April 9: Flash Fiction Challenge

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at CarrotRanch.com. She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

April 10, 2020

Quarantined near the North Pole, my middle daughter protects her face with a polarized shield from the blinding sun that circles endlessly overhead for the duration of an arctic summer. Suited up to ride on her scooter across the arctic wilderness, a Yamaha Viper, she lives up to her childhood nickname, looking like a Bug. She lives on Svalbard, part of an arctic archipelago that belongs to Norway. When the coronavirus began to spread, the island shut down — no ships or planes in or out. Considered a US citizen in limbo abroad during a pandemic, she’s making the best of it. Most of her work has shut down because it’s tourist-based, but she still brews beer at the world’s most northern brewery.

On the Hub’s birthday, she showed us the midnight sun through her web camera. I now know where the Crayola Crayon gets its color for “midnight blue.” Bug tells us that the sunny times disorient her more than the long winter darkness. I might complain of spring snow squalls on the Keweenaw, but she is still encountering white-out blizzards. During the shut-down, she and a small crew of locals attempted to make a grocery delivery to those isolated at Isfjord Radio, and they got stuck in massive drifts and had to turn around. Today, she texts that she returned from scootering to Little Russia.

Such trips are what tourists pay tens of thousands of dollars to do. My daughter and her partner work in the hospitality industry of Svalbard’s bustling eco-tourism and arctic research. They carry rifles to work because a law in Lonyearbyn states all people outside must be armed with bear-chasers. They don’t shoot the bears; they fire warning shots. With the island shut down, they have little work. Bug still brews beer and plays an odd game of tag with her co-workers, which leads to the loser drinking beer from a mukluk, but they are taking advantage of the downtime to scoot across landscapes few ever see. And, yes, I wish my daughter could wear a full-body bear shield.

Shields protect us. From basic coverings to high tech gear, humans have long developed shields to protect against the elements, war, and unseen particles.

At this moment in time, the world is showing solidarity through facemasks, bandanas, and 3D-printed face shields. On the Keweenaw, the grassroots sewing circles gather individual efforts to sew 10,000 facemasks for local medical workers and those medically compromised. This sewing phenomenon encircles the globe. Recently, I interviewed those involved and wrote an article for a local publication, Keweenaw Now. Women are producing masks from quilting material, t-shirt fabric, and even shop towels. If you read my article, you’ll find links to open source patterns and a study that shows what materials are best and why (fun fact: tea towels doubled up are as effective as a medical-grade surgical mask).

My eldest daughter, the Dancer, has not had a full night’s rest since the coronavirus crisis began. A science writer for a research university, she showed up at work a month ago to find out that overnight she had been reassigned as a crisis communicator. After emptying the college of most of its students, she’s been on call 24/7 to university researchers, the VP, and state senators. Behind the scenes, while the US grapples with a pandemic and a shortage of personal protection equipment (PPE), Michigan Tech has reassigned labs for emergency development. I’m not the only Mills woman writing local articles. My daughter publishes through Tech outlets, but her stories also get picked up by Keweenaw Now, like this one: MTU Engineers Build Mobile Unit to Clean COVID-19 PPE.

Of course, it’s not just the women concerned with shielding our faces. My son-in-law, Solar Man, has employed his 3D-printing hobby into making face-shields full-time. According to the CDC protocols, when no medical facemasks are available, homemade facemasks beneath a face-shield of clear plastic will suffice as PPE. Solar Man not only prints the headpiece, but he also cuts and applies the plastic sheets, and arranges distribution of materials and finished shields while still upholding stay-at-home orders. Together the men and women of the Keweenaw are working to protect our remote community, our vital health care folks, and those most vulnerable among us. We have no ICUs and little capacity to manage a surge in critical illness. Our motto, developed by the sewists to encourage the use of masks, is: protect me, protect you, protect the community.

Another kind of shield to protect medical workers is the use of technology during a pandemic quarantine. Teachers Zoom to stay in touch with students, and health care workers use telehealth systems to screen COVID-19 patients. My son, the Runner, works for Epic, and he was on the frontline in New Jersey, setting up their telehealth before the quarantines hit. His work is leading to new innovations in the way patient symptoms are screened and recorded, giving much-needed data to map hotspots. He’s working from home now with his fiance, who is furloughed from her job in Wisconsin tourism.

Even the Hub is shielding his face. Every time he goes out for essentials or exercise, he wears a ducky mask.

