The Carried Wife (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

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.

 

wife carrying
Courtesy of Charli Mills

I’ve been letting flash fiction languish, but I’m back! Every week at the Ranch, Charli Mills hosts the Rough Writers and Friends flash fiction challenge. This week’s prompt: “In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a carried wife.”

Sign in the Wilderness (Flash Fiction Mashup)

“What’s wrong?” Henry asks.

Jane feels herself, ridiculously, wobbling a bit, and forces equilibrium back. “Nothing, really, just about the strongest déjà vu I’ve ever had.”

“I read somewhere,” Henry says comfortably, “some guru somebody, that déjà vu is a spiritual sign that you’re doing everything you’re supposed to, right where you’re supposed to be.”

“So, me being unable to find a job or have a roof over my head is a milestone? If the powers that be are going to send a big ‘YOU ARE HERE’ sign, it’d be nice if they’d also tell me where HERE is!”

 

grass-1209945_1280
Pixabay

I did it again! Every week, Charli Mills hosts the Rough Writers and Friends flash fiction challenge, and Denise at Girlie on the Edge hosts the Six Sentence Stories flash fiction blog hop. I combined both formats (99 words and six sentences respectively) and both cues (“sign” and “milestone” respectively) into one flash. Because I’m fancy. Fun flashes from other writers are at the links. Join us; it’s fun!

It’s All in the Packaging (Jane Doe Flash Fiction Mashup)

Jane hesitates at the entrance to the marina, fighting impostor syndrome. But the Lake Union Dreamboats antique yacht show is free and open to anyone, and it’s something to do.

Sleek vessels line the piers, shining even under cloud cover, and her breath catches as she steps aboard the Sea Mist and takes in the tiny space. Efficiency kitchen only big enough for one, built-in bed and furniture, handmade throws, gleaming teak, fresh flowers. Do people really keep flowers in vases with water at sea?

It’s not much bigger than her own tent, but what a difference accoutrements make.

terimakasih0
Photo: terimakasih0

If you’re a regular reader, you know I regularly participate in two flash fiction challenges: the Rough Writers and Friends 99-word challenge and the Six Sentence Stories flash fiction linkup and blog hop. This week, I pulled off using the cues for each (“sea mist” and “vessel” respectively) in one story that is both 99 words and six sentences long. Go, me!

All That Remains (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

Torrey stands panting, thrilled and appalled at her own rage. That vase. Exquisitely beautiful, exquisitely expensive, a symbol of the blending of their hearts and their lives.

Such a beautiful part of their wedding, as they’d each poured in sands from beloved places–hers pink and red from French Polynesia and Hawaii, his gray and black from Alaska and Costa Rica–blended to become one, forever.

Well.

All that’s gone now. Love gone, marriage gone, vase hurled to the fireplace tiles. No maid anymore, either, to clean it up.

Fine. She prefers the shards, twinkling at her in the afternoon sun.

vetonogueira
Photo: VetoNogueira

Every week at the Ranch, head buckaroo Charli Mills hosts the Rough Writers and Friends flash fiction challenge. This week’s prompt: “In 99 words (no more, no less),  write a story about shards. You can write about the pieces, the item they once were, or who picks them up and why. Go where the prompt leads.”

Destiny’s Destiny (Six Sentence Stories Flash Fiction)

“You are my destiny…” he sang, giving a cheesy grin for flourish.

“Knock it off with the cornball, I’m not your destiny and you know it,” she snapped back.

“But you’re my love, my darling, my fiancée, my betrothed, right?”

“Yeah.”

“And your name is Destiny, right?”

“I swear to God, Mom, why couldn’t you have named me Madison or Courtney or Britnee like all the normal trendy mothers did,” she grumbled.

asy819
Photo: asy819

Every week, Denise at Girlie on the Edge hosts the Six Sentence Stories flash fiction linkup and blog hop. The rules are simple: Write a story, any genre, in exactly six sentences. This week’s cue was DESTINY. More fun sixes from other writers are at the link. Come join us; it’s a blast!

Looking Back (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

“Only whores pierce their ears and gad themselves up like that,” Daddy had said. Daddy had said lots of things and done worse, which had a bit to do with her running off at sixteen.

And which had a lot to do with why almost the first thing she’d done, alone and free, was pierce her ears.

And which had everything to do with why the first earrings she’d bought were the biggest, brassiest, whoriest pair of hoops she could find.

