Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Home » Flash Fiction Challenge » March 21: Flash Fiction Challenge

March 21: Flash Fiction Challenge

Be a Patron of Literary Art

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 8,416 other followers

Archives

Follow me on Twitter

Pure Michigan Lit

S.M.A.G. Kindness Among Bloggers

S.M.A.G., Norah Colvin, @NorahClovin

Proud Member

Water Walkers, women of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, take the floor and welcome the audience to Tribal Water Day. I sit at a bingo table near hanging art created by local schoolchildren. One poster reads,  “Water feels no bad vibes.” My daughter, Radio Geek, is interviewing guest speakers who range from state representatives to PhDs from the Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Tech. On the way down from Hancock to Baraga on the Keweenaw Bay of Lake Superior, we plowed through lakes of melting snow while a spring squall spit more flakes at our windshield.

So it goes with transitions — are we rain or snow? Are we who we were or who we have become? Transitions tread the space between. For us, on this day, the focus is on water. Outside Nibi (the Ojibwe word for water) moves from one state to another in a gritty arrival of spring. Melt is not beautiful, and yet it gives way to what we know as the most inspiring time of year. Snow breaks down into icy pebbles, shedding its fleecy white coat. Sand from road traction piles up and mud emerges as the first glimpse of soil hidden for months.

Radio Geek tells me she wants to add a question to her interviews. Among queries about mercury in white fish, tribal data, and water-related research, she wants to ask, “What does water say to you?”

One of the Water Walkers introduces herself at the front of the room in what usually serves as a Bingo Hall. Today it transforms into a community center. She speaks in her native language and then explains she has identified herself as an Anishinaabe woman, her clan, her name. She says, “We welcome you today. Community members of sincere heart, mind, and spirit join us in seeking truth, knowledge, and healing through the original sacred way of life.”

Notebook open, colored pens laid out before me, I can’t deny the feeling of awe in being here. Having grown up out west, I can’t remember a time when a native tribe opened up teachings to the general public. This is not an anthropology class or a dominant culture history-speaking over a marginalized one. This is the Anishinaabekwe — the Women — providing teaching. This group refers to themselves as the Water Walkers because they carry the sacred Nibi in a bucket to honor her. To speak to her.

To answer Radio Geek’s question, the Anishinaabekwe agree that Nibi speaks. But they want us to understand that we must first speak to her. I smile, hearing Nibi personified as a woman because I knew Lady Lake Superior was female. I came here this morning, rising earlier than I’m inclined to because I wanted to glimpse the Water Walkers in action. It feels like a cultural transformation is taking place — borders and boundaries give way like warming ice.

And I anticipate beauty carried in a water bucket.

A secondary motive drove me across wet roads today, as well. In my novel, Miracle of Ducks, I’ve constructed a project for my character, Dr. Danni Gordon. I had to give her an archeological task not only for her profession, but to explain why she lives in North Idaho. I also wanted it to be a source of tension. Earlier drafts focused on her dislike of children and had her leading a volunteer site further south. After pouring over Forest Service records I finally found a poosibility in North Idaho, and it was multi-agency, including tribal input.

In 2017, while the Hub and I were limping toward Michigan, beaten down by our homeless travels, we took a break at his sister’s home in Kansas. Several days earlier I had turned 50. In Kansas, Sis had a birthday surprise for me — archeology school. It infused a greater sense of topic authority for my character. I met and interviewed archeologists, worked alongside them in grids and labs, and kept in touch with several as alpha readers.

One gave me a great backstory for Danni and then joked that it might look like what he lived. I felt honored to have someone share their story with me — a fiction writer who will take that story and mold it into something new. The experience gave me greater confidence as a novel writer to interview people. For so long, I’ve interviewed people for articles and profiles that doing so for an imaginary story felt off. I’m glad I got over feeling that way. Interviewing authorities provides great research.

That is what has brought me to Tribal Water Day. I’ve been drafting scenes around the project I gave Danni, and one includes a public presentation led by the Kootenai Tribe of North Idaho. I’ve never experienced such a gathering and wondered how it would differ from a presentation led by the Forest Service or a local special interest group.

Before me, I have two pens — turquoise for general notes and purple for drafts.

Danni joins me at the bingo table, and I begin to feel her nervousness. Unlike me, Danni hates public speaking. Her palms tingle and she can’t feel her feet. Danni’s greatest desire in life is to belong. But she’s often thwarted by her greatest secret fear that she doesn’t believe she belongs anywhere. I can feel her tensions as I look at the unfolding presentations through her lens. Danni relaxes, inhaling deeply of the smoldering sage, her heart beating in rhythm to the deep drumming of the tribal Singers. Then Michael Robineaux walks in, and she flinches, remembering she is an outsider.

