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January 18: Flash Fiction Challenge

Just call me Wrong-Way Charli.

I might have boots but they don’t always go the beaten path. You might find me calculating the drop on a rock face or attempting to access a naturally secluded beach. The faintest hint of a trail through forest duff speaks louder to me than the exposed dirt of the worn path.

Adventurous? Mostly by accident. More like curious. As in curiosity-killed-the-cat. I’m Shirley temple chasing the bluebird of happiness. I’m Hayduke weeping at the beautiful places of solitude. I want to know what’s over the rise, if the loons will give chase, and take time to look for just one more agate. I want to be there when the hawk flies past unscheduled.

Snow condenses in layers now. The merengue grows stale. Lady Lake keeps a fresh coat of white paint over it all but cut into the layers and it’s turning grey. The county recently bladed our street and I can see snow in geological layers. Have we been buried for eons? It feels like it.

I press each foot into my boots and tighten the laces. My red cap and scarf keep me warm and I look like a plump elf in my dark green wool coat that flares like a dress. I grab a tote bag, my wallet, and my headphones. These snow boots are made for walking and I head out the door to shop the co-op on the hill.

Passing by the fresh cut of snowbank I can no longer read the Fire Lane street sign. It’s buried. The snow slides like grease with each step and I struggle to stomp my way up the hill. Beneath is a compact layer of ice more solid than concrete. Snow sits in the saddles of trees, taking up permanent residence. Ever-present flakes kiss my cheeks. Lady Lake is loving today.

The heater in our car stopped blowing. Without the fan, the windows ice over making it impossible to drive. Thus I’m experimenting with being car-less. I’m walking to buy my dried mango slices and Wisconsin cheese. I overfill my tote with vegetables to make bone-broth soup. The flu is raging through Hancock and across the canal in Houghton. Fresh snow, fresh veggies — my plan to stay well.

Magnificent Mondays rolled around and car-less, I put out a call for a ride. It’s a twice-monthly gathering of local creatives at the Ripley House of Healing where I will debut my TUFF workshop. Through a few missteps in communication, I got a ride (next time I’ll know to go outside and wait). It was lovely riding in a warm vehicle that I didn’t have to brush off the snow to ride in.

Liking this car-lessness, I let my cake baker know that I wasn’t able to meet up with her downtown, could she swing by the house? This time I put on my boots and elven winter-gear and waited outside. She’s a homesteader and makes gorgeous cakes from whole ingredients. She even bakes vegan. But this first cake will be German chocolate with the sides and middle frosted with traditional pecan and coconut.

Later that evening, I had a meeting for local entrepreneuers. I asked for another ride and was delighted when a local poet and book designer answered the call. We laughed all the way down Quincy Hill and over the canal bridge to the meeting. She lets her inner child run wild with the sharp wit of an adult. I find her fun and fascinating.

We laughed at her car, which was leaking gas. She had recently replaced her rear windshield after it shattered in the cold. This poet lives 16 miles up the Keweenaw Peninsula, so she had to drive to Houghton without a rear windshield in the snow. She said now she can claim she’s a Yooper. After fixing the glass, the mechanic told her about the leak. She asked, “Will my car explode?” After he replied no, she was relieved because things seem to be exploding in her car. It made my heater problem sound better.

About the time I thought I would fully embrace car-lessness, the Hub looked at YouTube videos and figured out how to fix it. He does have his moments. That’s how I came to be Wrong-Way Charli. I got my car back.

Today has been a flurry of preparation and blowing off nervous energy for my presentation and book signing tomorrow. I have felt the rainbow of emotions from over the moon excited to down in the dumps depressed. I feel moody as a teenager, not a time I wish to recreate in my life. I breathe. Following the breath in…following the breath out…and carry on.

When I found out the Vet Center has no projector, I researched buying one. Surprisingly they aren’t too expensive but it wasn’t in my budget, like cake and local advertising. The Vet Center and my lovely group of veteran spouses helped me track down a rental at Finlandia University which is on the Hancock side of the canal. I talked with the librarian who explained to me how to find the campus library.

First, let me explain Quincy Hill. It’s so steep that the Quincy Copper Mine on top of the hill built a special tram to deliver ore to the smelters and docks below. It’s so steep it’s now a ski resort. Mind you, it’s a hill, not a mountain, but its verticle climb is impressive. In snowstorms, some streets are blocked.

