Allusionary Assembly

The Writing of Kerry E.B. Black


short stories and poetry

Gram’s Peculiar Taste

Charli Mills and the great bunch at issued a new challenge. Write a 99 word story about carrot cake. Carrot cake, you say? You’ll have to read Charli’s excellent post to learn more, which I encourage you to do! While you’re here, though, please let me know what you think of my interpretation of the prompt. Thanks! You’re great!


Gram’s Peculiar Taste

Written by Kerry E.B. Black


Constance frowned and poked her piece of cake, leaving four tine-marks as evidence of her displeasure. Carrot cake? What kind of trick was this? Her mother didn’t disguise the vegetable’s presence. She proclaimed it in orange and green icing atop the sea of ivory.

Not like the time she served squash and pretended it was spaghetti.

Who knew what other things she slipped into meals?

“Mo-om, why can’t we have chocolate?”

Mom bustled about, polishing the silver. “Because carrot is your Gram’s favorite.”

Gram sure had peculiar taste.

At least Mom made chocolate chip scones.

Or were they current?



Message in Mylar

Charli Mills at issued a new weekly challenge – write a 99 word story about a balloon. Here’s mine.


Message in Mylar

Written by Kerry E.B. Black


A gold mylar balloon’s string knotted around branch high in a beech tree, secured by a Cub Scout named Stan. It bobbed, a cheerful beacon, a coded message. “Be well,” it said. “You’re not forgotten.”

                His pack-mate friend, Bob, got into huge trouble which resulted in suspension from school and a marathon grounding. Nobody under the age of ten had seen Bob since the prank which flooded the school, and Stan worried about his mischievous friend.

                Since he couldn’t visit or phone, Stan sent a message as only he could, a cheerful balloon floating outside his bedroom window.

Youthicorn requested 99 word stories about unicorns. Follows is mine. What do you think?


Written by Kerry E.B. Black


It sparkles in my periphery, silver as moonlight and as illusive. When I turn to catch it with my full gaze, it flees swifter than a shy spirit. Still I feel its unfailing goodness.


I used to be good, too, used to befriend the creature that haunts the corners of my consciousness. That was long ago, before age and experience settled upon my shoulders like cloaks layered atop one another. Before I lost my innocent interpretations and bowed to cynicism.


Now its glinting horn points to my failure, the unicorn that was but will never again exist for me.

unicorn rampant

A High-Kick Beyond

Charli Mills at issues a weekly challenge to write a story in 99 words based on a prompt. This week’s prompt word is ice.


A High-Kick Beyond

A story of ice told in 99 words

Written by Kerry E.B. Black


Huge cubes clinked in Aniya’s glass, dazzling as diamonds. She ran one over enflamed pulse-points. Better swelter than shovel.


Back home her family complained of freezing temperatures.


Not here in Nevada.


Not in her line of work. She’d rehearsed and auditioned until tenacity paid off. Headdresses and costumes made her alluring, but a showgirl’s career only lasted as long as her legs, and not a high-kick beyond.


She squirreled away money, lived in a hovel knowing the gig mightn’t last. So, ice cubes were her diamonds, but at least she didn’t have to shovel them to get to work.

An interview

via Author Interview: Kerry E.B. Black

Lady Fireweed

If you’re a writer (and most everyone who follows this blog is, indeed, a writer.), you should check out for a supportive community and some incredible weekly prompts. You need to tell the tale in exactly 99 words. Are you up for the challenge?

This is my response to this week’s 99 word challenge:

Lady Fireweed

My SpukWu’say cast herself like the seed of the willow herb on an Alaskan breeze, blowing where fate might have her alight. I don’t think she cared if she ever landed. She wanted to experience freedom and, since she’d been nurtured and knew her worth, she felt no fear. She drifted until she found a prairie and a community she admired. There she set down roots. She stretched her abilities like tender greens, practiced healing and aided all. When at last she bloomed, her talents lit her world like translucent fairy dances until all tried to imitate Lady Fireweed.

fireweed4-174x300*Coastal Salish people mixed the abundant, cotton-like seeds of this plant with wool to make warm blankets. The greenery is nutritious, and the plant is used medicinally, especially to aid digestion.

Fondue for Alexis

Charli Mills’ latest 99 word challenge made me nostalgic. It’s bittersweet and below. There’s lots of time to come up with something for the compilation. Check here for details:

Fondue for Alexis

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

They craft it with care, a perfect balance of dark and white chocolate fondue formed into a yin yang. Black swirls into white in an eternal dance, captivating as the changing seasons or the passage from night to day. She dips fruit, disrupting the balance with impunity. For this the chocolatier created it, a pot of melted goodness for the birthday girl. But I am not ready.  I fumble with my camera and miss the photo, didn’t capture the precarious moment when she dangled between youth and adulthood. She chomps her chocolate-coated berry, and the fleeting moment is gone.

alexi yin yang fondue.jpg

The Edge

From Charli Mills’ : In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that goes to the edge. Consider what the edge might be and how it informs the story. Go where the prompt leads. Respond by January 30, 2018

My response. What do you think?


The edge

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 Julia’s life balanced on a silvery precipice, its sharp cleavage pressed to her throat. Its wielder clasped a bruising hand over her mouth to keep her from screaming. As the blade cut into delicate skin, Julia pushed into the knifeman’s chest to escape its bite.

His voice rumbled, an avalanche of fear in tenor. “Stay back.”

Julia’s husband, palms outstretched in supplication, stopping inching toward them. “Alright, but let her go.”

A tiny blood rivulet escaped its confines and tickled to her collarbone. Julia held her breath, lest movement might cause a deeper cut.

“Can’t. She’s coming with me.”

Carrot Ranch’s 99 word Boots challenge

For this week’s challenge, Charli Mills asked her Carrot Ranch companions and guests to write 99 words that involved boots.


These 99 words explore a bit more of my novel, “Wolves at Bay.” I do hope you’ll enjoy them.

Ward slipped off his boots easily as a seal slipping into water. Mud from his trek clung to the soles, a reminder he’d not truly escaped the situation. Its insidious hold waited. With an old rag, he wiped the boot bottoms, but no matter how many swipes, streaks remained like broken shards from a mirror to his past. He’d have no choice but confront the truth.

“They’ll come for her, and if she’s not here, they’ll take us. You. They’ll put us on trial in her place, and still, they’ll catch her. She can’t run, and neither can we.”

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