Not once throughout the day do I feel like an outsider. I marvel that every speaker is a woman! Several are official water specialists, working for their tribe. Others are wildlife and environmental biologists. My daughter is the media representative of Michigan Tech. The men serve in supporting roles. The Tribal Singers drum for the Water Walkers. Many men assist the water specialists and biologists in their work. A tribal artist displays his portraits of Anishinaabekwe.

As a woman, I feel affirmed. I observe a room full of leaders among my gender. I feel hope for Danni in her chosen profession and gaining the credibility she needs to make her project work. I feel hope for the water surrounding us. And I decide to accept the invitation to walk next time the bucket of water is carried from Copper Harbor to Sand Point.

Life is good.

Officially, Macaroo is a workhorse, and I’m almost back in the swing of things. A flu-bug is winding its way through the Keweenaw, and I’ve caught it, though it’s not so bad. I just feel low on energy. Nonetheless, the snow is receding slowly, our local township group is progressing, and I’ve officially been accepted into the MFA Creative Writing program at Southern New Hampshire University. It’s online so I will travel virtually. Miracle of Ducks will be my thesis, and I’ve also added studies to get certified to teach writing online for universities.

I’m pleased with how everything is settling down like a bucket of clean water from an artesian well. Dare I say, the rough ride is mellowing out.

Grab a bucket. And as the Anishinaabekwe said to me, “Come with an empty mind, open heart, open hands” and scoop a story in 99 words among a community of literary artists.

March 21, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a bucket of water. What is the condition of the water and what is the bucket for? Drop deep into the weel and draw from where the prompt leads!

Respond by March 26, 2019. 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 to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

 

When It Felt Full (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills

Unable to stop smiling, Danni bought a galvanized steel water bucket. After twelve years of studying, summer digs, teaching undergrads, and crediting her work to advisors, Danni had completed her Ph.D. She promptly married Ike and bought a horse.

“I was thinking we might need a house,” Ike said, staring up at the stars above their sleeping bags.

“We can find a barn by winter.”

“Mrs. Gordon, we need more than a barn.”

Ike’s uncle sold them his small spread when he moved to town. Danni’s bucket of water felt full for ten years. Until Iraq poked a hole.


222 Comments

  1. Ah, Charli! Life is good. I smiled with you throughout this post. So good to hear about the MFA and the other courses. Life is good, Perfesser Mills.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Watering Whole

    “Well, Kid, water ya waitin fer? The prompt has arrived, it’s time ta saddle up. Oh, let me guess, yer gonna turn water inta whine, gonna whine about the prompt. Again.”
    “Well…”
    “That’s a deep subject, Kid, an’ Shorty’s done subjected us ta deep thinkin’. Thinkin’ that musta been quite a time, bein’ amongst those water walkin’ women. Sounds right powerful.”
    “Reckon it was, Pal. Ain’t nuthin’ more powerful ‘an a group a women ‘an water. Makes me smile ta think a Shorty at a tribal gatherin’.”
    “Pal, Shorty’s at a tribal gatherin’ ever week. She leads Buckaroo Nation!”

    Liked by 17 people

  3. floridaborne says:

    This one was fun. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. […] Carrot Ranch Challenge, March 21, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a bucket of water. What is the condition of the water and what is the bucket for? Drop deep into the well and draw from where the prompt leads! […]

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] This 99-word story was written for the Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. […]

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Great to hear you Miracle of Ducks, Charli, and your teaching writing online for universities. How exciting!

    I just came home from Portland, Oregon. Hope to start doing some reading and writing.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Macy says:

    Oh Charli! I absolutely love how you always include some insight into the happenings in your life with the prompts. It really makes me feel as if I know you even though I have never met you!

