Clarice CRLC Challenge

Neither are a younger woman’s heartbreaks, nor dreams noted.



TheCarrot Ranch March 5, 2020, prompt: “In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about Clarice. She can be any Clarice real, historical, or imagined. What story does she have for you to tell? Go where she may lead!”   Yep, Charli has a list of Clarices over there. I investigated one from the list for inspiration for the first non-fiction 99 words. The second is fiction. Though it may ring too true, I hope that it is and remains an exaggeration. 


Clarice Morant

Clarice Morant was Classie to family. The articles about Classie tenderly caring for her aged younger sister and brother for years mightn’t have been written except that at the time of their deaths Classie herself was over 100 years old.

A two-sentence obituary mentions when she died and at what age, and that she is survived by numerous “nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends”. That’s it. She’d been married, but children aren’t mentioned. Neither are a younger woman’s heartbreaks, nor dreams noted.

I choose to presume Classie was a remarkable woman throughout all her decades, even the unwritten ones.



Clarice was tired of not getting out. She used to enjoy the ‘girl parties’ where she and her friends dispensed comfort and commiseration; welcomed and advised another to widowhood; or bolstered grieving husbands with casseroles and sidelong confessions of loneliness. That’s when deaths were predictable and occasional occurrences, funerals social gatherings.

Now there were no gatherings. She and her friends that remained stayed home, kept updated by phone and facebook. Deaths were frequent, funerals hasty transactions for proper disposal.

At 85, Clarice thought she’d be ready when her time came. But this virus unnerved her with its urgent insistence.

14 thoughts on “Clarice CRLC Challenge

  1. Two great responses to the prompt.
    It is sad to think that after 100 years of life, self-less from your description, there are only a few short words to remember her by, and probably few that will. We can fill our days with so much that seems to give our lives meaning and importance, but in the end, what difference have we made? Does it matter if it doesn’t live beyond the grave?
    I fear there is too much fear in our current situation. I choose to not be fearful until the situation deems it necessary and even then, what difference will fear make?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comments. I had trouble making my point about Clarice “Classie” Morant in 99 words. Or maybe I’m unclear as to my point. I’m sure those that knew her personally, which included home health care workers and interviewers as well as neighbors and other friends and family, I’m sure they have stories and know some of her life’s story. It just struck me how little there was after 104 years of living; maybe her own surviving kin didn’t even remember her husband, but there was no “predeceased” line in the obituary; I suppose it’d be a long list after 104 years. From the record I can’t know whether or not she ever had children, or if she did and outlived them. But there was no biographical info at all, and I wondered at her life story. She tended to her sister for over twenty years when she was bedridden and then her brother for six years when he had a series of strokes, all of them living and dying in the same apartment in Baltimore. The eighty years of her life before that are to be guessed at. From 1904 to 2009! Lots of stories. I hope her family knows some of them and continue to tell them. But the story of how she ended her time on the planet is a darn good one. When I checked it out I couldn’t bring myself to fictionalize this Classie Clarice, and I won’t guess at her earlier life. Her stories are hers and they are real.

      My fictional Clarice…. she’s unnerved and put out by her lifestyle change. If she’s fearful it’s to do with how rapidly everything she thought she knew is changing. She’s upset to think the world she leaves will not be one she knows.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for all that added information about both Clarices, D. Life can be scary. Changes aren’t always easy to deal with. There’s a lot going on at the moment to cause us concern, and it’s not just the virus.
        Keep writing, girl. You do good.


  2. The first story had a ring of sadness to it and second one is scary. The virus is showing no signs of going away. It is worse than SARS. At least, it has got the governments doing something for the people (in some countries).

    Liked by 1 person

    • The first story is a 99 word recap of what is available about this woman’s life via the internet. If you read or listen to her NPR interviews you will be inspired and see/hear a beautiful, generous human being. I am sure her friends and family have more stories and evidence of this. I guess I was so taken with her just reading those little bits that I was also taken by the fact that there were only those little bits; I bet that those last twenty years of selfless service weren’t her first. People get remembered by their big actions or their last actions but the story is/has been ongoing. I was struck in my wee bit of research that such a strong powerful woman who lived 104 years had only two sentences in her obituary.
      I get that the public record is slim and the family is no doubt rich with Cassie stories, but, and maybe it’s Women’s Day in my thinking too, but (and I looked at other biographies) women’s lives/stories/bios/ can get diluted dismissed diminished and it is always a mistake to focus just on someone’s death than on their life. This woman’s remarkable final decades made me curious about her earlier decades.

      Yes, I used current events in the second piece, but maybe this isn’t so much worse than other scares, but feels worse because it is:
      a) named
      b) followed and spread via all sorts of media
      c) and haven’t more people died of unidentified and less vilified flues?

      If this flu incites more care in sanitation and containment, that’s good. If it strikes old decrepit and amoral politicians who think they are too genius to be susceptible, that’s okay too.
      Yes, it’s scary. Anything played 24/7 over the airwaves is. I hope doctors are realizing that there are people out there who have had this virus (when unidentified) and are out there as survivors. Those are the people we need to be studying.

      Thank you!
      (Sorry for the long winded vent.)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Often, too many Classies turn up in obits and historical documents with only a line or two. Most annoying is when they are listed only as Mrs. — their identities swept away. I like to imagine the stories of these women living in the shadows of pages that speak of all the misters.

    Moving on from misters to sisters. Was the black plague so debilitating to the comforting hands of women in communities? All this modern technology and we die by virus, self-isolating. Chilling uncheerful thought.

    I spoke to my son tonight, who is in New Jersey setting up tele-med systems to help screen and monitor Corvid-19 patients. He’s unconcerned. I then spoke to my eldest who is on a Corvid-19 taskforce for a research university and concerned that her brother is in NJ. My other daughter just laughed, brewing beer on an arctic island that has the Spanish Flu frozen in situ, waiting for global warming. The concerns of the young, the old, and the restless in between.

    I’m going to go look for that eye, now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Clarice « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

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