Red

Dirt caked her soft dress. She’ll wash it later. For now, though self-assigned, she had to complete her mission before the sun set – she had to find it.
Laughter reached her, drifting from the house at the bottom of the yard; soon it’d turn to cries.
She had to hurry.
She sped over the ground, eyes darting.
At last she spotted it, red fabric peeking out beneath the roses.

Hiding behind the gum’s roots, she held her breath as her charge’s carer emerged, collected a red blanket, disappeared and all became quiet inside, as the lights went out.


My contribution to this week’s weekly challenge over at the Carrot Ranch.

The challenge called for a flash fiction piece in 99 words that related in some way to the prompt, dirt.

This piece is driven by the same two characters of my last two Carrot Ranch, prompt-inspired posts, Protector and The Gift.

The Gift

Hiding beneath the roots of a grand gum, she heard the tiny sobs.
Her charge had been playing outdoors again. Did she hurt herself?
The fairy, wings tucked away, peered through grass above. She could see the side of the little girl, hands cupped, tears dripping onto dusty clothes.
Something hung out of her fingers.
Should she let her cry? Her heart ached.

It was still so warm and so soft too. Why wasn’t it moving?
Something buzzed past the little girl.
Her palm itched and she opened her hands.
She gasped as the mouse looked up at her.

Protector

A scream cut through her from across the meadow and she raged into action, dismissing her injury and climbing up the nearest lookout.
Her arms trembled, not used to her own weight, but she needed to ensure her charge was okay.
Her heart pounded at another squeal and she cursed her clumsiness; she would’ve been on top by now.
Silence.
Finally up, she peered through the crisp fog and relief washed over her as she saw the dancing figures, twirling around a ring of daisies.
She leant against the lookout rose’s petals, breathing deep and stroking her torn wing.



This is my contribution to this week’s 99 word Flash Fiction challenge over at the Carrot Ranch. The prompt called for a story that includes a rose.

It’s so much fun writing a suspenseful piece, and revealing all only at the end. I hope you enjoy reading it, and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

Porcelain

Waves hushed sounds of traffic far behind. Tiny fingers grasped mine, pulling past flowers and trees, little feet skipping over loose stones.
I took one step for her four.
She hadn’t told me our destination; “it’s a surprise Mummy.”
She glanced back, round eyes gleaming and all smiles, “we’re close!”
I couldn’t help but smile with her, adoration running deep.
Her pace slowed and I looked up.
I froze.
Upon a bed of grass, decorated with turquoise waves, lay a porcelain tea set; the one from my first birthday.
“Surprise, Mummy,” she beamed.
I hid tears in her embrace.


This is this week’s contribution to the 99 word flash fiction challenge over at the Carrot Ranch.
Charli’s prompt provided an image and the idea of a garden party, and I used both for inspiration.

New Life

She lay there cold, with legs exposed, as they spoke. Backs turned to her; she caught few words.
“A mess. . .”
“No more feeling. . .”
“Stiches.”
They looked over at her and she held their gaze, wanting answers. The doctor approached, mouth moving in silent speech as he searched for the right words.

“Ma’am, there have been…some tears. You will need stiches to help the healing. I’ll…do my best, but you may never-.”

Her stomach turned, she knew.

A squeak.
She pulled a blanket over her chest as she looked down, heart swelling as her baby suckled.

Warm…and strong.



This week’s contribution to the Carrot Ranch’s weekly 99 word challenge is inspired by an event I will experience in a little under 2 weeks’ time!

After generously sharing some hard times from her past, Charli’s prompt is about finding the semicolon’s in life.

She challenges us to:
“…write a renewal story that proclaims, “This isn’t the end; I will go on.” Think of the mythical phoenix that rises up from the ashes; of Cinderella after midnight on the night of the ball; of a hero that faces certain death; of love after tragedy; of renewing life’s lemonade transitions.”

Our third little one is due on the 27th of April and I know all too well the anxiety that comes with the anticipation of labour. Luckily, I’m more confident this time around and not as fearful, and I thank God for the smooth run of our first two.

Having experienced only minor tearing during our first, I have incredible sympathy for those whose bodies have had to recover from less forgiving outcomes.

Every kind of labour creates changes in a person’s body, changes that can affect the rest of a lifetime. Despite the challenges of the miraculous process, I like to think of the semicolon…

The struggles of labour; the creation of a brand new life.

Now, I know it’s a topic that’s often spoken of; where women need to be honoured and worshipped for their ability to give birth.

Don’t get me wrong here, it’s an incredible ability to have, but I also think a man’s life is just as challenging, but in different ways. Right from social pressures, to the stresses of supporting a family. Times might be changing—slowly—but it’s still a primal instinct as the ‘man of the house’ to protect one’s family.

The birth of a child—and all other results of the process—affect not only the person giving birth, but their life partner also. It’s a process through which equality, respect and support is vital for everyone involved.

The birth process is a lifetime change for not only the female, but for males also, even if the effects aren’t visible.