    My take on the prompt is here: https://mylifeasmacy.home.blog/2019/03/21/flash-fiction-challenge-bucket-of-water/

    Liked by 13 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Macy, I’m always looking for ways to learn from my own experiences and sharing helps with that. I like the community at the Ranch where we can share (or not). Catching your own stories will help you in business, too. Happy spring break!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. […] Not so much fiction but a reminiscence. This was written with the prompt bucket of water for Carrot Ranch’s March 21 Flash Fiction Challenge. […]

    Liked by 2 people

  9. […] Carrot Ranch March 21: Flash Fiction Challenge […]

    Liked by 2 people

  10. […] Written with the prompt bucket of water provided by Carrot Ranch’s March 21 Flash Fiction Challenge. […]

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Got All Them Buckets Comin’ Out of My Ears*

    “Oh fer bucket’s sake. Kid, yer writer went ta the well without a bucket, plumb fergot the prompt word in that first bit.”
    “She’s yer writer too Pal, don’t cast yer aspersions on me. But yeah, I heard she might be in the weeds this week, leastways she’s s’posed ta be tendin’ her day job.”
    “Huh.”
    “Heard she might wanna start a ranch a her own, raise turkeys. She’d be the lead cluckaroo.”
    “Gobbledygook Kid. Wattle you say next?”
    “S’what I heard, Pal.”
    “Yer hearin’s hurtin’, Kid.”
    “What’d ya say?”
    “Yer bucket’s done sprung a leak.”
    “I heard that.”

    * from Bob Dylan’s Buckets of Rain

    Liked by 12 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      I snort-laughed at the Writer of these two thinking of taking up lead cluckaroo! If you do, D., you need to bring back the turkey drives. Nice nod to Dylan.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Buckets of Rain from Blood on the Tracks. Had that one in my head since the prompt, thank you. No worries, these two are full of it, there is only one ranch (until the franchise deal) and (I’ll stop before I do more buckaroo rhymes)

        Like

  12. Liked your story Charli.
    Here’s mine

    Well I never!

    We are more into barrels than buckets these days, but before hosepipes and rain catchers, the bucket was a familiar and important part of our camping gear.
    We had two, one black and one orange. It was important to remember which colour was for what, and as far as I can remember nobody got it wrong.
    It was my job to collect the water in the orange bucket for washing and drinking.
    I filled it to the brim and carried it back to the tent, not understanding why it wasn’t very heavy.
    I will never live down the song.

    Liked by 13 people

  13. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    It is the time of the week when Charli Mills of Carrot Ranch writing community shares events from her week and also sets the challenge for the 99 word flash fiction. This week a fascinating gathering at the community centre… here is a brief snippet but do head over to read the rest

    “Water Walkers, women of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, take the floor and welcome the audience to Tribal Water Day. I sit at a bingo table near hanging art created by local schoolchildren. One poster reads, “Water feels no bad vibes.” My daughter, Radio Geek, is interviewing guest speakers who range from state representatives to PhDs from the Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Tech. On the way down from Hancock to Baraga on the Keweenaw Bay of Lake Superior, we plowed through lakes of melting snow while a spring squall spit more flakes at our windshield.

    So it goes with transitions — are we rain or snow? Are we who we were or who we have become? Transitions tread the space between. For us, on this day, the focus is on water. Outside Nibi (the Ojibwe word for water) moves from one state to another in a gritty arrival of spring. Melt is not beautiful, and yet it gives way to what we know as the most inspiring time of year. Snow breaks down into icy pebbles, shedding its fleecy white coat. Sand from road traction piles up and mud emerges as the first glimpse of soil hidden for months.”

    Liked by 6 people

  14. Congratulations on the MFA acceptance! Enjoy the journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. We could all learn something from that reverence for water. Interesting for you to take part both as yourself and Danni. Hope your bug doesn’t bite for too long! Will return later with my flash.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. tnkerr says:

    “When It Felt Full”
    A fabulous bit of writing. Reads like it could be either a poem or a short story. I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. […] was written for the March 21st Carrot Ranch Prompt, ‘Bucket of water.’  I thought about how so many people, especially women, are enslaved to carry water – […]

    Liked by 2 people

  18. […] Carrot Ranch March 21 March 21, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a bucket of water. What is the condition of the water and what is the bucket for? Drop deep into the well and draw from where the prompt leads! Respond by March 26, 2019. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Jules says:

    Charli,

    You reminded me of a song I used to sing when I was a kiddo; There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Eliza… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There%27s_a_Hole_in_My_Bucket

    It is nice when things seem to settle. I actually looked up Water Walkers of Michigan and found a lovely children’s book about them. As well as other articles.

    I went in a slightly different direction with a tanka haibun (yep only 99 words)
    The Wait of Water

    A human fish; swimming before being bipedal, so I was told.
    I am one with natural liquid, especially salted oceans.
    Now that I have a home by a creek; all future homes will have flow too.

