Nearly the end of April and at last the US Coast Guard Cutter Morro Bay has plowed a path through the ice-locked Portage Canal that separates the Keweenaw Peninsula from the mainland of Upper Michigan. One of several Great Lakes ice-breakers, engineers, designed these ships to heave down upon the ice to crack open a path. Ice like panes of flat glass float, bob, and eventually melt, exposing the deep clear water below.
Seagulls claim floating ice slabs, and their raucous cries signal the return of water birds to a place dominated by Lake Superior, greatest of the Great Lakes. On black-tipped white wings, they wheel over my home, announcing spring ice-out in Hancock.
In appreciation of our Coast Guard who brought us spring, at last, take a moment to watch the Cutter Mackinaw plow the shipping channel on Lake Superior last month:
Already, the earliest of those who fish the Keweenaw has returned. I’m eager to discover who they are, having once lived on a bog pond beneath a bird migration super-highway. Will I see old favorites or meet new species? It’s like waiting for the circus to come to town — I know the show will thrill me, but how will it be different from shows I’ve seen before? Even in one place, spring migration plays out fresh and new.
Just as much as I love the migratory waterfowl, the Hub loves raptors. He began to hear and see kestrels during his quiet time on the back deck. He thought he saw a sharp-shinned hawk last week. The big excitement for him resides on the Houghton Bridge which crosses the Portage Canal and connects the mainland (Houghton side) to the Keweenaw Peninsula (Hancock side). The pair of peregrine falcons has returned to their nest box (you can watch a live camera of the nest box action).
After Feldenkrais class at Superior School of Dance, I walked up to Milly’s for a slice of Detroit-style pizza and a fresh mixed-greens salad. The Hub met up with me, and after dinner he suggested we go look for the Falcons on the bridge. The sun didn’t set until almost 9 pm tonight, so we headed across the bridge and parked along the canal.
And that’s when I saw them among the frolicking seagulls — mergansers!
While the Hub scoped the nest box, I scanned the newly opened waterway with it’s floating panes of ice for a close-up of what turned out to be common mergansers. With black heads, white bodies and orange bills, I could readily spot them. I saw one female, too with her auburn head. She had the pick of a gaggle of males. Mating season is soon, but still, the land is covered in banks of snow. For now, they fish.
When we head to the VA hospital in Iron Mountain, we pass through Keweenaw Bay where the snowshoe priest, Father Baraga, is honored in a sculpture depicting his reach to the region’s five tribes. The Ojibwa fish year-round from ice-huts and boats on the bay. When we return, we like to stop for dinner at Carla’s where she serves fresh fish.
Last fall, my daughter Radio Geek (though I now see her author bio has evolved to a “through and through” geek) worked on a scientific look at fishing in our region from the perspective of the Ojibwa community who asks, “When can we eat the fish?” Fishers — recreational, professional, and feathered — can be susceptible to unseen pollutants. Research at Michigan Tech reveals the complexities of answering such a question. You can read Radio Geek’s article from the 2018 Michigan Tech Research Magazine).
I was never one to take to fishing. In fact, I have horrible memories of watching gasping trout cling to life in a creel or on a line. Then I met the Hub. Reluctantly, I went fishing but warned him that I’d sit on a sunny rock and read a book. But he taught me a humane method — catch and release. Eventually, as a writing intern to Montana’s Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, I covered Becoming an Outdoor Woman and learned to fly-fish, which is a zen-like activity that involves not actually catching fish. Well, the way I do it.
If you read my article from the olden days of my writing career, you’ll learn my first name is not really Charli. But Charli is short for it, and the name I’ve had since I was a baby buckaroo.
And yes, we’ll be going fishing this week.
I want to remind you to use the form if you’d like to publish in our weekly collection. It helps me tremendously to have the stories in one bucket instead of having to hunt high and low for them! But also share in the comments to take part in the community interaction. A “byline” names the writer — use a pen name, full name, or blog if that’s your preference. Include a title with your 99-word story (the title is not counted). If no title is given, I’ll dub it, “Flash Fiction.”
Also, we have one more month to go before you can request Rancher Badges. These support you as a writer in any goals or achievements you want to track. #CarrotRanchRocks is now live and if you want to participate, ask me for a rock prompt — I’ll connect you with a rock (or more). It’s the literary version of art rocks and also seeks to educate those interested in Lake Superior rocks. Not everyone comes up here to fish!
