Softly my feet pad across the hard-packed trail through the forest. Pine-scent bobs in the air like the dandelion seeds that haven’t yet formed, spring is so new. But the lawns and fields are covered with the promise from sunny yellow heads.
Again, I’ve become the hunter. Some take yoga to go into warrior pose — I take my feet outside; my body and mind follow, feeling the call of the hunt. Alert, my senses feel the dappled sunlight keenly and separate the sounds of chattering birds and lapping waves.
Where has my fierce Lady Lake gone? She’s acting so passive, I wonder if she’s at rest. Over winter she fought ferocious battles between water and sand, upturning the shoreline like a bulldozer. She called in blizzards like flocking white ravens. Now, she sleeps, her seas lightly sloshing. It’s the perfect time to hunt — her guard is down, her waves at rest and a new crop of churned rocks wait on the beach.
But first, I slink through the forest.
To see Lake Superior through the pines is one of my favorite views. From this vantage on the ridge overlooking the dog beach at McLain State Park, I can scout stretches of beach-worn basalt, granite, and gabbro. I’m refining my hunting skills, having studied over winter. I now can identify more of the minerals that fill the mafic bedrock like the clays chlorite and celadonite.
But the hunt isn’t always for the next rock or potential agate. I am also a woman who runs with the wolves. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. writes:
“The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.”
My doors to my Wild self are indeed precious — through scars, caught stories, rocks, and water, birds, and sky. I can love the hunt so deeply, I take this path in the forest to savor the time it takes to burst forth onto the rocky beach to step into cold Great Lake waters. I yearn for deeper art to the point that I can feel my writing before I even begin. Art enriches my life, leaves me breathless and yet grounded.
Music, movement, color, words, texture — art fills all senses.
And this is why I love dance. I don’t dance. I don’t run with the wolves across the stage, but I watch from the audience the same way I watch Lake Superior from my footpath in the pines. I love the costumes, the drumbeats, the sharp movements and the flowing visual story. Dance is my daughter’s art. Often we share artistic moments, and that’s better than bagging an agate.
When her dance troupe accepted my idea to incorporate flash fiction into their next performance, I felt giddy at the chance to meld artistic expressions. I met with the choreographers and took note to capture the tone and emotion of each piece. We discussed the music, costumes, and movements.
When I wrote, I had that same feeling as when I step into Lake Superior. Wild self takes over. Intuition spills my words. Afterward, I felt unsure. Would this story partner with the dance? Or would it be a clunky addition to the show? I wrote like a dancer — interpreting each piece with new and different structures.
In the end, I had eleven Mythica Flash Fiction worthy of the warrior women taking the stage. I felt I could run with these wolves and that’s where my writing began and ended. Each flash in between told a story, hailed queens, invented new myths, introduced unknown characters or celebrated the power of the Wild self.
On Friday, 47 North performs Mythica at the Continental in Houghton. The belly dance troupe specializes in tribal fusion and modern. Their literary artist specializes in rocks, history and flash fiction. The first flash opens the show, the second closes it, as I speak directly to the dancers taking the stage in leather, chain mail, and fur, dancing to music from Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur.
Undergrowth of legends cling to consciousness and shadows vape through the veil between who we must be and who we indeed are. Quaking, we repeat fairy tales to let fear conform our captured souls.
The veil slips, and we glimpse Mythica where strange and weird entities tap and twirl to original wingbeats of self-expression. Fear blinds our hearts and knots the rope around throats of mythical women who are different.
Mythica is the shadowlands populated by shadow people. Dare you cross the veil? Grandmother won’t save you, but she beckons you to enter and run hard with the wolves.
Step forth onto the battlefield, Daughters. Brace your feet, remember your training. Adjust your shield and sword. Death is but a trip to Valhalla. Ready your bodies for passage. When you fall, the Valkyries are coming. Skol!
Lift up, lift up, lift up — Choosers of the Slain! Warrior-women wielding runes, marks of the chosen. Let not the weight of the world, the heaviness of battle, the blood your body sheds destroy you. Glory nears.
Lift up, lift up, lift up and carry those battle-born souls to Odin. Warriors of the warriors. Valkyries. Women who rise. The run is over.
It’s not easy to be an artist, to be a hunter, to run wild and return home again. Illness, disappointment, injustice, grief — these often erode the shores of who we think we are. But we evolve. Every run, every storm, every story is another chance to turn our own page. Estes writes,
“Though fairy tales end after ten pages, our lives do not. We are multi-volume sets. In our lives, even though one episode amounts to a crash and burn, there is always another episode awaiting us and then another. There are always more opportunities to get it right, to fashion our lives in the ways we deserve to have them. Don’t waste your time hating a failure. Failure is a greater teacher than success.”
