Over the threshold, a mud puddle, or in a wife-carrying race, it’s a wonder to consider that wives are carried. But on a deeper dive, consider that partners carry each other in other ways, too — emotionally, in times of troubling circumstances, or with playfulness. What will the writers make of such ideas?
This week, writers explored the various reasons and situations wives could be carried.
The following is based on the January 9, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a carried wife.
PART I (10-minute read)
A Dream Home by Sally Cronin
As a girl she didn’t dream of fairy tale weddings or fancy white dresses. She was an orphan, in and out of foster homes, and all she wanted was a house of her own. They met at the local community centre; a carpenter, his hands worn and callused. He asked her what her dream was and she shared her vision. He said nothing, just smiled and nodded. Today, in her simple blue dress, carrying a posy of wild flowers, he swept her into his arms and through the door of the home he had built to show his love.
True Love by Dave Madden
Emily smiled from ear to ear as Brady carried her across the threshold.
Brady’s conditioning was nearing its peak at the time of the wedding, so he could have cradled his beautiful, blushing bride all the way to Aspen, Colorado, the destination of their brief honeymoon.
Sacrifice was nothing new for the young couple to cope with—Emily bringing home the bacon, and Brady jumping into any cage he could find, fighting for peanuts.
Emily would continue carrying the financial burden of Brady’s dream chasing, for his upcoming bout and every round moving forward—true love could conquer all.
Carried Wife by Sascha Darlington
There was a fight.
Something stupid. Aren’t all newlywed fights stupid?
Sara tossed down the dishcloth and ran. Moments later the clouds unleashed a torrent of rain, enough to fill the empty gulches, which Sara wouldn’t know. City-born, Sara didn’t understand that the dry riverbeds could fill instantly and sweep everything away.
He could lose her in the breadth of a moment.
Heart clenching, he jostled into his Mac. Scout ran ahead, tracking, despite the rain.
They heard her before they saw her. Her anguished cry rising above the rushing water.
Gratefully, he cradled her before carrying her home.
Keeper of the Stories by Ann Edall-Robson
Stopping at the bottom of the stairs, he grinned thinking about all of the stories the old steps could tell.
Each time he passed the majestic staircase, he remembered the look of surprise etched on her face.
It had started with an innocent discussion about chores, and then it just happened. Gathering her into his arms he’d carried her upstairs. He knew right then and there, she was the one, and so did she.
That wouldn’t be the last time the love of his life would go up the stairs in his arms.
Whistling, he walked towards the kitchen.
Skiing Mishap by Jacquie Biggar
Jeff juggled to keep his balance on the ice without dropping his wife.
“I told you to stick to the bunny hill,” he chastised.
She giggled and held her arms out like a bird in flight. “But it was so much fun- until I fell.”
“Well, let’s see if you still think it’s fun when you’re wearing a cast for the next six weeks.”
“Aw, Jeff, don’t spoil my high. Did you see me? I hit those moguls like a pro.”
“Yes, honey you did,” he said, tenderness running strong in his veins for his brave, incredible, beautiful wife.
Carried by Lisa A. Listwa
She always felt like the one who needed to be carried. He was the calm to her bluster, the reason to her emotion. When she fretted and worried, he said, “just keep going” and “I believe.”
She found his lack of excitability infuriating.
Through all the changes, the struggles, the fears, he worked and simply kept on. He said he felt stronger with her by his side, better able to do it all because they did it together.
It was in one of those rare moments of expression she realized that in the everyday moments, she also carried him.
The Carried Wife–Working Hogs by Faith A. Colburn
Moving hogs across a small open space. She feinted right. I followed. She ran left around me. My husband, already distraught, started screaming at me. For once. I stood my ground, stared at him. He took the few steps that divided us, picked me up, and started carrying me somewhere. I had no idea what he intended. Startled and scared, I bit his ear. He put me down, as I’d hoped, took a couple of steps back, wound up, and punched me in the face, a glancing blow since I was turning away. We never worked hogs together again.
Carrying On by D. Avery
Those first springs the bony fish were welcome food and they ate them gratefully. At first they used them to feed the hills of corn as I showed them to do. They saw how it was, and early on these ones that came to Patuxet did not allow blocking the river as some English would do. Back then we all went to the river in the spring, carried full baskets of alewives to our families, our fields.
More ships came, with seeds and pigs and cattle. It did not take them long to forget how the alewives carried them.
