With a Little Help from my Friends flash fiction

With a Little Help from My Friends #flashfiction

The focus of my life has always been on children’s learning and development, whether at home as a parent or in the classroom as a teacher. I believe in the importance of play, curiosity and fun.

Now that my own children are grown and I am no longer in the classroom, my focus remains on children as I prepare lessons that focus on learning and support teachers teaching for my website readilearn and write stories in the hope they will be published in the future as picture books.

In the meantime, I enjoy writing 99 words in response to the weekly flash fiction prompts at the Carrot Ranch. Not always, but often, my stories reflect my focus on children as they play, develop and learn.

Last week, when writers were challenged by Charli Mills to write about dressing up, I combined it with a playful ‘dare’ from D. Avery at Shift and Shake that she would do anything I would. In response, I had D. and me dressing up appropriately to ride a zipline from the US to Australia, just like a couple of preschoolers dressing up and having fun in their imaginations.

This week Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that rephrases “light at the end of the tunnel.” Think of how the cliche replacement communicates a hopeful ending and aligns with your character or story. Go where the prompt leads!

I thought this prompt provided the perfect opportunity for a sequel to Norah and D.’s zipline story, especially as Charli said she’d like to come too. For that to happen, they had to go back and accompany her. (Please think of them as children in the playground, just coincidentally with names of writers you know.) Some suggested the zipline would be too dangerous for children, but it couldn’t be used to return north because ziplines work with gravity. (That’s a down under joke.)

I hope you enjoy this sequel and see its underlying message about the importance of the support and encouragement we receive from friends.

With a Little Help from My Friends

“Whatcha doing?”


“Can I help?”


The two girls dug side by side. Then D. broke the silence, “What’re we digging?”

“A tunnel.”


“Charli wants to come down too. We can’t use the zipline anymore. Anyways, going through a tunnel’s quicker’n going round.”

“Looks jes like a hole to me.”

“Tunnels always start as holes.”

They continued digging. The pile of dirt grew higher as the hole got deeper.

“Look. We can stand in it now,” said Norah.

“How will we know when we get there?”

“Easy. Charli’s waiting, holding a light to show us the way.”

Thank you blog post

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

45 thoughts on “With a Little Help from My Friends #flashfiction

  1. Pingback: February #Story Chat: “A Postcard from the Past” @annecdotist @charli_mills @shiftnshake – Marsha Ingrao – Always Write

      1. Marsha

        Well, another will start. D. is like an instant storyteller, I think. I asked her to be on Story Chat, and she told me how busy she was and it seemed like a few minutes later she delivers this amazing short story. I’m in awe!


  2. LucciaGray

    Lovely flash, Norah! So Charli’s prompt is the light that leads us along the tunnel of our subconscious! Spot on! I agree, Norah. We can go it alone but it’s so much more fun and fulfilling of we can share our journey.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Light at the End of the Tunnel « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

  4. Kate

    I don’t know why your tunnel story reminded me of an American sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes”. There the heroes were the prisoners whose war mission was to sabotage the German war efforts – often with hilarious results. But what made me think of it was the tunnel your building back to America. The prisoners had dug an extensive tunnel system that lead them all over the camp and out of it. So I guess, building a tunnel from Australia to America may not be that far fetched after all. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Charli Mills

    I love the encouragement that we all need a little help from our friends! It’s true on the playground and as adults in life. Ha! Looks like we’ll be stuck down under and will need an anti-gravity source of fun to get back to the northern hemisphere. You still provide learning and fun for others, Norah!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Norah Post author

      At least falling through the tunnel won’t require a lot of effort and should be fun, Charli. Please don’t land with a bump though. You might hurt yourself. Perhaps I need to put something soft at the base.
      Robbie wants to join us on the next ‘flight’.


    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Robbie. While I have heard of the Count of Monte Cristo, I have to say that I know nothing about him and wouldn’t have thought to associate him with tunnels. Thanks for that titbit of information.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Here’s more details on how we did it, in 99 words.

    Norah calculated that they could tunnel to a place called Carrot Ranch.
    “Is it a real ranch?” D. asked.
    “As real a place as you can imagine.”
    “Norah? We zipped to Down Under. Are we digging to Up Over?”
    Digging with D. was a long haul. Then—
    “We’re there! So here we are.”
    And sure enough, there were carrots like orange stalactites.
    “Norah, would these carrots be stalagmites Down Under?”
    A carrot shimmied and shook and was pulled up through the ground! Through the hole where the carrot had been the girls could see Charli, standing in the light.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Norah Post author

      D. This is brilliant. Thank you so much for taking my story and running with it. (I seem to recall your doing something similar previously also.) It kinda proves my point about the support and encouragement of friends.
      I love the carrot stalactites, and the stalagmites conundrum.
      But what I love most of all, is that Charli was there to release us with the release of a carrot. Just brilliant.

      Liked by 1 person


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