April 26, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a fish tale. It can be about fishing from any angle, about those who fish, or what might be caught. Go where the prompt leads.
Respond by May 1, 2018. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments.
If you want your story published in the weekly collection, please use this form. If you want to interact with other writers, do so in the comments (yes, that means sharing your story TWICE — once for interaction and once for publication). Rules are here.
Fishing Opener by Charli Mills
Harriette wrapped her arms around Ralph’s girth. He slowed down when the trail dipped and skirted puddles of brown snowmelt. A month ago, they had enjoyed the last snowmobile trek of the season. Now it was time to ride the four-wheeler. The couple had strapped their fishing rods, gear and a picnic lunch to the back. At last, mud splattered, the trail broke out of the trees and opened to an inlet along the shoreline of Lake Superior.
Ralph quickly geared up and headed up the small stream to catch trout. Harriette left her pole and fished for agates.
[…] Source: April 26: Flash Fiction Challenge […]
Thanks for sharing!
[…] Flash Fiction Challenge at Carrot Ranch […]
The lantern fish was holding a seminar for other species.
“The bottom of the ocean has a temperature of minus 28 degree Fahrenheit, and you need to learn to survive it. We teach you another sport – use your lower pectoral fins as legs to walk on the bottom of the ocean, and explore it well. There are plenty of succulent plants to feed on….”
“Is it a kind of holiday resort for us, with leisure activities thrown in?”
“Call it survival… if you wish to protect yourself from the human picnickers wielding fishing rods, and have a good time.”
Great take, Reena. What a useful seminar for the lantern fish.
LOL! This was fabulous, Reena. <3
VEry nice, Reena
Thank you, Robbie!
An imaginative take on the prompt, Reena! I especially enjoyed the survival tip to avoid “the human picnickers.”
Everything spawns a new business :). Thanks, Charli!
Spawns! Ha, ha!
“What’re ya doin’, Kid?”
“What’s it look like?”
“Goin’fishin’. But what’re ya doin’ with that outfit? Ocean rod? Trollin’ reel?
“Go big or go home, Pal.”
“I think yer flounderin’ Kid. Yer way overrigged fer the stock pond or the stream. Ain’t a bass hole on the ranch.”
“I’m thinkin’ big, Pal. Gonna bait up right here in the paddock.”
“Hmmph. Yer hookin’ yer leader to a kite?”
“Yep. Let the line out… look at ‘er go… higher…. I’ve caught the wind, Pal! Look at that kite soarin’ over the ranch!”
“Kid, this is relaxin’.”
“Yep. Catch an’ release.”
That’s exactly how my hubby used to fly kites – off the end of a pier!
Lovely. That’s a catch of a different kind.
Catch the wind! That’s a great day of fishin’!
[…] Written for: https://carrotranch.com/2018/04/26/april-26-flash-fiction-challenge/ […]
Hi Charli, a fun prompt this week…
I’m relieved you think so, Michael! I wasn’t so sure if I’d catch anything with a fishing prompt. Looks like a good catch, though!
what a wonderful piece –
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!
Great flash, Charli, I think we can guess who Harriette might be based on. On the subject of names, I was toying with composing a flash to accompany a post on another recently published anthology that features one of my short stories – edited by Charlie Fish! But I’ve gone for a collection of 99 words from five of the four Rough Writers on the process of extending the flash pieces into longer stories (and the reverse in one case) for Team Charli’s first anthology.
Thanks to Pete Fanning, Geoff Le Pard, Ann Edall-Robson for supplying the words.
My new flash for this week is entitled Inside the goldfish bowl and stars my WIP character Matty.
Flesh on the bones: Beyond the 99-word story #flashfiction http://annegoodwin.weebly.com/1/post/2018/04/flesh-on-the-bones-beyond-the-99-word-story-flashfiction.html
Wonderful insights. And flashes of fiction.
Ha! Charli Fish! That’s a fitting name for this week, Anne. My great appreciation for your post which explores the expansion of flash fiction stories from the anthology. And good to see Matty.
The Fisherman Becomes The Fish
For close to thirty years Jeff fished on the Grand Banks. Dismissing tales of the magic haddock he would reel in anything that had the misfortune of swimming near his boat.
