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Allusionary Assembly

The Writing of Kerry E.B. Black

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short stories and poetry

Full Moon Slaughter

Full Moon Slaughter 2It terrifies us that an innocent face can mask evil.

Shifters. Lycanthropes. Werewolves. Secrets hidden beneath the skin of seemingly normal people. Be they metaphors or deep-rooted fears of the nature of man, these creatures claw their way through our imaginations.

Compiled by Toneye Eyenot and Nick Hatfield, Full Moon Slaughter 2 is a monstrous volume of tales that explores these fascinating creatures, and I’m thrilled to have two short stories included. Available through Amazon and a number of other sources, it promises a lot of hair-raising horror for your enjoyment. In fact, it is free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. Do you dare check it out?

 

I’ve also a story in the first Full Moon Slaughter, which is also available on Amazon, and it is also available free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

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Gentle Harvest

Charli Mills at https://Carrotranch.com issued her latest 99 word challenge. Show a harvest. This is where my mind went.

(By the way, exciting things are happening at Carrot Ranch. They’re hosting a writing rodeo, and it looks exciting, challenging, and fun. I’m looking forward to roping some words and busting a bucking story or two. Join the fun?)

In any case, here’s the story. What do you think?

Gentle Harvest

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

Death walked the hospital halls like a shadow until she found Jane’s glowing soul.  She listened to Jane’s life whispered in rattles and gasps. Death assumed a comforting form. For this soul, she became Jane’s beloved Grandmother. Death stroked the patient’s sweaty hair from her forehead until her twitching calmed. Her voice reverberated with love. “Jane?” Jane’s eyelids fluttered. Pain and fever stole vision. Death hummed a childhood song, one Jane had sung with her Grandmother when they had brought in crops and sipped iced tea after. By holding hands, Death made her harvest and guided Jane home.

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Riptide of Despair

My response to the https://carrotranch.com challenge allowed me to explore a metaphorical riptide and the little girl caught up in it. Erin is the main character in my MG novel, Mae in May, but my heart cries for anyone trapped within life’s many emotional maelstroms.

 

Riptide of Despair

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

For Erin, life assumed a terrifying unreality.

Parents never fought. They loved each other, and they loved their kids. Certainly, they didn’t whisper terrible truths their child should never overhear, worldly wisdom she couldn’t process.

Best friends never became strangers. Their shared experiences cradled them together in a treetop far from harm or concerns. Beyond a doubt, Erin loved Marlin, her best friend and should-be brother.

Most important of all, a beloved aunt never left their son and niece to navigate life on their own.

Swept up in a riptide of confusion, Erin slumped into a huddle of despair.

 

 

Nina’s Spell

Charli Mills and her Rough Writers want to see 99 word stories with “spells,” be they from grammar books or otherwise. My story revisits a couple of ladies from my novel “Wolves at Bay.”

 

Nina’s Spell

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

Lillian wiped her hands on a towel. “You’re magical, you know?”

Nina crinkled her nose. “Whatever do you mean?”

“Everything you touch, everything you do, is permeated with love, even when people receiving your help doesn’t deserve it.”

Nina tapped her finger on the tabletop. “Everyone deserves love.”

“I don’t think so. If I were treated as badly as you are, I don’t think I’d be as gracious. Certainly, I wouldn’t help them.”

Nina sighed. “People fear difference, worry they’ll catch it or something. I mean to show the palsy’s not contagious, but kindness is.”

“That’s your spell, then.”

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Call Him Houdini

The challenge from Charli Mills at http://www.carrotranch.com: In 99 words (no more, no less) write about an escape artist. It can even be you, the writer, escaping into a different realm or space in imagination. It can be any genre, including BOTS (based on a true story) or fantasy. You can focus on the escape, the twist or the person who is the escape artist.

My escape artist is clever, but he is not a person.

 

Call Him Houdini

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Betty draped Smokey’s reins over a hitching post and tightened the saddle’s girth. “Stay put while I get the others. Trail riders’ll be here in about fifteen minutes.” She led another pony to the arena where Smokey rubbed his withers against the post, sucking in his stomach. The saddle slid over his rump. He ignored Betty’s warning, “stop, you little imp!” and scraped the bridle over his ear. He spit out the bit. With a whinny, Smokey squeezed beneath the bottom of the fence and trotted away. Betty glared at the frisky escapee. “Guess I needa saddle another pony.”

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Viewing the Eclipse

Viewing the Eclipse

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

Erin slid dark glasses on her nose. “Lyla, do you think we’ll be blinded?”

Lyla tapped her glasses.  ”We’ll be fine.”

The crowd in Unity Park jostled at street vendors. Everyone sported glasses or viewing devices, everyone except a family huddled together on the fringe. They whispered among themselves, heads close together, three young children in odd clothing.

Lyla pointed her chin. “They’re refugees. Let’s go.”

Erin pulled away from Lyla’s grip. “Just a second.” She cleared her throat. “Excuse me. Would you like to share my glasses when the time comes? We can take turns.”

The family smiled.

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*Image from NASA’s view of 21 August, 2017’s Solar Eclipse in 2017

Unity Park

This 99 word story is written in response to Charli’s newest prompt at https://carrotranch.com

Unity Park

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Keinwen shepherded her third-grade students to the site. Garbage littered the ground. Hateful graffiti marred nearby walls. A pedestal displayed no historic statue, the place of protests. She said. “Let’s get to work.”

Like a vindicating tide, they rushed into the square with scrub brushes and potted plants. They bagged trash and painted a new mural featuring smiles and shaking hands. Keinwen and two other teachers mapped out a path and poured sand. The children placed stones decorated with inspirational phrases, the week’s art project, as a border to the path leading to the place’s new name. “Unity Park.”

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.

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