99 word flash fiction: Rut

Charli inspires me with the reflection on why she comes up with the prompts she chooses each week. They are often related to historical research she has undertaken in the process of preparing to write her story of Cob and the events that lead up to his death at the hands of Hickock at Rock Creek. I find this history fascinating as I often do other history that I come across.

from wikipedia Sir Walter Raleigh

from wikipedia Sir Walter Raleigh

from wikipedia Bess Throgmorten

from wikipedia Bess Throgmorten

One such history was the love affair between Sir Walter Raleigh and Bess Throckmorten. How did Queen Elizabeth feel as she placed Sir Walter and her lady-in-waiting, Bess, in the Tower? Was she jealous of the child Bess carried? But questions remain unanswered for me in regard to Bess as well. Why did she do what she did after Raleigh’s execution?




Pamela walked to the clothes line. The rut in the path caused the bag hanging off her waist to bang her hip with each lopsided step.

“You’ve got to stop doing it.”

“No. I don’t want to.”

“It’s not healthy.”


“No habit is healthy if you can’t stop doing it. I’m surprised the authorities let you do it in the first place.”

“Legal precedent. They had no choice.  Bess Throckmorten did it. Twenty years she carried Sir Walter’s head. Carried it ’til the day she died.” 

“That wasn’t the only rut Bess had. She was jailed for the other.”

Charli’s prompt  October 29, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a rut. The rut can be a habit, a circuit or a furrow in a road. It can be what causes the crisis, tension or the need to change. And if your writing feels stuck in a rut, use the flash fiction to do something radical. Who knows what is lurking behind the doors of your imagination!

Respond by November 4 to be included in the weekly compilation.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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12 Responses to 99 word flash fiction: Rut

  1. Annecdotist says:

    Lovely, Irene. We have a couple of ornamental heads in our house but this takes it to a whole new level! One to bear in mind should my husband die before I do.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. TanGental says:

    Oh clever. Took two reads and a huge grin to grasp the double meaning at the end. The story you mention re Raleigh has passed me by so I will look it up, or if I want the full S P I’ll ask the Archaeologist.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sherri says:

    Like Geoff, I need to read up on Bess Throckmorten. This story sounds absolutely fascinating. Great flash Irene 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Charli Mills says:

    Woohoo! I laughed so hard! At first, I was so fascinated by the story and then realized you slid the other meaning of rut right in there! Well done! Oh, it fits just fine. 🙂


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