Research: 99 Word Flash Fiction


© irene waters 2016 Mitchell Library Sydney

Jemima and I tiptoed into the library. Mrs Hinkshell, stared at us. “Good morning girls.What do you want today? Another Green Gables book?”

“Thanks. We’re just looking today.” We escaped to nonfiction. Jemima kept lookout whilst I went to the shelf Jack had told us about. Finding the book, I pulled it from the shelf and put it on one of the many tables strewn around the stacks.

“C’mon.” We poured over the naked bodies and stumbled over unfamiliar words.

“Girls!” Mrs Hinkshell snapped the book shut. “Go home and ask your parents about the birds and the bees.”

In response to Charli’s prompt where she asks us:

March 2, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a library. You can honor the libraries in your own experience, dream about libraries of the future or explore a community without one. Bonus points for discovering something you didn’t know your library offered. For example, my library offers organic and heirloom seeds.

Respond by March 8, 2016 to be included in the weekly compilation.Rules are here. All writers are welcome!


© irene waters 2014 part of my father’s library

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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38 Responses to Research: 99 Word Flash Fiction

  1. Hilarious! For me it was an illustrated book of ancient Greek vases, most of them fragments. Very few words but lots of imagery. And my questions – well, I had no one to ask. Great story, Irene.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My sisters and I loved reading. We read constantly, all through the school year, when the library in our country schoolhouse was available to us.But when summer vacation came, we were locked out and could only wistfully look at the books through a window. One day, my older sister had enough of the literature drought, and just opened the window. There we were, three little girls looking temptation (and crime) in the eye! What did we do? We read all summer, that’s what we did!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Lisa Reiter says:

    Fabulous! (And damn! Why didn’t I think of this 😀 ?)
    Great pictures too xx

    Liked by 3 people

  4. 😀 I can just picture the girls. (And I LOVE that photo!)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Charli Mills says:

    Research, indeed! And true such research it sponsored (another child said where to look). Dictionaries could be dangerous resources, too for looking up those words. And your dictionary is HUGE! Dangerous to drop, I’d think. 🙂 Great flash and incredible photo of your father’s library. The stairs at the Mitchell Library are aesthetically interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Charli. Learning the importance young. I don’t think that ever a subject of conversation came up at the dinner table that wouldn’t prompt my father to go off searching in the library for that book that had some relevance to the conversation. I think I inherited that gene. There is something about libraries and book shops too that are an attractant. I guess it is all those worlds that you can travel or climb the stairs to.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Pingback: The Library Collection « Carrot Ranch Communications

  7. jeanne229 says:

    if I had had access to a library like that when I was a girl, I would have thought I’d died and gone to heaven. And yes, here’s to the power books when our parents were the last people we wanted to speak to to about sex! Wonderful flash Irene.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. roweeee says:

    Great flash, Irene although I’m not sure that I should use the term flash in connection with the type of literature you were reading. I was looking at the photo of the Mitchell Library and recognised it but I think there were more people in it when I’ve been there. I worked on my history honours thesis in there reading the personal letters of Australian artists like Norman Lindsay, Albert Tucker etc. Such treasures! Your father’s library sound incredible. My grandfather was a dentist in Macquarie Street, Sydney and Tyrill’s antiquarian bookshop was just down the road at the time and the Mitchell was just across the road. He must have loved it there. They’re place was full of books. Shelves but also boxes of books…not unlike our place. I particularly love old illustrated books and historical books. I perse op shops etc. Can’t help myself!
    Hope you are having a great week!
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL. I’d love to do some research in there. I regret not having used it when I lived in Sydney. The wealth of knowledge in there must be immense. Those letters must have been very interesting. You never know what treasure you might find in old book shops. I remember Tyrrells well. We have a Berkelouw’s near us here. They used to be in Crows Nest when I did my training at Royal North Shore. Another great place to get lost. Hope your week has been good. Cheers Irene xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • roweeee says:

        Irene, I didn’t realise you did your training at RNSH. I’ve been having all my treatments there. Know the place too well. They’ve rebuilt the hospital and demolished the original which the ambos called “the chocolate block”. I photographed some weird closing scenes in the old hospital. The poor thing wasn’t quite looking derelict at the end but was certainly well beyond “tired”. I knew Tyrrells in Crows Nest quite well. Loved it. Such ambiance. There’s a Berkelouw’s in Hornsby which has some good stuf byt it’s not the same as poking around in the dusty nooks and crannies at Tyrells. Have you ever been to the Shakespeare Bookshop in Paris? That was like Tyrells and my grandparents house. Piles of books stacked up everywhere. Magnificent! Worth a Google search.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I attended my 20th reunion of starting my training a couple of years ago just as what we called the new building (chocolate block) was coming down. It was staggering as it didn’t seem that long ago that it was state of the art and now defunct. All the old wards where I used to work are ghostly in their closed up silent state. So different from the days I remember. As far as the Shakespeare bookshop in Paris would you believe I have never been to Paris. I’ll visit on Google. My brother loves Paris and living in Geneva can pop there when he feels like it. Roger (my husband) hated Paris and consequently we never head that direction. My travelling pre Roger was always either England, America, Scandinavia or Asia. I chose to give Europe the cold shoulder but have made up for it since.


      • Wow. It reminds me of the bookshop in the TV show Black Books. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. It was worth a look. Cheers Irene xx


  9. Sherri says:

    Irene, I just love your flash, it’s wonderful! I was right there with those girls, LOL 😀 I felt the heat of that book snapping shut! And your father’s library…oh my goodness. How amazing is that? I would love to have a room like that. My eldest son is and always has been a prolific reader and I always tell him that one day he will his own library…I will show him this photograph as inspiration! 🙂 My great-grandfather (the Baptist Minister and author who took his family – including my Granny – to live in Australia for seven years) apparantly had a lovely library but I’ve never seen any photos. Sad that. Wonderful post Irene ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Blog Post Comments: Weekly Smile 9th March 2016 | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

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