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Allusionary Assembly

The Writing of Kerry E.B. Black

Final Day

D. Avery is the guest word wrangler at https://carrotranch.com/2017/06/15/june-15-flash-fiction-challenge/

Here is my 99 word interpretation of the prompt.

 

Final Day

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

Inga resented surviving, but she clung to a half-life.

Nazi monsters invaded her home, destroyed with polished assurances. They separated mother from children to “ensure their proper education.” Formal manners hid wolfish teeth. They requisitioned belongings and like locust devoured her meals.

In her desperation, rat meat appealed, if only she could catch one. Her joints and head ached. Hair fell in clumps, studded by pearly teeth. Flesh skimmed bones, beauty mocked from pictures of the past.

Life be damned. She ignored the dictates and their penalties and ripped away newsprint from her window to watch her final day dawn.

dawn

Gender Inequality, story by Kerry E.B. Black (MY FIRST JOB Poetry and Prose Series)

I’m honored to participate in this charming series by Silver Birch Press. Their exploration of first jobs is at times amusing, sometimes sad, but always interesting.

Silver Birch Press

black

Gender Inequality
by Kerry E.B. Black

As enterprising preteens, my brother and I shoveled neighbors’ driveways every winter to earn a little cash. One winter afternoon, we trudged along, shovels slung over our shoulders, noses and cheeks pinched red by wind and cold. Our feet crinkled in our boots, because our mom made us wear plastic bread bags over our socks to keep dry.

We hunched over heavy piles of accumulated snow, shoulders and backs straining with the effort. We set up a competition. “I’ll get more done than you,” we’d taunt, and the good-natured rivalry helped speed the tasks. In truth, though, our labors pretty much equaled out.

We hurried up the driveway of a widower whose surly reputation preceded him. With some foreboding, I knocked and asked if he needed our services. He narrowed his eyes. Under his scrutiny, I grew conscious of our mismatched outerwear and shabby…

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Around and Because

My lovely friend Charli Mills has another wonderful 99 word prompt challenge at https://carrotranch.com – Outdoor games. Two of my kiddos play on baseball teams. My littlest is learning, but not as quickly as his team mates. This is a bit of imagination I’m sending for him. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

baseball

Around and Because

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Henry stepped to the plate. Eager teammates turned from loaded bases. “Come on, Henry. Don’t blow it.”

“Again,” added Henry.

Two outs. Two runs down. The last inning of a decisive game weighed.

Queasy wriggled his stomach. His hands sweated. He gulped and swung.

“Strike one.”

Coach yelled, “Shake it off, Henry.”

“Strike two.”

He blinked tears. Two balls. A foul tip.

He prayed, swung, connected. The ball soared. Unaccustomed to hitting, he watched it ascend, bounce, roll. Team mates screamed, “run.” He did not. Three slid past him to home plate. They won around and because of Henry.

The Biggest Bitch in the Pack – Kerry- 6/4/17

One Year of Letters allowed me to vent about scam support animals and the value of trained service dogs like my daughter’s Latte.

One Year of Letters

The Biggest Bitch in the Pack

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

June 4th, 2017

My daughter, Bear, has a service dog through Canine Companions for Independence. We waited three years while the organization vetted us as a qualified family and while the appropriate dog was trained. When the time came and a dog with the right potential personality and skills became available, we moved to Dublin, Ohio for intense training. To graduate as a service team, we needed to master the commands and show our ability to adapt them in ways to help when we reached home. My daughter, her dog Latte, and I form a three-point companion team. Although Bear and Latte are usually pretty good about remembering, I reinforce the commands and ensure they pay attention to the rules in public.

My girl has spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, autism, and a number of other diagnoses. Latte helps keep…

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Blocked Way

Blocked Way

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 Insurmountable as a mountain, a boulder blocked the trail. Cindy’s mount snorted a cloud of displeasure into the winter air as Cindy considered other paths. Ice made the left impassable, and thick, snow-covered branches provided an impenetrable barrier into the woods.

She sighed into her mount’s neck. “My life.” An overbearing ex, condescending family, and unpleasable boss filled her existence with self-doubt. Only riding healed her.

