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May 7: Flash Fiction Challenge

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Soil-babies huddle around my radiators and spread across my dining room table. Hopeful colonists rest beneath soft blankets of moist earth in strange plastic pods as if these seeds were the last hope of a dying planet. With tender care, I convey trays of pods from the nighttime safety of my heated home to glorious life-giving sunshine that heats my back porch by mid-afternoon. At night, when the sun dips and the temperatures plummet, I reverse the trip.

Large plastic trays contain pods of blue, black, white, and red. Some are repurposed from the purchase of annual plants. Some are recycled mushroom trays. Others are fancy containers from the times last year when my daughter and I waited hours for handcrafted orders of maki, sashimi, and unagi from Sky Sushi. Ah, those were the days. The before days. The days before the owners returned to China in December for winter break and have been unable to return to their business on the Keweenaw. The after days is why we need the hope of soil babies.

I can’t call these intrepid garden Argo Sailors, seedlings or seeds because they are neither. They are the stuff hope is made of, something between a wish and a reality. All I can see is soil and humid plastic film carefully protecting the germination. I await signs of emergence. Then, I will know I have a hook to hang heavier hope upon.

And what do I hope for?

Health and happiness, mostly. I hope scientists find a cure for a virus that feeds upon human organs, drowning the lungs and clotting the bloodstream. I hope that as scary as circumstances might get, we all learn new ways to be. I hope for learning from the stillness. I hope for gifts in the silence. I hope to hug again, to travel, and be unmasked from every mask I’ve ever worn. I hope to pet my neighbor’s new puppy, to gather friends around the campfire we’re building in the potager, to hunt for agates and run from black flies again. I hope to have guests and readings and workshops in my new home. I hope no one has to fear losing their home. I hope people find their passion in their work and community. I hope simply to live as fully as I can.

Planting is an act. Waiting is learning to be. Watching what grows is acceptance. Wondering why something didn’t grow is curiosity. All this drives me to garden and write and greet the birds that fly overhead to remind me that dinosaurs never went extinct. Peregrine falcon nails a pigeon, and I nod to the velociraptor and albertadromeus syntarsus who continue the dance between predator and prey. Even the greatest carnivore eventually feeds the soil, which grows the vegetation for the quarry. Life is so grand we can’t possibly understand it all — the brain, the emotions, the viruses, and that’s to say nothing of our human constructions, our artifices that make us believe we are in control.

We control nothing. We carry plants from one room to another, chasing life essences and hope.

To an extent, you can control your writing. But where does creativity come from? Why does the same prompt lead us all down divergent paths? You can spark creativity, you can be disciplined to pursue it, but you can’t control the burst. Writers write. I want some of it to be an uncontrollable mystery. The craft, however, we can control in the same way we can build machines and shelters and societies. Writing is a hope of sorts, too. I hope to convey a combination of feeling, meaning, and story, fulling understanding that the receiver will experience my craft and creativity from a different perspective. Yet that is where art rests like soil babies waiting to emerge.

Craft includes a cast of characters. In addition to the protagonist — the showy centerpiece of the garden — a host of secondary characters adds to who the protagonist is or isn’t, and carries the story to its parameters. Secondary characters should feel as real as bachelor buttons. They might not be the climbing purple Polish Spirit clematis, but they give it definition. Secondary characters have a mission. If they don’t push the character arc or progress the plot, pull ’em — they are weeds. You didn’t work hard to craft hope to give it over to apathy. Highlight beauty. Dare to enter the shadows. Make a path. Make secondary characters part of the team.

And if you need hope, find what nourishes — you, your writing, your world. My daughter shared this article about well being during our times. I wasn’t surprised to see “nourish” on the list.

May 7, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to nourish. The characters can nourish or be nourished. What else can be nourished? A tree? A setting? Does the sunset nourish the soul? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by May 12, 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.

 

Apples by Charli Mills

Who’ll love the apple trees, Hester wondered as the wagon lurched forward. The youngest, she sat among her family’s meager belongings. A wagon-train of evicted miners trundled past shuttered copper mines.