Opportunity energy is high right now. I’m hunting down each one. Not everything will stick, but at the end of the day, I won’t go home empty. A significant transition looms for me. As life with my spouse evolves, as my daughter leaves the dance stage to undergo tests and possibly surgery at the Mayo Clinic next week, and the organization that was my anchor client leaves, I turn to my Wild self to adjust not with fear but with a welcoming of the challenges.
Roundup, a small weekly e-zine, returns from the ashes to spotlight three flash fictions a week and highlight one of our many writers. It’s intended for an audience of readers, to get people excited for what forms literary art can take 99-words at a time. Writers can benefit from a subscription to learn craft tips. It will connect to each weekly collection so you can share Roundup.
Books by authors in our literary community will be featured on Rough Writers’ pages and individually in Roundup. You’ll notice rotating books alongside the blog posts with house ads. I emphasize “house” because Carrot Ranch does not use AdWords. I’ll be promoting local events, workshops, author books (from our community and at my discretion), my services, literary art patronage, and an upcoming subscription to Marketing Mavericks. You can catch my #NaNoWriMo post at BadRedhead Media for a taste of what Marketing Mavericks will be like.
Literary art continues to be my focus. I want you to have unencumbered access to play with the art form among a group of people who see writing as one of their doors to the world. Please submit your badges for any goals you set and earned (see Rancher Badges). This is a self-motivated personal development opportunity. Now is the time to set new goals for the next three months.
Any Rough Writer who wants to offer Wrangling Words to their own community library, please contact me and I’ll get you set up with some basic training, materials and an outline for how to get established. It’s a great way to spread literary art where you live. I find it a rewarding program, and you can adjust it to fit what you want to offer.
All Patrons of Carrot Ranch (monthly supporters) have been gifted the full Mythica Flash Fiction collection. You can catch 47 North Belly Dance live streaming Friday night starting at 9 pm (EST) on their Facebook page.
I’ve set my vision for how I see art in my life as my northern star, and I write and run. Listen, you can hear the wolves howling. The warrior women gather.
May 31, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about warrior women. It can be myth or everyday mothers and wives. Go where the prompt leads.
Respond by June 5, 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.
Start of a Wild Ride (from Rock Creek) by Charli Mills
Sarah startled at the hand pressing against her mouth in the dark. A woman’s voice shushed her struggles. She sat up in bed to see Nancy Jane’s face inches from hers. “What are you doing,” Sarah whispered.
“Ever run with wolves?”
“Come, on, Sarah, Yellow Feather gathered some ponies. Let’s be braves under the moon!”
Sarah clung to her quilt drawn up to her chin. Camp was silent, emigration season nearly at an end. Cobb would be asleep next to Mary, and their baby. He was the same age –
She threw down the quilt and rose from bed.
Nice post and story! I love all the things you offer writers…it creates a sense of community. If I don’t start selling my small collection, I probably won’t be here in three months to really plan, but I think its great! Interesting prompt as well…really out of my zone. It’s going to take some thinking 🙂
Thanks! Sometimes, those prompts that take us out of our zone, when we apply it to a character or story we have, something unexpected can spark. I hope that happens for you. And good luck with your collection! Yes, we create community so writers can explore, grow and play with literary art.
Happened for me this week, and in other prompt weeks as well! <3
I like where you went with it, Liz!
[…] Source: May 31: Flash Fiction Challenge […]
Thanks for sharing the prompt!
Wow, you once again have blown my mind with all you’ve got going, especially melding 99-Flash with dance performance! Sounds so cool & what a great way to bond and conversate (is that a word?) with your daughter.
Missed last week to focus on my long-term project, but the prompt this week really grabbed–will have to see if I can capture two birds with one gently thrown stone.
Ooh, conversate! It’s a word now, Liz! I’m in full literary artist warrior mode right now with the dance show! It’s such a powerful performance and to lead each opening is a blast. Their stage manager and MC were skeptical, and dress rehearsal was the first time they got to hear the stories. By the end, they were all excited, including the skeptics! Throw the stone hard this week, Liz! And wishing you the best with the long-term project. That requires endurance.
Thanks for the encouragement! 🙂
Conversate – wonderful new word!
Continued success with all your writing projects.
Mama Bear Unleashed
May 31, 2018,
Ono looked at the robber in the store. As he smacked the owner, she looked down at her daughter and took a deep breath. Piper shouldn’t see mama this way but shit happens. Reaching behind she slowly removed the Tanto Emerson knife and quietly rolled Piper into a quiet aisle. She walked purposely toward him her pace quickening as old habits opened their doors for their horrible duty. The man turned toward her and tried to point his Magnum 357. Too late. The knife quickly sliced his jugular. She smiled as he gurgled and fought for life. Mama did well.
Hi Eric, good to see you back at the Ranch (I saw you were here last week, too but I fell into the GDPR and dress rehearsal cracks). Your title sets the tone and Mama Bear is one fierce contender! As your stories expand with these characters, it draws us into a world we couldn’t experience from an article or news report. This is where literary art can make a difference.