The Carried Wife by Padre
The river wasn’t incredibly deep, but it was wide and the current brisk. Inga and Charles stood staring at the detritus which seemed to permeate the flow.
“Charles, we can’t wait here all day, the pageant is right after lunch, and the town is still over a mile away.”
Inga had spent most of the last week sorting the ribbons, and finishing the embroidery of her native dress. It was the one hundredth anniversary of their nation’s independence from the Empire, and Inga was supposed to lead the dance.
Without a word, Charles lifted her end entered the water.
Visions of the Past by Colleen M. Chesebro
“Charles? Where are you?”
“Right here, dear. I’m reminiscing over some of our past adventures.”
Helen chuckled. “We did have some great times. Do you remember our trip to Europe after graduation?”
Charles sighed. “I most certainly do. Do you remember that starry night in the field near the standing rocks?”
Helen blushed. “That was our first night together. How could I forget? We promised our love for all eternity.”
“Yes, that’s right. I picked you up and spun you around the field. I called you my carried wife.”
Helen’s electric wheelchair turned. “And, you’ve carried me ever since.”
The Wolf in My Body by Deborah A. Bowman
I struggle to rise today,
Each day a little more difficult.
Not long ago I skipped upon my way!
And yet, it’s no one’s fault.
The Wolf has invaded my soul,
His markings across my face.
Lupus, they call him; truth be told.
French word, but found every place.
It taints women, makes our hearts go faint.
But even though the widow can no longer be carried,
The loving husband gone, she feels blessed.
“Yes, last night I could rest!”
My crutches carry me away!
Help my Lupus sisters who die today.
No cure; please help them all… www.lupus.org
Venus Falls by Kerry E.B. Black
Her legs gave way, and she crumbled.
He scrambled to catch her before she landed. Mud hampered his progress, greedy for attention when all he desired – His love, his best friend, his wife – suspended in what seemed like a slow motion descent.
Mud squelched around her head, befouling her midnight curls. The rigid motion of her seizure etched canals around her, a filthy adulteration of snow angels. He scooped her up and pressed her to him. She convulsed.
One minute. Two. Time grew as greedy as the mud.
The seizure passed.
He waited for her to return to awareness.
Pushing by Roberta Eaton Cheadle
Her challenges were not visible. She had no wheelchair, guide dog, prosthesis or hearing aid. It would have been easier if they were visible.
She carried herself with aplomb. Engaging well with her colleagues and clients. Sometimes she was aggressive, but it wasn’t noticeable to people who did not know her well.
It was inside her brilliant mind that the cracks lurked. Gaps in her mental processes that stopped some of the usual though connections from happening.
Her husband plastered over the cracks and built bridges to breech the gaps. He carried her; pushing her in a mental wheelchair.
Misconceptions of What Is a Good Wife by Ellen Best
We worked hard, determined I was, not to be ‘A Carried Wife.’ More worried about other’s perceptions, I got it wrong. Because he was a lawyer, earning big, didn’t mean people would expect me to slack. Engrossed in that thought, I took my eye off of the ‘us.’
Not seeing his palor, hearing that cough. I failed as his wife. Each night I fell into bed shattered, not fit for the part. Worked, unaware of his appointments. I didn’t hold his hand, wipe his head. Here I am now, clutching a cold yellowed hand, wishing … it wasn’t his deathbed.
That Morning by Michael Fishman
Roger watched Ellen, feeling the same love he’d felt for 53 years.
What did she ever see in me?
He never rushed these feelings and this morning was no different. He watched her feeling love.
Roger became Ellen’s caregiver when Alzheimer’s left her unable to care for herself. “Please promise me,” she begged shortly after the diagnosis. “No nursing homes.”
Roger would forever question Ellen’s reason for being out of bed alone. He lifted his wife and carried her to the bed. Setting her lifeless body down he kissed her forehead and lay down next to her.
Homecoming by Dana Wand
Swept up, she wrapped her arms around his neck while he reached down clumsily to open the door. They entered as one.
“Our first home,” he proudly proclaimed.
The years of a loving life soared. Here he is, carrying her frail body from the bedroom to the couch, tenderly wrapped in the warm comforter, hoping today will bring good news from the docs.
“It’s been a long day, Sweetheart, but now we are home.” He gently kisses her photo as he carries the urn to the nightstand next to their antique bed of fifty-four years.
You Carried Me by H.R.R. Gorman
You carried me.
I didn’t ask,
But then again,
I couldn’t speak.
You settled me
On soft, silken,
Kissed me tender.