When they married, Hester told Albert about the company houses and the community orchard. The county sold them the whole abandoned neighborhood on cheap terms. Albert flattened the other houses to grow potatoes. “Don’t harm the apple trees,” she said.

She nourished the trees into widowhood until they packed her up in a station wagon for the old-folks home. “The apples,” she whispered as the car drove away.


110 Comments

  1. floridaborne says:

    I like your apples story.

    As a writer of multiple books awaiting editing and publication, I wonder what will happen to them once I’m gone.

    I pray it won’t be an “apples” moment.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A lovely post, Charli. We have also started a vegetable garden and I am doing a bit of gardening. It is helping me stay sane in these horrible times. I loved your apples story although I found the ending very sad.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Prior... says:

    gardens rock!
    so do apple trees – we have one apple tree out front (story for another time)
    And regarding the fiction – my heart was so tugged at the end.
    I felt the whisper – but I really did not feel too sad.
    There was almost a completeness in the fact that she had the chance to nourish – and perhaps a life well-lived.
    Somehow in these 99 words I felt as if I knew this widow – went with her from meager beginnings – the nurturing season (can imagine apple sauce, juice, pies, and just fresh pick and eat) – to her then going to “get” nurtured in her elder years.
    and I think the apple trees will be fine… hmmm
    enjoyed this

    Liked by 3 people

  4. […] was written for Carrot Ranch where we were asked to write about nourish. Which led me to Thanksgiving, where you know you will be […]

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We can’t actually cure viruses, instead we vaccinate against them. Hence why we vaccinate against polio, measles, influenza, etc. We don’t create a cure for them like we do for bacterial infections, but instead make our bodies resistant to them. It’s a common misunderstanding though. Hopefully there will be a vaccine for Covid-19, but that’s at least a year away. The best we can do for now is isolate and hopefully flatten the curve so it doesn’t cause stress for the health services. Where I am we seem to have eliminated it for now, which is good news.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Ah, thanks for the scientific clarification. I didn’t actually think about the fact that vaccines are not truly cures but preventatives. We are slowing down but some experts also suggest that we are reopening too haphazardly and that might not be good for us by the in of the month. At any rate, gardening and writing have my focus. I celebrate your good news in NZ!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. […] If you want to participate, here’s the link:  CARROT RANCH […]

    Liked by 2 people

  7. […] Charli’s Carrot Ranch fiction prompt, this week: […]

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ritu says:

    Oh, what a touching bit of fiction, there, Charli!

    I try to nourish my family with homemade tasty treats, now I have a this time.
    I attempt to nourish our bodies and wellbeing by insisting we get out and walk, once a day, be it a park, or a different route, where we can get a change of scenery, as well as an opportunity to switch off from social media and actually talk.
    And I nourish my creativity by giving myself time, to digest the situation we are in, before losing myself in a story I am reading, or opening a document and writing.

    And here is my little take on the prompt.

    https://butismileanyway.com/2020/05/08/may-7-flash-fiction-challenge/

    Liked by 6 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Thanks, Ritu! I love how balanced you are in nourishing yourself and your family. In a way, I think this quarantine has brought back to stillness, to take time for walks, and turning off the screens. And cooking more, from scratch which is healthier and more mindful. Stay well, stay nourished!

      Like

      • Ritu says:

        It really has, on many levels, though I think screens have taken on a bigger role, with keeping folk in touch with one another. Zoom not only used for work meetings, but online family get together and quiz nights. I know my daughter uses hers like a life line. She’s nodding her friends so much. 😢
        We video call both sets of grandparents every night, too. 💐

        Liked by 1 person

      • Charli Mills says:

        This isolation must be difficult on children and their friends. I now have a few friends who drive by so we can wave. One stops and we mask up and talk across the street. Zoom has replaced meetings, but it feels daunting at times. I think we are all resilient.

        Like

  9. I love what you say about secondary characters, Charli – Secondary characters have a mission. If they don’t push the character arc or progress the plot, pull ’em — they are weeds.

    So true, and a great piece of advice. And while the sun may nourish the soil babies and us, so does life itself, especially the creative side of life that nourishes our brains and helps us think and remember.