That about sums up what a mama bear would do to protect her young. Chilling story. -Molly
We do what we have to to protect our young…and our community!
First shot out the gates and it’s a strong one!
Vivid! That’s a kick-butt warrior, indeed.
[…] 99-words story was written for the Carrot Ranch‘s Flash Fiction Challenge prompt of: warrior […]
Took me a little while, but I came up with one 🙂
Protests erupted nationwide as women took to the streets. They protested for parental pay, self-ownership, and some just to protest. Newscasts were filled lawsuits over whether a man looked at a woman or complimented her outfit. Some men were too afraid to be in a room with a woman.
Lillian adjusted her gloves and checked her hat in the mirror one last time before going shopping. The streets were filled with protests again. Words hurling everywhere and no one listening.
“Thank you,” Lillian said, to the man opening the store’s door for her, smiling. Today’s silent warrior, she thought.
Well, that didn’t take you long! And to an unexpected direction — in a world of chaos often the warriors are the silent ones. This line really chilled me, thinking of current events: “Words hurling everywhere and no one listening.” That reminds me how literary art is also discourse which requires close reading, discussing and listening.
I liked your approach to this one too, so well done….I hadn’t thought of the role of a silent warrior.
Often warriors remain silent. I truly believe they are the strong ones.
Those who come back from any type of confrontation or battle and brag – I think they know less than of what they spew.
I like the power of the silent warrior. I didn’t know where this was headed and I like the surprise ending. -Molly
Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it 🙂
A warrior queen for civility–we need her balance.
So very true.
She thought she could adapt to anything. After all, to save her family, she’d got a job when she was only fifteen—singing in a nightclub. She’d navigated groping, propositions, and men who said she did when she didn’t; she’d joined the Army and learned to build radios and install them into B-24s; she’d married the man she loved, a shell-shocked veteran, and moved with him to a farm in Nebraska, where the nights were silent and the stars near; she’d learned to be a farm wife. But in the end, she learned she couldn’t just be missus somebody.
Faith, that’s a powerful flash and profile of a strong woman who had to be who she was. Is this a BOTS (based on a true story)? I like the comparison of details between being a nightclub singer and joining the Army.
I really liked this one! So often we hear stories of the heroic men of WWII, but the ladies who worked hard at home are forgotten and left out of memory and history. I enjoyed reading this response.
‘My Mom’ is a true warrior! Well done. -Molly
My niece is collecting the stories of women warriors from our nation’s past for a Girl Scout Gold Project. If this is a BOTS, I bet she’d be thrilled to have this story as a part of her collection. 🙂
That’s awesome! Can we help her out?
Goodness. She would welcome help!
Hi Charli, thanks for the prompt. Here’s my story in case the link doesn’t work. Thanks Neel.
Hi Neel! And thanks for your story!
BLACK ‘N’ WHITE
By Neel Anil Panicker
It’s plain nepotism. The winner’s the Jury Chairman’s nephew. You can contest the decision if you want to’.
For Abraham Lincoln, the Principal’s words were a sledgehammer.
He had outscored every single opponent and was lustily cheered after his passionate seven minute espousal of a woman’s undeniable right to abortion yet lost the prestigious annual Inter-Collegiate Debate Competition by a mere vote.
His mother’s words ringed her ears.
‘Remember, son, a Black man’s got to be a hundred times better than others if he wants to succeed in this land’.
“No Sir, I’ll try to do better next time”.
#neelanilpanicker #historicalfiction #America #Black #emancipation #AbrahamLincoln
Your character takes injustice and uses it as a motivator. Too often this kind of favoritism is on the scale that it stunts the abilities and potential of those who deserve more than they are robbed of. A thought-provoking flash.
An excellent post, Charli…mixing mediums is marvelous…
I generally don’t walk down Carlyle Avenue after dark. The town has quite a few streets I avoid at night. Truth is, there was still a hint of daylight slanting through, courtesy of a stretched moon shadow.
Before I see her, she screams from the alley, “Get the blazes outta here.”
That grabs my attention. Then she sashays into the light. Five-foot tops, wearing a black shawl, an ankle length red dress, and a gray military great coat.
“What’s ya lookin’ at, Creepo?”
Later, I’m thinking I should’ve said something clever.
Sadly, my tongue was tied.
I just skedaddled.
I like how it’s unclear whether the narrator is male or female. I think it adds to the strength of the woman in the shawl and coat.
You’ve used two words I adore – ‘sashay’ and ‘skedaddle.’ I like how unsettling this is and what you haven’t told us is as intriguing as what you did tell us. Well done! -Molly
i love the language in this flash (sashay, skedaddle), but my favorite set is : “a stretched moon shadow”.
Cool. He feels threatened, she considers him a threat but out-warriors him… creepy funny.
I always think of clever things to say later. A warrior protecting her turf. Wonder what battles she lost to end up there.
