99 Word Flash Fiction: I’ve got your Back

Close to the summit, Kathy’s hand hold faultered. The crevice was tiny and her anxiety was turning to panic.

“You can do it.” Richard gently encouraged her onwards in his calming, believable voice. “I’ve got your back so don’t worry. Your safe. One step at a time.” She trusted him and reached the top.

Now, back home, they danced. She loved being held against him but Richard was dancing clumsily, trying to look behind him to avoid collisions on the crowded dance floor.

“Look forward. Trust me, like I trusted you. I’ve got your back now. You have mine.”

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

Having some-one’s back means looking out for them. It can be in life threatening situations such as war where the mate literally covers the others back or on a mountain side where a slip can be life or death depending on whether the fellow you are attached to is on the ball and can look after you should you fall.

It need not be life threatening situations but just looking out for someone who maybe just needs some encouraging words or  a mutual helping of each other on a dance floor. Whatever is the situation there has to be a level of trust. Trust is the crucial ingredient when you watch some-one’s back.

This week Charli has asked us :

August 12, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a character who is called to have the back of another. What circumstances led up to this moment? What are the character motives? Think about the interaction, the setting, the tone. What does it look like to have another’s back?

Everyone is welcome at the Ranch. Join in if you want or read other stories of watching some-ones back.

Thank you also to my brother for letting me use his mountain climbing photo. If you want to see more of the climb visit Mountain and Rivers.

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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33 Responses to 99 Word Flash Fiction: I’ve got your Back

  1. Norah says:

    I’ve just been over to Geoff’s and read his Marmite moments. This sounds like a suitable Marmite moment, each helping the other in different situations. Though out of practice now, I’d rather be tempted by the dance floor than the mountainside! Thanks to your brother for the lovely pic.


  2. M-R says:

    Interesting ideas, Irene ! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. TanGental says:

    great mix of meanings for the expression Irene

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Each uses his strength to help the other – lovely view of a good relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. julespaige says:

    I understand about being short on time. My summer is over – sort of. As school starts tomorrow and I watch my grands. Pretty much for the whole day. So I get some writing in very early and the rest after they leave. Unless they both nap at the same time… that is for the next two weeks I’ve got ’em both until the older one starts full day Kindergarten. 🙂

    Yep watching some one’s back can be simple. Like a soft touch to remind them not to open their mouth when something isn’t going well that they haven’t any control over. Get up and walk away. It is nice when your partner and you are on that same page. I more or less just got back from a ‘family vacation’. Hard to get 6 adults and 2 small ones on the same page 😉

    We have fox here and vultures too. All of nature plays it’s part. Thanks for your visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is good that you have worked out when you can write and manage it. It must be lovely watching your grandchildren. They grow up so quickly.
      I like all the simple things that you have pointed out that let you know that your partner is watching your back. These things all develop trust, an essential ingredient I think. Getting 6 adults and 2 children on the same page must have been difficult but a great challenge.
      Nature is indeed wonderful. I hate it when we mess with it because as you say it all plays its part in the larger picture.

      Liked by 1 person

      • julespaige says:

        It seems in another life…I was a pre-school teacher. So I like this age. I think our grands are very lucky to have both sets of grandparents close. Families used to be clustered even multi-generations living in the same house. Now one has to go where the job is.

        When one grows up in a home with ‘screamers’ as my folks were – one makes it a point to find alternative.

        Vacations are nice, but as Dorothy says; “There’s no place like home.” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kids are really lucky to have an extended family closeby. These days many kids have one parent only.
        I agree – there is no place like home.

        Liked by 1 person

      • julespaige says:

        And then I learn of some grandparents because they don’t like the spouse of their child, they choose to move out of state. But then there are those who are smart enough and close enough to retirement who want to move closer to their children and grands who had to move out of state for jobs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Family dynamics. Its no wonder the we have such strife in the world.

        Liked by 1 person

      • julespaige says:

        When my grandparents came to America 2 or 3 generations ago they left everything… though some families lived in similar areas. I think leaving your country would be hard as hard as moving from one state or territory to another.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely. Although my husband has left two countries and if he had his way we would now be living in France or Spain. I moved countries once and now am reluctant – particularly to a country I don’t speak the language. Moving states to me was like a country change but at least I can understand what is said.

        Liked by 1 person

      • julespaige says:

        It is tough to move, I think especially when very young. You have to go with your parents. And then for jobs. I am thankful that what was just my family of four is now expanded to our children’s partners, grands, and in-laws (maybe not right across the street) but close enough. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good to be close by. Any move is always difficult but the further you go the more you lose and the harder it is.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. A. E. Robson says:

    A path of trust, commitment and respect for each other. A lovely comparison.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Charli Mills says:

    A tender story. That first photo had me nervous, but then I recognized your point — that for some the second photo can create jitters! You did a great meld of a couple that has each other’s back and understanding what makes each nervous.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Sherri says:

    I love the way you bring in the different concepts of ‘having someone’s back’…from the life-threatening to the prevention of possible stumbling, just watching out for someone in a myriad of ways. Clever use of the blurry dancing photograph…makes me imagine a tumble might happen at any moment!…and of course, the first photo by your brother looks positively hair raising 😮

    Liked by 2 people

  9. OH, I love this. The mid-switch of which character is in need of help and the vastly different situations.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Got Your Back « Carrot Ranch Communications

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