And that’s what I drove up today, a blocked-for-one’s-own-safety Quincy Hill Steet. It was one of those mistakes a person makes and realizes it’s the wrong way, but stopping would be worse. So upward I drove, willing those snow tires to work. The car slipped and careened, the dashboard flashing the light to tell me I had lost traction. I know, I know! Two young boys with shovels watch me, probably hoping to see a backward Yooper left turn.

At the crest of the hill were three choices: another hill to the right, a sharp dip downhill to the left or straight into a cavernous parking lot. I say cavernous because the snow banks were so tall and tight at the entrance it looked like driving into a snow cave. I opted for the cave, after all, I am presenting on the hero’s journey tomorrow.

My elixir turned out to be that I found the Maki Library. The door looked rather industrial and I thought maybe it had to do with being a university library. No other cars were parked in my cavern, so I approached the door and walked down the hall. Five people turned around and stared at me. That’s when I read the sign that said staff only. I had entered the wrong way and could see the front lobby beyond. There was no escaping my error.

A man with a ponytail and glasses halfway down his nose asked, “Can I help you?”

Awkward situations bring out my inner comedian and I pointed to the staff sign and said, “I’m looking for a job.”

He smiled, so I told him I was the person picking up the projector. He then escorted me out of the staff area into the lobby. Without further complication, I became a public member of the Finlandia University Maki Library, and I successfully rented a projector, cords, and speakers for free. Then I had to ask how I was supposed to get to my car. “Best go the way you came, Wrong-Way Charli.”

And that’s how I got my Yooper name.

January 18, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes boots. Whose boots are they, where do they go and what is their significance? Go where the prompt leads.

Respond by January 23, 2018, to be included in the compilation (published January 24). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!


Easing Frustrations (From Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills

Between public affairs and citizen scientists on her archeology dig, Danni wasn’t surprised to see Ike show up with his dogs.

Now she had someone familiar to lash out at. She stomped her boots down the gravelly trail toward Ike and the pointers at his side. Danni trudged past the silent volunteers. She marched right up to Ike and he swung her up into his arms, planting a lingering kiss on her angry lips.

Danni sagged against him. He growled in her ear, “I missed you, Babe.”

“Damn it, Ike. I missed you, too.” She refrained from kicking him.



  1. Norah says:

    “Wrong-Way Charli”! You may have taken, or been sent on, a few wrong ways in your life, but you seem to end up in the right place. Sometimes the wrong way can be the best way for stories. The same true way can be just plain boring, uneventful and not worthy of remark. But your adventures – they have enough excitement to flame the adrenalin’s journey. As if the excitement of the presentation weren’t enough. I don’t know how you do it all, over there in the snow. And to have a street sign obscured boggles my mind. Our street signs are over head height. How high are yours?
    What a wonderfully supportive community you have, and an active mind – plenty of stories for the carless and the carful (?). I like this prompt and the story of Danni’s boots that stomped down the path towards Ike, only to have her anger soothed by his affectionate response.
    Enjoy your presentation. I know everyone else will! I look forward to hearing about it.

    • Charli Mills says:

      Thank you, Norah! It was not a typical presentation but I managed to get through a few rocky points. For example, it’s triggering to use the word “hero” with some veterans. I’m renaming it the Soldier’s Journey because it really did resonate with them and us spouses. But I’m not wanting to cause suffering over semantics. The two vets who were most disturbed by the word were also the most gracious at the book signing so I think it actually helped more than it hindered. We sadly lost a vet in our community last week and that was weighing heavy on those who dedicate their service to helping veterans and their families. What an unusual way to host a first book signing! But the veteran community is so supportive, I felt upheld and ready to take on the upcoming book launch (Feb. 4). Several writers from the community showed up too, which was fantastic. Another show of support. I like living in this wonderous tundra. And yes, the street signs are tall, over my head. I’ll sent you a snapshot!