“Last summer, we pulled in a baby orca,” he bragged to the new baiter.
“The orca isn’t a fish,” the baiter noted. “It’s a mammal.”
“If it comes from the sea, it’s a fish! Get back to work!”
That night Jeff dreamed of being caught in a giant net dropping silently from the sky.
“If it comes from the sea, it’s a fish,” the alien told his son.
“If it comes from the Earth, it’s an Earthling; if it comes from Mars it’s a Martian…”
Wow….scary but really good. Lovely.
Oh, this was a great take on the prompt words. 😀
Point well made, Teresa!
[…] In response to: https://carrotranch.com/2018/04/26/april-26-flash-fiction-challenge/ […]
This hierarchy nature has set: the seagull will get first bite, whoever fished, whatever was fished. Its menacing mew distances two black crows, left with a minor, resigned twang. They do stay, though. In the sand near the shore, something glistens and sparkles. Seagull swoops down, crows stand back; seagull grabs half of it – a crackling, snapping sound – and flies back up; crows can approach now, get whatever’s left. The sky responds by being blue; lapping waves give rhythm to a natural occurrence. It was plastic. It was plastic. It was nothing more than a piece of unadulterated plastic.
All that glistens and sparkles is not gold…
So true. And it can also be dangerous plastic garbage, as in this case… Awful.
The plastic drifts…ugh.
A reminder of the sea pollution going on. How sad.
Beautifully staged scene between the birds and the final rhythmic lines add a powerful overtone to nature.
Thanks Charli. This really happened a few weeks ago at the seaside.
True story from me Charli
[…] Charl Mills issued the flash fiction challenge about a fishing tale this week. Using 99 words, write it out and tag it back to her here: https://carrotranch.com/2018/04/26/april-26-flash-fiction-challenge/ […]
https://wp.me/p4ayEo-2NY My short link in case the ping back doesn’t work
[…] Carrot Ranch FF April 26, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a fish tale. It can be about fishing from any angle, about those who fish, or what might be caught. Go where the prompt leads. […]
I like your BoTS… 😉
I’m still not sure on sizing… but I’ve added the photo of the two prompts I used! I know amazing right? Title is the link for anyone who wants to see the other prompt and definitions and other link in the haibun:
(99 word haibun)
The anglers are out again. On the other side of the creek.
I mow to disturb their silence. I want them far away. I want
my own golden silence reflected by the day’s spring sun.
stay in the shadow
you old trout, leave the lures be;
let me see your stripes
So what’s my angle? In my secluded shaded sanctuary.
A good friend sent me a sticker “She believed she could
so she did” – I peek through curtained windows in awe
of a new day, beginning again.
staying in shadow
I am encouraged to show
my own moxey stripe
Nice! In imitation, we can best understand–clear image of the person-fish and agenda to save a part of one’s own Nature.
You recognized my thinly veiled persona! Ah, if only I had the four-wheeler! What a creative construction for your flash, I enjoy your comparison between the two stanzas of verse. Lovely sticker! <3
More about fishing than fish I suppose, Charli. And true enough to make it less fiction than usually required. I thought it might trigger memory but alas, its the same old story refashioned.
Farmers at Sea-A Fishy Tale
“You’ve talked about this before?”
“From time to time. I was a baby. I have no clear recollection.”
“Your parents were fishers?”
“Yes. Landlubbers who set to sea for the adventure. Then I came along.”
“That must have added to the thrill of the undertaking.”
“So, they told me. It must have been very hard for them.”
“Living on a fishboat with a baby?”
“I think it leaked some.”
“Well, maybe not a whole lot. Enough for me to kiss the earth and thank my lucky stars I survived.”
“You’re exaggerating, right?”
“Only enough to make it interesting.”
The understatement of the possible exaggeration makes it interesting. Hmmm.
Agreed with D. Avery. Pondering, ponderings…
It makes for a great story to tell, and I like the title, Bill. Your dialog creates a great visual scene.
[…] This is a flash fiction prompt for https://carrotranch.com/2018/04/26/april-26-flash-fiction-challenge/ […]
Thanks for the challenging prompt! 🙂
Welcome to Carrot Ranch! Glad you could join us!
[…] Carrot Ranch Challenge […]
[…] If you want to participate, here is the link: http://carrotranch.com/2018/04/26/april-26-flash-fiction-challenge/ […]
My entry for the week.