April 9, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that declares, shield your face. It can be a knight of old, a doctor, or a senior citizen. What is the circumstance? Who makes the declaration? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by April 14, 2020. 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.

Submissions closed. Find our most current weekly Flash Fiction Challenge to enter.

A New Dance Begins by Charli Mills

The Texas sun baked the canvas tent where Jess ripped lengths of satin. She cranked her sewing machine, finishing the edges of royal blue scarves. When she had enough, she carried the stack outside and handed two to every man who rode for her husband’s brand. The trail ride to Montana with a herd of longhorns would be arduous. Her husband survived the War and sacrificed all he had for this cattle drive. The least she could do was sacrifice ballroom gowns. “Shield your face,” she told him. He understood the gesture, her willingness to trust a new dance.

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113 Comments

  1. jenanita01

    You are sending a strong, positive message with this post, Charlie…

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, Anita! I wanted to highlight the solidarity, innovations, and opportunities as we all are challenged by the times to reach new capacities. In our art, too! I appreciated the contrast of lepers and knights, and sense of overcoming in your poem.

      • jenanita01

        Thank you, Charlie…

  2. floridaborne

    Oooooh… this one was deliciously fun.

  3. robertawrites235681907

    A lovely post and prompt, Charli. I am still working, harder than usual actually, as I try to help solve financial problems for clients coming out of this world pandemic. Your family are all doing great work. My boys and I have also started a YouTube video channel for children and are reading and sharing some of our free books and recipes.

    • Charli Mills

      I can only imagine the havoc this is having on the financial industry. You must be in a position of doing crisis management for clients and yet look at the creative output you are also managing with your sons. That’s fantastic!

      • robertawrites235681907

        I am trying, Charli. It is very stressful from a work perspective. I am trying to calm down this weekend. Have a wonderful Easter.

      • Charli Mills

        May you have a respite this weekend, Robbie. Happy Easter!

    • susansleggs

      Your punchline says it all. Well done.

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Robbie!

  4. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    Charli, I love how you’ve shared your children’s differing roles in the international shielding, along with yours back home. Especially at this bank holiday weekend, it can be hard having family far dispersed.
    My latest blog post is actually about the contribution pessimism can make to staying safe and my 99-word story is about the potential for confusion for a patient waking up in intensive care, especially if she’s already prone to delusions:
    The positives of pessimism as we await the pandemic peak https://annegoodwin.weebly.com/1/post/2020/04/the-positives-of-pessimism-as-we-await-the-pandemic-peak.html

    • Charli Mills

      Initially, Anne, when COVID-19 shut down near and far, I had the morbid thought that I’d never see my children again. To me, the darkest shadow of this grave illness is that people die isolated behind a wall of shields and family can’t even be at the hospital or gather afterward for a funeral. I appreciate your post on the positivity of pessimism and read it earlier this morning and have been mulling it over ever since. I’ll leave my thoughts with you at your place.

      I think I share much in common with Matty; she’s imaginitive!

      • Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

        Scary thought to not see your children again, Charli, so glad you’re keeping in touch.
        I’ve seen your thoughful comment and will reply soon.
        There’s an old (70s maybe) research thread linking schizophrenia and creativity but I was neverr very impressed by it. I think we’re all using our imaginations to make sense of our experiences. However, in these strange times Matty’s imaginings seem more credible than reality.

      • Charli Mills

        I think if the door to imagination becomes unrecognizable and one confuses which side of the door is real or imagined, trouble will follow. Or, maybe not. Faced with the realities of dementia and the long-term effects of TBI and possible CTE, I’ve learned to let go of the rigidity of what is real or right. I may even get dementia myself one day, and I hope to be as fun as Matty — imagine bringing all my characters and stories to life as if they were memories! I agree, we use imagination to process our experiences, too.

  5. Jim Borden

    what a great post, Charli. I read your article about the face masks – well done. You were ahead of the curve with suggesting everyone should be wearing masks. And I loved reading about what your kids are doing during this crisis. I can’t imagine being so far North, but maybe the beer helps… 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you for reading my article, Jim! It was exciting to write, knowing we were on the cusp of a policy change and yet I got to focus on the human element. It boggles my mind to think of my daughter so far north (yes, beer helps, I think). All my kids are stepping into their roles, much credit to teachers and mentors they’ve had.

      • Jim Borden

        I admire what teachers are doing now, such a complete change to thenormal way of doing things, and in such a short time. Have a great weekend, Charli!