      • Norah says:

        You never know just what may constitute a “trigger” for another. I like the Soldier’s Journey though, and how respectful of you to be mindful of that. So sad about the loss of a veteran from the community. There would have been quite a mixture of emotions at your launch, and plenty of opportunities to “trigger”.
        It sounds like you did well though, and how wonderful to have your very own book signing. I must say I’m rather envious – not of your signing so much, but of them having the paper book – signed! 🙂
        The launch is going to be fantastic! Your time has come, but there’s still far more for you to achieve. Momentum increases. Woohoo!
        I think I’m getting an inkling of the depth of the snow from some of your FB snaps. But, yes, please send me another. I’ve just got to see that street sign. 🙂

      • Charli Mills says:

        You have your own signed copy sitting on my desk. The post office and snapshot will all happen when the snow pauses. Thanks for your understanding, Norah.

    • Norah says:

      Hi Charli, I’ve worked my way back with my contribution to the collection of boots – Grandma’s boots. I hope you enjoy it. I’m continuing to work on this one. I think there’s more to the story than I’ve already told. 🙂

  2. May all your left turns turn out right.

  3. […] January 18: Flash Fiction Challenge […]

  4. […] Carrot Ranch, January 18, 2018 – In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes boots. Whose boots are they, […]

  5. weejars says:

    My first time at the ranch 😬 👋🏻 …here’s my contribution.

  6. […] Flash Fiction Challenge at Carrot Ranch […]

  7. […] solve all problems. There are many choices in life. A good pair of boots is just one. . ©JP/dh . Carrot Ranch January 18, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes boots. Whose […]

  8. julespaige says:

    Charli, I’ve always been direction-ally challenged myself. And have had to get lost to places I have wanted to go several times before getting the right way ingrained. How delightful that a kiss can put out a ‘fire’. 🙂

    Today I offer:
    History from Her Story
    (Please do see the link as there is a video of Nancy Sinatra singing! Also other links as well.)

    Nancy Sinatra sang of boots. They were made for walkin,’
    walking away from a man who was perhaps not being as
    faithful as one would like. That was the year *“The pop world
    accelerated and broke through the sound barrier in 1966.”
    I was still in single digit years back then.
    I may have been influenced by that song and how easy it
    might be to just walk away from bad situations. I wonder
    if all run-a-ways think if just leaving could solve all problems.
    There are many choices in life. A good pair of boots is just

  9. Flying through the back door at the ranch, I’m stopped dead in my tracks, alarmed by the blood on the worn boots jamming the screen. They were tossed aside as if the person was in a hurry and suddenly I am not.

    I stare at the blood pooling beside the muddy heel. My mind racing to identify any scenario that would warrant the thick red puddle. None surfaces.

    I enter the house slowly, the silence is so loud it rings in my ears, I feel the counter make contact with my head as I hit the floor. Total blackness…

  10. Again, another great prompt to challenge us. For some reason, when I thought about boots I pictured a child wearing his father’s boots. That is where the story came from.

  11. Ritu says:

    Two for the price of one on this post for you! I managed two 99-word yarns!

  12. Pete says:

    Wow, Wrong-Way Charli, you sure go above and beyond on your quests! Mr. Ponytail sounds like a character worth writing about. Love the video too, classic!

    • Liz H says:

      (I laughed at the video, too`cuz it’s so fun to watch cars rotate and slide, when I am safe and warm, inside!)

    • Charli Mills says:

      Always on the hunt for a good story, Pete! Yeah, those Yooper left turns are something to master. Love the voices of likely engineering students at MI Tech. They were enjoying the hill. My daughter and I watched a county snowplow pirouette down our street and narrowly missed taking out our parked car in the driveway. It was like watching an elephant on ice.

  13. Pete says:

    Oh yeah, I forgot my flash…

    I’m already down when a boot finds my throat. The soles have the sharp bite of new traction and reek of new rubber. A heavyset man with a flag—still creased from China—looms over me. He shouts that I’m what is wrong with his country.

    A laugh escapes. That he’s bought these new boots and a battle flag for the occasion. I picture him standing in front of the mirror, practicing his finest sneers and slurs.

    His boots are new. His hatred is old. I am nineteen, too young and brash to be afraid.

    He’s losing his grip.

  14. denmaniacs4 says:

    Wet Boots in Winter

    “So, you’ve had some experience sorting logs.”

    ”Yeah, last summer. Before the big forest strike. Up Teakerne Arm way.”

    “Summer, eh! Pretty warm water thereabouts?”

    “Yeah, good swimming, for sure. Kinda lonely, though.”

    “Fall in much on the job?”

    “Often enough. But I got better. Not great, but better.”