    The Carrot Ranch has helped so many of us to grow and nourish our stories, the soil babies you helped us plant each week. Thank you for that.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Aw, thank you, Hugh! I love to think that we come to the Ranch to plant soil babies! Yes, creativity nourishes our brains. We all bring something to the community garden and together we create something more. I’m grateful to be able to garden with all of you.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Jim Borden says:

    you describe gardening so beautifully, you almost make me want to take it up as a hobby!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. […] quick bonus scene in reference to my upcoming novel, Rozwal, and written in response to Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Check it […]

    Liked by 1 person

  12. wallietheimp says:

    Wallie and my response–“The Singing.”

    She liked to listen to them sing. The myyr always sang when the moon first showed its pale silver light over the Sleepless Sea. The little girl would sit on the pier, swinging her bare feet, and look out over the still black water.

    Myyr song was not instinctively beautiful. It was a harmonious calling that made the child wonder. She could not sing with them, having no voice herself, but she liked to imagine she sang as she looked up at the thousands of stars. She felt that by listening, some part of their song must be hers.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. wallietheimp says:

    The Apples story you shared is very sad! 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  14. […] The following was written in response to a flash fiction challenge over at Carrot Ranch. […]

    Like

  15. Charli, your flash is sad and beautiful. The reality of it is very scary to imagine one being driven off to an old folks home. I’m frothing to get my garden going. We usually wait until May 24th before we put plants in the ground. This year I’ve tried something new. I used egg cartons to start a few plants off. So far nothing has happened but I’ll let you know when they sprout.
    Here’s mine for this week. http://susansplace.blog/2020/05/08/nourishing-the-mind-flash-fiction/

    Liked by 3 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Oh, yes, Susan! Egg cartons are wonderful for germination! I have bachelor button seeds germinating in a plastic 18-egg carton. I love that the clear plastic lid acts like a green house. This year I did more soaking of seeds and that seems to jumpstart the germination. I had soil babies when I posted this and now I have sprouts! It happens so fast.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. denmaniacs4 says:

    Alas, Charli, puns are in my nature. And I have irresponsibly nurtured them most of my life.

    Noirished

    First, she sucked on the stogie. Then she plucked it from her gingered lips, glanced skyward, blew a smoke circle that looked, swear to God, like the Greasy Phil’s onion rings of my lost youth.

    “I didn’t think you’d have the…” she said, before I rebounded with, “Yeah, I know.”

    “So, what’s next?”

    “Quarantine for life.”

    “Not me, Shamus. Never.”

    “You’re a menace, Katie.”

    “What, just because I hugged them?”

    “And nasal dripped them.”

    “My nose always ran,” she snickered. “You know what they’re calling me?”

    I did. “Yeah. COVID Katie.”

    “Yeah,” she smiled. “Sounds…important.”

    And crazy, I thought.

    http://www.engleson.ca

    Liked by 4 people

  17. […] “Longboard Records Are Meant to Be Broken,” for Carrot Ranch‘s […]

    Liked by 1 person

  18. […] Prompted from Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge at: https://carrotranch.com/2020/05/07/may-7-flash-fiction-challenge-2/. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I am afraid your prompt has inspired a rather frivolous piece from me this week, Charli. I have left it to others to be sensible and had a bit of a laugh: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2020/05/08/flashfiction-extra-nutrition/

    Liked by 2 people

  20. […] This was written with the prompt of a story about nourishing provided by the Carrot Ranch May 7 Flash Fiction Challenge. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  21. […] May 7: Flash Fiction Challenge […]

    Liked by 1 person

  22. […] in response to this week’s carrotranch […]

    Liked by 2 people

  23. […] in response to this week’s carrotranch prompt May 7, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to nourish. The characters can […]

    Liked by 3 people

  24. […] ON MAY 7: FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE […]

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Hi, Charli. ‘Apples’ is a beautifully constructed piece and deserves wider publication.

    btw you might want to think about the wisdom of connecting the words ‘night’ and ‘soil’ in future posts 😉

    Anyway, here’s my twisted take on ‘nourish’. https://sixcrookedhighwaysblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/10/the-smiling-roses/

