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Allusionary Assembly

The Writing of Kerry E.B. Black

Price of Silence

One more for Charli Mills’ Musical Berries prompt at https://carrotranch.com . What do you think?

Price of Silence

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

I asked her to stop singing, but she wouldn’t.  Studying grew impossible while my sweater-stealing dorm-mate belted out pop tunes, hummed arias, or whistled nursery songs. No amount of begging inspired her silence.

As a botany student, I knew what must be done. I gathered berries and made the drink, a fragrant tea. Tea sooths the throat of a singer, and the serendipity of it pleased me. She studied philosophy. I provided a way for her to experience a closeness with her idol, Socrates.

hemlock

 

She downed her drink without suspicion. The hemlock reacted, and at last she stopped singing.

 

Early Berries

This is a 99 word segment about the relationship between cousins from my MG novel, “Mae in May.” I’ve more editing to do on the work, but I love how the characters interact.

 

Early Berries

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Erin and Marlin squeezed berries at each other, laughing as the early sun bronzed their noses and cheeks. Erin considered her stained fingers. They stuck together and tugged when she peeled them apart. “Don’t get the juice in your mouth, Marlin. It’ll make you sick.”

Marlin’s laughter rivaled the lazy music of the bees. “Who’d want to drink this mess, anyway?” A berry burst within his grasp, erupting pulp and seeds. “I do wonder what they taste like.”

Erin chewed the inside of her cheek. “Me, too.”

Marlin touched his tongue to his palm. “Sweet.”

Erin ran for help.

From the Obscuring Mist

Over at https://carrotranch.com, Charli Mills offered a charming 99 word story featuring music and berries and issued the challenge to write our own. Follows is mine, which took my imagination to the time when the veil thins and the nights hold mysteries.

From the Obscuring Mist

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

A merry band of trick-or-treaters skipped along the sidewalk, elbows locked, voices raised in wolfish songs and merry laughter. Parents followed, lugging the kids’ sacks of sweet loot.

Fog curled from the valley, obscuring autumn leaves gathered along bone-white fences underplanted with berry bushes. Nearby, an owl hooted.

From the obscuring mist another costumed group emerged. The small ones added their voices to the wild song. Their caregivers’ lips sparkled with adult distractions- drinks and elicit kisses.

The youth embarked on promised adventures with their new companions. As the children sampled other-worldly treats, the others gathered their innocent souls.

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Crinkling

Charli Mills challenged visitors to her excellent https://carrotranch.com to write a story in 99 words that incorporates sound as an integral element.

Unfortunately, mine is based on a true story.

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Crinkling

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Crinkling, like anxious mice in an autumn woodland, woke Wendy from a sound sleep. She wrinkled her nose around a musty smell. The insidious crinkling crept deeper. She lit a bedside flashlight and shone it on the ground. She gasped. “No.” Water crept into her room, surrounding her as though she were Thumbellina asleep on a lilypad. Her feet splashed on sopping carpet as she rushed to gather the most valuable of her belongings. Tears splashed into the rising tide. The water rose above her ankles, collecting items to ruin, crinkling like a voracious wolf gnawing an ancient bone.

 

 

Crystalline Confusion

https://carrotranch.com – Charli Mills’ latest 99-word-story-challenge incorporates the word Crystalline.

 

Crystalline Confusion

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Doriya squinted into the crystaline globe, willing her gypsy blood to interpret the nothingness within. Her client chewed her lower lip, dark eyes wide in a too-pale face. Designer purse. Manicured nails, but terrible skin and teeth. A gold heart locket about her neck. Doriya ignored the silent ball and relied on body language. “You’re nervous.”

The client blinked over-large eyes. “Do you see him?”

Doriya nodded. “He’s handsome.”

The client jiggled her foot. “Yes. Will he propose?”

Doriya frowned. “Sorry, no.”

The client’s cheeks colored, and she left. Doriya’d provided the wrong answer if she wanted a tip.

crystal ball

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Oma’s Wisdom

Charli Mills at https://carrotranch.com asked we write a 99 word story about pie. Here’s mine. Hope you find it tasty.

 

Oma’s Wisdom

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Oma Rochinka relaxed into her rocker, her smile bleeding into the crepuscular rays of the setting sun.

Her granddaughter scowled. “Why’re you smiling? Daddy’s crashed. He coulda died.”

Oma touched a wizened finger to the child’s nose. “But he didn’t.”

“He’s hurt bad, though.”

Oma nodded, assuming an enigmatic expression. “He’ll have a tough patch alright.”

Her granddaughter thrust out her chin with indignation. “And he lost the whole harvest of apples.”

Oma nodded. “Can’t sell bruised fruit.” Cinnamon wafted from within and mingled with petrichor.

“Then why’re you smiling?”

“Cause he’s alive, and we have lots of pie.”

apple pie

His Sister’s Keeper

Charli Mills at https://carrotranch issued a new challenge. Write a 99 word story about an unexpected landing. My story explores a bit more of the complicated relationship between Ward and Nina from my novel “Wolves at Bay.”

His Sister’s Keeper

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Mud squelched as Ward knelt beside his unconscious sister. “Please don’t be dead,” he repeated like a prayer. She’d tried to keep up with him, but his agility and speed had outstripped her crippled gait. He’d relished the freedom of flight, enjoyed the thrill of exerting muscles habitually held in check to match her pace, tired of being his sister’s keeper.

Her scream halted his progress and his heart. She’d slipped down the hill. He had rushed to gather her to his chest. Frail, thin, with tendons protruding oddly, Nina groaned. Ward wiped a tear of regret and relief.

wolfman

Self-fulfilling

Ah, I can’t express how grateful I am for well-considered prompts. Thus, I’m excited to have found https://predictionfiction.blogspot.com and its weekly 3-word prompts. The idea is to write a story in exactly 100 words using the provided words. Some of the clever participants write serialized stories. This week’s were “Whist, premonition, and hare.” Follows is what I’ve come up with. What do you think?

 

Self-fulfilling

written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

None would have believed a game of whist could bring about a premonition, but amongst taking tricks and playing trumps (hearts in this case), I experienced a disturbing vision. Blood flooded the drawing room, soaking the carpeting and covering the baseboards. When my partner dealt, red splashed her hare stole. The hems of our opponents’ gowns darkened with unrecognized gore.

Iron assailed my nose and coated my palate until breathing grew difficult. Bright flashes and a high-pitched ringing threatened to disable me. I pushed against a blinding madness. I felt them fight my knife, but my vision would find fulfillment.

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