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May 11: Flash Fiction Challenge

May 11 Flash Fiction Challenge, Carrot Ranch, @Charli_Mills“A story? I’ll give you a happy one and a sad one.” She sits on a stool behind a long counter, displaying the most silver and turquoise I’ve witnessed in a single space. Her short gray hair and beautifully draped purple blouse suggest sophistication. Uncommon in Gallup, New Mexico.

But this trading post is not common.

“Okay,” I say, not sure what to anticipate but pleased that she’s open to my request. I’ve just cradled a carved turquoise bear in my palm as big as a croquet ball. Introspection. That’s the medicine of a Zuni bear fetish. A writer’s medicine, but the bear’s price-tag reads he won’t be going home with me.

I’ll settle for a story from this turquoise wonderland called Richardson’s Trading Co.

“There’s no place like this,” she begins.

The showroom is a fraction of the vaults that hold family heirlooms on pawn. I can glimpse through a partially open door and see rows upon rows of squash blossom necklaces, silver concho belts and endless pegs holding silver and turquoise. It’s a Navajo Gringots.

What follows is the fictionalized happy story this woman shared over the course of several conversations (because I had to return to fondle the bear again):

A boy squats in the dirt along side a Navajo man who is smoking a hand-rolled cigarette. They sit on the shaded side of the adobe building, watching the wagons kick up dust. Three women in colorful skirts, their black hair tied up in maiden fashion, laugh at a story one tells. The man nudges the boy and speaks in Navajo.

The boy smiles. “You’re just trying to make me laugh, Uncle.”

“The beauty way does not look for dust and tears. What beauty do you see this day?”

“I just see my Pa loading up the last of our wagons.” The boy studied his dirty boots, not wanting to watch.


“And nothing.”

“Look at Norma Jean. See how her skirt falls just at the top of her moccasin?”


“See how the green velvet shimmers with the beam of sunlight?”

The boy looked and noticed the light on the material. He saw motes of dust in the light and followed it upward where it dappled among the round green leaves of the tall cottonwoods. “Her skirt catches the light like the leaves. Kind of flows like it, too.”

“This is good. This is the beauty way.”

“But I don’t want to leave Tuba City. Why can’t we live with the Navajo? Why can’t I live with you, Uncle?”

“You are biligaana. This is land of the Dine. God’s children.”

“Pa says we can’t trade any more here because we’re white on white.”

The man nodded. “Trading here is for Dine. Sheep for pots, pots for sheep. Your father will start a new trade in Gallup.”

“They say Gallup is black with coal dust.”

“I have been to this Gallup. It’s where my father and others started the Long Walk. It has cliffs like Tłéé íigahiis’óóz.”

“White at night? You mean the flower my Ma calls a primrose?”

The man shrugged and rolled a fresh cigarette. “Could be. You see Norma Jean’s moccasins below her skirt?”

“Yes. Looks like a rabbit skin cuff. One of those snowshoe rabbit skins from up north.”

“Yes. The cliffs are white like that, but watch them carefully. They will change colors.”


“You have to watch them. They change.”

“What colors do the turn?”

“You have to watch them.”

“But why?”

“Because they are beautiful.”

The boy moved away to Gallup, his family among the last of the horse and buggy traders to the Navajo Nation. His father established a trading post in their family name. Gallup had coal, to be sure. It also had rowdy saloons where men drank and played cards. In rooms upstairs there were painted women. They wore shiny material brighter than the colorful velvet of the Navajo. But the boy liked the way the sunlight pooled in velvet. It was deep, and the satin just shiny, a distraction. The boy grew up, watching the cliffs. At first he thought his friend, the one he called Uncle, told him a tall tale. The cliffs were just white.