    Liked by 2 people

    • Night Soil! A term I first encountered in the FH King classic, Farmers For Forty Centuries, reprinted by Rodale Press, the account of an American agronomist traveling China in the early 20th century. Useable if used correctly and so valued as nutrient rich organic matter that farmers would put screens and buckets along the road to encourage travelers to leave a deposit behind.
      Huh. Night soil and road apples… where is Pepe?
      Sorry Doug, I digressed there, but seems like you too might have fertilizer on the mind with your flash. Which made me laugh, fyi.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Thanks, Doug ! I like how it turned out and this weekly challenge gives me seeds for further development. So, I had to look up what you and D. are talking about — night + soil. Ah! Smelly stuff, I’m sure! That’d be a stinker of a challenge! Nice twist in your flash.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Norah says:

    I love your apples story. You mentioned POV, I think. Imagine the stories those apple trees could tell. Perhaps they will be just as concerned for Hester’s nourishment, as she for theirs.
    Gardening is a labour of hope. So is teaching. So is writing. We do it for the future, not the past. We would not be writing our stories if we were not hopeful of readers one day. I hope each of our stories (and I don’t mean the ones we are writing) has a happy ending, and an even happier middle. May your seeds sprout and bear witness to the fulfilment of hopes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norah says:

      I have written a story for this week. Also featuring an apple.
      Here is the link: https://wp.me/p3O5Jj-1BW

      One of those days

      The morning hadn’t let up. It began with a “Can I talk to you for a minute?” that stretched into an unresolved 45. Meanwhile, the children swarmed at the door, and the day’s activities hadn’t set themselves out. Her day flipped from organised to ‘fly by the seat’ with one unscheduled meeting. As the minutes ticked away, she hankered for fruit break and recalibration as much as the children. Her apple was a mere millimetre from her mouth when ‘Miss, Ellenie’s crying’ interrupted her. One look told her everything. Ellenie’s grateful smile turned her grey to sunshine. Sanity returned.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      What a story that would be, Norah! I might try it. My SIL told me they have discovered the old railroad bed to the mine at the corner of their property and a map showing the streets and at least seven houses that were there at one time. Every time they dig for gardens or features, they dig up old razed houses. Now he says they are finding twisted trees. Someone trained trees and coupled some with serviceberries and twisted them. If only the trees could talk!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Norah says:

        Wow! How exciting, Charli. It’s a real archaeological site. Danni would love it! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the trees could talk! But I think there’s a lot to learn even without that.

        Like

  27. […] Carrot Ranch May 7 May 7, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to nourish. The characters can nourish or be nourished. What else can be nourished? A tree? A setting? Does the sunset nourish the soul? Go where the prompt leads! Respond by May 12, 2020. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Jules says:

    Charli,

    Your flash reminds me of a story told of one of our neighborhoods called Orchard Hill (or something like that) – It is rumored or legend that some of the properties still have some old trees that in the selling the were told they had to take care of because they were some of the Apple Trees planted by Johnny Appleseed himself!

    I only have a small raised garden. But the tomatoes and peppers I planted by seed on my front window sill are sprouting a second set of leaves. 😀

    I started with a solo renga that turned into a haibun here and have some info about Blue Birds at my blog:

    ruminating on roosts

    Blue Jays prefer string
    colorful yarn not so much
    for their nest today

    somewhere in the pines they build
    this Mother’s day, I just watch

    my own nest just has
    we too – you made me breakfast
    will our chicks call home?

    We’ve done what we could – had our share of scrapes. Now we get to sit back just a little. Though we need to remember life is a continuing lesson, parent or not. We all need to nourish each other with care as the days pass. Sharing the light of our love lamps to brighten temporary gloom.

    ©JP/dh

    Liked by 3 people

    • There’s a lot here Jules. I kind of have a problem with these Hallmark holidays that make people wonder if the phone is going to ring or the flag go up on the mailbox.
      But my first focus was on the nest building. I used to sell Christmas trees and would sometimes find birds’ nests intact in the balsam branches. Found some that were almost entirely woven litter, candy bar wrappers from the guys that had gone through the rows weeding and trimming or bits of the twine used to wrap the trees for transport. I admired the birds even more than I disparaged the litterbugs.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jules says:

        I don’t wait for the phone to ring or expect cards. I did call my own Mother… I don’t send her much these days just because her memory isn’t good and she tends to misplace things.