My eyes were shut,
But I still saw
You adored me.
I cherished you.
I wanted to
Clean the sad pile
Of tissues at
Your well shod feet.
Could my action
Sadness and grief?
I allowed tears.
Upon your exit
Through sanctum’s door,
Someone shut my
Coffin’s wood lid.
When you returned,
You carried me
In my casket
To earthen home.
But my spirit
Carries you now
Until you come
To rest by me.
The Carried Wife by Deborah Lee
Becca reads the “Lifestyles” article about wife-carrying contests in Minnesota, then clicks out with a snort. That’s exactly the kind of thing Richard would have liked, manly and competitive and funny.
She’s walking past the plate glass window when the vastness outside it, the view itself, seems to knock her sideways. Not now, agoraphobia, she thinks, I have to go to work, but it’s too late. The room dips and spins and she drops to her knees.
The laughing wife in the article photo flashes. Yes, she could use a wife-carrier right about now. But Richard’s not coming back.
Carry Me by Debs
Karen’s bridesmaid, Louise conjured the perfect wedding game. Karen had to guess from five men, who her husband-to-be’s hand was, while blindfolded. Whoever she decided would have to carry her.
Five men stood, side to side. All held out their right hands. Karen, blindfolded, sidestepped in front of each, slowly, holding each hand briefly. She reached the fifth man. Paused. Louise and young lady guests stifled a giggle. He was Karen’s ex. The hall went quiet.
Karen’s hand quivered as she took his hand. He let go and motioned with his head to the fourth man, the groom. Applause!
A Carried Jezebel by M J Mallon
Annie glanced at her scrawny husband. A glance was all it took. He couldn’t lift her, no carried wife could she ever be. No threshold over which she could be taken. Adam was different. His different scared her. She couldn’t help but imagine Adam lifting her onto his shoulders and running to the ocean, his bare skin wet with the salty water, his hard, taut muscles flexing. What would happen thereafter? Would he leave her to the fishes, or scoop her up with dreamy kisses? She knew what she would become: a carried Jezebel; perhaps she’d like that more.
Why Tessa is Divorced by Susan Sleggs
Tessa loaded the last of her personal items into the car then went back inside the house they had shared at Ft. Riley, Kansas, for the last six years. She did a walk-through remembering the good times with her children and how lonely she had been with her husband gone so much. When she locked the front door for the last time she could hear his words, “I’m done carrying you.” She felt she had carried the family without his help and knew she couldn’t stay after finding out his last three deployments had been at his own request.
PART II (10-minute read)
Big Boned by Anne Goodwin
Her mother called her big-boned. Her father called her fat. In fact, she was muscled, a world-champion weightlifter, or would be when certain legalities were fixed.
When the Religious Right were elected, she’d been too busy training to vote. Now she cursed the Compulsory Marriage Act: only a Mrs could represent Britain abroad.
A secretary arranged for the groom, along with cake, dress and flowers. An affable chap, if rather weedy, but no-one had read the small print. She had to be carried indoors for it to pass muster. They ordered an ambulance in case her new husband collapsed.
Chicken Fights by clfalcone *
Competition was brutal this year: badass wives piggybacking muscled hubbies, trying to knock opponents into the water. He trusted his wife…she was the baddest ass of all.
They had been coming to the Annual 12-Step retreat for four years, winning the Chicken Fights three times. Five years earlier he was holed up in a trap house, smoking meth, drinking whiskey, losing his wife, destroying his life.
Four years sober meant his brain, job, wife, life, all somewhat returned to order.
Then Melissa from the Rooms got his wife off-balance. They both tumbled into the pool, laughing, enjoying the loss.
Return to the Farm by Joanne Fisher
After their wedding, Jess and Cindy returned to the farm. They stood at the doorway.
“Since you’re my wife now, I guess I should carry you over the threshold.” Jess suggested. Cindy put her hands on her hips.
“Excuse me? You’re my wife too. Maybe I should be the one who carries you?” Cindy objected. Jess laughed.
“With those slender arms? You’d be lucky to pick me up.” Jess countered.
“We’ll see about that!” Cindy replied defiantly. To Jess’s surprise Cindy strongly picked her up and carried her over threshold.
“I love it when you act butch.” Jess laughed.
Over The Threshold by Ritu Bhathal
Nina giggled as Rakesh swept her up into his arms.
“Come on, Wifey, let’s get you inside.”
“Stop it!” She jumped down as soon as they stepped over the threshold and turned towards him. “Why did you carry me over? We’re not English, you know!”