    If I were to have a bucket list in retirement; home on the beach.
    I’d be able to take said bucket and fill it to my heart’s content.
    To explore everyday all the gifts therein; brought to me by the sea.

    born out of water
    Into a sign of flowing
    to write on beach sands

    am I asking for too much
    simple serendipity

    ©JP/dh

    Notes: two paragraphs of 3 American Sentence haiku; tanka haibun
    An American Sentence = 17 syllables – 1 line haiku
    haibun ; prose with traditional American haiku; though this piece has a tanka
    tanka: haiku of three lines 5,7,5 syllables (line space) followed by two lines of 7 syllables each.

    While it might be traditional to just have a single American Sentence haiku… well I may have created a new form by combining them into paragraphs and adding haibun parts. May our creativity continue to over flow…

    Liked by 11 people

    • I liked the direction you took. And be happy with the creek. Beaches equal sand blasting. Very messy. Stings.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Jules says:

        We were in the Florida Keys… They get their sand shipped in from the Bahamas! So said one of the natives. The Keys are basically built on ancient coral and that’s like walking on hard cement.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      A poetic title, too Jules. You filled the bucket to the brim with poetic forms, including new ones. May serendipity runneth over as well. Thanks for sharing your childhood song, too. It seems vaguely familiar but I can’t quite place it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jules says:

        I just keep altering the boundaries of poetic forms. If there is/was a run not to combine short forms I’ve broken it several times. And maybe created some new ones….

        I’m not sure where the song came from, but it was sung on road trips too. Kind of like ‘The bear went over the mountain…’ takes up some mileage without having parents have to hear ‘Are we there yet’ every two minutes. 😉

        Like

  20. […] to Carrot Ranch with 99-word theme: "bucket of […]

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Frank Hubeny says:

    Grace fills a small bucket of water from her sink for four plants on her balcony overlooking the bay overlooking her former life far away. She hopes the plants thrive. They may not like it here and they have no way to escape.

    With the water delivered she looks down on the tiny neighbors walking the street all accustomed to being here, mentally preoccupied. They look happy, but who knows? Happiness is not what it’s all about. It’s all about – what?

    She figures those tiny plants have to trust her, but sometimes water comes from the sky as well.

    Liked by 11 people

  22. jeanne229 says:

    So glad I stopped by the ranch today for a little visit. This pony (cow, more like it, these days), needs to break free from the herd more often. Loved the post. It resonated deeply with a book I was gifted for my birthday back in February: Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer, a botanist and member of the Potawatomi tribe. As you indicate in your writings, Charli, its beyond time for us children of the Enlightenment with its focus on reason and science to explore other ways of knowing. Loved your beautiful writing as always and excited for you as you wander new paths amidst the melting snows and new life of spring.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Hi there. I know you’re saying hey to Charli, but it’s good to see you. (You’re a buckaroo who helped corral me in my beginning) That book is one that Amazon keeps telling me I like so now I am convinced I must. (First I will see if it is at the local 3-D store)
      Hope things are good with you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Charli Mills says:

      Good to see you wandering this way, Jeanne! I feel like we are living in a time where Indigenous tribes are willing, once again, to share their wisdom and knowledge. More of us seem to be willing to listen without hijacking their culture. I keep going back to the Anishanabekwe call to “empty our minds.” Funny how enlightenment made us feel as though we had to stuff them instead. Let it flow, eh. Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  23. […] week’s flash fiction challenge over at Carrot Ranch is to feature a bucket of water. In 99 words, no more, no less, write a short story or poem using a […]

    Liked by 2 people

  24. denmaniacs4 says:

    Water Daze

    I first saw Sharallee in the brilliance of my youth.

    I lived in the far valley.

    She was of the mountain people.

    We were strangers to each other.

    Then, one day, our stars aligned.

    I was seeking a change.

    She was a restless and thirsty beauty.

    The Sweetflower River cascaded down from her hills to ensure that our fertile farm land would produce all the food a people could desire.

    Me with my bucket of dreams, she with her grandmother’s locket, some said we were ill-prepared for the adventure.

    These many years later, I cannot but disagree with them.

    http://www.engleson.ca

    Liked by 12 people

  25. Here’s mine for the week. Will get back to read and comment as soon as I can. A little busy this week and next as I have my mother in law visiting.
    http://susansplace.blog/2019/03/22/panic-flash-fiction/

    Liked by 8 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Susan, thank you for your story! Enjoy your mother-in-law’s visit. I hope you are settling into spring. I know it’s hit and miss along the Great Lakes this time of year. But someone spotted freighters headed to Duluth so the shipping lanes are open — that’s like seeing a robin!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. […] Posted on March 22, 2019 by Colleen Chesebro Leave a comment Join the Carrot Ranch Literary Community’s Flash Fiction Challenge […]

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I’ve missed you all so much! I’m back to share! Hope you enjoy. ❤

    The Transformation

    I stared into the bucket of water expecting to see my own image stare back at me. Instead, the image of a Rusalka water nymph wavered within the watery depths. Her eyes glinted with green fire and her golden hair drifted around her shoulders.