        Your bit about nests reminds me of a blue bird with blue eyes… could be the satin bowerbirds : Mate choice in satin bowerbirds has been studied in detail. Males build specialised stick structures, called bowers, which they decorate with blue, yellow, and shiny objects, including berries, flowers, and plastic items such as ballpoint pens, drinking straws and clothes pegs. If you look up Satin Bower birds you’ll be able to see some of their spectacular offerings at the Wiki site.

        They collect among other things blue bottle caps. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Wow — what a thought, to have original Johnny Appleseed trees. I love all the rambling and wild apple varieties on the Keweenaw Peninsula. And your flash hit the spot with sharing light.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. […] GirlieOntheEdge put “gulf” out there last Wednesday for a Six Sentence Story; Charli at Carrot Ranch, on May 7,  prompted us to: “In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to nourish. The characters […]

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I made it after all. I will try to get caught up with reading everyone else’s 99 words. I ended up using the prompt to further a character’s story. Marlie is back.

    https://shiftnshake.wordpress.com/2020/05/10/its-a-threefer-wwp-crlc-sss/

    Liked by 1 person

  31. “Kid, what’s cookin’? You ain’t stirred much. Figgered you’d be on ‘bout bacon, or carrots, or even ‘bout nour’shin’ yer poet-trees. Ever’thin’ ok?”
    “I ain’t feelin’ it this week Pal, so you jist keep talkin’ till we git ta 99words. I’m thinkin’ I only got 9 in me this time aroun’.”
    “Oh, lemme guess, Kid. Yer gonna riff somethin’ scatological, make shifty puns ‘bout manure an’ sech.”
    “Not this week Pal.”
    “Well, whut are yer 9 words then?”
    “Might s’prise ya: ‘Soul food is Goodness and Love. Nourish one another.’”
    ###
    “Ya know, Kid, ya ain’t been ‘roun the Ranch lately. I’m thinkin’ ya should head on ta the corral, see what’s gathered there. I bet you’ll find stories a cultivatin’ hope, of nourishin’ well bein’.”
    “Reckon yer right Pal. A romp aroun’ the Ranch always gits my spirits up.”
    “There ya go, Kid. Whyn’tcha saddle up and ride the range fer a bit?”
    “Saddle up? Oh shift!”
    “Ha! Yep, Kid, git right back on thet shovel!”
    “Uh, Pal, speakin’ a saddlin’ up… what day is it?”
    “Sunday, Kid. Yee haw! What’cha got planned fer the Saloon?”
    “Yeah, ‘bout that…”

    Liked by 3 people

  32. […] to my response to the flash fiction prompt over at Carrot Ranch: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to nourish. The characters can nourish or be […]

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I agree with your thoughts. Gardening is such a soul searching act especially as we are sowing we put in the intention of germination from this seed that will manifest into a plant and vegetables.
    I loved the article that you have linked–move, nourish, connect, be. Good take home lessons.

    My offering for week: https://abracabadra.blogspot.com/2020/05/mindful-eating.html

    Liked by 5 people

  34. Hi Charli
    Thank you for another great blog; and so much to think about.

    Thank you, and your daughter, for sharing that wonderful article – to move, to nourish, to connect and to be.
    It helped me to think through, what ‘nourishes me” – how important it is to me, just to pause, to be.

    Ended up reading quotes at http://www.brainyquote.com
    And of course, The Bard showed up!
    First line – describes so well our current lives!

    “And this, our life, exempt from public haunt,
    finds tongues in trees,
    books in the running brooks,
    sermons in stones,
    and good in everything.” William Shakespeare

    Keep well.
    Thinking over ideas about the FF
    Saifun

    Liked by 2 people

  35. […] Charli Mills – Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge 2020.05.07 – Sprinkles of Tenderness […]

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Our county – Orange County has a different story than your apples story, Charli. This was an orange grove before 1920’s. It was all gone when the railroad came in, housing developed. One orange grove in our neighborhood was there when I loved to the ares but was leveled down to build a medical center.