[…] prompt this […]
Here is mine!
Reblogged this on All About Writing and more.
You are welcome!
[…] April 26 Flash Fiction Challenge […]
[…] If you want to participate, here’s the link: https://carrotranch.com/2018/04/26/april-26-flash-fiction-challenge/ […]
Here’s mine. Felt like a bit of humor today. 🙂
Mwahahahahahaha…I’ll have to remember that, for next time! 😀
I like your humor, Joelle!
[…] reel deal at Carrot Ranch this week is to, in 99 words (no more, no less) write a fish tale. It can be about fishing from any […]
“Earnest, I’ll teach you all you need to know about fishing.”
Unable and unwilling to bait his own hooks, Marge had Earnest use a lure. Earnest practiced casting, the lure flying about in all directions.
“Earnest, I’m gonna try my luck further down.”
Marge did not get far. The treble hook of Earnest’s lure pierced Marge’s pants and was firmly set in her ample cheek.
After the ER, eating take-out fish dinner, Marge admitted fishing could be a pain in the ass. The next time she went, Earnest stayed home. He had all he needed to know about fishing.
I did it differently this week. I wrote the longer piece that came out for these characters and posted it https://shiftnshake.wordpress.com/2018/04/27/reeling/
then pared it down to 99 words for inclusion here.
Hahahaha! This could be made into one of those clever, “cheeky” greeting cards with the black and white old fashioned photo on the front.
Hehehe. A pain in the ass alright! 🙂
LOL! I loved this story and had a great laugh! <3
He caught her! These characters have hooked me, too, D.!
[…] April 26: Flash Fiction Challenge […]
Oh! Your final sentence… 😮
What Liz said.
I’m with Harriette, Charli! That’s my kind of fishing expedition.
It leads to the best catches, too! 🙂
[…] Carrot Ranch, Flash Fiction – April 26, 2018. Task: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a fish tale. It can be about fishing from any angle, […]
There’s always at least one…
That’s great, Sarah!
[…] April 26: Flash Fiction Challenge […]
[…] Charli Mills invites us to write this weeks tale using the prompt below in 99 words (no more, no less). […]
It was the one thing he had in common with his father, their love of fishing. The amicable silence they shared once their rods were cast, waiting for a bite or better still, catch. The only noise came from the stream trickle as water bubbled over mossy rubble and rocks.
A year after his burial, he packed his most prized tackled, loaded his truck and set off for their spot. He was comforted by the familiar stream bubble and poured whisky from his flask. Casting his rod he whispered goodbye to his boy, remembering the amicable silence once shared.
I was surprised at the survivor… but you knew that.
Wow… great emotional impact with your ending. I was surprised! <3
Excellent craftsmanship, Christina. The first part set up the companionship, the second set up the loss, but with an unexpected twist.
Thank you Charli 🙂
I was late picking up my new out-door enthusiast girlfriend to take to dinner at my parents and never noticed something on the front of her wool jacket, but my mother did. On the way home I asked what the small opaque disks were.
“Oh dear, they’re fish scales. I helped Dad clean the fish we had for breakfast.”
“I want my parents to welcome you back if you’ll go with me again, please be more careful.”
“I’ll do that but you should know welcoming a red-neck like me and accepting me is two different things in my book.”
That last line nails it! Sometimes we are too caught up in the images we project and forget the humanity of new friendships. Good one, Susan!
Thank you. Based on how I feel I am perceived by my in-laws.
[…] April 26: Flash Fiction Challenge […]
Albert is motionless. Well, apart from a slight sway, that you wouldn’t notice, unless you studied him carefully.
His eyes unblinking fixed straight ahead. Jane watches from the doorway. His concentration palpable she hardly dares breath.
Suddenly the screen door slams shut. Jane jumps. Albert seemingly unbothered, turns his gaze to door. The reflection on the ceiling ripples as the fish dart in and out of the aquarium plants.
Albert licks his paw, yawns and jumps down from the ledge. His back arches, and he stretches out before walking to the door leaving the fish to think they’ve won.
What Liz said.
I wish to amend my comment. You had strong visuals and cat centric suspense. Cool.
Well done. I was surprised by the cat.
Ha! An unexpected perspective on a catch and fish game!
