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Allusionary Assembly

The Writing of Kerry E.B. Black

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short stories and poetry

Even if Flawed

Charli Mills at https:carrotranch.com asked ranchers and guests to use “chisel” in a 99 word story. Here’s my result. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

 

Even if Flawed

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

Michelangelo saw the angel in marble and carved until he set it free. The world admires him. For hundreds of years, people have clamored for a mere glimpse of his work.

 

I’ve studied, learned every technique.

 

My teachers whisper appreciation of my creations, yet I’m poised with a chisel, too petrified to begin. I touch smooth, unblemished stone so flawless it glows.

 

Yet I imagine my inadequacies disrupting its natural perfection.

 

The master’s words return then, and an angel’s wings pound beneath the placid surface.

 

Art must be freed, and even if flawed.

 

I place the chisel and swing.

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Herd of Nightmares

As many of you know, I’ve published a second collection of short horror stories through Tree Shadow Press called Herd of Nightmares.

My amazing brother, Chris Blick did the cover artwork. Didn’t he do a great job? Not only do I think so, but so do a bunch of people at All Author. They host a monthly cover contest, and Herd of Nightmares has passed the first round of voting. Won’t you please give it a peek and see if you might be motivated to vote it a winning cover? You can check it out here: https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/4102/

 

Herd of Nightmares contains 210 pages of flash fiction, short stories, and horror haiku.

 

If you’re interested in purchasing, I have books available for sale here for $12.95 (plus shipping) through Pay Pal at kerrylizblack@gmail.com

through Tree Shadow Press https://www.treeshadowpress.com/

or through Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1948894025/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1 .

Silent as a Mouse

Charli Mills at https://carrotranch.com issued her weekly challenge. “Write a story in 99 words involving a mouse.” This is what the prompt brought to mind, though this is considerably more than 99 words. I posted an abbreviated version at Carrot Ranch, but I’ll give the longer version here, to fill in some of the gaps in the story.

I hope you enjoy this little look at a parental failing.

 

Silent as a Mouse

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

We northerners stared open-mouthed at exotic blooms spelling the words, “Welcome to the Magic Kingdom.” Tears glistened in my eyes. As a “World of Disney” fan, I’d dreamed of bringing the kids here before I even had children. However, life didn’t deal me a strong financial hand or a head for business acumen, so hope of stepping foot in this Happiest Place on Earth was out of reach.

Except it wasn’t.

My daughter, Bear, endured much, and our pediatrician recommended her to Make-a-Wish’s attention.

Make-a Wish sent a charming young lady to interview Bear. Unprompted, my little girl exclaimed that she wanted to be a princess. Her consultant clapped. “There’s no better place to be a princess than Walt Disney World!” She made arrangements for us to stay at their charming Give Kids the World Village and visit all of the WDW parks.

However, there was a fly in the ointment. Costumed characters terrified Bear. I read the promotional materials and discovered what I hoped would calm her. I pointed to a page. “Look, they don’t talk.”

“Are you sure?” She wondered.

I triumphantly bumped the travel book with the back of my hand. “Absolutely. Says so right here in the official visitors’ guide.”

So, in the balmy south, just outside the tunnel to Main Street USA, we waited to meet the ambassadors of Mr. Disney’s amazing vision, Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

Consoled by the “no talking” discovery, Bear reluctantly approached her favorite cartoon, Minnie Mouse.

Minnie moved.

Bear screamed.

We turned to flee when the dear costumed actress forgot her training and reassured, “It’s okay, honey!” Minnie covered her perpetually smiling mouth with over-large white mittens, but the damage was done.

I wondered if little Bear would ever trust me again.

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Luckily, somehow, she does.

Heart Healthy

Heart Healthy

written as a Valentine in 99 words for Charli Mills’ epic https://carrotranch.com

by Kerry E.B. Black

 

Joelle gave up on Valentine’s romance long ago.

 

In grade school, when everyone exchanged cards, her lace-covered shoebox remained empty. As she grew, hers was the only locker devoid of tissue-paper flowers, and in college, no vases of flowers perfumed her dorm.

 

However, she refused to wallow. She didn’t tune to romantic movies, hum love songs, or read bodice-rippers.

 

Instead, she jogged. The world blurred into a sepia sunset as slush squelched beneath her trainers. She ran toward true heart-healthiness.

 

When she stopped for a smoothie at the local shoppe, she never dreamed she’s lose her cynicism concerning love.

exercise hobby jog jogger
Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

Help

Charli Mills at https://carrotranch.com issued her newest challenge (write a story in 99 words about sea mist) while bringing a bit of information to her readers.

The US Veteran Crisis Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 (press 1). You can also text 838255, or open access help for those hard of hearing (and most combat veterans suffer hearing loss) 1-800-799-4889.

To participate, Respond by February 5, 2019.

 

Help

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

Mist floated above the water, ghostly aspirations undulating as the river swelled and dipped like lovers’ sighs. Transient by nature, it fettered fine tendrils around Erin’s poetic heart.

 

She plopped to the moist ground and beckoned the cloud. Perhaps within its obscuring she could find clarity.

