Flash Fiction Challenge: Charli Mills Carrot Ranch Literary Community

The last time my eldest daughter left home I wrote a flash fiction piece for Carrot Ranch which I entitled The Riptide Suitcases expressing my emotions at my daughter moving abroad.

The Riptide Suitcases

The riptide hid in two shallow suitcases. Foreign tee-shirts lay crushed against jumpers, jeans pressed unfolded next to sandals and boots. I lifted my daughter’s larger suitcase up; it was heavy but not as heavy as my swirling heart.

No traffic impeded our journey. The ripples began early, too early. We shared coffee but didn’t eat. The departure gate beckoned. The riptide began. It burst out of me. I cried, no I wailed. Guilt crashed against waves of sadness. Sadness wrestled and drowned my heart. Never again will I feel such depths of emotion. My adventurer, daughter had gone.

Here is the link to that piece of emotional flash: https://mjmallon.com/2017/09/18/september-14-flash-fiction-challenge/

That was three years ago. Natasha stayed in South Korea for a year and absolutely loved it. I’m so proud of her for taking that courageous step, to travel to the other side of the world to teach English takes a considerable amount of guts especially when you don’t speak the language and you are so young. She was the youngest EFL teacher in her school, newly graduated from University.

You can see a little about that here: (unlike her mum she never really got into blogging, she only wrote two blog posts! )


It’s been such a confidence boost for her. What an experience!

Today, she is travelling again but not so far this time – to Glasgow to study to be a secondary English Teacher. I wish her luck, happiness and success.

I wrote about our trip to Glasgow, ( looking for accommodation,) and a poem here: https://mjmallon.com/2020/03/06/colleens-2020-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-167-poetschoice-haiga/

Why Scotland? Natasha has always loved it. My hubby and I always make Edinburgh our home-from-home, so it’s no wonder that at least one of our children might decide to stay there…

This is my piece of flash:

This Life

Three years ago, we said our goodbyes at the departure gate before that first flight. How I cried. I wept for a day, and the next day I wept without weeping. My darling daughter gone so faraway. She braved how scared she was. Now, she is adventuring again – not so far this time! And yet her friends miss her already. I miss her already. This is life, young adults are always moving, taking those steps to independence. They never leave your thoughts. They’re always a part of you, wherever they are.

Daughters always stay in your heart.


It will be my youngest daughter’s turn next – Georgina – and then it truly will be empty nest syndrome! Still, I still have her for now… Yay!

Having spent so much time with both of them during lockdown I know I will find it especially hard.

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17 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Charli Mills Carrot Ranch Literary Community

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  1. Both beautiful pieces of the pain and pride when our children go bravely into the world.

  2. ‘I wept without weeping.’ That is such a strong, short sentence, Marge. It speaks volumes of how you felt.

    As much as you are proud of them, I’m sure both your daughters are also very proud of you. I remember flying the nest, but it wasn’t in the way Natasha did it. I did it without telling my mother and step-father. It was so cruel to them, but I had good reasons at the time for doing it that way. I’m glad they forgave me.

    1. Thank you Hugh, how kind. <3 So glad you related to the flash. Yes, they are proud of their unusual mum! Lol. I'm glad your mother and step-father forgave you for disappearing in the way that you did. Life is full of these challenges and difficulties, they make us who we are. x

  3. Two beautiful flash fiction stories from “mom.” I can so relate, Marje. It’s especially hard when they’re so far away. But the world overall is a good place and testing their wings is important. You did a good job raising a smiling independent young woman. It’s worth the tears.

  4. This was beautiful Marje, a bit nostalgic, and this crazy year, but yes, you were all gifted such precious time to together, now time to spread wings. ❤

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