Drumbeats and dancing feet reverberate like thunder across the lands of Buckaroo Nation.
The usual low, homey campfire is now a blazing bonfire. Flames leap wildly, lashing the night sky. Wild women are illuminated in flashes, scars revealed in the dancing light.
Old stories are told in new ways. Sad stories are told. Yet laughter rings out strong and true. Songs of life rise up like sparks from their fire, sung to old tunes that resonate like a smooth round rock.
The women warriors rise. The women warriors raise one another up. The women warriors of Buckaroo Nation write.
Charli there is so much to admire about your post. Many connections. Hopefully I can come up with a flash. (That there is a renegade Ranch Yarn, not a flash)
Loved your flash; you have some spunky characters! I wonder where they get that from?
And so much to admire in your yarn.
Thank you, Anne.
An appropriate battle yarn for Buckaroo Nation, D.! The call of the wild writers. 😉
[…] Written for: https://carrotranch.com/2018/05/31/may-31-flash-fiction-challenge/ […]
Hi Charli, my thoughts this week
‘True warriors are a source of inspiration to so many, her voice in a wilderness of indifference.’ Sad, but inspirational message. -Molly
Thanks so much Molly, I appreciate you stopping by.
Beautiful and poignant…One of your best, I think!
Thanks so much Liz for that lovely comment.
A powerful flash this week, Michael!
Thanks Charli. She’s a remarkable woman.
What an interesting prompt! We need that! 🙂
With a warrior’s yell, write more, more, more! 😀
[…] In response to: https://carrotranch.com/2018/05/31/may-31-flash-fiction-challenge/ […]
Here it is. THE PRESENT
Great present, even if it doesn’t manifest into a beam of light.
[…] Via Carrot Ranch May 31st Flash Fiction Challenge: Warrior Women […]
Easy Pickings from me Charli
Swordsmanship wasn’t restricted to just the menfolk in their quiet village.
Situated in the middle of nowhere, they would be open to invasion from all sides, and when food was scarce, the men would go off to hunt, leaving the women to care for the children, elderly and infirm.
Such was a time when Outsiders decided to plunder the village whilst the men were away.
It was a bloodbath, and they didn’t stand a chance.
Only one was allowed to live and serve as a warning to others that the women there could kill as well as any man.
(Cheering loudly!) <3
Ha! Love your comment!!
Go lady warriors, indeed!
Wow, Di! Great homage to the women left behind…to defend!
[…] May 31: Flash Fiction Challenge May 31, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about warrior women. It can be myth or everyday mothers and wives. Go where the prompt leads. Respond by June 5, 2018. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments. […]
I think I’d like to have the chance to run with wolves. Given a little time 🙂
There’s so much going on at the ranch… I’d love more than just five days to write and read…
While Little Miss naps.. My little warrior princess just graduated from her four year nursery school program today! … I’ve penned my 99 words:
Was Mercy a warrior? The woman had given Regina birth.
Perhaps Mercy’s own mother knew, maybe even the man
who she called her husband? But when you die young
and don’t get to tell your tale – you can only hope others
will. Both Gran and Dad had broken hearts that they kept
as silent as a moss covered stone.
Regina latched onto the few memories that had been
shared and would spin them thousands of ways. After
all Mercy’s blood ran in her veins. Perhaps the words
that Regina spilled on paper would be enough. They’d
have to be.
How sad Regina had to guess about who her mother was. Well said.
I am afraid there are many children in Regina’s place, lacking one parent or the other.
That’s a powerful piece Jules. It’s too bad the dad and grandmother couldn’t share stories with the girl.
Sometimes when there is a tragic loss all that folks want to do is forget. Unfortunately, sometimes in doing that they also forget those who are still living.
Another example of how the pen is mightier than the sword–go, Regina, go!
Virtual tissue, anyone? 😉
Ah, yay for the Wee Warrior! May she follow in her Grandmother’s bold steps. The Ranch is certainly hopping. You can take your time as there’s no obligation to run with the words weekly, especially during summer as I’m sure you are busy with family. Love the contemplation of your flash and how we don’t always know the full stories, but can spin thousands of our own. Keep spinning!
Work study in a musty university library back room, 1968.
Three students were tasked with binding tortured book spines. June, a slender woman well aware of her own beauty, liked to talk politics. Plain, “heavy set,” Linda was mortified.
Jack, once part of an inner-city gang, didn’t try staring his umbrage into someone with an opposing point of view. He took a blade used for binding and held it at June’s throat.
“I just bought this blouse,” June said. “Try not to get blood all over it.”
Jack lowered the weapon, and chuckled. “That takes guts.”
Linda, however, fainted.
This story is spell ‘binding!’ And made me laugh. June is gutsy and I love Linda’s reaction. -Molly
I was going for “Laugh” and am happy to hear that I was successful.
Agree! And for what it’s worth, i think fainted “works” much better than “laughed.” it makes the whole piece more dynamic in a way. You can SEE it as you read it.
