. She had been fighting ignorance her whole life; facing bigotry was new to him. She was going to have to guide him.


A Gross Injustice by Michael

I was good at sport. I played in the top teams. I was one of the first picked. But I was never made captain. No matter my success I was overlooked for lesser players.

I wasn’t the right sort of chap I was told. I came from the wrong side of the tracks. My background they said was dodgy.

I was far too working class to be considered. So lesser players were selected and I was ignored. A good team player. That was my lot.

I resigned myself to my fate. But underneath I fumed at the gross injustice.


Why by Joe Owens

“Mommy why is there a line through me?” little Sammy asked. He was only three years old and did not recognize every sign at the new preschool.

His mother smiled at his description of what he saw.

“It is not really through you honey. It means no boys can go in this room.”




“You’re a boy.”


“God made you that way?”


“Because Sammy is a boy’s name.”

“No mommy I have a friend named Sammy who is a girl.”

“Anyway, you cannot go in this room.”


You are not a girl!”

“Okay mommy!”


A Boy Called Billy by Sherri Matthews

When she heard the car door slam and Billy ran past her to his room sobbing, Karen knew.

John grabbed a beer from the fridge. “She’s a pain in the ass, I’m never doing that again…”

“Let me guess…she only wanted boy’s clothes…”

John glared, swigged a few. “I told her she wasn’t allowed to go to the party unless she wore a dress and she lost it.”

Karen snatched the bottle away, cold beer spilling down her front.

“Goddamit John, when will you wake up? She is a he, a boy called Billy!”

John reached for another beer.


No Girls Allowed by Jules Paige

Once upon a time…There was a room where the sleep talker
was overheard – The sisters shared a dark basement for their
bedroom. A dividing bookshelf existed to separate the large
space. The front portion was the hangout and party space.

The back side was the space for beds, desks and dressers.
There was one closet behind the partition, and one under the
stairs. And there was one more door… for the utilities, thankfully
it had a lock and neither teenage girl had the key. Maybe there
was some storage space. Surely it was where spiders …and
nightmares lived.


Sound Plans (from Rock Creek) by Charli Mills

Cobb stared at Sarah, arms folded. Slowly a grin gave way to laughter. “Rosebud, you can’t start your own accounting business in Denver!”

Sarah flushed, having hoped Cobb’s silence meant he was listening. Now he was roaring as if she’d told a vulgar joke about pettiskirts. “I don’t understand what you find amusing.”

Cobb slowed to a chuckle. He took Sarah’s ledger and flipped through the pages, nodding, reading. “It’s sound, but…”

“But what?”

“But, Rosebud, pretty round butts aren’t allowed to sit in the seats meant for the big boys. Brains aren’t common or liked in a woman.”


Not Allowed (Jane Doe Flash Fiction) by Deborah Lee

Jane forks over a hard-won two dollars and tucks the Gatorade in her bag. “Can I have the code to the restroom, please?”

The man shakes his head shortly: No.

“But I’m a customer.”

“It’s after eight o’clock. Employees only after eight.”

They stare at each other, an impasse. Maybe if she’d ordered a sandwich. Too late now. Jane turns her back on his smirk.

Out on the street, she hands the Gatorade to shabby man by the door, curled against the dirty bricks. Westlake Tower is a few blocks away – maybe the shopping center is still open.


SO WHERE DO WE GO? by Elliott Lyngreen

Waking and snaking faults, over bright river. as if King bridge collapses behind; sift down the East methane veil and fishy smearing pseudo American villagers scattered… Like we sneaking instantly ancient, accelerate barely. Dernest’s digital tingles, flips rotten replies, swift mingles, “he’ll be on 2nd an…” …symmetrically grazes cornices only two stories, and oracular glass. We been through each of our lives; it actually rains — oh how clever our dude stands through. Such disbelief, hand him cash.. “where he slip..?”

Waiting, D melts, “kill this f_r if he dont come back..”


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    • Charli Mills

      Glad we are allowed to write! Thanks for sharing!

  1. inkbiotic

    Fascinating to see how different people explore the idea of being restricted. At a time when restrictions are changing (gender and class restrictions being slowly reduced) it’s important to challenge the boundaries, maybe even play with them a little. Really enjoyed this, thanks.

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you for reading and for your comment! I think literature becomes a powerful tool by which we can push the boundaries, consider other perspective and have intelligent discussions when restrictions are questioned.

  2. Rachel

    Wow, lots of great entries yet again!

    • Charli Mills

      I thought so, too! Thanks, Rachel!

  3. A. E. Robson

    So many twists and reasons to find out you’re not allowed. As always Charli, you and the Carrot Ranch have brought together another great compilation of writing.

    • Charli Mills

      Lots to consider in this one and some overlapped ideas from others. It was like a conversation via stories. Thanks for being a vital part of Carrot Ranch!

  4. Sarah Brentyn

    A fabulous gathering of writers and perspectives on “not allowed”. Nice compilation!

    • Charli Mills

      I agree! Thanks for being a part of it, Sarah!

  5. jeanne229

    Fine collection and great breadth of themes. Started to write one about felons and housing, but got so caught up in the pre-flash post that I missed the deadline. Thanks for a compelling prompt Charli.

    • Charli Mills

      So many restrictions to explore there, Jeanne. And the utter frustration of forever restrictions. Felons are forever disallowed in many areas and activities. I’d still add it if you complete it! I think you can do something powerful with that idea.

      • jeanne229

        Oh! Ok. Will see if I can complete that today. I think the biggest impact is the stigma. After being rejected for housing and jobs over and over again, the sense of being a social pariah deepens.

      • jeanne229

        Thanks for the inspiration to finish the post and flash Charli. Here it is:

        Closed Doors

        Her name is Karen. She stands outside in the dawn cold hugging a drab olive overcoat around her. “I’ve got to get this bed,” she said.

        “What will you do if you can’t get in today?” I asked. “No family to stay with?”

        “They gave up on me. My sister helped, but I burned her out too. Too many relapses.”

        “That’s rough,” I said.

        “I’m not a bum,” she said. “I’ve got a degree. Got a job with Easter Seals this year. But when the background check came back, they let me go.”

        She shook her head. “No felons.”

  6. Norah

    Awesome collection, Charli. I read it taking note of the structure you used to weave it all together. It’s interesting how some stories had similar topics and how others led from one to another. Thank you for starting the compilation with mine. I feel honored.

    • jeanne229

      Yes, so interesting to see how the writers’ individual interests and life work influenced their stories. How I resonated with your flash, Norah, being a younger sister!

      • Norah

        That’s so true, Jeanne. We all write from our own perspective. I’m pleased the flash was believable.


  1. Felons: Free but Still Shut Out | Jeanne Belisle Lombardo - […] my own young felon faces has certainly raised my awareness of this issue. But Charli Mills’s recent flash fiction…

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