[…] Carrot Ranch Prompt (04/26/2018): In 99 words (no more, no less) write a fish tale. It can be about fishing from any angel, about those who fish, or what might be caught. Go where the prompt leads. […]
A little light-hearted fish(ing) tale, since Spring is in the air, and light summer dresses are not far behind…
“How about him?”
Gabby considered, lazily twirling her lariat. “If he finds what he needs on Earth, I’ll hold off collecting.”
What Liz said. (Kidding, I haven’t even read it yet.)
Now I’ve read it.
Pisses me off it takes divine intervention to get people off their phones. But great take.
Ha! I’d think even angels might give up soon on that account!
A catch made in Heaven.
🙂 Good one, Norah!
Angels angled in on this one, Liz!
This week’s story is based on something that happened to me when I was a kid. I was finally invited to go fishing with the bigger kids at a family reunion and while everyone was catching fish, including my older brother catching a baby shark, I managed to get my hook stuck on a sea shell. It was funny and a little embarrassing because I wanted to be like my older cousins and brother.
Cuteness always work at the Ranch…Lol!
Aw, what a sweet tale, Heather! I know that feeling of wanting to be like the big kids, but you caught a good story to later tell.
When my mom read the story she said that she knew right away what the ending was going to be because she remembers that fishing trip. So I feel I did it justice.
Excellent! Flash fiction can be a terrific format for telling those family stories.
[…] https://carrotranch.com/2018/04/26/april-26-flash-fiction-challenge/ […]
[…] Linked to Carrot Ranch April 26th writing challenge. This week the theme is “fish tale” for these 99-word stories. Come and join […]
Fish Tale by Frank Hubeny
He wondered if a mermaid was a fish or if he’d catch anything today or if the soldiers would spot him.
Once he was robbed. They almost killed him with the beating. He didn’t mind dying, but he had to bring fish home to Martha and Peter.
He was too delirious from the bombings and hiding to catch food. He slept till she woke him handing him more fish than he’d ever expect to see. “For Martha and Peter. And you.”
As she turned to dive into the water he thought he heard her say, “I’m not a fish.”
She WAS listening!
A unique and well-penned take~~
Yes, she was. Thank you, Liz!
I smell a novella…
A few hundred words is a far as I normally get. Thank you!
You are welcome. A few hundred words a day/week adds up quick. All the best either way! 🙂
A little bit of magic and fantasy goes a long way.
Yes, and it gives hope. Thank you, Norah!
A very nice story, Frank.
Thank you, Robbie!
I love you mermaid tale! Well done. <3
Thank you, Colleen!
Such a hopeful tale, and yet a lighthearted last line, Frank.
I am glad you liked it, Charli!
A fishing guide like no other.
by Ann Edall-Robson
She’d pined for the creek where she’d fished. Riding to the old bridge on her horse, her fishing rod fitting nicely in an old gun scabbard her dad had given her.
She had heard there was a new bridge and fish were no longer running in the creek. Sad, she thought as she drove on the gravel road towards the memories.
She could see she was being watched from the atop of the steel girders. If the osprey were nesting here, it was a sure sign there were fish in the creek. Good thing she’d brought her fishing rod.
Fish saved only for those who really attend to Nature.
Nice. As long as the roads that lead to memories aren’t tarred there’s hope. Keep your rod handy.
(What da’ya say Liz?)
Liz, have you ever encountered someone who thought they were being funny but they were really become obnoxious? I do truly enjoy and appreciate your comments and often say to myself, wow what a great comment, it’s spot on. But my overuse of referring to you could seem flip and obnoxious and I apologize to you and all involved for it.
No worries from me. Rodeo Clowns are an important part of the show, too. And I did laugh…
I love that she drove on the gravel road towards memories, and that she knew to look for the ospreys and their secret message.
There is much we can learn from Mother Nature’s tutors if we pay attention.
Osprey are wonderful fisher birds and they like being around people, too. I miss them from my north Idaho days on Elmira Pond. I’ll keep an eye out for loons to point the way. Good flash, Ann!
[…] Flash Fiction contest entry–I’m having fun with these! Check it out from Charli at the Carrot Ranch for details of this week’s 99 word […]
“Mermaid therapy, this way please. Swim, lightly. Come now.”
“Excuse me, my good merman–is this the meeting spot?”
“Depends, what meeting are you looking for?”
“The symposium for mermaid therapy…?”