    Happy Mother’s Day to you, Charli! Here’s my story.

    https://theshowersofblessings.com/2020/05/10/flash-fiction-challenge-2020-05-07-sprinkles-of-tenderness

    Sprinkles of Tenderness

    “I’m amazed Rosie has changed so much since we adopted her six months ago,” said Sam.
    “For a while, she went to the corner and face the wall every time I talked to her.” Elaine still puzzled.
    “The social worker suspected something happened in her previous foster home.”
    “She was afraid of us.”
    “I admired your patience. You showed your affection by physical touch, warm smile, and inviting gesture instead of talking.”
    “I’m pleased she trusts us.”
    “It took us six months to break the ice.”
    “She talked and called me Mom two days ago. It melted my heart.”

    Liked by 4 people

  37. […] This was written with the prompt nourish provided by the Carrot Ranch May 7 Flash Fiction Challenge. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  38. I think gardening is where most of my sanity lies right now, as my character Matty is gradually taking over. A weird post this week
    In which Anne disappears down the rabbit hole and Matty rises to the ff challenge … in Wonderland https://annegoodwin.weebly.com/annecdotal/in-which-anne-disappears-down-the-rabbit-hole
    (although we’re both far saner than our PM, obviously)

    Liked by 3 people

    • BoJo’s rabbit hole personified. ‘There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.’

      Liked by 3 people

    • I haven’t yet read the flash. I’m on my way….
      Umm… hmmm… Was Ernie at the bar when you and yours first went to the Saloon? Did he proffer you an unlabeled jug? Did you… drink from it? No? Phew. Did you wander out back to where the Kid has a so-called offshoot Poet-tree growing? Were you handed some rolled up leaves from said tree?
      — You know what, none of my business. I’m off to analyze, sorry, to read your, sorry, Matty’s, flash.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      I think Matty has taken over! Maybe that’s what autopilot is for an author. I’m glad for the gardening, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  39. […] –Charli Mills, Founder of Carrot Ranch […]

    Liked by 2 people

  40. susansleggs says:

    Oh Charli, “To be unmasked from every mask I have ever worn.” What an aspiration. I know in my own case I would never feel safe enough with most humans to even attempt that, let alone strive for it, but it sure gave me a lot to think about.
    I do long for hugs and closeness. My nurse friend spends time with me with no fear and no masks. It’s refreshing.
    I saw on Facebook your plants sprouted for Mother’s Day. New life. What a gift and invigorating excitement. And now we meet Tessa’s antagonist…

    Standing Up to Mother

    Tessa’s mother paced. “I’m fearful Michael will suck the life out of you if you move in together.”
    “I thought you approved.”
    “Not of you living with him.”
    “He nourishes the youth choir, the Vet’s music programs, and he goes to D.C. when asked. You don’t think he’ll enhance my life too?”
    “Behind closed doors is where the nightmares and anger dwell. You’ll have no escape.”
    “Don’t you remember my ex had nightmares. It isn’t new to me.”
    “He was an officer.”
    “So that’s what this is about, status, not my well being. Good thing it isn’t your choice.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, Mama! Her tell tale heart. I’m thinking Tessa will follow her own heart.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      It’s certainly a vulnerable thing to unmask, and from them all. Sometimes, maybe we have to defy such unsafe humans, kick them to the curb so to speak and set boundaries and get face-naked. But for now, my social mask is up.

      Yes! Soil babies burst forth. I have green hope across the ding room table. Enjoy your refreshment, too!

      Oh, nicely done — you caught the status issue.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. […] Grandfather’s Legacy Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge Prompt: Write a story to nourish. Word count:  99 […]

    Liked by 2 people

  42. […] This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to nourish. The characters can nourish or be nourished… […]

    Liked by 1 person

  43. […] Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch  […]

    Liked by 2 people

  44. […] Carrot Ranch Prompt (05/07/2020): In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to nourish. The characters can nourish or be nourished. What else can be nourished? A tree? A setting? Does the sunset nourish the soul? Go where the prompt leads! […]

    Liked by 2 people

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