The grandfathers were whalers, and according to historians, they were yeoman farmers. I wonder, what were the grandmothers doing? And how were the grandfathers, out at sea harpooning whales, managing their farms? Rebecca Corson, one of the grandmothers, is said to have fired a cannon scaring off the British as they approached shore during the revolutionary war. My guess would be that the women were spending less time on widow walks wringing their hands watching for the whalers to return than they spent in the fields tilling, in the woods hunting, and behind the cannon doing what they must.
Joanna hated witnessing the doe-eyed trophies suspended inverted from a scaffold at the end of the harbor, their purple tongues pointing toward the bloodied ground. She hated watching fish with gaping gills flop to death on the bottom of her family’s boat. She loathed the mounted antlered head above the fireplace and the bearskin rug in front of the hearth. Harpooned whales may have sustained her ancestors, but they haunted her dreams. Joanna understood the hunted heart. She didn’t see the point in hurting innocents and ached for the day when she’d no longer be her papa’s favored prey.
Written for Charli’s 99 word April 26 Carrot Ranch flash fiction challenge:
April 26: Flash Fiction Challenge
Life is placid outside Joy’s woodland cabin as she takes her morning walk. Nuthatches seem unthreatened by nuclear missiles. Chickadees show no interest in crime or collusion. Blue jays apparently don’t know the job market is shrinking. Woodpeckers aren’t worried that stocks plummet and robins aren’t fretting about local or national scandals. This verdant world teems with new life. Leaf buds swell on the tips of tree branches. A spotted fawn appears in a bed of wildflowers. Joy bathes in the misty forest, cleansing her heart of clutter, strengthening herself to resist for one more day humanly created chaos.
Written in response to Charli’s April 19 Carrot Ranch 99 word fast fiction challenge: forest bathing
One sunny spring day and people get silly headed. Shorts, tees and flip-flops abound, snow and lingering frosty mornings be damned.
Cardinals too, graze solitary on our deck all winter, guarding their private culinary cache, aggressively chasing all competition.
Spring sun arrives and they share their precious seeds, feeding each other beak to beak, a love fest.
I rise above, not easily seduced silly by fickle sunshine.
I unpack the new tent and pitch it in our living room. “Time to get ready for summer camping” I tell my love. “Come in and check out our pretty vacation home.”
Carrot Ranch April 5 fast fiction challenge using 99 words: Sun Silly
April 5: Flash Fiction
It wasn’t a fair fight, that Halloween night. He was a towering fifty-something; she was five, standing below him in her tutu. He offered nickels, not candy, for correct answers to three questions:
“Who was the first president?”
She took her nickel.
“Who’s president now?”
She took another.
“Who discovered America?”
“No!” She stomped her foot.
“Christopher Columbus!” he insisted, withholding her reward.
“He was a murderer and a thief!” Her tiny fingers flew toward him to punctuate, “they were already here!”
She left him red-faced, three nickels clutched in her fist.
This was written in response to Charli Mills’ (Carrot Ranch) challenge to writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about fingers that fly. Think about the different ways we use our fingers and what happens when we add speed. Go where the prompt leads.
At three Joy dreamed awake, sitting on her grandmother’s lap, listening to stories about brave little girls. She spent hours on Alpine cliffs with Heidi; in Mary’s secret garden; in Jo’s cozy New England cottage. When she grew older she learned to read, escaping home often. Some said she daydreamed too much. Her mother sometimes startled her home yelling, “Snap out of it!” She came back, but never stayed long. Joy would not relive the hopelessly fettered life that made her mother mad, because she continued to read, to follow her childhood dreams, and to write her own story.
Written for Charli’s March 22 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction prompt: 99 words, follow your dreams.
To participate go here:
March 22: Flash Fiction Challenge
Once upon a time, farmers were free to plant seeds. After harvest they collected and saved new seeds to plant again come spring. Then came a greedy monster named Monstrosity, who sought to rule the land. First, Monstrosity built a laboratory where he manufactured fictional corn. Then he took over the government, and made a law that real corn could not be planted forevermore. The real farmers lost their farms. Monstrosity thought he’d won. Then one magical night a unicorn named TimesUp came and ate all of Monstrosity’s corn. Rage consumed the monster, and real farmers came back home.
Flash Fiction challenge response for:
February 22, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a unicorn. It can be realistic or fantastical. Go where the prompt leads.
February 22: Flash Fiction Challenge
In fickle spring I decide to launch my canoe on a frigid Adirondack lake. The seductive sun is full of false promises. Soon loons will return to nest, mayflies will entice rainbow trout to dance for food, and vacationers will arrive in noisy droves. For now, I journey alone on this peaceful water. I rest awhile in the center of the lake, sipping warm tea from my thermos. It’s an idyllic day until clouds roll in and the temperature takes an ominous dive. Floating chunks of ice menace the canoe, pushing together, refreezing, as I frantically paddle toward shore.
Written for Carrot Ranch Literary Community: February 15, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story on ice. It can be an event on ice, a game on ice or a drink on ice. Go where the prompt leads you.