Or whitish. Yet, sometimes they glowed with a light blush when the sun set at a certain slant. One spring night the boy saw them in the moonlight and understood the connection between the glow of the cliffs and that of the paper-thin primrose that opened in the cool night air. He began to ride his horse along the cliffs and meet with the traders at a place called Church Rock. He wondered why it was called that, and began to look at the shapes of the cliffs. He began to note different forms that changed with shadows. Light revealed stripes, and one summer day the boy followed them up a canyon. That’s where he met the girl with hair as glossy as a fine chestnut horse. She laughed when he told her so. “As long as you think horse are beautiful,” she told him.

After the Great War where he saw much blood, machinery and destruction, he wept upon returning to the cliffs near Gallup, to his father’s trading post and to his girl, now the woman he’d marry. The first thing he noticed were the colors of the cliffs. Why had he studied them so hard when it was so obvious? They changed color throughout the day, and day by day. He took his bride on a walk up the canyon and they watched a monsoon poor over its ledge. They were soaked, but he felt refreshed, alive. That’s when he took over his father’s trading post and began to fill it with the most beautiful things he could.

When he bought rugs, he noticed the colors of each weave and how no rug was alike. When examining squash blossom necklaces one day, he over heard a customer say they all looked alike. “No, look,” he said and proceeded to point out the shapes, colors and crevices of each nugget of turquoise. He greatly admired the Navajo silversmiths who could shape the metal into new forms, etching bracelets differently and yet portraying the ancient sacredness of the symbols. The trader began to gain a reputation as an art collector. He also opened a pawn the newspapers called “The Navajo Bank.” He safeguarded Navajo heirlooms and sold art to the new customers.

First the train came to Gallup, after the coal mines tunneled the place. Fort Wingate which had been at the base of the Continental Divide (or the Top of the World as Uncle called it)  expanded closer to Gallup and stored ammunition by the acres. Route 66 connected Chicago to Los Angeles. It became a stopover between Las Vegas and Albuquerque. When movie people began pouring into town to film out on the Big Reservation, Gallup catered to stars and production crews. The trader extended his expertise to historical and cultural items. And he sold Navajo rugs and baskets, Zuni fetishes, Hopi pottery and Southwest Pueblo silver to those who flocked to his trading post.

Route 66 was diverted, the trains added more tracks and tourists and Hollywood crews diminished. Saudi investors began selling Navajos and other artists beads and turquoise from China. They sold knockoffs online. Yet the trader continued to safeguard heirlooms, expanded cases like a growing museum and sold authentic gallery pieces. One day, he asked his employee, a bilagaana woman to sit on the floor with him in the Navajo Rug Room. $200 million dollars worth of pawn, art and jewelry now sat in five blocks worth of building. In the Navajo Rug Room, a single rug averaged $6,000. The trader and his ensuing generations wanted for nothing — they all had fine houses, cars, college educations. Yet he sat on the floor, told her to look up and describe the colors she saw.

He said, “It’s beautiful. And the colors always change.”

This is the impression of a story that came to me from the employee who told me her boss was the last of the horse and buggy traders, forced to move from where his family traded because they were white and the land reverted back to its rightful owners. Only native traders could continue, or those whites who married natives. He opened this trading post and he did ask her to sit with him on the floor and marvel at the beauty. She said he never lost the wonder of how beautiful it all was.


She smiles at me and her eyes tear up. She smiles one of those tight forced smiles. “Now want to hear the sad story?”

“Okay,” I say, already feeling the sting of tears in response.

“Yesterday, Mr. Richardson died at the age of 98. When this place goes, and it will, there will be no more Gallup.”

I understand her point. I understand business and economics. I understand life wavers. But there will always be beauty and changing colors in those cliffs. There will always be Gallup, in one form or another. And the Dine will be there, walking the Navajo Beauty Way.

This week, I took ownership of the turquoise bear the only way I know how — I gave it to Danni in this week’s flash addition to my WIP, Miracle of Ducks.

May 11, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about trading. It can be the profession of old or of modern day traders on Wall Street. It can be trading places or lunches at school. What is traded? Is it a fair deal or a dupe? Trade away and go where the prompt leads you.