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Thinking their parents might have been good teachers and mentors too. Good job, Millses!

      • Charli Mills

        Jim, I’ve got huge respect for our teachers and how flexible and willing to teach in new ways they are being.

      • Charli Mills

        Aw, thanks, D.

  6. Liz H

    The Keweenaw thrives on the people’s drive! I think the major gift that can come from this crisis is awakening the population to say “Yes, I can” and “Watch me get to work.” Innovation rules the day. Avoiding the obvious political slant: COVID 19, Hold my beer!
    Also picturing your arctic daughter as a 21st Century shield maiden.

    • Charli Mills

      Ha, ha! Please, no more beer for dummies. 😉 But, yes — I’m watching humanity unfold innovation and creativity, and it’s a beautiful bloom.

  7. denmaniacs4

    Marvelous post, Charli…many thanks…

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Bill. Good things are happening, too.

  8. denmaniacs4

    The Shield Of EDICT

    “Move along, rogue. This is not your place.”

    He wears the shield of EDICT.

    I make to move.

    I always move.

    Even before the scourge, I had no true place. But now the frayed net that caught bits of me, bits of all the others like me, has dissipated.

    We have no voice to stand our ground.

    We have no ground.

    And certainly no shield.

    This one’s no mucky muck.

    He could be me.

    Once.

    “You deef, buddy?” he persists.

    Why do I hesitate?

    Could now be my time?

    Can I utter the words, “When I’m good and ready!”

    http://www.engleson.ca

    • Charli Mills

      Powerful flash, Bill. I appreciate how the “rogue” recognizes his personal struggle as well as the fact who the authority once was. I feel a rebellion brewing.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Hmm. Maybe this rogue character will return in another flash. I’d like to know how he progresses.

  9. Sarah Brentyn

    Well, as long as she still brews beer, I guess it’s good. 🙂 Sorry. I love beer. I know these are serious times. We try to find bits of levity here when we can. (Love the fun fact about the tea towels! Where did you learn that? My mother is sewing masks day and night. She’s got a pattern but I’ll let her know that.) Hearts and health to you and your family. <3

    • Charli Mills

      Levity helps, Sarah! Good on your mom for helping the cause. In the future, kids will read about the women who sewed to save the world when distribution failed. That fun fact was part of my research (link in the linked article) from a study at the University of Edinburgh. Thanks for a great flash!

      • Sarah Brentyn

        “the women who sewed to save the world…” I love that! <3

      • Charli Mills

        I think it’s an oft-repeated pattern throughout history.

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for joining us! Loved your characters and their struggle.

      • Tanmay Jain

        Thanks

    • susansleggs

      Welcome to the safest place on earth to share writings, thoughts, and experiences. The Ranch is a great place to hang out.

  10. Doug Jacquier

    Pic of Hub in ducky mask. Please! 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Ha! Okay, let’s see if this works

      Hub in a Ducky Mask

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Oh duck! A miracle of Hub! I am glad he is wearing protection- for himself and others.

      • Doug Jacquier

        Love it. Just hope people don’t think he’s gone quackers. 🙂

      • Charli Mills

        Our wise friend understood if he had a fun mask, his inner child would be more apt to where it! And he does.

      • Sarah Brentyn

        I love it! ????????

    • Charli Mills

      The only expectation I hold onto is getting to see what’s revealed in the mind of others!

      • Doug Jacquier

        Always be careful what you wish for ????

    • susansleggs

      The visual with the inevitable fan made me chuckle. Well done.

      • Doug Jacquier

        Many thanks, Susan

  11. Norah

    I hope your daughter and others in Longyearbyn are safe from the virus. Little communities like that should be easy to isolate and protect. What a perfect time for the workers to explore uninterrupted.
    Your family is certainly making a wonderful contribution to this war effort. We are all united in beating this tyrant who has thrown our world into chaos.
    The face mask situation differs over here. They are not recommended for us. It is surprising that so much of what we are required to do is similar around the world, but then we differ on other things.
    I like that you took your story back to the West. That was a different type of shield.
    I wish you and your family, wherever they are, a happy and safe Easter. Stay safe and stay well.