She feels eyes boring into back, but when she looks behind her in the mirror, she’s alone. Smiling.

c_scott
Photo: C_Scott

Every week at the Ranch, Charli Mills hosts the Rough Writers and Friends flash fiction linkup. This week’s prompt: “In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a character who looks back. It can be a metaphorical reflection or a glance in the rear-view mirror. Who is looking back, and why? Go where the prompt leads.”

This week’s flash is partly in honor of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who bucked what I hope will be uncountable conventions at her Congressional swearing-in with bold red lipstick and big bold hoops. You go girl! And it’s in honor of every woman who wears what she wants, when she wants. You go too, girl!

Sugar (Jane Doe Six Sentence Stories)

“Lighten my load a little.” Kathy extends the laden tray to Torrey. “These red velvet cookie pies are adorable, and don’t tell me you can’t indulge in a little sugar for the holidays.”

Torrey glances up at the mistletoe over her head, then nods her chin across the room. “Eventually Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Handsome has to come this way for a fresh drink, and until then I’ll be right here holding up this doorway. He’s the only sugar I’m after at this party.”

Kapa65
Photo: Kapa65

Every week, Denise at Girlie on the Edge hosts the Six Sentence Stories flash fiction linkup and blog hop. This week’s cue was SUGAR. Fun sixes from other writers are at the link. Come join us! It’s a blast!

Annual (Jane Doe Six Sentence Stories)

“Oh sweetie,” Helen says, wrapping her daughter in a tight hug, “I wish we could do this every month.”
“Once a month?” Becca pulls back. “Dinner it takes a week to cook? Miserable airports and overbooked flights and fighting to get time off and spending money I don’t have to show everybody how much I love them and Uncle Ed’s never-ending fart jokes? I’d like to see you every month, but I think annual is too much even for yearly holidays!”

Skitterphoto
Photo: Skitterphoto

Every week, Girlie on the Edge hosts the Six Sentence Stories flash fiction blog hop. This week’s cue was ANNUAL. (And may I add that doing all of my holiday shopping while never getting off the couch is cause for celebration itself, for people like me who have a pathological dislike of peopling. Just finished mine online–booyah!)

Man to Man (2018 Flash Fiction Rodeo Honorable Mention)

This is the only contest of the 2018 Second Annual Flash Fiction Rodeo at Carrot Ranch that I entered, but it was a great time, just like the first rodeo.

The first weekly contest was themed around dialogue and all the different ways to use it, not only through what people say, but perhaps what they don’t say. How they dodge questions, interrupt each other, make assumptions, and the picture they paint. The point of the contest, of course, was to tell a story in 99 words (no more, no less) using dialogue only. The second point was to use the photo prompt as a jumping-off place.

Judging blind is a wonderful thing, and in this case it highlighted a good dialogue writer, who took both first and second places. I got an honorable mention which thrilled me, being in the company of such talented writers. The winners are here; check them out!

Dialogue Prompt
Photo courtesy of Geoff Le Pard, Rodeo Leader

MAN TO MAN

“You seem like a wise old thing. May I ask a question?”

“Well, I don’t know from wise, but I’m old enough. Ask away.”

“It’s just you’re the first I’ve come across where I feel comfortable asking. You look like you’ve seen a thing or two.”

“Or three, sure.”

“Don’t tell anyone, but I’m having woman trouble. We don’t move through life at the same pace.”

“Can’t she slow down? Can’t you speed up? Compromise?”

“We’ve tried. Nothing works.”

“Then maybe it’s time to move on.”

“I live in a giant terrarium! How far am I going to get?”

Good Intentions (Jane Doe Six Sentence Stories)

“Oh my god, Becca.” Cupboard doors slam, one after another. “We’re trying have a bff chick flick night here, and you’ve got no movie food–no ice cream, no buttery popcorn, no chips and dip, no cookies, no nothing!”

Becca’s voice is rueful. “Unfortunately, I was being a good girl when I did my shopping. My budget and my list and my desire to eat healthy all agreed, which of course means there’s nothing to eat in the house.”

Foundry
Photo: Foundry

Hey, not bad, considering I kinda wrote this in my sleep–I was in bed, slowly swimming up toward consciousness, and this was writing itself in my head. Now I can’t decide if it’s a sign that I’m a “natural born writer” or that I need to do some grocery shopping. Maybe both.

Every week, Girlie on the Edge hosts the Six Sentence Stories flash fiction linkup and blog hop. This week’s cue was AGREED. Fun sixes from other writers are at the link. Join us!