Respond by May 16, 2017 to be included in the compilation (published May 17). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!


From a Trader (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli MillsTurquoise Bear,  by Charli Mills, @Charli_Mills

“Well, the bear fetish is invaluable during times of change. Turquoise is the stone of protection,” Danni explained.

Michael held it in his palm. “Bear is the Guardian of the West.”

Danni didn’t want to spoil their newly agreed truce. For Ike’s sake. Yet, it was also for Ike’s sake she’d placed the Zuni fetish by his photo. Keep him safe, Danni thought.

“Powerful medicine. Good totem for Ike in Iraq.”

Danni waited for the question she knew he’d ask.

“Where did you come by this?”

“A trader in Gallup.”

Michael’s grasp tensed. “Stolen. Danni, your bear needs cleansing.”



  1. Norah says:

    How lovely for your friend to share this piece of oral history with you. She must have trusted you and known you would honour it. It is safe in your lovely history hands. The story now lives on on print. The turquoise bear is lovely and I think the way you have made use of it is great. Writing about it means you never have to let it go. It’s an interesting exchange between Danni and Michael, and nice to see Danni being mindful of her words, and Michael more understanding as he educates her in the ways of his people. I hope the talisman does keep Ike safe. We need him, and all the others, to come home safe.

    • Norah says:

      Hi Charli, I have just noticed all your lovely widgets down both sides of your posts, linking to publications by Rough Writers, including to my SMAG page and readilearn. I also noticed you have added to the Bunkhouse Bookstore since I last looked. I’m not sure how long they’ve been there, but it’s a very generous addition, and what a great way for the writers to be promoted. Thank you very much for your support and generosity. SMAG!

      • Charli Mills says:

        Thank you for noticing! 🙂 The Bunkhouse Bookstore is problematic because I have yet to figure out how to create an effective platform for the writers here. One of my planned meetings once we ever get east of west, is how to set up one that benefits the writers more than a nice notion. It’s based on the idea that we are stronger together. SMAG indeed!

      • Norah says:

        It’s a good beginning to a great and generous idea! 🙂

    • Norah says:

      Hi Charli, I’m back with my story Trade fair I’m looking forward to reading the other submissions.

    • Charli Mills says:

      It was an interesting exchange, Norah. I didn’t have my recorder with me, so I didn’t feel comfortable writing something akin to a profile. And many things she said to me she asked that I didn’t use. However, here’s where fiction provides a way! I was able to catch a thread of what she said about trading in general and Richardson specifically and meld it with other encounters here. She trusted me not to say a few things, and I didn’t! But it really opened an avenue in my imagination and let me craft a raw story. And thank you for pointing out that shift with Danni and Michael. These flashes are extensions of a scene I now know was lacking this depth (and why!). I hope the talisman serves Ike, too. Although I think it may become a duck carved from antler.

      • Norah says:

        Well that just confirms it for me, Charli. She trusted you with her story, and you repaid that trust. I’m sure much of what you learned will be woven into future stories, in some way. I enjoy the exchanges between Danni and Michael. I see them shifting as you develop them, but also in the way that people shift in their behaviour as they learn to adjust to each other. I’m pleased that writing flash is helping you work out some of these writing issues. A duck from an antler? That may be more fitting. 🙂

  2. Great chance to reflect and, again, appreciate the little things! 🙏
    My contribution……….

    • Charli Mills says:

      Good to see you back and appreciating the little things. Thanks for your contribution! Your flash is a sweet memory and expresses the nature of your son beautifully.