    “And the water was always warm. This job, we’re sorting on the lake. Ice cold. You got cork boots?”


    “Cheap ones?”

    “Most I could afford.”

    “Look, I need someone for a few days. But you fall in, won’t be a summer dip.”

    “I’m game.”

    “You start in the morning.”

    • I have been left with the vision of walking on those rolling logs. Cork boots? Is that so you can walk on water?

      • denmaniacs4 says:

        Nope. Sadly, in my case, no water walking.

      • Irene, cork , or caulk boots refers to spiked logger’s boots, for traction on the logs. If you can stay upright on the logs you are close to walking on water. But the boots won’t help you float. Maybe worse than going in would be getting pinched between logs, or getting underneath a jam.

      • Thanks for the explanation D. I have seen old film of loggers walking the rolling logs in the river. My first knowledge of it came from a Bobbsey Twins book.

    • Great story about a really tough job, and the lengths people have to go to in order to earn a living.

    • Charli Mills says:

      Those young men were often so eager for the toughest of jobs in the logging camps. While still in Idaho I had begun research on a female logger I found in census records in 1920. That was at the height of logging in North Idaho on the Canadian border. The Hub logged for several years in Montana and his corks saved his life a time or two, though never into the water.

  15. […] Please post continuations @ Cheryl’s link 🙂 . Carrot Ranch January 18, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes boots. Whose […]

  16. Phoebe Greathouse says:

    She stands poised like a queen outside the airport arrival doors, long black hair whipped up by a passing bus. The tightly fitted sweater and pants reveal a child-sized body with large high breasts and slim hips. The Chanel bag is clutched tightly like a trophy.
    An older nondescript man, thinning hair and slight potbelly, slips up next to her and puts a possessive arm around her waist. She turns, smiles, and glides into the waiting limo. The last vision of her is the gold spiked heel of her black suede boot slipping into the darkness of her future.

  17. oneta hayes says:

    My first entry. Learned of you via Ritu, But I Smile Anyway. I did a poem, family history – not really fiction. Hope it is okay. I’ll read some more before posting in this challenge again. Maybe I will do better.

    • Yer daddy’s boots look quite suitable for stepping into the ranch. It’s all good here.

    • Liz H says:

      Welcome to the Ranch (slides over a steaming cup of coffee)!

    • Charli Mills says:

      Hi Oneta, and welcome to Carrot Ranch! Flash ‘fiction’ has a better ring to it than flash ‘creative writing’ but we honor all forms of literary art as long as it sticks to the 99 words, no more, no less. W have several great poets and memoirists here, too. And I love family history.

  18. My short link in case the ping back doesn’t work

  19. […] #SoCS and #Carrot Ranch […]

  20. […] January 18: Flash Fiction Challenge […]

  21. Sometimes taking the wrong way can lead to bigger and better things. Would have been funny though if they’d offered you a job. Good luck with the presentation.I have no doubt that in your hands it will go just the right way.
    I loved your flash this week. So true to life. How often are we cranky as anything and then the unexpected happens diffusing it all. I loved your last words – she refrained from kicking him – made me smile.
    Mine this week

  22. paulamoyer says:


    By Paula Moyer

    Frances’s husband Clarence had one pair of boots. Beautiful. Well-worn. They had a story.

    She wanted a special gift for their first Christmas. Her quest took her to a Western store on the north side.

    “May I help you, ma’am?” the polite, skinny young man guided her to men’s boots. The pair of cordovans whispered. She bought them, tucked them into the trunk. Kept them hidden till Christmas Eve.

    Clarence slid them on like gloves. “How did you get the size just right? I usually have to try on several.”

    “My secret is simple: we wear the same size.”

  23. […] response Charli’s January 18, 2018, prompt: In 99 words write a story that includes boots. Follow the prompt down the path of […]

  24. Here is my first 99 word flash fiction piece. Thanks for the opportunity to share.

  25. […] Carrot Ranch January 18, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes boots. Whose boots are they, where do they go and what is their significance? Go where the prompt leads. […]

  26. Uh, I went outside the lines again, but only over at shiftnshake. I actually tuffed this prompt out, so here is the 99 word part of that process.

