Wife Carrying Contest - Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction

The Strong One #flashfiction

Wife Carrying Contest - Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a carried wife. Why is she being carried? Who is carrying? Pick a genre if you’d like and craft a memorable character. Go where the prompt leads!

In her post, Charli

  • explained differences in genres
  • introduced us to Sirrka, a remarkable 99-year-old American of Finnish parents
  • told us of the Finnish wife-carrying contest, which prompted the flash fiction prompt
  • assured us that we are ‘always evolving’.

Please pop over to the Ranch to read Charli’s post and other responses to the prompt.

I agree with Charli that we are always evolving.

When I started writing this blog six and a half years ago, my intention was to write about education. Whenever I responded to one of Charli’s prompts, I attempted to embed my story in a post that focused on education or child development. I was mostly successful.

However, not all prompts, such as this wife-carrying challenge, lend themselves easily to education, though I could certainly do it if I tried with a story about children in school learning about Finland and Finnish customs, for example.

Since I also write posts about education for my second blog at readilearn, which I republish here, I have decided to allow myself a little more flexibility with my responses to Charli’s prompts. From now on, with my word for this year being ‘prioritise’, I will focus more on writing a story than embedding it in a post.

This is my story for this week. I hope you like it.

The Strong One

“You’re strong,” she giggled as he piggy-backed her around the playground at lunchtime.

“You’re strong,” she murmured as he lifted her over the puddle outside their graduation dance.

When he carried her over the threshold on their wedding day, her eyes sparkled with words unsaid but understood.

When they heard of Finland’s wife carrying contest, she smirked. “We could do that. You’re strong.”

He indicated the sleeping children. “When they’re grown.”

When cancer ravaged her body, she soothed, “Stay strong.”

When he and their sons carried her from the chapel on her final journey, he’d never felt so weak.

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. As always, I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

60 thoughts on “The Strong One #flashfiction

  1. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    Your intro had me laughing as I thought of the contortions of the required to bring out the educational merits of the carried wife. Then your story brought tears to my eyes – it’s so well done, thanks for sharing. And congratulations on your resolution to prioritise. I hope you can keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Ellen Best

    Hi Norah, its nice to dip my toe back in that cooling trough on the ranch. And re connect with friends I feel I have known for the longest time. X

    I thouroughly submerged myself in their journey. A great response to the prompt. I am glad you chose something that had both light and shade. My offering possibly darkens too quick. The Husband thought it morbid,which saddened me. I wanted him to see, purpose, the thing that warns its reader of the pain of life if you succum to the look at me world of today. Suprising how 99 words can evoke emotion elation and empathy. You captured it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Ellen. I’ve just popped over to read your story. It is also a very full 99 words. And full of grief too. It certainly does evoke emotion and empathy. So sad.

      Like

      Reply
  3. Charli Mills

    I found your story hit the mark on grief. I recall a number of years back, a conversation over the ability to write grief with authenticity (it was initiated by a post of Anne Goodwin’s, I believe). You have achieved authenticity. I’m pleased to see that you are shifting priorities and adjusting to focus and yet allow for word play.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Charli. I’m pleased the feelings were authentic.
      Sadly, my priorities didn’t allow me to join in with the ‘protest’ prompt this week. I feel like protesting. 🙂

      Like

      Reply
  4. petespringerauthor

    You hit a home run with this one, Norah! I’ve always got so many things going on, but I need to try more of these flash fiction prompts. I think I only did one in the past that intrigued me.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  5. Jacqui Murray

    I know exactly what you mean about the two hats–ed and writing. I briefly struggled with that and gave up! But, I did notice over a period of years that a lot of writers are teachers (I’m sure you’ve seen that two) so I like you am going to try a blend of my two hats, roughly following your good example.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I’m sorry to hear about your Mum, Robbie, and that reading this post caused you distress. I hope your mum’s pain is temporary and that the cause is not as serious as you think.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. robbiesinspiration

        Hi Norah, it is funny that I thought of cancer when I read this post and then I spoke to my mom and discovered that she was really worried about bone cancer. It turned out to be a good thing because we could discuss it. The doctor thinks it is arthritis in her back and she is being treated accordingly. Only if this treatment doesn’t work will they look further.

        Liked by 2 people

        Reply
        1. Miriam Hurdle

          Sorry to hear your mum has problem with her back, Robbie. I hope the doctor follows up on the treatment and makes sure it’s not cancer. When people aged, arthritis seems to be a common problem. Knowing it’s not cancer would ease her mind.

          Liked by 2 people

          Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you so much. I’m pleased you saw that in the story. I originally titled it ‘The Strong Man’ but changed it to show the ambiguity of where the strength was sourced.

      Like

      Reply
  6. thecontentedcrafter

    Wow! That’s quite a story to come back to Norah. Your ability to weave the subject to fit your theme of children and learning has always amazed me – and even when you step away from that – still you do it! We learn here how fleeting life is and how we carry and are carried in different ways. I think this brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
      1. Prior...

        It was excellent with that kind of ending – you built up to it and it flowed perfectly –
        And once again you have us a piece that felt more Than 99 words with your own signature style – so keep doing what you do – so good

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
          1. Prior...

            Hi – started writing about a husband carrying his wife during a family crisis – but ran out of time – this is a busy month for me (but also fun month so that is cool) but limited with blog time

            Liked by 1 person

            Reply
  7. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Ah, Buddy, you still got the kids in there- the couple as kids, then their kids. This is so well done, the balance of third person narration and dialogue with subtle repetition poetic and poignant.
    Good for you to take some pressure off by prioritizing and focusing on one thing. Your ability to embed and entwine has always amazed me but yeah, not all prompts lend themselves to double dipping, not easily anyway. (Though you made it look easy)

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank, D. I appreciate your reading and the time you took to comment on specific aspects of my story. I’m pleased you enjoyed it.
      Thank you for understanding my need to prioritise. I’m still hoping to join in with a story most weeks. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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