  3. Joe Owens says:

    For the first time last week I just could not come up with a good story to match the prompt. I blame it on the excitement of sending my son through his college graduation. My head is clearer this week, so I went a touch sinister

    • Charli Mills says:

      Joe, that’s an exciting event and deserves all your attention. Congratulations on your son’s graduation! Glad you have a clear head to add a touch of the sinister. 🙂

  4. Beautiful story!

  5. […] May 11: Flash Fiction Challenge May 11, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about trading. It can be the profession of old or of modern day traders on Wall Street. It can be trading places or lunches at school. What is traded? Is it a fair deal or a dupe? Trade away and go where the prompt leads you. […]

  6. julespaige says:


    Too often we make trades that we are unaware of…subconscious trades that we think we have control over. In my flash the ‘trade’ while not directly mentioned is that of sanity or soul.

    I’ve added to my fiction series with Janice and Richard just because it works.
    I’ve also created a page for the two of them 😉 so there is just one page with all the links to the now five stand alone or serial snap shots.

    I’m also trading some off line time with someone I love, so I’m going to be falling further behind on visits and return comments. But all in all I think a good trade – to disconnect for a brief few days. The first time in about four years I won’t have daily access to free internet. 🙂

    Anyway…I wanted to get this in before I ‘disappear’. But fear not, I will return.

    Devil’s Devotee
    (title should be link to post)

    Devil’s Devotee

    His world had been comprised of hastily constructed philosophies,
    which upon close examination, had failed him and promptly
    collapsed. Richard had not thought he was gullible – and yet
    he fell hard and fast for a cruel master. Hate, pain, distrust
    those were the breaths he had taken and consumed. Janice
    had been a distraction. He had traded some moments of his
    life for her compassion. But then she had drugged him, not
    knowing of his immunities the ones he had built up to counter
    act anyone who would destroy him.

    Richard had traded too much to find her…again.


    • Charli Mills says:

      Hi Jules! That’s an excellent point about what we trade subconsciously. I’m thrilled to learn that Richard and Janice have their own page. Flash is a great way to explore characters that persist. Wherever you disappear to, I wish you a good journey and safe return.

  7. Pete says:

    “Does it hurt?” Kylie asked, wide-eyed, admiring the fresh blood on her neighbor’s elbow.

    They were hip to hip on the limb of the cherry tree. Nat shook his head, wincing. Kylie, still gloating after winning the footrace, stopped swinging her legs. “Look at this one.”

    Nat admired Kylie’s knees. Both riddled with scabs and scrapes. Suddenly she nudged him, her troublesome hazel’s stoked and brimming. “Hey let’s trade blood.”

    “Kylie, I think it’s blood BROTHERS.”


    A press of flesh.

    A union made.

    Later, chuckling through a toast, Nat’s brother would publicly question the legality of their marriage.

    • Charli Mills says:

      Pete, such a sweet tale and brilliantly conveyed. Especially the way “A press of flesh. A union made.” acts as a transition from childhood to marriage vows.

  8. Ack! Danni! She needs cleansing and a lawyer. Those Zuni fetishes are expensive…it’s grand larceny! 😉

    Beautiful story. (And sad…both.) I love those Zuni carvings – so full of power, energy. The bear has always been my favorite, too. <3 Love the photo of the turquoise bear.

    What a great site. I would want everything in there. I can't imagine the energy in that place. And they have Kachina dolls, too. Ooh…

    • Something’s afoot this week. What’s being traded under the bridge?

    • Charli Mills says:

      Ha! Thank you! I’m fairly certain Danni would follow laws, but yes those fetishes are expensive! I think Michael thinks of traders as being thieves, and many of the white traders on the reservations often dug for artifacts and then sold them. However, I can’t really justify why Danni would want this bear (a bit of author projection). It’s niggling its way through my mind, but I do like the way Michael pushes through his disapproval of her and feels protective. That’s the nugget I need to stitch back in to the bigger scene. Kachinas! Oh, the Zuni culture and the pueblo is so rich with mysticism. Kachinas are not gods, they are rather unique, the souls of children who drowned crossing the Zuni Wash when the people came to this world. The children, after drowning transformed into frogs and snakes and fish. They became the kachinas who brought the rain clouds and dance at the Great Council in an underground lake where the Zuni Wash spills its water. And yet the Zunis are also Catholic. They blend it into an interesting culture, joyful people. I mean, I know a Zuni by that expressive joy. And yet it is the Navajo who are more like loners, contemplating nature’s beauty and avoiding embarrassment. What a journey this has been to better understand the importance of their art and traditions. Woo!