    Besides his boots, what drew Marge to this man were his hands, large even on his large frame; she felt dainty just imagining being held by them.
    “Excuse me boys, I spy a man.” Ignoring their raised eyebrows, Marge went straight to the man whose heavy leather work boots were just like hers. When Marge sat down at his table, Earnest Biggs bumbled awkwardly to his feet then mumbled an introduction then sat back down then stood and stumbled as Marge led him by the hand to the dance floor. The guys, watching, had no doubt who would lead.

    Feel free to go over and see where the prompt led and to see my thoughts on Charli’s TUFF process as well as the results.

  27. Lots of thoughts came to mind for this prompt, but it was a point of view not often thought of that stuck with me.

    Give Me Dignity
    By Ann Edall-Robson

    I am told they are supposed to be intelligent beings. They like to think they are the dominating species. Little do they know I chose them. That’s what I do. Wait for the unsuspecting to falter just a little before I go in for the so-called kill. Filling them with self-confidence and silly antics until I have them where I want them. They become mine, my people. Now if I could just work my magic a bit more to coerce them into giving me a name with more dignity and class and not so common as Boots!

  28. […] repsonse to Charli’s prompt where she […]

  29. susansleggs says:

    A Boy and His Dog – Flash Fiction

    “Didn’t I tell you to keep that dog out of the creek?”
    “I did Mama.”
    “Then why are you both soaked?”
    “Well, he rolled in the mud.”
    “I knew you would get mad, so I washed him and he shook all over me. It kinda felt good.”
    “Wash him how?”
    “I scooped water from the horse trough with my boots.”
    “And where are they?”
    “I put ’em upside down on the fence posts to dry.”
    She stifled a smile. “Do you think that’s the way boots should be treated?”
    “No ma’am, but they’s only rubber, not real ones.”

  30. […] January 18th, 2018 Carrot Ranch Flash fiction. 99 words. […]

  31. […] January 18: Flash Fiction Challenge […]

  32. Annecdotist says:

    I love my walking boots and where they take me, but my spirit of adventure and curiosity are curbed by caution. I also hate driving in the snow – it’s snowing here right now, although forecast to be gone by tomorrow – so very pleased you got back safely. Interested to imagine the snow in geological layers – presumably the age can be measured by the residues of dog shit? I hope you got to the book launch okay and that it went well. I’m looking forward to reading about it.
    My 99-word story is additionally constrained by the theme of afflictions linking my latest reviews. I’ve gone for a BOTS:
    Strange afflictions: Kintu & The Alarming Palsy of James Orr

    • Charli Mills says:

      Dog shit in snow is akin to carbon dating! I’m not keen on driving in it either, but when it stays snowing and packed the snow tires work great. The book signing went well; lots of support from both the veteran and writing community. The latter I hadn’t met so that was a pleasant surprise. I enjoyed your reviews and your painful walk.

  33. […] Inspired by the prompt “Boots” with the 99 word limitation over at the Carrot Ranch. […]

  34. […] back with Earnest and Marge with a six sentence story that includes “rip” in 99 words that also includes […]

  35. Mardra says:

    Hello Charli – this one comes with a soundtrack, too.
    Thanks Dear!

  36. […] Carrot Ranch Prompt (01/18/2018): In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes boots. Whose boots are they, where do they go and what is their significance? Go where the prompt leads […]

  37. Liz H says:

    Another bump for my WIP…thanks Charli, for the inspiration!

    The Journey Back

    Peter pulled boots over calves lengthened and strengthened by his transition from boy to youth, and seasoned by grief over his sister’s death. Four years ago she’d been found in the depths of the Dark Wood, her cat pressed against her cold belly, hissing at all who approached.

    Except him.

    His curled-toe boots were light enough to prevent sinking into deep snow, the grain of the reindeer fur designed to prevent slipping backward on hills. Snapping the hood of his anorak over his head, Peter stepped into the gloomy morning.

    The cat trotted ahead, back to the Dark Wood.

  38. […] 18, 2018, Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes boots. Whose boots are they, […]

  39. My first 99 word flash for Carrot Ranch! So happy to be here.

    Here comes Mum in her latest pair of high heels. How I miss the cadence of her steps!

    Boxes lay strewn on the floor all around me; sexy boots standing in an ordered row of ‘most desired’ to ‘not on your life.’ On my feet, soft, TARDIS blue leather with a row of sweet, golden buttons and a heel that makes me look 5’7”, instead of my normal 5’3”.