“Why, yes–I’m the therapist. Now tell me, what ails you? Come now, no one’s around.”
“It’s my son, Crustacean. He keeps having nightmares about hooks floating above his head. Ever since the incident with the trawler last summer, he hasn’t been the same. Can you help us? We’re desperate for relief.”
“Yes, I can. I have one word: magnets.”
What Liz says.
I am amending my comment.
There must be all kinds of therapies and healing needed for the undersea creatures. You presented that idea in a fun and unique.
I have heard that magnets have many healing qualities. They’d work well to disempower hooks.
Even mermaids have therapy! Magnet therapy! A clever take on the prompt!
[…] Charli Mills Carrot Ranch April 26: Flash Fiction Challenge – Koi Fish […]
Hi Charli, here’s my entry.
You’re welcome, Charli. I’ll be on the road in May. Mother’s Day and vacation in Alaska. I’ll see how it goes.
[…] via April 26: Flash Fiction Challenge « Carrot Ranch Literary Community […]
I didn’t want to write about fishing this week and thought I might take a week off. And then this idea came to me. I forgot to put the name of my FF in the form.
Impossible homework assignment
“Mom, the worst thing happened today!” said Charli, flinging her backpack onto the counter.
“Oh, what?” asked her longsuffering mother, immune to teen melodrama with daily exposure.
“Mrs. Mills is making us write an essay about fishing. The thought of slimy worms and stinky fish make me sick, and I don’t want to write about it.”
“Perhaps she wants you to stretch your writing muscles,” her mother said.
“She’ll be sorry when she sees puke stains on my paper.”
“I’m sure you can do it.”
“No, I can’t! What’s for dinner? I’m starving.”
“Fish sticks and French fries.”
I see what you did there. Yet real fish sticks in her craw.
Yup! You not only got the point but left a clever comment that made me laugh.
Nothing like some comfort food to overcome an undesirable task (often required in order to have the said comfort). Fun flash, Molly!
So true, Charli. I have to work today, so on that note, I’m going to go eat some bacon!
Oh! I had bacon this morning, fried in a cast iron pan. Num, num!
[…] Mills prompt this week is all about […]
[…] This post was inspired by Carrot ranch literary community April 26, 2018: Flash Fiction Challenge. […]
I am having a lot of fun here, just so you know.🙂
Thank you for creating this inspiring and educative online community.
Here is a link to my take on this week’s challenge.
Donald was caught twice!
Donald’s days of eating golden caviar are over!
Welcome to Carrot Ranch, Aweni! I’m glad you are having fun! We like to play with our craft as much as work with it. 😉 Thanks for joining in!
Thank you for the warm welcome. I look forward to an enduring and educative sojourn here.😁
Ps: your piece is lovely.
[…] Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction […]
[…] April 26: Flash Fiction Challenge […]
“So I caught a fish this big,” said a fisherman, his hands slightly apart.
“Oh, yeah? Well I caught one this big,” bragged another fisherman, his arms stretched out farther.
“That’s nothing,” another fisherman chimed in. “I caught one this big!” He strained his arms apart as far as they could stretch.
“Hey guys!” announced Spiderman foe and public nuisance Dr. Octopus as he approached. “Wanna hear how big of a fish I caught?” he boasted, a wide smile underneath his coke bottle thick eyeglasses. He eagerly prepared to extend his four extra metallic arms to maximum length.
There’s always one that’s got to go bigger. Funny!
Thank you 🙂
Once again, evil triumphs! 😉
Marvel villains: always spoiling it for everyone else!
And Life is so much more interesting because of that! 😀
Ha, ha! The game of one-up-manship never ends! Well, played, Robert.
Thank you, Charli! I suppose I could have called this Size Matters. 😀
Ha! So you poke your pole down in them rocks…
Easiest fishin’ ever. Aside from slippin’ and falling. And watching for sneaker waves.
Sneaker. Waves three times the size of normal. Catch you nappin’, slam you hard, drown you.
Damn. Maybe this ain’t something…
Here I’ll show you. Take this squid, hook it, now feed the pole into that pocket between the rocks.
Hmm… Whoa! What was that?
That, that’s a deep dark denizen sucked your bait and got hooked.
Sheesh, fit to shake my arm off.
Well, pull it in, whatever it is, its supper.