  9. A fascinating story Charli and sad that the trading post’s days may be numbered. It is good that this story at least will survive and I hope, for the community, so does the store. Having run a general store myself I know the realities of the situation (although not in your neck of the woods) and hope that Gallup survives as well.
    Your little bear is lovely and it too will stay with you because of your story. Introspection – definitely something for the writer.
    Mine this week:

    • Charli Mills says:

      Yes, I like the introspection the bear carries in its symbolism. I know that places change because of their trade, and yet also change business because of trading shifts. Trade in this region as far outlasted any other history in America so I think the area will evolve with or without the post. Thanks, Irene!

  10. […] Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch which asks writers to pen a piece in 99 words (this week’s prompt: […]

  11. Ruchira Khanna says:

    I loved your take, Charli.

    Honestly life is such a trade of ’emotions’ and when we want support from a friend..chances are we could get duped in it too. Wanted to write about that but 99 words were too little.

    My take:

    • Charli Mills says:

      Hi Ruchira! I wonder if our emotions and expectations are what don’t always match up. But hopefully we don’t have duping friends! 🙂 Thanks for your response!

  12. Wishes, D. Avery

    Once upon a time, there lived an old man and an old woman. They had little in the way of possessions, and wanted for nothing. Nothing very unusual ever happened and they noticed small miracles everyday. They gardened and gathered and occasionally fished in the stream that coursed through the meadow.
    One day something unusual did happen. A talking fish offered them three wishes if they’d let it live.
    This amazing trout ended up in the same pan that more ordinary trout had, and they smiled at each other, not wishing to trade one of their days for anything.

  13. […] May 11, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about trading. It can be the profession of old or of modern day traders on Wall Street. It can be trading places or lunches at school. What is traded? Is it a fair deal or a dupe? Trade away and go where the prompt leads you. […]

  14. […] for Carrot Ranch. May 11, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about trading. It can be the […]

  15. Annecdotist says:

    Thanks for sharing these stories, Charli. It’s lovely exploring the history and passions behind such places, and I was so engrossed I gulped when you shared the sad story that Mr Robinson died. Great that you gave the bear to your character Danni and I wonder how far he’ll evolve as a “character” in himself. My contribution is here:
    And thanks for including the Rough Writers’ books in the sidebar. I’m honoured to be there, but even if I wasn’t I think it’s a good reflection on the community you’ve built up.

    • Caveat vendor. Trading as bullying in that there is often an imbalance of power that makes unfairness inherent.

    • Charli Mills says:

      I don’t think I could have done justice to a man who lived until he was 98, and worked right up until a week before his death without knowing him. Fiction can be a vehicle to “know” without truly being acquainted. I don’t think we’d feel as sad for his passing without a story, yet it was made up. The bear is already evolving! And so is Carrot Ranch. I feel I lost a year on my initiatives, but not the drive to create a community platform. More to come. 🙂 I hope you are having a splendid tour!

  16. what a wonder! Simple stories like that of the colors of the mountains. So much depth, tradition, and lesson. I love em!!

    Did Danni trade for the Bear? I read through the story and looked beyond.. things that were so much more than what I had seen (or read).

    As always, I enjoyed the post and this article. Thanks Charli!!

    Levels of the Trade by Elliott Lyngreen

    “I detest drawing blanks.”

    “I insist you’re demanding too considerably.”

    An entire vacant cinema. An afternoon matinee remarkably unoccupied.

    “Just permit your mind clearance. Stop imposing the write. Creation may come throughout this movie.”

    The two hardly exchanged noises throughout the film.