Yes, ‘fainted’ was the perfect ending.
Gotta ask…any element of this flash a BOTS? 😮
Not sure what BOTS means except for robots abbreviation.
Another term I learned via Carrot Ranch-> BOTS = Based On a True Story.
Loosely but, yes…I did say that under those conditions. But no one fainted. 🙂
You go, you brave wisecracker!
They say humor can deflect, but that’s going boldly into a knifepoint! Ha! Linda fainted!
We can’t all be warriors. 🙂
My dad used to tell my sister and me stories about the men lined up in front of him to get shots during WWII before being sent overseas. He saw first-hand how the skinny guys took it, but the big-strong braggarts fainted at the sight of a needle.
That’s funny! It comes down to the moment to define character sometimes.
[…] https://carrotranch.com/2018/05/31/may-31-flash-fiction-challenge/ […]
[…] Carrot Ranch, May 31: Flash Fiction […]
Love the theme this week…here’s mine
I like the direction you took this prompt. I wasn’t into sports that much as a child or even a teen. But then I did belong to a ten pin bowling league for a short time. 🙂
I am into unusual hobbies…dragonboat and African drumming being my biggest vices
Excellent! I’ll have to look at your links later –
My post was for this prompt was with name changes… a tad personal too.
What a great way to bet cancer together. There should be dragon boats in every town.
They are an amazing community
And love your response! Drums and dragonboats suit you, Sarah.
[…] via May 31: Flash Fiction Challenge « Carrot Ranch Literary Community […]
Thank you for this Charli: I want you to have unencumbered access to play with the art form among a group of people who see writing as one of their doors to the world.
Here is my submission for this week. – Molly
At first, Chester treasured his time alone when Ruth disappeared into the spare bedroom. He sat in tightie whities slurping coffee, scratching a butt cheek, and passing gas, thankful for the absence of her heavy sighs.
Then it seemed creepy. What the hell was she doing in there?
“I know it’s that crazy neighbor, Myra, put her up to somethin’,” he said.
He turned the knob inching the door open. Ruth stood with hands on hips, feet shoulder-width apart, chest puffed out, and chin up.
“Sweet Jesus, it’s dad-blamed Wonder Woman,” said Chester.
Ruth flashed him a wide grin.
I’ve enjoyed every movie I’ve seen with Wonder Woman – though that she never seems to age or ages slowly is just a tad difficult to reconcile.
Kind of like some vampires… or the Highland Warrior shows with the magic swords… I’m not sure I’d want to live forever or even close to forever.
I hope Chester is ready for some ‘Action’!
Wonder Woman is awesome! And something tells me Chester is going to embrace her if he knows what’s good for him. 😉
I laughed out loud! Are you familiar with Dav Pilkey’s “Captain Underpants”?
Glad you got a laugh from this, Liz. I have watched the movie “Captain Underpants” with my grandsons and we laughed ourselves silly. So funny!
I thought Ruth had disappeared into the spare room for longer than that. Their responses are both wonderful! Enjoyed it immensely.
Thank you, Norah! I wonder what Chester’s next move will be now that Ruth has claimed her power. 😉
Maybe it will enliven them both! 🙂
Nothing like a bit of unpredictability to rattle the cages of long term relationships, Norah!
Chester is killing me! You built multiple layers of laughs into this one, Molly.
Glad you enjoyed it, Charli! Chester is a character.
How it keeps on growing! Fascinating to combine flash fiction with dance, and the two you’ve shared seem very different to your usual style. I hope you enjoy performing them with the dancers. And best wishes for your family’s health and well-being.
I didn’t think this prompt would suit me, but I’ve gone and posted two!
One is a tribute to the warrior women of Ireland:
The other is about a girl named after Joan of Arc from a new WIP:
Ain’t it funny how sometimes one flash leads to another.
This project definitely took me to a different space with writing flash fiction to perform. I got good feedback from those who were there that they like how each flash set up what the dance was about without giving away too much. 99 words was a good amount of storytelling! It was fun.
I’m enjoying your dystopian story as it unfolds, and I really like where you went with the Irish Warriors. A great tribute to the moment!
[…] May 31- Flash Fiction Challenge […]
Painful and relate-able.
You nailed it.
Thank you, Liz!
A painful, yet honest look at how women rise and become resilient.
Not best friends, but reliable friends; neighbors, they had been playmates since forever, from sandbox to bikes, many shared adventures. Together they had explored the haunted house, both emerging as warriors, both with bragging rights.
Together they’d built a secret fort.
That’s where they started exploring each other. The fort was theirs, this exploring was theirs, fun and friendly, another rite of passage shared.
He bragged. Somehow he knew he could. Somehow she knew she couldn’t admit that she’d even done it, let alone liked it.
Somehow the game had changed.
She wondered if he also missed their friendship.
How true that “the act” can change or destroy a friendship. Hard for any age to grasp until it is a personal reality. Well said.