I hope it is their supper, and not that they’re supper. 🙂
Makes me nervous to think what was down in that hole. As Norah said – hope they’re not supper. You’ve created a wonderfully tense atmosphere.
Youtube “poke poling”, you’ll witness the creatures that lurk there. And it is great fun.
I had a look. I’ll look at those holes with new eyes now.
You’ve taught me a new fishing term, Anony!
[…] to the Carrot Ranch Literary Community Flash Fiction Challenge, hosted by Charli Mills. Charli’s prompt this week, in her own words, […]
Here’s my entry for the week Charli. Just a sweet little love story this time, no one dies, no one eats up anyone else: https://jagahdilmein.wordpress.com/2018/04/30/zapped-atozchallenge-blogchattera2z/
Most amusing. 🙂
No one dies or gets eaten up… yet. Someone might go belly up.
Always keep yourself open…there are other fish in the bowl!
Ha, ha! Coming from you, Anurag, I’m hopefully cautious! 😀
Ha ha ha
[…] This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a fish tale. It can be about fishing from any angle, about thos… […]
This is an amazing post, Charli. It is wonderful to see the ice plow. I can hardly imagine such a thing. I’ve never seen that much ice. It must be sooooo cold. I can imagine, though, your excitement at the birds’ return and at seeing which species will visit in the Keewanaw. Those mergansers are beautiful, but I’m pretty keen on the falcons too. Knowing which fish to eat can be a problem. I use an Australian Sustainable Seafood Guide to help me select, but that doesn’t help solve the problem mentioned in the article by Radio SuperGeek about pollutants and health. I don’t purchase seafood from outside Australia due to the unsustainable and unhealthy production processes of many. In fact, less and less of that is becoming available here.
I enjoyed your flash about a couple which reminds me of you and your hub. I get that you’d rather hunt rocks than fish. “Teach a man to fish . . .” I wonder how you’d complete the statement, “Teach a woman to hunt rocks . . . “. 🙂
I have written my flash “Reeling in the Fishermen” and published it here https://wp.me/p3O5Jj-18P. I hope you enjoy.
Ha! Norah, I’m thinking, “teach a woman to hunt rocks” and she’ll be surrounded by bling! It’s good to know that Australia takes seriously sustainable fishing for consuming. Like you say, though, that doesn’t cover the issues of pollutants and health. One would think you could escape such things in the Arctic, but I learned from the Steger Foundation that polymer pollutants end up in the Arctic and in the fish. With cultures like the Inuit dependant upon fishing, they have higher levels than someone living in the middle of the US. Thanks for reeling in a flash!
The title of the book that speaks to the issues of Arctic peoples is The Fourth World; it is a difficult truth to read.
Bling! Now that’s a great way to complete that statement. 🙂
How sad it is to see the extent of the damage we have inflicted upon our world, including its inhabitants. I think it’s going to take a long time and a lot of perseverance to turn the tide, so to speak.
[…] response to Charli’s prompt where this week she […]
The ice cutter makes it look so easy but it must still be cold out there. Loved reading about the birds of the Keweenaw. I love those fluffy headed top knots of the mergansers. I probably would have thought they were ducks without your article (although perhaps ducks are mergansers). Loved your flash which I agree with Norah, made me think of you and your husband.
The ice cutter slices the crust like butter, but that’s a lot of weight and pressure! Aren’t those mergansers great? I love their heads! They are considered fish-eating ducks. And evidently, they are migrating past to go across Lake Superior to Canada. In North Idaho, they nested. So no, lingering mergansers. Yes, I think I had wishful thoughts in mind as I wrote! Thank you for flashing your fish tale!
Thanks for that extra info Charli. Their heads are great. Enjoy them whilst they’re there.
[…] For: April 26: Flash Fiction Challenge […]
I’m slammed with busy stuff, so haven’t been able to comment; hope to this week! Here’s my post and the link to my site:
Bet on the Lady
By Paula Moyer
Jean and Steve had always wondered about the “launches” – big flat boats steered by a fishing guide.
That Saturday night on Mille Lacs, Wayne steered them to “his” spot. He baited Jean’s hook, cast out. Steve did his own. They waited. In the dusk they spied a rowboat, two men. Waiting.
A bobble. “I’ve got something.”
Wayne reeled in the walleye on Jean’s rod, big and flopping.