 

Waves lapped the shore with the steadiness of a heartbeat. Erin’s own inner workings joined the pace as though engaging a dance. Delicate as dew, fog surrounded her until all she could see was the problem at hand.

 

Thoughts thick with worry, she stared into a luminous blank and surrendered.

 

“I need help.”  

Herd of Nightmares

Excited to announce the newest collection of my short horror stories is now available for purchase!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1948894025/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1548506627&sr=8-2&keywords=herd+of+nightmare&fbclid=IwAR0R5jdN01dh_rpOCMjHUzOUCPjkaoIOyuBzb_iDWBTO_lNYghqZ1Tkejk8

Fractal Features

Charli Mills at https://carrotranch.com challenged writers to come up with a 99 word story about shards. Here’s my take. What do you think? Also, why not stop by the Ranch and share your own fictional flash?

 

Fractal Features

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

After their argument, she retreated into the museum until she no longer heard the derisive laughter and tinkling of toasted congratulatory conversation.

 

Cold air buffeted from a neglected hallway. The percussion of her footfalls punctuated until the crescendo burst her dammed emotions. A torrent smeared makeup while suppression unknotted.

 

She beheld glass fingered with frost. Backlit, it reflected her amplified imperfection. Within the fractal features resounded his criticism.

 

Instead of accepting the carnival-mirror version of herself, she punched the unfair portrayal. The window shattered into a crystalline spider web. Pain shot through her wrist and left shards for remembrance.

Fortified Cocoa

I love the encouraging folks at https://carrotranch.com . The head Buckaroo Charli Mills issues a weekly challenge, to write a story in 99 words based on a prompt. This week, I’ve revisited Oma and her lovely neighbors. I hope you’ll enjoy!

 

Fortified Cocoa

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

Fragrant steam wafted from the pottery mugs Oma filled. “Have a seat, little dear. Help yourself to a biscuit in that tin.” Mugs made little thumps on the knotty-wooden table while Oma hefted herself into a groaning seat beside Melanie. “Now, what inspired you to shovel my walkway?”

 

In the cloud of cream within the hot cocoa, Melanie saw her mother’s smiling face.

 

“Ah,” said Oma, “you’re Heather’s child. Give your momma my best.”

 

Oma poured a bit of something pungent into her own cocoa.

 

“What’s that, Oma?”

 

“A bit of something to help old Oma through the night.”

Glass & Ashes

I’m excited to have a story in another wonderful anthology. This one is a group of speculative fiction re-imagining Cinderella. Glass & Ashes is available on 15 November, 2018 through OWS Ink and can be purchased through many outlets.

 

If the shoe fits …

 

This is from the Back cover:

“What if?”
It’s something people love to ponder. Now, OWS Ink has asked the question, “What if Cinderella was a little bit different?”
A different type woman? A different shoe size? A different type of hero? Or maybe a villain? What if she was never even a human?
And our authors answered. Prepare to read Cinderella stories like you’ve never imagined. Stories where Cinderella makes a different choice altogether, where she uses magic to make her own happy ending, and somewhere even magic can’t help her avoid her fate. So grab your drink and curl up with our new versions of this classic fairy tale.

 

 

Book Info:

Title:  Glass and Ashes

Author:  OWS Ink, LLC

Publication Date:  Nov 15

Paperback Price: 9.99

*3.99 pre-order

Digital Price:  3.99 

Pages: 320

ASIN:

Ebook ISBN: 9781946382504

ISBN-10: 1946382507

 

Print ISBN: 9781946382498

ISBN-10: 1946382493

 

Buy Links:

Amazon Kindle:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HMS43X4

Amazon Paperback:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/897626

Draft 2 Digital https://www.books2read.com/u/4DlkEe

Universal link books2read.com/u/mBPRZD

 

The stories in the collection vary in approach. One of the contributors, Bryant Laslo, provided an insight into their story, and I hope you’ll enjoy this peek:

Who is Modiry The Forge?

Modiry is an enigma of a woman. She is legend to many. A fairy godmother who appears to grant wishes to the good little boys and girls. To others, she is a specter to be feared; something that is used by parents to make sure the little boys and girls are indeed good. The truth, as in most things, is somewhere in between.

Her age is unknown as her appearance has never changed, at least to anybody’s recollection. Appearing to certain people who find their paths in life facing a crucial moment, Modiry has an uncanny knowledge, not only towards events that she claims will transpire in the future, but what exists inside individuals: their thoughts and desires.

In addition to her apparent clairvoyance, she exhibits some ability to affect the physical world around her, causing objects to appear out of thin air.

However, her most potent trait has always been her ability to manipulate. Combining her insight into the future and individuals, Modiry is often able to sway a person into one choice over another, sending them down a road that perhaps they would not have chosen completely on their own.

What is her purpose? How does she choose who she will appear to and when? Is her intention solely to help a person work through a difficult time and better themselves, or is there a larger, darker agenda to her actions?

While far from the main character in Ella of the Cinder, Modiry The Forge is the catalyst which sets the entire story in motion. Read this short story in the upcoming Glass & Ashes anthology to find out more about Modiry and her true objective!

 

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