Words, some need to be left in one’s head.
Gossip whatever germ of truth may exists generally blooms askew.
Nice one, Jules. 🙂
Ouch. So sad when the game changes to fit with the expectations of the outside world. Innocence lost!
Ah, a wounded warrior, when that dynamic of exploration and discovery becomes exposure and judgment. A battlefield, that fort.
[…] Carrot Ranch May 31, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about warrior women. It can be myth or […]
[…] Carrot Ranch Challenge – May 31, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about warrior women. It can be myth or everyday mothers and wives. […]
Here is mine
I like this kind of warrior!
yes the strong community minded women contribute so much!
That’s some woman, Kate.
She sure was Norah … her name was Nora!
I’ll try to live a life as worthy and long. 🙂
hey if I can be half the woman she was I’m doing well, nice to have inspiring heroes 🙂
Thanks, Kate! That’s a life-long learning warrior!
indeed, and a great confidante to so many 🙂
She reined hard to a dusty stop. “Whoaaa.”
“Nice bike”, her granpa remarked. She reproved him with a withering glare. “It’s a horse.”
“You’re a cowgirl?”
“No, I’m an Indian.”
“A lovely maiden out for a ride!”
“No, Granpa! I’m a warrior!”
“A warrior princess.”
He got an eye-roll. “Granpa, I’m not a princess! I am a war-ri-or.”
“Okay, okay. You are a warrior, doing battle, fighting.”
“Actually, I just try and save boys ‘cause they’re under a spell that makes them do dumb things all the time.”
She galloped off.
Maybe he should call next door, warn Tommy.
Even with a warning – Tommy’s unlikely to listen, never you mind be prepared. 🙂
She’s got those boys figured! 🙂 Made me laugh. Thanks.
Good! One dark, one light, seems to be my pattern.
Life in balance. 🙂
Go, little warrior, go! Tommy’s just going to have to deal.
Wow. Flash in a dance performance. That will be amazing!!! (Or have you already done this? Yesterday?) Love the mixing of arts.
This whole post with Valkyries and Warrior Women is SO right up my alley. I’ve got to play this week. Will whip something up worthy of our Sisters.
Hope all goes well with your daughter. 💖
You made a unicorn badge! 😂
Just saw all the badges. Very cool. Will be back to check them out properly. 🦄
“Badgers? Unicorn badgers? How do they git inta their burrows with a horn on their heads? An if they’s badgers they’s likely ta be lotsa prairie dogs an’ such. Ride carefully, Pal, Don’t wanna trip yer horse in a hole.”
“Badges, Kid, not badgers, badges.”
“Oh. Yeah. I ‘member somethin’ ‘bout that. I was workin’ on my manure spreadin’ badge.”
“Well, Kid, you certainly spread a lot a shit, but I didn’t see a badge fer that.”
“Oh, durn it.”
“There is a badge for the love of bacon.”
“Really?! Pal, I want that bacon badge!”
“Badger Shorty then.”
It went well and was such an incredible experience. I love mixing art and showing story from different angles. The Valkyries dance was beyond amazing. One woman is injured in battle and they all pull and push her down the line of women. It was astounding. They filmed the show, but I’m not sure about the quality. If I can get some clips, I’ll post!
Yes! A unicorn badge! 😂
Oh, please… If you can, please post some clips. Seriously amazing. 😍
[…] know the drill–99 words, no more, no less. Carrot Ranch is the spot. This week’s theme is “Women Warriors.” Saddle […]
“You’re too fat.”
“You’re too skinny.”
“You should stay at home.”
“You should volunteer again.”
“That’s not organic?”
“Why are you breastfeeding in public?”
“That skirt is too short.”
“That blouse is too modest.”
“Boys will be boys.”
“Men will be men.”
The conversations streamed past me as I sat in the mall, quietly observing.
Men may carry clubs, but women carry poison.
Authors note: It’s up to the reader to determine if all of those voices are women’s voices or if they’re a mixture of men’s and women’s. Do tell.
Girls can sure do a lot of damage to each other, even when they don’y pick up any sticks or stones.
Hmm. Wondering about an amendment and not the don’y that’s a typo I can live with. No, I’ll leave it at girls though of course anyone and everyone can do damage with words, with snubbing, or a social chess move. But I have observed that the boys usually get on with things pretty quickly; physical, but quick and done.
I will also say that many girls have great strong friendships that build resiliency and compassion and are repulsed by poison spreaders.
Ain’t it the truth.
The voices could be either or both. Sadly, they are the uneducated ones who choose to suppress through their ignorance.
Thanks for reading!
Oh, all those toxic messages and it does seem like a poison dart when it’s women talking about other women. A unique take on the prompt, Peregrine.
Thanks for reading.
[…] If you want to participate, here is the link: https://carrotranch.com/2018/05/31/may-31-flash-fiction-challenge/ […]
My entry for the week.