“Oh, I thought that’s what people do when they get married.”
“Have you never been to an Indian wedding before? Come on. I know you were born in the US, but surely you know some of the traditions,” she took his hand. “I know. If your parents were alive, it would have been different…”
Blizzard Warriors by Caroline Scott
It was a cold, hard wind blowing in from the north but Casey kept her horse steady. She could barely see, keeping her hat low over her forehead and her scarf over her mouth.
Four hours ago, Sam had gone out to bring in their cattle. He should have been back by now, but the corral was empty.
Clucking her tongue, Casey urged her horse forward. The chestnut was sure-footed, carrying her over the familiar ground easily even in the rough weather. The horse had an instinct and Casey was certain that together, they would bring her husband home.
Together by Donna Matthews
Linda looked up from her feet – she’d been struggling all morning, stumbling over sharp rocks and ruts in the path. Her eyes traveled from the base of the mountain to the top. The steep switchbacks took her breath away.
“There’s no way in hell I’ll get to the top,” she laments.
“Honey?” she yells to her husband up in front.
“What’s up, beautiful?”
“I need your help,” she whines, “I’ll never make it up there. My feet are tired, and my back hurts!!”
Winking, he grabs her up on his back, and up the mountain together they go.
He’d declared himself with passion. His passions were modest befitting our customs. “It is our way, Lily. From your father’s home to our new home. I will carry you the distance.”
I looked at my betrothed. Yes, he was a stocky, corn fed youth. Strong as a rock, as serious as the soil he tended. Still, our home would be six miles away. A healthy distance to walk even without a burden.”
“Why would you weary yourself out, Emil? Of what use will you be to me on our wedding night?”
The seed was planted.
My point was made.
The Devil’s Elbow by Doug Jacquier
Mick picked his way carefully along the narrow track. As he reached Devil’s Elbow Cave, he planned to lay his heavy load down and take a rest. But before he could do that a man and a woman emerged from the cave. The man said “We’ll just relieve you of that burden, Mick.” He heard the click of the switchblade and saw the knife in the woman’s hand.
Seemingly acquiescent, Mick rolled the pack off his back, tore the top flap open and out stepped a woman holding a shotgun.
“You call that a wife? This is a wife.”
All Are Welcome Here by Liz Husebye Hartmann
It’d never occurred to them that their participation might not be welcome. Celebrating the fortitude and stamina required to go the distance in marriage–what better way to do this than with a test of physical endurance?
There was some confusion at the starting line as to which was the wife, but the buffalo-plaid-flanneled officiant had held up his gun, told all couples to get ready, set…
Pat hopped on Toni’s back, and they giggled their way through the course’s hedges and water traps. Everyone applauded when they were awarded first prize. This was, after all, the 21st century!
Wife Carrying by Pete Fanning
Every spring my parents entered our town’s Wife Carrying event. They usually nabbed first or second place, even as Mom wasn’t crazy about it. But she was a good sport, especially when Dad showed up in a dress. And won.
Then he got sick. Real sick. He lost fifty pounds of muscle. Winter came and the doctors were talking months, not years.
One night I heard some banging downstairs. I found my mother struggling, my father folded over her shoulders.
“What…” A lump in my throat. “Are you doing?”
Mom turned so I could see my dad beaming. “Training.”
Collapse by Nobbinmaug
It hit in the wee hours while Ricardo and Selema were asleep. The rumble thrust them into consciousness. The ceiling sent Selema reeling into unconsciousness.
Living in the Bay Area, Ricardo knew the dangers of aftershocks. The fallen beam would lead to further collapse.
Ricardo cleared the debris off Selema. He hoisted her, thankful for her time at the gym, wishing he made time for the gym. He struggled with the locks as the first aftershock shook. He heard a crash in the bedroom. The earth steadied, and Ricardo opened the door.
From outside, the sagging roof was visible.
He Carries Me by Cara Stefano
No one tells you what “in sickness and in health” means at the wedding, do they? Dutifully we repeat it anyway. He carried me over the threshold after our wedding.
I never realized how much I wanted motherhood until I was told I couldn’t be one. He carried me by not telling me that that day was also one of the worst days of his life.
Going back into surgery after your miracle has finally arrived. Alone, holding our newborn in his arms, I don’t know who carried him that day.
He has always carried me.
Caretaker by Nancy Brady
The woman was elderly, but he took great care of her. He stayed by her side throughout the day, only to return the following day.