    She slipped from the water and stood before me clothed only in the gray mists that circled the banks of the river.

    “Come, friend. I’ll show you the way.”

    “The way?”

    “You died before your time, and now you’ve transformed into a Rusalka water nymph.”

    “I’m dead?”

    “Of course. You belong to the river now.”

    Liked by 12 people

  28. […] March 21, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a bucket of water. What is the condition of the water and what is the bucket for? Drop deep into the well and draw from where the prompt leads! Respond by March 26. […]

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Letting, D. Avery

    Robert trotted right past his little brother without seeing him. Before Thomas could follow, his father called for him.

    “Yes, Pa?”

    “Thomas, I need an extra pair of hands. Bring those buckets there and come around the back of the barn.”

    “Yes Pa. Pa? I thought you didn’t want me helpin’ with that chore yet.”

    “Looks like I need you now. You know it’s got to be done, right Thomas?”

    “ I know. Them pigs was always meant to feed us.”

    “That’s right Thomas. And Thomas? I don’t want you pesterin’ Robert no more for stories about the war.”

    Liked by 10 people

  30. […] was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt […]

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Jennie says:

    I just love your stories, Charli!

    Liked by 3 people

  32. […] Carrot Ranch, March 21: Flash Fiction Challenge, Prompt – In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a bucket of water. What is the condition of the water and what is the bucket for? Drop deep into the well and draw from where the prompt leads! […]

    Liked by 2 people

  33. […] for The Carrot Ranch Literary Community writing prompt – “A Bucket of […]

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Here it is, take two, with water this time.

    I am the Moon that orbits the Earth
    I am the Earth; I am her Oceans that gather Moon’s beams

    I am the woman who gathers water
    I am the woman whose water breaks

    I am the woman who carries water
    Who nourishes, who cleanses, who sustains the child

    I am the child who swings the bucket in play
    Denying gravity with centripetal force

    I am the child who gathers gifts from oceans
    Who collects moonbeams in the bucket

    I am the Child become the Woman who gathers water
    Becomes the Oceans becomes the Moon becomes a centered force.

    Liked by 12 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Love this, D.! A strong water song. I hope you get the chance to sing this to Nibi.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Boss, glad you like it. I used to be a poet before becoming a flasher. (hey, is 99 words of historical fiction called flashback? And futuristic flash would be flash forward? And stream of consciousness flash would be a flash flood.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Norah says:

      I read this in the compilation, D. and popped over (via the link) to your website to comment, but couldn’t find it, so had to come back here to tell you how much I love this. From the Child who collects moonbeams in the bucket to the Woman who becomes the Moon – a centred force. And so the circle goes round – beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for all that, Norah. Sorry to have you running in circles. Yeah, I was glad to have Robert showing up again, but Charli’s prompt is too beautiful to leave it at that scene. It flowed this way into a poem that I feel is a better match. I think this is closer to what I wanted to respond with this week. (Oops, now it’s almost next week- yay, another prompt headed our way!)

        Like

  35. […] week the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills offers us the prompt of a ‘bucket of water’.  This week Charli shares a road trip she […]

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Hi Charli,

    A world of ideas in your blog, and the posted FF & great poetry.

    My FF for today came from your thoughts on seasons, on transitons:

    “So it goes with transitions — are we rain or snow? Are we who we were or who we have become? Transitions tread the space between….”

    “Melt is not beautiful, and yet it gives way to what we know as the most inspiring time of year…”

    And once again, I drew on my past FF to write this one. It’s a surprise to me, as I never thought my FF would lead to “world-building”.

    Thank you!

