Skeletons in the Closet: 99 Word Flash Fiction

“Dad’s got skeletons in his closet.” My brother showed me an old, leather book. Inside were some blank pages and skeletons. “Dad said we can do ours.” Excited, we raced to the study where the ink lived in a little glass pot at the top of the blotter. My brother went first, creasing the page in half then signing his name along the line made in the middle. Whilst the ink was still wet he folded the page in half again and pressed down on the fold. On opening it he had his own unique skeleton. Mine quickly followed.


The signatures are described as “poetic, comic, and, sometimes, slightly sinister,” in Psychobook, edited by Julian Rothenstein, published by Princeton Architectural Press 2016. (Photo: Redstone Press Collection)

In response to Charli’s prompt where she asks:

January 11, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about wet ink. It can be artistic, writerly or something completely off-the-wall. Go where the prompt leads.

Respond by January 9, 2018, to be included in the compilation (published January 10). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

I don’t normally do more than one response but as soon as I posted my initial story a piece of memoir came to me when I thought of wet ink. My Father’s skeletons dated from 1928 onwards. It was a way of collecting autographs and we as children loved looking at everyone’s skeletons. All were different.


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.
This entry was posted in Carrot Ranch, flash fiction, Memoir, photography and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Skeletons in the Closet: 99 Word Flash Fiction

  1. calmkate says:

    what a spectacular idea, love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A most interesting take, Irene. We used to do this when we were kids too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rebel Guy says:

    That is really cool. I have to get some ink and try that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very engaging tale, and I love the illustration!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh wow! That is so awesome 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Charli Mills says:

    That is spectacular! I can imagine being captivated by those autographs as a child. How fun this memory came back for a flash!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Wet Ink « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

  8. Norah says:

    I haven’t seen these before, Irene. But what a wonderful idea. I love it!


  9. Michael B. Fishman says:

    What a cool idea!


  10. My grandson just got a calligraphy pen and ink – I’m going to show him how to do this – what a great idea! And a great take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Collecting Autographs | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s