The Squirrel: 99 word Flash Fiction

1958.14 A,I.C squirrel

© irene waters 2016

“Mummy I want to feed the squirrel too?”

“In a minute Sebastian. It’s Louisa’s turn.”

“Mummy look at how he’s curled his tail up.”

“That’s how he got his name. It comes from two Greek words meaning shadow tail.”

“Look Mummy. He does have a shadow. Look. But Daddy doesn’t have a tail.”

“What do you mean Sebastian? Why would Daddy have a tail?”

“Cause I heard you tell Mr Donnelly…”

“Uncle Fred, Sebastian.”

“But he’s not our uncle. Okay. I heard you tell Uncle Fred that Daddy had squirrelled away and that was why we’re poor and  Daddy’s gone.”

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

May 18, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a squirrel. It can be about a squirrel, for a squirrel or by a squirrel. Think nutty, naturalistic, dinner or ironic. Go where the prompt leads and don’t forget to twirl with imagination.

Respond by May 24, 2016 to be included in the weekly compilation.Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

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. Commenced a masters by research in 2014.
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20 Responses to The Squirrel: 99 word Flash Fiction

  1. Norah says:

    Is that you with the squirrel, Irene? Very cute. I like the way you have combined the literal and figurative meanings. Also appreciate the explanation of the word’s meaning.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Charli Mills says:

    I didn’t know that etymology and had to go look it up and see how it morphed from Greek to Latin to French to English. It’s an old word! I think I might start calling them Shadow Tails. Love the play on meaning in your flash! A great way to fictionalize your own family photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A. E. Robson says:

    Out of the mouths of babes. They always seem to be able to tell a story that no one else wants to speak of. Love the photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sherri says:

    LOL! Irene, this flash is wonderful! Firstly, I had no idea that squirrel means ‘Shadow Tail’ but I love it…makes perfect sense! Like Charli, I’m going to start calling them that too! And I laugh because I can just imagine Mummy’s face as Sebastian recants this little bit of knowledge about daddy. I wonder if ‘Uncle Fred’ has managed to squirrel some money of his own away to help mummy and the children… And the photo is just delightful! I always love seeing ‘little you’ and in this one, your mum looks just like you! Great post my friend! 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share: 22nd May 2016 | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

  6. Ah, the shadow stories behind the spoken ones, intuited by little listeners.

    Well done, very well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. TanGental says:

    Oh yes lovely; great the way the drama comes out in a single line…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Squirrels in the Vicinity « Carrot Ranch Communications

  9. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share: 28th May 2016 | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

  10. I loved this take on Charli’s prompt. I have always been partial to stories told almost exclusively through dialogue. That probably explains why I enjoy writing the occasional screenplay. Conversation teaches us so much and you have a keen grasp on the rhythmic ebb and flow that resides in even the smallest of spaces.

    Liked by 1 person

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