    Saifun

    Liked by 5 people

  37. Liz H says:

    “I’ve officially been accepted into the MFA Creative Writing program at Southern New Hampshire University. It’s online so I will travel virtually. Miracle of Ducks will be my thesis, and I’ve also added studies to get certified to teach writing online for universities.”
    That’s fantastic news, Charli! Congratulations!! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  38. Norah says:

    What a fabulous experience, Charli, to learn from the Indigenous peoples about their respect for the Earth and its resources. I like how you are able to make the connections for Danni also and was particularly pleased that she was able to join you for the talk and experience it first hand. It helped you get to know her a little better too.
    When I glanced at your post in my inbox and saw the prompt was a bucket of water, my first thought was of the old song “There’s a hole in the bucket”. I see now, after having read your post, that it is hardly appropriate. Never mind. Still waters run deep and hopefully, productive thoughts will soon flow.
    It’s interesting to read about your melt. We’re still melting over here in Summer’s relentless heat. It is still in the high 30s (high 90s to you) and we’re, supposedly, 1/3 into autumn. Funny how I can still feel snowed under in sweltering heat. It’s obvious that so many of our common phrases are more suited to the northern hemisphere than ours. Oh, we’re used to it, living in our upside-down world.
    I’m pleased that Macaroo is performing as required and that life is good. May it remain so. Awomen.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Norah says:

      Hi Charli,
      I’m back with my story More Precious than Gold. https://wp.me/p3O5Jj-1kJ
      I hope you like it.

      The children observed the bucket.
      Teacher explained, “Let’s find out about what’s in the bucket. Ask only ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions. Do not say what you think it is.”
      “Is it wet?” “Yes.”
      “Is it a liquid?” “Yes.”
      “Is it heavy?” “Try.” “Yes.”
      “Do we drink it?” “Does it come from clouds?” “Does it make puddles?”
      “Yes. Yes. Yes.”
      “Is it more precious than gold?”
      “Don’t be stupid,” spluttered Andy. “It’s water!”
      Teacher glared. Andy’s smirk dissolved.
      Ahmed looked squarely at Andy. “In my country… “
      Teacher closed the book. Ahmed’s lesson was more effective than any she’d prepare.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Charli Mills says:

        Love your flash, Norah! The exuberance of the students is keenly felt, yet you show how quickly they can shut down (just like adults). The wise teacher lets the unexpected perspective teach.

        Is it an annoyance to know the world is so upright focused? Being someone who is influenced by the seasons, I try to imagine how this world spins and that we experience brutal winters and summers simultaneously.

        Awomen! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Norah says:

        Thanks so much, Charli. Children (and we) can all learn so much from each other. The children in the class are sometimes the richest source of information, if only we let them share.

        The upright focus is something that we learn to accept and not question ‘down’ here. It just is. Like so many other wrongs in the world – but probably not as harmful or limiting as many.

        Awomen! (You see, that’s one of them – I’d almost written Amen, and then changed it. 🙂 Thanks for noticing. )

        Like

  39. […] response to the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills offers us the prompt of a ‘bucket of water’. Following […]

    Liked by 1 person

  40. […] response to the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills offers us the prompt of a ‘bucket of water’. Following […]

    Liked by 1 person

  41. […] via March 21: Flash Fiction Challenge « Carrot Ranch Literary Community […]

    Liked by 1 person

  42. “Snow breaks down into icy pebbles, shedding its fleecy white coat. Sand from road traction piles up and mud emerges as the first glimpse of soil hidden for months.” This is a beautiful way to look at mud season, Charli. We are into it full force here in Maine and I’m making a conscious effort to appreciate it. Water is a precious commodity and what an honor for you to be included in the native teachings. Things are falling into place for you and Danni. I’m so happy for you to be formally accepted into the MFA program. You will shine!

    The bucket in my flash this week was a ‘little’ problem for Chester. There’s only so much a wife can sacrifice so her husband can watch the NCAA basketball tournament. Ruth reached her limit.

    Chester has a little problem

    “Why is there a bucket of water in the bathroom?” said Ruth.

    “There’s a little problem with flushing the toilet,” said Chester.

    “Fiddling with the handle is a ‘little’ problem. Not being able to flush without a bucket is a big problem!”

    “Relax. I’m plannin’ to fix it as soon as March Madness is over.”

    Ruth walked over to the television and unplugged the cable box.

    “Woman! What are you doin’? LSU and Maryland are tied, and there’s only two seconds left to play!”

    “I believe your ticket to The Big Dance is waiting for you at Home Depot.”

    https://www.shallowreflections.com/chester-has-a-little-problem-flash-fiction/

    Liked by 9 people

  43. […] Legend Keeper Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge Prompt: Write a story that features a bucket of water. Word count:  99 […]

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Bucket Lost
    By Ann Edall-Robson

    The roar of the spring runoff over still frozen layers of ice was deafening—making the bridge the only safe place to access the water. Tossing the bucket into the creek with a rope tied to its handle was the easy part. Within seconds of resting the filled vessel on a piece of ice before pulling it up, there came a thunderous crack. The bridge shuddered. The taut rope went limp leaving the frayed remnants swinging in an outstretched hand. The bucket? It sloshed its way downstream on the rural iceberg before being tossed unceremoniously into the swirling water.

    https://bit.ly/2FpcbRD

    Liked by 10 people

  45. I love your phrasing of “a dominant culture history-speaking over a marginalized one.” That encompasses so much of the way history has been told over centuries, a culture that is trying to be changed but meeting with much resistance. I hope I am not history-speaking over my character too much, but your image of a bucket of water evoked an African woman on her daily task of carrying water for her family, tales of impoverishment I hear from church projects like Bread for the World and the Peanut Butter Project.