Between her dementia and the cancer that was eating at her body, she was wasting away. Her mind wandered, with thoughts of long ago, memories of her childhood and that of a young wife and mother of a boy. She was barely lucid especially when he gave her the morphine to ease her pain.
Once, she carried him in her body, but now he was the one who carried her through her last days.
Ile de Fuego by Saifun Hassam
Carlos was inconsolable. Francine’s sailboat was found near Ile de Fuego. Francine, his beloved wife, his partner in marine exploration in the Black Bart Archipelago.
Her body was tangled in seaweeds among the lava tidal pools. She had been killed. Fang marks on her arms and legs, like those on a fisherman killed last winter. Island lore spoke of shadowy creatures haunting the undersea volcanoes.
Carlos gently lifted Francine’s shrouded body from the casket. With a silent prayer, he bid her farewell. He would not leave the Archipelago. It was their home. He was determined to find her killer.
I Will Always Carry You by Sam “Goldie” Kirk
David stood in front of his closet, trying to figure out what to wear. He never thought this day would come. He put on black dress pants, a white shirt, and a black tie. An image of him carrying Sally over the threshold of a hotel room on their wedding day popped into his head, and a tear rolled down his cheek. Now, he was never going to be able to do it.
After the service, when it was time, he lifted the casket onto his shoulder and carried her to the cemetery where she was laid to rest.
Hold by JulesPaige
bottle of emotion then,
an awkward present
the man carried his sick wife;
children follow in darkness
safe haven; farmhouse
mixed languages; but all the
faces smiled kindly
Another scribe in a different hand from the hidden hutch records; “The tall thin man carried his wife with such tenderness. It was unfortunate that there was little we could do but make them as comfortable as we could. In the end she passed. And he reluctantly took his two children with him to the next stop.” Smelling her roses again… I thought ‘my’ gentle spirit Ife right away…
One of Many by Floridaborne
Bartholomew held a secret he’d kept for 40 years. On her deathbed, his mother swore she had served as a chamber maid to George II in Hanover until May 1714, succumbing to the king’s unwanted advances while changing linens in Caroline’s bedchamber.
A month later, she married the first man willing to carry her away from servitude. Born Christmas day, 1714, his three sisters were birthed a year apart before their father passed in 1717, and none looked like him.
People snickered when they remarked on his resemblance to the king, but it seemed he was one of many bastards.
Carrying His Wife Out by Lisa R. Howeler
They had to carry her out when they found him lying there on the floor by the hutch covered in blood.
How could he have done it? Why would he have done it? He had all a man could want, all she could give him. Hadn’t the money been enough all these years?
They called it a miracle that she’d walked in when she had; startling him and causing him to drop the gun and shoot himself in the foot instead of the head liked he had intended. She’d collapsed when the gun went off, falling against the hutch.
Unnamed by Reena Saxena
He turned back for the last time to look at the pretty, but forlorn face.
This is the girl he had gagged and carried inside the threshold of this dingy room. She stayed behind, because she identified with his cause. She looked after him, and protected him from the police as long as she could.
It is not the police who have come for him today, but remnants from his past – his wife and two lovely kids.
It is time to say good-bye, and it breaks his heart to think that he was the kidnapper, and she the kidnapped.
The Matter of Loggatha LeGume by D. Avery
“*My Beanie lies over the mountain, my Beanie lies over the plains…*”
“Pepe Legume. Why ya singin’ sech a sad song?”
“‘Ello Pal, ‘Ello Keed. I am apart from my wife.”
“You have a wife?”
“Oui. Mon cher, mon petite Beanie. But her given name is Loggatha.”
“Well, where is Loggatha, why ain’t ya tagether?”
“Dere ees many times, many places when she cannot go where I can. Often she ees detained. Sigh. She ees warm and soft, dat one, but a solid partner, my better half. She carries me! But you know, dere’s a leetle Loggatha in everyone.”
Seeing the Finish Line by D. Avery
“Kid, you bin kinda scarce.”
“What diff’rence it make Pal? Ain’t much we kin do with this prompt. We won’t be carryin’ on with this challenge.”
“Why not? I kin carry ya. Or you kin carry me. Jist so’s we git the job done.”
“This roundup is purty specific— wife carryin’. Ain’t neither one of us no kinda a spouse ta no one.”
“Kid, ain’tcha never heard a “work spouses”? Thet one person ya kin rely on an’ confide in at yer job?”
“The one who’s got yer back an’ you got theirs?”
“We kin take turns Pal.”