    • Charli Mills

      Norah, when I was writing the article of Facemasks, WHO provided several good videos explaining how to prevent the spread of the virus, and they recommend only the ill wear masks. Our CDC and state governments agreed. However, many who test positive for COVID-19 are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. Wearing a mask in public on essentials runs shows we are willing to protect each other. The CDC changed its ruling just last week in the US. Perhaps the difference in policy is that Australia has had 57 death and the US (as of tonight) has topped 20,000 with 1,300 in my state. I think we feel more inclined to do all we can to protect ourselves and our neighbors. I hope you can continue to keep the spread at a minimum.

      And I certainly hope Svalbard remains isolated. My daughter hit a piece of Russian garbage — something metal abandoned in the snow and damaged her scooter. They give it a temporary fix but had to cancel plans to go on the longer trip. I’m relieved! They are sticking closer to Longyearbyen.

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed my story! You and your family keep well and have a Happy Easter, too!

      • Norah

        Yes, we don’t have much community spread here. Most (not all) with the virus have brought it in from elsewhere. I hope our restrictions keep us safe. We had restrictions imposed before you did. The toll in the US is heartbreaking. I hope you all stay safe.
        Happy Easter!

      • Charli Mills

        That makes a difference, Norah. We were late to it and it shows. Stay safe!

  12. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Essential Characters

    “Kid, where’s Frankie? I’m waitin’ fer a delivery a coasters fer the saloon.”
    “Really, Pal? Times like this an’ yer worried ‘bout bar coasters? Even fictional folks is busy. Ernie’s runnin’ his still agin, makin’ ‘Corn-U-Cope-Ya’ll’, his homebrewed antiseptic lotion. With aloe.”
    “Uh, hello. An’ where’s Pepe LeGume?”
    “Pepe an’ Logatha been hunkered down sewing masks en masse, fer folks ta shield their face, pertect one ‘nuther. So let’s have Frankie send them coasters along ta Pepe, ta use as inserts.”
    “Ok. Whut kin we do, Kid?”
    “Reckon jist keep the Saddle Up Saloon open as an essential business.”

    • susansleggs

      Had to read this one to the Hub. Corn-U-Cope-Ya…love it.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Many of the craft distilleries are doing just this, though maybe under another name. And I know of a woman who is repurposing all the Crown Royal bags that have accumulated in certain households over the years, turning them into masks. Being French Canadian, that’s probably what Pepe is doing. So this is all good, but somehow, through the magic of fiction, the Saloon is a pandemic free zone where any and all can come by, rub elbows, and go unmasked. See you there.

    • Charli Mills

      Everyone is doing what they can — some deliver, some sew, and some keep the virtual watering holes open. Thanks, Kid, Pall and Essential Crew!

    • Charli Mills

      Hi Ritu! Thanks for joining in with your story.

      • Ritu

        ????????????

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for adding to the fun, Tina!

  13. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Okay, I’m in. A triple play here:
    https://shiftnshake.wordpress.com/2020/04/11/resurrection-crlc-challenge/

    And this raw reaction:

    “Duck!”
    My first instinct when my husband shouted that word was to shield my face with the book I was reading, though I also ducked as ordered, which meant the 4-ounce lure the bluefish had spit hooked me at the top of my head instead of my face.
    Hands raised in front of the face is innate self-protection, a primal defensive pose that can quickly go to offense.
    The masks shielding our smiling faces are to protect our respiratory systems. We are defending ourselves but also showing that we don’t wish to harm others. Breathe safely. Shield your face.

    • susansleggs

      The hub and I are wearing homemade masks in public. It saddens me the person checking me out of the grocery store can’t see my smile, nor can the vendors who know us at the public market. I long to burn those masks and for the day we will no longer need them

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        They can see your smile, so don’t stop.

    • Charli Mills

      The trouble with fishing with a book is having to duck the other lines. I used to love to listen to the steady swish-swish-duck of those flyfishing days. I like how you transitioned to face-shielding and what it means today.

  14. Liz H

    The sun is shining, and I have to get out and walk before the next round of snow and cold drops down.
    Leaving this here, the beginnings of a tale that I hope folks can relate to, on some level…

    Shields Down

    She’d gotten in near midnight, after the evening shift at the group home. Her own home was a shambles: beer cans and wine bottles, scummy bong water, butts strewn all over the floor, some of them human. They weren’t supposed to be here.

    Rodney emerged from the bedroom, a very drunk, half-clothed Britanny hanging off his shoulder, sharing his wide grin.

    “Sheralynn,” Rodney drew up his familiar shield of nonchalance. “I thought you were working a double shift.”

    “They sent me home. Likely COVID exposure,” she wiped her brow, unsure if it was fever, or rage. “Everybody out. Now.”