    In the mirror, I see, not my own face, but hers, and, remembering the clicking of my mother’s heels, I realize, with sadness, that I must be a grownup now.

  40. […] Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge […]

  41. Don’t tell them, but my parents were what I thought of for this prompt:

  42. Land Lubber

    Benny was getting the hang of it, wasn’t born to the water but that farm boy sure could work. He generally picked up on things quick, paid attention, because a lot can go wrong with ropes and gear and rough water. Didn’t argue much, except over rubber boots, insisted his old barn boots were fine for fishing. Didn’t get the importance of a fishing boot’s loose fitting uppers that made them easy to be kicked off, give a fighting chance to swim.
    Everyone else had come in. Identifying the body was a formality; Benny, still wearing his damn boots.

  43. Old Jules says:

    It took that Juarez bar about five minutes to clean us out. Minus twenty in my shoe. Sixteen year olds, Lonnie and I had sneaked off for our first booze, grown women and a pair of boots.

    So slinking back toward the border crossing I stopped and eyed the prettiest
    pair of boots I ever saw. Turquoise tops with snakes and eagles stitched, calf
    high. I loved those boots.

    “What size?”


    “Try this on!” He handed me a boot. Fit great. “Forty dollars.”

    I got them for fifteen.

    But when I got home they were two different sizes.

  44. […] 18, 2018, Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes boots. Whose boots are they, […]

  45. Hola Charli and fellow buckaroos. Here’s my 99-word murder mystery for the week. Cheers.

  46. […] piece was inspired by the Carrot Ranch‘s Jan 18th Flash Fiction […]

  47. Right or wrong way, I’ll be back! <3

  48. […] 18, 2018, Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes boots. Whose boots are they, […]

  49. janmalique says:

    What an evocative piece Charli! Stirs a yearning in the spirit. Here’s my offering:

  50. […] The Carrot Ranch Literary Community, hosted by Charli Mills, is HERE. […]

  51. Michael B. Fishman says:

    Love trumps everything; including the urge to want to kick the one you love!

    As the snow is falling so heavily down here in Minneapolis that I can barely see across the street, I have to say that car in the video, that has to be one of the most frightening experiences one can have when driving.

    I hope the presentation and book signing went well.

    Here’s mine:

    • Charli Mills says:

      Love has that quality, doesn’t it? I heard Minneapolis got hit hard by the snow storm. I learned that when such a storm hits the Keweenaw, Lake Superior pushes it away. Evidently, she’s a jealous snow mistress! Book signing and presentation went well. Thanks, Michael!

  52. PipeTobacco says:

    Hello Charli:

    My “Boots” entry this week is found at:

    I am really enjoying participating. Thank you for your work and efforts!!!!!

    Ben (aka PipeTobacco)

  53. Ula says:

    My response:

    Burgundy Suede Knee-High Boots

    All I have of my parents is a pair of my mother’s burgundy suede knee-high boots.

    My aunt told me my mother had worn them on the few dates she’d had with my father, which means she wore them the night I was conceived. I like to imagine it was a romantic date with a fancy dinner with candles and everything, but my aunt thinks they went bowling and then did it in the back of her old Chevy.

    She never saw my father again after that.

    My aunt doesn’t even know his name.

    I call him Daniel Boots.

  54. […] 99 words, no more no less, for Charli’s Carrot Ranch prompt ‘boots’ […]

  55. Abby says:

    I love me a pair of good boots. That’s not where the muse led though… This is a bit dark and definitely a bit manky (I think that translates as ‘gross’ in US speak). You have been warned 😉
    With Heavy Tread

  56. boots in this cold weather is a must esp for the toddlers 😉

    Loved your piece, charli >3

  57. “Ever-present flakes kiss my cheeks. Lady Lake is loving today.” So poetic! Is there really a “right way” if we’re creatures of free-will? You seek beauty and justice, and that is always the right way. Who cares how we get there, and besides, you’ve had some amazing experiences and seen the world in entirely new ways as a result of a different path, as you said!

    These 99 words explore a bit more of my novel, “Wolves at Bay.”

    Ward slipped off his boots easily as a seal slipping into water. Mud from his trek clung to the soles, a reminder he’d not truly escaped the situation. Its insidious hold waited. With an old rag, he wiped the boot bottoms, but no matter how many swipes, streaks remained like broken shards from a mirror to his past. He’d have no choice but confront the truth.

