Dress Code: Fancy

For those talented… humans I know 🙂
Reading Time: 5 mins and under

I have just returned from a family wedding, my first trip out of my county since before the first lockdown began. That’s about eighteen months! Whew. I was more nervous than I thought I would be – I’ve only noticed because I got home and immediately felt sooo much better – but it was a lovely time regardless. It was great to see people we’ve been apart from for so long. It was emotional to see the day go smoothly, after everything. Thank you all (you know who you are) for a lovely time.

I don’t know if it’s because of the change of scene, or because pollen season is ending, or I’m just channelling back-to-school-esque excitement, but 1st September brought me an incredible burst of creativity. I know the whole arc of what will be my second-written novel! This has never happened to me so quickly with a novel-length work – I’m in the same zone I get into writing sonnets – and yet, I don’t feel intimidated by all the new plot ideas, as well as the options for shorter works that are popping up. It’s so strange. It’s more like an on-off switch flicked in my brain – and suddenly, zooooom! I’m hoping to embrace this feeling for as long as I can.

Speaking of new ideas about shorter works, here is another flash to fit Carrot Ranch’s wholesome vibes. Between excellent Paralympic coverage on the TV, exhausting YouTube’s repeat button on ABBA’s new music and, yes, all that new-blooming creativity, I wrote it in a blur. Look out for a bad Pixar pun at the end.


Dress Code: Fancy

Kara was stuck. The only dresses in the approved shop were a trip hazard. And dinner jackets just felt so restrictive! By day, they barely stood the school blazer, throwing it off as soon as they got in.

Around the house, Kara just wore superhero costumes. They longed to inspire their peers, as their namesake had them. But how?

Mum was unfazed. ‘What’s the problem?’ she asked. ‘It says fancy dress.’

So, masked-up, Kara flew off to prom. Those knee-high boots with hidden jets easily vaulted the venue’s ha-ha.

No flowing cape, though. It’s not exactly à la Mode.


This is my response to the Carrot Ranch Weekly Flash Fiction Challenge: exactly 99 words (excluding title), inspired by a given prompt.

From 2/9/21 to 7/9/21, the prompt is: ‘In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to the theme, “not everyone fits a prom dress”. You can take inspiration from Ellis Delaney’s song, the photo, or any spark of imagination. Who doesn’t fit and why? What is the tone? You can set the genre. Go where the prompt leads!’

To read more responses to this prompt (by a range of wonderful writers!), go to: https://carrotranch.com/2021/09/08/not-everyone-fits/ 🙂


Image by Carrot Ranch

7 thoughts on “Dress Code: Fancy

  1. Oh, you have me smiling at “whole arc.” Yes! Way to get productive with your creative flow. It is strange, though, going off to social events after such a long lockdown. Maybe that has unleashed some creative vibes. Your flash is an inspired piece, too! Kara will be the hero of their prom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, it’s insane. I’ve got the whole plot plotted out in the space of a few days – what is this magic?!

      It was quite a long journey, my trip away, comapred to the last 18 months. Maybe the severe change of scene – this wedding venue was genuinely like stepping into an Austen novel – did it.

      Thank you! I know one or two non-binary people and they are some of the most courageous, kind, and authentic people I’ve ever met. I really tried to capture their essence with this flash 🙂

      Like

  2. How much fun is this?! What a great take on the prompt. This piece is oozing the determination and freedom befitting a superhero. I love the hidden boot-jets too, practicality and style. Great writing E.A. Colquitt. I look forward to seeing more of your work at the Ranch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I loved your own sci-fi twist on the prompt, too!

      I don’t think I can contribute every week for now, but you can check out my previous flashes in the ‘Carrot Ranch Literary Community’ tag on this blog – until next time, of course 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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