    [Continue ]

    • Charli Mills

      Let’s hope the spring squalls soon pass, Liz. At least with the snow, it feels okay to stay inside. Your story captures the frustration of those health care workers who encounter the thick skulls of those who don’t seem to understand the risks they are taking on our behalf.

  15. Jules

    Charli,

    You always have interesting and informative posts. Sometimes as in your flash you have to work with the materials you have on hand.

    Homegrown Ingenuity?

    Homegrown Ingenuity?

    Working with what they have on hand folks become creative in the ability to shield themselves and protect the ones they love. Prototypes and various patterns abound with the use of basic cotton envelopes pleated on one side, folded to make pockets to hold layers of more cotton and other accepted shop type towels that are N95 approved.

    Working with coffee closures (found on bags of that product) to hold the nose channel in place and headbands and ponytail hair circles of various sizes in side channels; paperclips and zip ties hold the elastic tight against cheeks. Stay safe.

    ©JP/dh

    Note: I have a homemade mask pattern with instructions and photo steps that my son, a Hazmat Specialist, approved. If you are interested, please let me know.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Those coffee closures… yeah. Good ideas here Jules.

      • Jules

        Thanks… Sometimes you (I) don’t know why you (I) save things… and then – there you go they come in handy 😀

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Jules! And what a kind offer for facemasks. Your flash shows that we have so many resources that can be used right now. Homegrown ingenuity, indeed!

  16. dgkaye

    Such a heartwarming post Charlie. I’m 1000% on the masks! Stay safe. <3

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Debby! The masks make sense for many reasons. You stay safe, too! <3

      • dgkaye

        Thanks <3

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Joanne!

    • susansleggs

      I was expecting an alien’s blood…nice twist.

    • Charli Mills

      More reason to appreciate a good tea towel! Thanks, Allison.

  17. H.R.R. Gorman

    Such interesting times – and such successful children! I bet you’re proud.

    The covid phenomenon makes me feel like I’m living in WW2, where we must live with austerity and for the good of the whole. As much as the pandemic is terrible, it is good to know that spirit still lives in people, and also good to know that we haven’t needed it for *70 years*.

    Thanks for the prompt – but I’m on my phone this week, and just (barely) keeping up with comments is about all I can handle without my computer! Have a nice week!

    • Charli Mills

      My kids make me beam. Of course, they could chase squirrels and I’d still be a proud mama. Yes, I get that same feeling of appreciation for the spirit of community. I suddenly just realized why both my grandmothers loved to bake and cook! Have a great computer-less week, H.!

  18. susansleggs

    Hi Charli, I agree with H., your children must be a delight. I would especially enjoy shadowing Bug for a day and getting the chance to shoot a bear with a camera. All of them so involved; they have obviously learned from a good example. I appreciate your ramping up the activities at the Ranch. I look forward to hanging out at the saloon and reading something new on Tuesdays. When I signed onto my computer this morning the featured picture was one of Houghton Lake. The beauty makes me want to visit. On to the prompt…

    Showing Emotions

    An IED bomb is a localized small blast meant to destroy one vehicle. All Michael remembers of the fateful sunny day when he met one was going outside the fence in a convoy. A month later he would be told, “Private Amanda Jennings was driving the truck behind your jeep. We had all come to accept her as one of us, but when your jeep went up, the male in us automatically took over and we made every attempt to shield her face from the sight. She cried right there on the spot; we wish we could have too.”

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      These guys might have something to learn from Pvt. Jennings. There’s a lot in these 99 words Susan. And it’s good to get more background on Michael. I know he and Tessa have their issues with you but maybe it’s okay that you’re all getting to know the one another and the story together, gradually. At least with these machines the story isn’t chiseled into stone- you can always re-thread these beads later.

      • susansleggs

        I envision each snippet printed, then put in order on a white board; then filling in the blanks. It could be a big undertaking.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        That’s exactly why Ernest, Marge, and Nard are over at the Saloon. Don’t let that happen to you and yours. You are a quilter and you are gathering some wonderful squares.

    • Charli Mills

      Susan, typically, I don’t get to talk as much as I have with my kids since the pandemic, so I enjoy it. Although I miss getting to see them in person. I want to shoot a bear with a camera, too (one with a very long telephoto lens). You and your Rt. 66 Traveler are welcome here any time we are not under quarantine!

      I think it’s significant that Michael is revealing this part of his story.

