Category Archives: early childhood

Zipper Obsession #99WordStories

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about zippers. What are the zippers for? What challenges do they present to the story? Go where the prompt leads!

This is my response. I hope you enjoy it.

Zipper Obsession

Jayden was obsessed with zippers almost from birth. The swish of a zipper always turned tears to laughter.

When a toddler, Jayden’s fascination with interlocking teeth equalled the zip-zip-swish. Zippered items were treasured more than any store-bought toys.

When grandparents visited, Jayden targeted Grandma’s handbag. Zip. Zip …

“Is that boy still obsessed with zippers?” said Grandpa. “Has he been tested yet?”

“It’s just a phase,” said Dad.

“Humph,” said Grandpa, opening his Gladstone bag. Swhooosh.

Jayden stopped. What was that?

Grandpa closed the bag. Blonk.

Swhooosh; blonk. Swhoosh; blonk.

Jayden abandoned Grandma’s bag for Grandpa’s.

Zipper phase zipped.

Thank you blog post

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

Note: The collection of stories made in response to the previous prompt Anxiety can be read at the Carrot Ranch here.

The Littlest Goat #flashfiction

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes the littlest Christmas goat. Who does the goat belong to? What is happening? Go where the prompt leads!

When I thought of goats, children and stories, I thought of one of my least favourite children’s stories: The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids. I’ve written about it before, explained why I disliked it, and even wrote another flash fiction in response to one of Charli’s prompts about it.

There was nothing else for it. I had to attack it again in another way, hoping to put it in a more positive light. I hope you like it.

The Littlest Goat

“You’re too little.”

The all-too-familiar chorus stung but he determined to show them size didn’t matter; not the way they thought.

Before long, opportunity came knocking.

The others were too stupid to check before opening the door, too slow to escape the intruder and too big to hide. The littlest one watched from the grandfather clock as the wolf devoured them one by one.

When Mother returned from Christmas shopping, the littlest goat told all. Together, they found the greedy wolf and rescued his brothers.

The littlest goat showed that being clever, quick and brave beat size any day.

Thank you blog post

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

Flight Cancelled #flashfiction

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write about a canceled flight. Where was the flight headed? Who does it impact and why? How does a protagonist handle the situation? Go where the prompt leads!

Due to our Covid-19 lockdowns and border restrictions, it’s a couple of years now since I took a flight anywhere. Even flights of the imagination have been few and far between as a variety of factors have colluded to suppress my creativity as well. However, I couldn’t resist a prompt about flight.

I’ve always thought how wonderful it would be to be a bird and fly above the earth and see it in all its beauty. Looking down on the patchwork quilt from a plane’s window gives me joy and a sense of wonder. How much greater it would be to fly like a bird. I guess other forms of flight would give an experience closer to that of a bird, but I haven’t tried any of those yet (and am unlikely to).

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach is one of my favourite books. I have read it numerous times and love the description of flight and the exhilaration it brings to Jonathan.

I know I’m not the only one to be fascinated by flight. Many children wish they could fly like birds and their superheroes. That’s where I’ve gone with my response to Charli’s prompt this time. I hope you enjoy it.

Flight Cancelled

Heron balanced on one leg on the bare tree branch above the water. He spread his wings and stretched his neck to face the breeze. He revelled in the freedom of flight even before his feet lifted from their base — the exultation of gliding through the thermals. Superhero Heron — like his namesake — was ready for take-off.

‘Heron! Heron! Get down. This instant.’

‘I am. I’m flying down.’

‘No. You are using the same ladder you used to get up.’

‘You called me Heron, so I can fly.’

‘You will not fly today. This flight is cancelled. You are grounded.’

Thank you blog post

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

Oh, and before you go, you might like to watch a fun video of a picture book by Mo Willems called Today I Will Fly. I love it. It’s so clever, especially the ending. Unfortunately, I can’t share it here but you can follow the link to watch.

Grandpa’s Tool Shed #flashfiction

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write about tools. Whose tools are they and how do they fit into the story? What kind of tools? Go where the prompt leads!

Charli, of course wrote about writer’s tools and provided a multitude of links to great resources for learning about them. She also wrote about tools for dealing with snow, but I can only imagine using them. My experience with snow is very limited.

I drew upon my memories of childhood for my response. I hope you like it.

Grandpa’s Tool Shed

Jacob worked tirelessly alongside Grandpa. He loved the sweet scent of sawdust curls and the heady smell of fresh paint. He loved that ash from Grandpa’s cigarette fell unchecked into the shavings. He especially liked using Grandpa’s real tools. The plastic bench at Kindy was only a toy.

Jacob’s visits decreased but Grandpa never forgot. He left the house, the shed and all his tools to Jacob. Standing in the dark empty shed, Jacob tried to conjure the smells of Grandpa. There was nothing else to do. He rolled up his sleeves and started planing sawdust curls — in memory.

Thank you blog post

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