    Upon leaving, the one struggling exclaimed,
    “I still didn’t think of anything.”
    —“that was so fantastic!…!” the other countered. Then, some eager deliberation, “what if your story – filled that empty place!?

    -Characters?! People. Events that brought them into the theater?!”

    “I want a story to pass on, not something invented. Besides, I barely paid it any attention.”

    • Charli Mills says:

      Thanks, Elliot! I think it’s a core of a story and could be fleshed out in different ways, keeping those elements. I was trying to capture the trader I didn’t know with all the experiences so far in Gallup. As for Danni, I have a chapter that involves a scene where Michael tries to pin fault on her for having cultural art and heirlooms, but she’s able to explain each piece. It’s the beginning of these two characters trying to overcome their differences and dislike for each other. With the bear, I thought, what if Danni does have something with a shady past like an authentic fetish that really should only belong to the specific Zuni clan from which is came? This would be after a time of trust had been fostered. How would Michael react? The implication is that the trader had no right to sell this bear under traditional values, and Danni knows yet, yet couldn’t resist buying the bear. It’s something she keeps hidden until she places it by Ike’s photo…lots for me to work out, but it helps me see how their relationship has transformed.

      I loved your flash, Elliott and the contrasting creative thought processes brought on by the empty space (seems symbolic for the blank page). Yet you also pose what is the value of a story if not to pass on.

      • Oh she bought the bear..?. I think i missed that.. i read it as she stole the thing. All in all, that sounds much more interesting. “The trader is not allowed to sell it…” i for one have been learning quite a bit concerning cultural values, traditions, histories, etc with these articles and do hope u hash things out. I would be curious to read the story; tremendous prose and significant educational value im sure.. as for my flash i literally was drawing a blank on what to write; so i decided to write about that!! And yes the different approaches to the writing trade – i guess nonfiction(ists) vs fiction(ists).

    • Norah says:

      This is quite a different style for you, Elliott, but I enjoyed it, especially the dialogue showing the differences between the two characters. They each approach creativity in different ways. Neither is wrong, but in this instance one will, or may, be more productive.

      • I could not come up with anything.. so i tried to attack that!! My story became not being able to write a story and it just fell right on out =]… its a difficult stretch for me to create different characters, personalities, and views. I always get lost in overthinking if i have the characters making their appropriate reactions. Thanks Norah!!

      • Norah says:

        I’ve been struggling a bit with Charli’s prompts too. Or perhaps I’m just struggling. It’s good to let the stories fall out though.

  17. denmaniacs4 says:

    Beer Parlour Tricks

    “You can have my soul.”

    “Seriously? How will I know when I have it?”

    “That’s your problem. I’m done with it. It has no meaning for me.”

    “So, you offer me something for which you have no more use. What do you expect in trade?”

    “What would you offer?”

    “How about a 1914 Baltimore News # 7 Babe Ruth?”

    “You have one?”

    “No. In the same way that you don’t have a soul. I would like one but so far, nope.”

    “You’re saying I don’t have a soul.”

    “Body and Soul. No difference.”

    “Fine. The next rounds on me.”

    • Charli Mills says:

      Hi Bill, good to see you! That’s a circular conversation proving the trade has no value after all. Great use of dialog and wit!

  18. […] This post was written in response to Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch’s weekly Flash Fiction Challenge. May 11, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about trading. Trade away and go where the prompt leads you. Find out more, read other entries or join in here! […]

  19. LucciaGray says:

    Hi Charli.
    Lovely story you were told and great flash, too 🙂
    Sorry I’ve missed out last two weeks. Life’s become hectic, but I’m slowly getting back into my usual blogging rhythm.
    Here’s my entry for this week, I’m back to Victorian England 😉
    Thank you so much for adding my novel on your sidebar. What a lovely surprise!