    “They’ll come for her, and if she’s not here, they’ll take us. You. They’ll put us on trial in her place, and still, they’ll catch her. She can’t run, and neither can we.”

  58. […] week, Charli Mills hosts a flash fiction challenge at the Ranch. This week’s prompt: “In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that […]

  59. […] You can join in this challenge here: […]

  60. […] This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills has challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes boots. Whose boots are they, where do the… […]

  61. Juliet says:

    Hi everyone, very last minute this week for me and I haven’t read anyone’s yet but I wanted to deliver mine before work beckons and the clock says ‘time’s up’.

    Pink Suede Boots

    Mum’s tanned legs look fabulous in these pink suede boots.

    Mine look like tree trunks. Pale, hairy tree trunks.

    I wonder where she keeps her stinky hair-remover cream. I’ll need it if I ever want to wear these out.

    She’ll never let me anyway. And she’ll never allow me near this silky purple dress, the one that sends shivers straight down to my toes when I touch it.

    Oh God, I can hear her calling for me.

    Dammit, the zip’s stuck on a hair.

    “What the hell are you doing up there? Rugby practise starts in five minutes, Jimmy!”

  62. Deborah Lee says:

    I remember making a turn or two like that myself. Do NOT miss driving on roads like that! Beautiful piece as always, Charli.

  63. Oh Charli, I do love reading about your adventures. That crazy left turn vid is hilarious, and I say that because I’ve driven in snow like that (and done that same move I admit!) so I know what it’s like! How great you got to hire the equipment from the library and also you get to present your first TUFF workshop! You are on a roll my friend – and I don’t mean on a slippery slope either, yikes! You are truly part of the community now, with your official Yooper name. But I’m still going to call you Huckleberry 😉

    Love the way Ike has such a way with Danni, against her protestations. Great description and dialogue.

    Here’s my flash, had to be a BOTS…

    With It

    The last train whistled and I waited. I knew Dad needed Dutch Courage even before I knew what it meant.

    At last, there he was, striding towards me waving furiously, his face lit up like a Christmas tree.

    “Hello darling,” he called and by the time I fell into the warm creak of his leather jacket and breathed in his spicy after shave, I didn’t care how late he was.

    I glanced at his young girlfriend standing nearby, all blonde and eyelashes and knee-high, shiny white boots.

    Not sure about her, but I wanted those boots more than anything.

  64. […] 18, 2018, Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes boots. Whose boots are they, […]

  65. […] was wet even his gun.  Mitch sat on the ground drying his boots in the sunlight no matter that this winter sun was weak.  He had spread his anorak over some […]

  66. drakemyride says:

    Awesome nickname!

    Colorado has been frighteningly dry this winter…except for this weekend. I had to drive a bachelor party in my bus over Berthoud Pass during a snow storm, returning to DIA. The trip wasn’t without its stories, but thankfully, none that caused a collision.

    • Drake says:

      BTW, I couldn’t post the blog link from my writer’s page, so I had to use my other blog, so click on the flash fiction link, not my user name (unless you’d like to see my RVs I’m working on)

    • Liz H says:

      Nice take on the prompt!

    • Charli Mills says:

      Those Colorado passes are long and high. I went over Raton Pass in late May and it was raining on either side, and the pass was a winter wonderland just weeks before summer. Ah, but I’ve heard it’s been dry. Hope you catch up on some snowpack. Great flash, Drake!

  67. […] week in response to Charli’s “boots” prompt, I wrote about Grandma’s sparkly storytelling boots. I was pleased so many of you […]

  68. A High-Kick Beyond
    A story of ice told in 99 words
    Written by Kerry E.B. Black

    Huge cubes clinked in Aniya’s glass, dazzling as diamonds. She ran one over enflamed pulse-points. Better swelter than shovel.

    Back home her family complained of freezing temperatures.

    Not here in Nevada.

    Not in her line of work. She’d rehearsed and auditioned until tenacity paid off. Headdresses and costumes made her alluring, but a showgirl’s career only lasted as long as her legs, and not a high-kick beyond.

    She squirreled away money, lived in a hovel knowing the gig mightn’t last. So, ice cubes were her diamonds, but at least she didn’t have to shovel them to get to work.

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