A resounding “Yes” – we still are – warriors!
Your final paragraph, and the comparison of tears to warpaint (ennobling, courageous) are heartbreaking. Beautiful Flash!
Thank you, Liz!
Yes! We succumb, surrender, and rise. Put on the war paint.
[…] Carrot Ranch Prompt (05/31/2018): In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about warrior women. It can be myth or everyday mothers and wives. Go where the prompt leads. […]
This prompted worked well in moving my larger WIP along the mountain path! 🙂
Who’s Gettin’ Schooled?
She swings again, the blunt-edged sword whistling past his ear by a hair’s breadth. He slices upward with his own wooden blade…
I like to hear that, Liz! The larger WIPS have a long climb.
Love the flashes to go with the dance. What a grand idea for a MC to introduce the movements.
I looked at pictures of the parks you mention and the scenes showing Lady Lake between the trees are beautiful. No wonder they beckon.
May your daughter’s health not become worrisome. It’s nice you can share creativity.
Here’s my offering:
It Takes a Warrior
The nurse woke Maggie the morning after her right breast was removed. “Your husband wanted me to make sure you saw this.” She held up a framed picture of them holding compound bows. The inscription on the glass read, “To my warrior. Now you have an advantage. Your chief loves you.”
Even though it hurt, Maggie laughed. “We are professional archers. I have complained my boob gets in the way, now it won’t. That’s why we decided I shouldn’t have reconstruction. He tells me it will take a warrior to beat cancer and get strong enough to compete again.”
Your flash hits the mark.
A deeply emotional piece, Susan, it brought tears to my eyes. She’s one courageous woman, he’s one brave man. Together they make a strong and wonderful couple.
To think positively on any count of surgery… I knew a woman who had some inside pieces removed, then an eye (both due to cancers) and lived into her 90’s!
Great tale of courage and strength!
The reading flash for dance went well and I enjoyed it. Aren’t those views of Lady Lake something through the trees? She’s a siren sometimes! I loved the character in your flash and how she and her husband handle her battle at hand with humor hope and competition.
Wanda by Frank Hubeny
Silvia walked into Benny’s Diner. Sharon told Benny to deal with her or she’d quit. Benny shuffled to the bar.
“I want a real waitress serving me.”
Benny glanced at Sharon. “She’s busy.”
“She’s just standing there.”
“How about some pancakes?”
“Are they gluten-free?”
“You know they’re not.”
Silvia ordered pancakes as usual. While she dripped corn syrup over margarine the dreaded alien invasion began. Silvia looked at Benny and Sharon. She ripped off her street clothes revealing her secret identity as Warrior Wanda. It was time to show these wretched Earthlings how high maintenance kicks butt.
Thank you, Norah!
Lot’s of them warrior women hiding in plain sight! Kudos to Silvia/Wanda!
She saved the day. Thank you, Jules!
Ha, ha! High maintenance is secret warrior training! Good one, Frank!
Thank you, Charli!
Charli, I’d love to present one of the books to my local libraries. Please let me know how to go about it.
Here’s my flash.
Worth the Frostbite
Written by Kerry E.B. Black
Dyan wielded a pitchfork like a peasant soldier, lips pulled into a snarl. “Back off! You’re not hurting these kittens again.”
The farmer whistled through his teeth. “Girl, are you daft? We’ve too many felines. Don’t need no more. ‘Sides, you’ll be needing some attention. Thrusting your hands into a frozen trough for a few useless kits was just plain dumb. You’ll be nursing frostbite.”
She no longer felt her fingers, but she didn’t care. “You’re a cruel man.” She scooped the sack squirming with mewing kittens, sheltered them beneath her winter coat, and ran to the tack-room’s protection.
She’s MY kind of warrior woman. <3 <3
That would be great, Kerry! I’ll email you details. And your flash exemplifies an everyday warrior, standing up for those who have no chance on their own.
[…] Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction […]
This post is very inspirational, Charli. The idea of mixing flash fiction with dance is very unique. I hope your daughter’s surgery goes well – a worry for you.
Someone from the audience later told me she felt the flash connected her more to the storytelling element of each dance. And thank, you, she’ll be recovering and coming home next Thursday.
A very moving post, Charli, no pun intended. While there is mention of flash dance, the emotions, appreciation of and wonder in nature’s majesty run strong. You run strong, going from strength to strength. It seems there is no stopping you. I can only wish you a safe and prosperous journey. I wish your daughter well. May the results bring a prognosis with a solution, and may dance continue to be her art of choice.
I’ve been back to read a few times now and am impressed, as is usual, with the quality and variety of stories submitted. This prompt obviously had great appeal to many. Your post had me rushing to Google for more information about many things, but I’ve stayed in my comfort zone and will post tomorrow.
Best wishes with all your endeavours. N.x
Hi Charli, I’m back with my response Gertrude the Invincible https://wp.me/p3O5Jj-1a3. Thanks for the challenge.