    At the shallow river, she hoists the worn basket of water onto her head. The basket her mother mended this morning. The basket carries the weight of her worry. The child walking by her feet, his stomach protruding with malnourishment, trembles with exhaustion. Stone soup will not carry him another day.
    She stumbles over a tree root. Catches herself and the water that splashes. The child laughs weakly – music she has not heard in days. The splashes reveal an egg, precious protein for the soup. With some leaves and roots, there will be dinner tonight. Tomorrow is another day.

    Liked by 11 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      I’m glad you caught that phrase, Sarah. It seems like we are taught history that often disregards those it speaks of. But I also believe literary art is a way to express and understand. With your involvement in church projects, you need a way to process the stories you hear, the lives you encounter different from your own experiences. Taking it to flash fiction is empathy for a woman like you, concerned with her children yet unlike you forced to consider where she can find food and water daily. Thank you for stopping by the Ranch! Keep fighting the good fight!

      Like

  46. Hi Charli,

    I am thrilled with what life has to unfold for you, and I just wanna wish you the best!

    Loved how you brought out a prompt with the experience you had with the Anishinaabe woman and their tribe. It sounds so interesting.

    My offering for today: https://abracabadra.blogspot.com/2019/03/sunrise-brings-hope.html

    Liked by 8 people

  47. […]   I wrote this for the March 21st Flash Fiction Challenge […]

    Liked by 1 person

  48. tnkerr says:

    This is a good prompt. The stories I’ve read so far do this prompt justice. Nicely written one and all.

    Liked by 3 people

  49. […] Written in response to Charli Mills’ Carrot Ranch March 21: Flash Fiction Challenge. […]

    Liked by 2 people

  50. papershots says:

    Life IS good indeed! Glad things are going well. And great prompt. It’s nice to work with objects. Thanks!

    Here’s mine:

    https://papershots.org/2019/03/25/three-plastic-buckets/

    Liked by 7 people

  51. […] This 99-word piece of flash fiction was written for Carrot Ranch Literary Communities weekly flash fiction challenge. You can join in here: https://carrotranch.com/2019/03/21/march-21-flash-fiction-challenge/ […]

    Liked by 2 people

  52. A bucket of water is an interesting prompt, Charli. I had to think about this one: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2019/03/25/flashfiction-bucket-of-water/

    Liked by 10 people

  53. Pete says:

    Such great news, Charli. A wonderful, well-deserved opportunity!

    Dad whistled a familiar tune, humming along as he went from bucket to bucket as the rain drilled the roof.

    It had poured for like that for days, unrelenting, an army of angry droplets invading the kitchen, falling rhythmically into the old paint buckets.
    Bloop. Bleep. Bloop.

    Dad tousled my hair. He hoisted a bucket by the handle, his rubber boots squeaking, trailing mud on the already wet floor. I turned from the soaked towels to Mom, standing in the doorway, baby Jane tight against her neck, a faraway stare in her eyes.

    The rain was driving us crazy.

    Liked by 10 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Thanks, Pete! Your flash reveals the relentless optimism some folks have contrasted with the bleakness of a situation. You tell such stories well through the eyes of a youth.

      Like

  54. […] for Carrot Ranch’s Prompt: Bucket and Sammi Scribbles Weekend Writing Prompt: Impervious, both of whom required exactly 99 words this […]

    Liked by 2 people

  55. Violet Lentz says:

    Never one to be proficient at following direction, I did not include my name with my post, rather I supplied you with the title. Sorry about that. Thank you, Charli for the brilliant window into your world each week. I always enjoy slowing down for as long as it takes me to read your weeks journey- even when you don’t see an entry from me, I am enjoying my time spent here at Carrot Ranch.

    https://violetslentz.home.blog/2019/03/25/note-to-the-netherworld/

    Liked by 7 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Thank, Violet! It’s good to know you enjoy your time at the Ranch. I maintain that literary art happens between reading, writing and discoursing. Good to have a flash from you, too. Don’t worry, I appreciate rebels. 😉 I’ll add your name to the collection!