  19. Ann Edall Robson

    First day of no white rain in a week. It comes, melts, and comes again. Now that my writing chores are complete for this morning, it’s time to find my hat and go for a wander along the paths in search of changes since my last outing a few weeks ago.

    Shielded Eyes
    By Ann Edall-Robson

    Raking a hand through his blonde hair, he watched the moving silhouette in the arena. Stepping onto the bottom rail of the fence he settled his hat on his head in an effort to shield his eyes from the fall sun.

    The woman reined the buckskin gelding towards the intruder, offering him a flash of a smile that didn’t reach her eyes.

    “You’re a long way from where you should be.”

    His eyes never wavered from hers.

    “You know damn well this is where I should be!”?

    “You don’t belong here. Never have, and you never will.” She taunted.

    https://www.annedallrobson.com/99-words/shielded-eyes

      • Ann Edall Robson

        Hahaha. Ya think?

    • Charli Mills

      I’m glad you can get out and walk the paths, Ann. Despite white rain (or perhaps because of it) changes come fast now.

      You got problems brewing in the arena and it’s not a snorty horse.

  20. Hugh W. Roberts

    How wonderful that the whole family are involved in fighting this invisible killer, Charli. And you’ve shared with us that nowhere on Earth is safe from the pandemic.
    I loved the Ducky facemask.

    Here’s the continuing story of Doug, Sophie and Mike. I think I’ll have to make Clarice a main character too, as she’s getting a main part in this story.

    https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2020/04/14/shielding-flashfiction/

    Take care and stay safe.

    • Charli Mills

      It must come with age, but I think I have experienced that moment when the next generation takes the lead. And if you gotta wear a mask, why not make it ducky? 😀

      Clarice is a growing enigma and key to The Newlyweds!

      • Hugh W. Roberts

        And she was created partly by you, Charli. Now the question is whether she’s a villain or a hero? Hopefully, we’ll find out soon.

      • Charli Mills

        A good villain has humanity and a good hero is flawed. 😉 I think she has more for you to discover, Hugh.

    • Charli Mills

      On a roll this week, Joanne!

  21. Lisa L.

    First. Your kids – and you and Hub – are amazing. Keep on keeping on.
    I have always suspected tea towels were the unsung heroes of the homestead. Who knew?
    Late to the party this week (or every week LOL), but here’s my offering. http://www.themeaningofme.com/beaten/

    • Charli Mills

      I feel like this is a moment when we are witnessing the younger generation take charge. And Sgt Mills is a charming broken knight. <3

      Time doesn't matter…isn't that the lesson of quarantine? Lol. Your offering is in good timing and quite profound. From such scars comes a later appreciation for self-esteem.

  22. Charli Mills

    Thanks, Padre!

  23. Charli Mills

    Thanks, Jo!

  24. Charli Mills

    Thanks, Dave!

  25. Charli Mills

    Thanks, Chelsea!

  26. Charli Mills

    Thanks, Geoff!

  27. Charli Mills

    Thanks, Michael!

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  11. nd 4.11 Homegrown Ingenuity? 1P – Jules Pens Some Gems… - […] Carrot Ranch April 9, 2020 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that declares, shield…
  12. Starfall (flash fiction) – joanne the geek - […] This was written with the prompt to write a story that declares shield your face provided by the Carrot…
  13. Operation: Recover Home – Flash Fiction Challenge | Jo Hawk - […] Operation: Recover Home Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge Prompt: Write a story that declares, shield your face. Word count:  99…
  14. Flash Fiction: Keep Your Guard Up – MMA Storytime - […] Prompted from Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge at: https://carrotranch.com/2020/04/10/april-9-flash-fiction-challenge-2/. […]
  15. Anarchists and Aliens | Chelsea Ann Owens - […] not sure where this came from, but it’s in response to Carrot Ranch‘s […]
  16. Staying Fit #carrotranch #loganandmorgan | TanGental - […] was written in response to this week’s #carrotranch […]
  17. Shielding #flashfiction – Hugh's Views & News   - […] Click here to join other writers participating in the challenge. […]
  18. TV Night (Carrot Ranch) | Michaelsfishbowl - […] Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s […]
  19. Beaten – The Meaning of Me - […] on the link here to join us, read some stories and find out how to share your […]
  20. At the Supermarket (flash fiction) – joanne the geek - […] This was written with the prompt to write a story that declares shield your face provided by the Carrot…

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