A Bringer of New Things

Musings on personal growth, books, motherhood, writing, and more.

Being Eighteen: A True Short-short Story

Me at age 18

In the corner of an industrial-sized kitchen, an eighteen-year-old girl chops vegetables through tears that are not from the onions.

She’s me, eleven years ago. The summer after high school, I went to work as the salad bar waitress at a church camp because I wanted to appear noble and because that’s where the boy I liked would be.

I didn’t tell anyone I had mono.

The boy ditched me on the first day. All summer I battled my fatigue and wondered why dark clouds were separating me from God.

It’s a strange and difficult thing to be eighteen.


This is for Carrot Ranch’s weekly 99-word flash fiction challenge—this week, to write a story involving onions.

But I guess I’m breaking the rules by not doing fiction! Sometimes nonfiction calls out to me instead of fiction.


12 comments on “Being Eighteen: A True Short-short Story

  1. Charli Mills
    August 21, 2015

    Great flash of what 18 can be like — expectations and fears. Hiding mono, that’s a tough one! And you are not breaking any rules, we call this style of “fiction” BOTS — based on a true story! Lots of memorists actually use BOTS to inform their flash fiction. Thanks for joining us!


  2. emilievardaman
    August 23, 2015

    What a rugged summee that must have been!


  3. I can relate to all that your flash portrayed and yes — eighteen is hard but its good to look back on.


    • Sarrah J. Woods
      August 24, 2015

      Thank you. When we’re eighteen, we are so much at the mercy of our egos, our unrealistic expectations/ambitions, and our false perceptions. At least I was. But I suspect it’s true for many other people at eighteen as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: When Life Gives You Onions « Carrot Ranch Communications

  5. jabberjeans
    August 26, 2015

    It’s unfortunate when life hands you a basket of onions – I remember being slightly older and having mono – except it was my boyfriend (at the time) who was the carrier. Every girl he went out with got it – he never had it – so yeah, it can be awful.

    At least we learn as we reflect back – and understand some really important things – to thine own self be true – especially when it comes to “crushing” on people and their affections.

    Great little story. And glad that you could look back and share.


    • Sarrah J. Woods
      September 2, 2015

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts in response! Your words reflect my general experience perfectly—that as I’ve grown a bit older and wiser, one of the most important things I’ve learned, and really am still learning, is the importance of following that mantra from Shakespeare—“to thine own self be true.” I had absolutely no concept of that mindset when I was 18; I’ve come a long way since then!

      Liked by 1 person

      • jabberjeans
        September 8, 2015

        We all walk the journey of self-discovery and authenticity in truth – one day at a time. It’s a process 🙂 Good luck 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on August 21, 2015 by in Creative Writings and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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