    • Charli Mills says:

      Hi Lucy! Sometimes the rhythm is hectic and I hope follow that beat when you need to. The ranch will be here. I’m glad you liked the story, as this has been a wonderful place to absorb them. I’m getting back to platform building for the community and listing the books by the Rough Writers. The Bunkhouse Bookstore requires a few things I don’t have, yet. I’ll get there eventually. I thought of changing out books, maybe monthly for those of you with multiple titles and leaving new releases up longer before doing that. It’s a work in progress! I’m glad to have your Victorian perspective this week!

  20. Sick Day Sacrifice
    Written by Kerry E.B. Black

    Matthew protested when his mom said, “No school. You’re sick.”
    “But Nate’s bringing his cards today so we can trade.”
    “You’ll trade when you’re better. Rest.”
    Later, Mom brought the phone. “Are you feeling up to talking with Nate?”
    Matthew grabbed the phone. “’sup, Nate?”
    A strange silence, then, “They took ‘em.”
    “Who took what?”
    “My cards. Kids took all ‘sept 8.”
    “Didja tell teacher?”
    “What good’d that do?”
    Matthew ignored his shaky legs and burning throat. He’d never had 800 cards like Nate, but he could sure share what he had with his best friend. No trades needed.

    • Charli Mills says:

      What a great thing for one friend to do for another, and to use trade as the impetus is a clever way to frame the story.

  21. I had to share another true story. I hope that’s okay. (If not, please take this down. I don’t intend to break rules, and I won’t be offended)

    David attended the same riding school as my daughter, though in a class for older kids. The kids aged out as they reached adulthood, so during David and his friend Jenny’s last year, the competition was a bit stiff, though for some, competition’s not as important as friendship.

    Blue Ribbon
    Written by Kerry E.B. Black

    Carla felt honored to judge the annual Riding for the Handicapped competition. She marked the scores on her clip board. The announcer began with the honorable mentions and proceeded to the overall winner, David. Volunteers pinned the blue ribbon to his riding habit. He clapped along with the audience.
    Jenny, the rider to David’s left, pulled her yellow second-place from her chest and sobbed.
    David reached over. “What’s wrong?”
    “I wanted the blue.”
    David patted her arm. “We’ll trade.”
    Carla interceded. “No, David, you won. That’s yours.”
    “I know, but it is making her sad. Besides, I like yellow.”

    • Charli Mills says:

      Of course it’s okay! I should clarify that on the rules page. I know how it is sometimes when the stories role. I enjoy seeing the creative spark light off more than one story. 🙂 What a great sentiment to express about friendship being most important.

    • Norah says:

      Love this story of friendship and compassion.

  22. Dearly, D. Avery

    Some have had to trade so dearly for it. They lost their hair. Their skin got burned. Oh, they paid, gave the proverbial pound of flesh, or more, first in general terms, a lump, a mass, then specifically, a breast or two, some glands. They lost their balance. They lost their mobility and independence in the deal, negotiated the terms of their dignity in exchange for more. Throughout these transactions they realized true value, learned and taught lessons of living and of loving. They traded so dearly for something we sometimes waste, often claim to have none of. Time.

  23. […] This week at the Carrot Ranch Charli Mills has challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about trading. It can be the profession of old or of mo… […]

  24. Hi Charli, Thanks so much for putting my first children’s book on Carrot Ranch! Here is my flash for this week.

    • Charli Mills says:

      Hi Susan! It’s something I’ve been wanting to do, expand the platform. It’s such an adorable story and a good cause, too. Thanks for the flash!

  25. […] post was inspired by the May 11 Flash Fiction Challenge at Carrot Ranch […]

  26. ShiftnShake says:

    […] second take on the May 11, 2017 prompt for Carrot Ranch: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about trading. It can be the profession of old or of […]

  27. […] Carrot Ranch Prompt (05/11/2017): In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about trading. It can be the profession of old or of modern day traders on Wall Street. It can be trading places or lunches at school. What is traded? Is it a fair deal or a dupe? Trade away and go where the prompt leads you […]

  28. […] Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch which asks writers to pen a piece in 99 words (this week’s prompt: […]

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