She dismounted and pushed, but the stone remained. She rounded it and began breaking branches. Blood trickled from scrapes from the effort, but she forced a path, determined not to be stymied again.

horse-in-snow

Freedom Pie

I found an interesting site- http://predictionfiction.blogspot.co.uk/ – which posts a weekly word-based contest asking for 100 words. This week’s words- midnight, pulp, and huff – need to be included in the 100 words. Follows is my response. What do you think?

 

Freedom Pie

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Few claim baking at midnight as an eccentricity, but I do. I specialize in pies. Pumpkin’s my favorite. I love the feel of pulp mixed with spices squelching through my fingers. Father got himself into quite a huff over my nocturnal activities. “Unnatural,” he said, pointing a nicotine-stained finger in my face. I’d smile, because once he’d slept off the drink, he’d tuck in, sometimes devouring the whole thing without sharing.

I expect he’ll be hungry. Always is after a night of cards, so I mixed in an extra-special spice just for him, a little untraceable something I’ll call free-at-last.

pumpkin-pie-1

Tentative Content

The June 1, 2017 prompt from Charli Mills at https://carrotranch.com : In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about feeling content. Respond by June 6, 2017 to be included in the compilation (published June 7). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

 

Tentative Content

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Like their ancestors, they huddle in caves, but instead of hiding from beasts, predators come from their own blood-lines. They use the caves’ walls as chalk boards, creating places to teach cross-legged children in an attempt to establish some normality for their war-torn lives. From scavenged bits, they craft toys to amuse their little ones. They recite stories and sing nursery songs. Of the little food they scavenge, the best goes to the young. From their faces they try to hide the ravages, turning instead gazes of hope upon their progeny. In their safety they find a tentative content.

Bludan Damascus Syria cave

*Image of cave in Damascus, Syria from Pinterest

May 18: Flash Fiction Challenge

The newest challenge issued by Carrot Ranch – write 99 words about or displaying wisdom. The head Buckaroo, Charli Mills, shared some big news. She has an approaching birthday, and http://carrotranch.com has been nominated for a Bloggers Bash Award. Great nominations! Vote, if you’re inclined.

Carrot Ranch Communications

May 18 Flash Fiction Challenge Carrot Ranch @Charli_MillsJulia McCanles, the wizened old woman in the photo, grew so old as to regenerate new teeth. We know this miracle of age through a quirky newspaper report. Perhaps she lost molars and made room for impacted wisdom teeth. Maybe she really did grow new ones, though unlikely. Her shawl is clustered with crocheted pompoms, which says she had the wisdom to not give a wit what she wore, but dressed as she pleased regardless of teeth.

When I am old and gray, I, too will wear crocheted pompoms. Not purple, though. Turquoise.

Like all of us on the journey of life, I hope to indeed grow wise, gray and toothful. I’m making good headway, turning half a century old on Sunday, May 21. It finally sounds like I’ve achieved a dignified age, one that makes others pause. 50 sounds serious.

A few years ago I lied a few years…

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Old Skills

Charli Mills and https://carrotranch.com issued another writing challenge.

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a wise story. It can be about wisdom, expressing wisdom or advice for turning 50! It can be a wise-cracking story, too. Go where wisdom leads you. Respond by May 23, 2017 to be included in the compilation (published May 24). All writers are welcome!

Carrot Ranch encourages its contributors. I’ve “met” some amazing people there. I do hope my fellow writers will stop by and give the challenges a try. I enjoy the resulting stories and hope you will, too.

Follows is an imagined bit of bitter-sweet.

singer sewing-machine

Old Skills

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Aunt Amaryllis gripped the table. Veins rose from translucent skin, yet her voice remained sure. “Remember, control the material.”

Kirsten fed silk into the machine, but it snagged.

Aunt Amaryllis’ perfume accompanied her nearness. “Slow and steady. Even pressure on the foot. Gentle guidance here.” The cloth flowed with her direction, stitches marching along the seam. She handed Kirsten a seam ripper. “This tool’s your friend.”

Kirsten groaned but removed the snag. She pressed and sewed.

Aunt Amaryllis smiled at the completed garment. “What a fine wedding gown!”

“I wish you’d be there.”

Aunt Amaryllis dabbed Kirsten’s tears. “I will, in spirit.”

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