Flash dance! That movie had slipped my mind, but I always loved the warrior-like vibe of “What a Feeling.” It was fun, our local flash dance. Like my fellow warriors, we are all using our strengths to move mountains and experience them. I loved your flash and the fiery warrior it led you too. It made me think of a wee Norah!
I loved the movie Flash Dance too – made me want to get up at get at it, but I sat and got to it instead. 🙂
Sometimes the tasks we warriors engage in do seem as difficult as moving mountains, or maybe pushing a boulder up one.
I don’t know if wee Norah was ever like that. She probably would have loved to have been, but circumstances didn’t allow. However, a couple of young readheads in the next two generations definitely are or were and have more than made up for it. 🙂
Another brilliant prompt, I had fun with this one! Here is my offering to the melting pot. I hope you enjoy it.
We will fight in the streets; we will fight in the boardrooms, the courts and the home. We will never surrender.
We have lived under their rule for millennia. But nothing lasts forever.
First we fought for the vote, then for the right to work. Now we fight for control over our bodies.
So grab your weapons warrior women – the pen is mightier than the sword. The sword is a man’s weapon, a big steel dick. Look how much good it did them.
And as we come to conquer the world they will fear our battle cry:
Ya know guys are good for many things. My hubby says I keep him around to parallel park the car and change light bulbs…
I just wonder how the whole inequality stuff started? Anyway-
equality should be for everyone. ‘Endless’ for us all. Thanks for bringing in current events.
My current working theory is that men realised women actually hold the power, but we needn’t get into that now.
Thanks for the feedback, it was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the prompt.
Always go with where the prompt takes you. My hubby says that there should always be the same to words to end a couples argument and they are; “Yes, dear.”
I’ve two sons… and together I hope the hub and I have taught them to respect everyone. Cheers! And continued success and since I’m not sure that I’ve seen you at the Ranch before so in caps as for hurrah (not shouting) WELCOME!
Thanks for the welcome. I’ve been following them for a while but only started posting last week. I’ve only recently discovered the joys of flash fiction.
[…] in response to Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Check it […]
[…] This week at the Carrot Ranch Charli Mills has challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about warrior women. It can be myth or everyday mothers… […]
[…] post was inspired by Carrot ranch literary community May 31, 2018: Flash Fiction Challenge. When I finished writing and was sifting the internet for an appropriate image to go with my flash […]
As always another educative and enlightening post👏👏👏. What would we do without you😀.
I hope you had a good break Charli. Welcome back.
My take on this week’s challenge is https://aweni.net/2018/06/05/united-they-win/
[…] May 31: Flash Fiction Challenge […]
[…] For Carrot Ranch’s May 31: Flash Fiction Challenge […]
It takes only a moment in the sun to break through…beautiful and vividly poetic!
[…] 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 story about warrior women. […]
I *love* “Women Who Run With the Wolves! I’ve been thinking I need to reread it. <3
[…] You can join in the fun here: https://carrotranch.com/2018/05/31/may-31-flash-fiction-challenge/ […]
[…] Carrot Ranch May 31, 2018 […]
My take on the prompt:
Happy reading! 🙂
[…] Charli Mills Carrot Ranch – May 31: Flash Fiction Challenge […]
The warrior poses are my favorite in yoga. What a great connection you have with your daughter in dancing. I could visualize her dance in the costume and you moved your body with the rhythm and had a big smile on your face.
I took the warrior women to another scene:
The brave warrior women in:
“Good morning, Lieutenant? You’ve slept for three days.”
“Where am I? My legs? I can’t feel anything.”
“They found you after the bombing. You’re alive.”
“Sheila, we need you. The Captain is hurt.”
“Right over, Ursula.”
“The blood is gushing out from his chest.”
“Roll up the sheet to put pressure on it. Give him porphin.”
“Sheila, more stretches are in. We have no beds.”
“Clear up all the tables.”
“Sheila, here. Private got shot through the elbow.”
“I’ll prepare to cut his forearm. Bring me the equipment.”
“Sheila, over there.”
“Captain needs a blood transfusion.”
“I’ll be there.”
The grandfathers were whalers, and according to historians, they were yeoman farmers. I wonder, what were the grandmothers doing? And how were the grandfathers, out at sea harpooning whales, managing their farms? Rebecca Corson, one of the grandmothers, is said to have fired a cannon scaring off the British as they approached shore during the revolutionary war. My guess would be that the women were spending less time on widow walks wringing their hands watching for the whalers to return than they spent in the fields tilling, in the woods hunting, and behind the cannon doing what they must.
[…] https://carrotranch.com/2018/05/31/may-31-flash-fiction-challenge/ […]
[…] By Michael – Below in response to Kate’s request is a list of the prompts I frequent. […]
[…] https://carrotranch.com/2018/05/31/may-31-flash-fiction-challenge/ […]