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Allusionary Assembly

The Writing of Kerry E.B. Black

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short stories and poetry

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.

Meeting Destiny

The inspirational Charli Mills posted a new challenge at https://carrotranch.com . The prompt word “beacon” made me think of lighthouses and history, folklore and callings. From these thoughts sprung my 99 words. I hope you’ll like them. 🙂
Meeting Destiny

Written by Kerry E.B. Black
Like overgrown fireflies, they bounce before me, silent beacons to the unknown. Be they corpse lights or Will-o-the-wisps, their pale glow fascinates me.
Grandmama whispers prayers when they appear. She says they’re the spirits of passed ancestors, but Aunt Emilia warns not to heed their invitation. “They work with monsters to lure the unwary to their doom.” However, my uncle scoffs. Swamp gas, says he, and nothing more.
Wordless invitations pull at my curiosity. I imagine they’re a gateway to mysteries, lighting a path to my destiny. I’m bold. I’ll face them, follow their lead, and discover for myself.

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Away Too Long

Another http://www.carrotranch.com 99 word prompt has inspired exploration of Ward’s predicament in my novel-in-progress, “Wolves at Bay.”

 

Away Too Long

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

Ward relied on memories as frayed and faded as an old coverlet. Remembered roads looked unfamiliar. Street names sounded foreign. As he struggled to recognize a landmark or some continuity of recollection, the thread unraveled further. He squinted, envisioning younger trees and buildings without patina.

A child carrying a wicker basket rushed ahead. Ward called, “Pardon me? Is this the way to Accalia?”

As he backed away, Ward imagined in his upturned eyes a resemblance to an old school companion. The child clutched his basket. “Can’t talk to strangers.” He ran.

Ward sighed. “Guess I’ve been away too long.”

 

Family Sacrifice

The prompt at https://carrotranch.com this week brought me back to my “in-need-of-editing” novel, “Wolves.” Follows is my 99 word response. Please let me know what you think of it. Thanks!

 

Family Sacrifice

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

The sight paralyzed Ward, a vestige of a nightmare brought to reality. They walked from the fog, cloaked figures wearing crosses that swung with each step. Faces once familiar contorted with fervor and undeterrable purpose.

Ward backed to his door, certain they would rip through their clothing to reveal their natures. Wolves, hungry for a kill, anxious to devour the weakest of the pack. Instead of howling, the lead man presented official documents to Ward. “We’ve come for the woman named Nina. Relinquish her, and there will be no trouble.”

Nina. His secret sister. Sacrifice for his family’s safety.

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.

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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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