In the fish house, Wayne gutted, chatted. The rowboat guys gutted theirs. “We had a bet going,” one said. “I bet on the lady.” He grinned.
Jean laughed. “I’d bet on Wayne.”
Uh, is Steve netting anything?
On this occasion (the story is a BOTS), he didn’t.
Yeah, he kind of gets tossed back. Jean’s the one that got away- from him. Guess he didn’t bait her hook.
Actually, by being the nice guy and letting her get the fish, Steve got Jean.
Well, I misread that!
I just couldn’t get more of Steve into 99 words!
Nice BOTS. I’d always bet on the lady. I can see it happening Paula.
Thank you, Irene!
Hi Paula! Hope you accomplish all your tasks! A fun take on the prompt.
Thank you, Charli!
[…] week at the Ranch, Charli Mills hosts the Rough Writers and Friends flash fiction challenge. This week’s prompt: “In 99 words (no more, no less) write a fish tale. It can be about […]
I have been slammed, too. Finally got a flash written this week!
“I’m completely renewed, you know how revitalizing a whole makeover is — new cut, new clothes, new toilette, new everything,” Torrey chirps. She raises one wrist, takes a deep sniff, smiles at Lesley, smiles even more brilliantly at Alan’s attorney across the conference table. Alan couldn’t make this settlement negotiation; business. That suits Torrey. She flips her hair and sniffs her wrist again, simpers at the attorney.
“Ah, yes,” the man says drily. “Deep Woods Off No. 5.”
Torrey’s mouth snaps shut audibly.
“You were angling for a compliment, Mrs. Graff,” the attorney says. “Be careful what you fish for.”
That may be Torrey’s last makeover–Alan’s attorney is a wise old shark…
LOL! Well done. I love lawyer humor. 😀
Spring can often go out with us all slammed! 😀 Good angle on the prompt!
[…] This story was written in response to Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge “Fish Tale” […]
As I move around, I see the little ones scurrying about. One look at me, and they start running helter skelter. And they should.
This is my territory. Every rock, every plant, is owned by me. If they choose to make their way here, they choose to give up their freedom and submit to my sovereignty. I am the king. Wait, I see a shadow looming over me. It is humongous, covering my entire territory. I guess it is time for me to exit these waters and head elsewhere.
After all, there is always a bigger fish out there.
There always is, so humbling.
Thank You! 🙂
It’s best to know when to cut your losses and swim away!
Welcome to Carrot Ranch! Great story about the big fish outshadowed!
Thank You, Charli! 🙂
Glad to be on board! 😀
One fish, two fish…that old guy’s a true fish!
Liked this very much!!
Ha! Well done. Liked the ‘storm in his eyes’.
[…] 26, 2018, Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a fish tale. It can be about fishing from any angle, about […]
[…] in response to Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Check it […]
Wallie and my response 🙂 “Mystery at Pond Bottom”–
A good Wallie and Friend flash!
[…] https://carrotranch.com/2018/04/26/april-26-flash-fiction-challenge/ […]
Hi, my link in case the email/ping back doesn’t work: https://mjmallon.com/2018/05/01/carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-challenge-she-fought-so-hard/
Fabulous prompt, Charli. I had the perfect 99-word story for this prompt in my new book While the Buzz Bombs Fell. I have posted it on my new book webpage here: https://bakeandwrite.co.za/flashfiction-carrot-ranch-weekly-challenge-a-fishing-tale/
That’s such a memorable story from your new book and I’m glad you could use it for the prompt Robbie.
[…] in response to Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch’s weekly #99 word Flash Fiction Challenge. This week’s prompt is to include a bat in the story. Check out other entries or take part […]
[…] For Carrot Ranch`s April 26: Flash Fiction Challenge […]
Thanks for your flash!
[…] Write a fish tale. – a prompt for this week’s CW piece. [Source: Carrot Ranch] […]
Ah! An origin story! Thanks, Goldie!
[…] in response to the April 26, 2018, flash fiction challenge at Carrot Ranch […]
Here I am…bringing up the rear! But oh boy does it feel good to jump back in ! Here’s my fish story… http://www.themeaningofme.com/the-fishing-trip/
Thanks for jumping back in, Lisa! I’m dragging my rear this week, lol!
[…] This post was inspired by Carrot ranch literary community May 17, 2018: Flash Fiction Challenge. […]