      Like

  56. […] This was written in response to the latest prompt from the Carrot Ranch, here […]

    Liked by 3 people

  57. […] the March 21st Carrot Ranch prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a bucket of water. What is the […]

    Liked by 1 person

  58. Michael B. Fishman says:

    Congratulations on acceptance into the writing program and safe virtual travels!

    Here’s mine: https://michaelsfishbowl.com/2019/03/25/fetching-water/

    Liked by 7 people

  59. […] rays infiltrated my room. Samaritan Woman at the Well by Nathalie Villeneuve – Written for Carrot Ranch March 21, 2019 Flash Fiction Challenge. Prompt was “In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a bucket of water. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  60. johnrieber says:

    Charlie, I used a line from your story as the launching off point of my 99-word “flash fiction”…thank you for the inspiration! I submitted it on the form above, but here it is as well for anyone who wants to read it now…

    “Speaking To Me” by John Rieber –

    “The Anishinaabekwe agree that Nibi speaks. But they want us to understand that we must first speak to her.”

    I had never heard this before. A name for water: “Nibi”. So how do you speak to it? Staring at the ocean, I sensed its power and peacefulness in equal measure. I grabbed a bucket, ran to the edge and filled it full of briny, icy cold water. I dipped my fingers in it. I waited for a sign, but everything was quiet, still. I was disappointed for a moment, then thought that perhaps that was the point after all.

    Liked by 7 people

  61. […] Word Count: 99Word/Phrase: Bucket of Water (kind of liberal here)My kid loves to relax in baths, she doesn’t quite get why I don’t do it too. A literal slice of life for carrot ranch. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  62. susansleggs says:

    Charli,
    I would have enjoyed attending Tribal Water Day. There is so much to learn from the people who knew to depend on nature first. I tried multiple ways to write a flash that told what I believe, Water is Life, but am not sure that meaning came through so I used it as my title.

    I’m so glad life is settling down for you and I can’t wait to share your college efforts vicariously. All the ranch hands will benefit from your endeavors.

    Water Is Life

    Ezra sat waiting for his wife to come home from the field hospital. He had fed their children, bacon, biscuits slathered with butter and wild berry jam, and fresh cow’s milk for supper. The garden wasn’t yet producing vegetables, but it would in a few weeks. Keeping it weed free was something he could manage even with his wounds. When Louise finally arrived on horseback, he offered her dinner.
    “No,” she said. “Just water. Cold, fresh and clear water.”
    Their eldest ran to fetch a bucket of water from the stream, careful not to muddy it while doing so.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Sue, I will have a treat for you at the refuge in Vermont! I’m learning from a Water Keeper some of the ways. She’s also choreographing some “movements” to songs for us writers to take breaks with. I’m so excited to share these with you. And yes, I already set up my own plan for how I intend to share with all the Ranch what I learn.

      Your flash got the message through how Louise only wanted cold, fresh and clear water. Great piece of historical writing, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      • susansleggs says:

        I will look forward to a special treat. Actually just being on a lake/pond in Vermont will be a treat and more so when I will be sharing it with my mentor and friends.

        Like

  63. […] Charli Mills: Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge – Water Rationing […]

    Liked by 2 people

  64. […] I wrote this in response to the March 21, 2019, prompt over at the Carrot Ranch: […]

    Liked by 2 people

  65. […] flash fiction was written for Carrot Ranch. Many thanks, […]

    Liked by 2 people

  66. That last line, Charli, wow.

    Liked by 1 person

  67. […] Not surprisingly, education is the theme I’ve taken in my response to the flash fiction challenge set by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch this week to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a bucket of water. What is the condition … […]

    Liked by 2 people

  68. […] “In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a bucket of water.” – a prompt for this week’s CW piece. [Source: CarrotRanch] […]

    Like

Comments are closed.

A 5-Star Readers’ Favorite!

Saddle Up!

Thank you, Writers of Carrot Ranch!

Congress of the Rough Writers, Carrot Ranch, @Charli_Mills

Patron Wall

Literary Outreach

Carrot Ranch Rocks

Healing Touch & Reiki

Readilearn

Susan Sleggs

D. Avery

Vol. 1

Anne Goodwin

Ruchira Khanna

Irene Waters

Geoff Le Pard

Miriam Hurdle

Robbie Cheadle

Anurag Bakhshi

Cee’s Listing

%d bloggers like this: