Allusionary Assembly

The Writing of Kerry E.B. Black

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.


Freedom Pie

I found an interesting site- – 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.


Tentative Content

The June 1, 2017 prompt from Charli Mills at : 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 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…

View original post 1,908 more words

Old Skills

Charli Mills and 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.”

Blue Ribbon

The 99 word challenge issued by Charli Mills at inspired a second trading story.

David attended the same riding school as my daughter, though in a class for older kids. The kids aged out as they reached adulthood, so during David and his friend Jenny’s last year, the competition was a bit stiff, though for some, competition’s not as important as friendship.

Blue Ribbon

Written by Kerry E.B. Black


Carla felt honored to judge the annual Riding for the Handicapped competition. She marked the scores on her clip board. The announcer began with the honorable mentions and proceeded to the overall winner, David. Volunteers pinned the blue ribbon to his riding habit. He clapped along with the audience.

Jenny, the rider to David’s left, pulled her yellow second-place from her chest and sobbed.

David reached over. “What’s wrong?”

“I wanted the blue.”

David patted her arm. “We’ll trade.”

Carla interceded. “No, David, you won. That’s yours.”
“I know, but it is making her sad. Besides, I like yellow.”

Sick Day Sacrifice

Charli Mills and the good folks at challenged all interested to write a 99 word story about trading. Follows is my offering. Best of all, it is loosely based on a true situation. (I was proud of my son.) What do you think?


Sick Day Sacrifice

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Matthew protested when his mom said, “No school. You’re sick.”

“But Nate’s bringing his cards today so we can trade.”

“You’ll trade when you’re better. Rest.”

Later, Mom brought the phone. “Are you feeling up to talking with Nate?”

Matthew grabbed the phone. “’sup, Nate?”

A strange silence, then, “They took ‘em.”

“Who took what?”

“My cards. Kids took all ‘sept 8.”

“Didja tell teacher?”

“What good’d that do?”

Matthew ignored his shaky legs and burning throat. He’d never had 800 cards like Nate, but he could sure share what he had with his best friend. No trades needed.


Consuming Compassion

Charli Mills and the good folks at asked for 99 word stories about comfort food. Here’s my yummy take on the matter. What do you think?

Consuming Compassion                                                                                                                       Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Janie Higgins rarely got sick, yet Wednesday she woke from feverish dreams, shivering in the summer heat. She rolled into a ball and groaned.

Her mother nestled her beneath Great-Grandma Leslie’s quilt. “You’re not going to camp today, young lady.”

Jane whispered a protest, but her mother stroked her sweaty hair and hummed her to sleep.

When Jane woke, her mother presented a tray with creamed eggs on toast and steaming, honey-laden tea. She propped Jane up on pillows and read poetry to her.

“Yum, Mom.” One of six children, Jane consumed her mother’s attention and compassion with appreciation.

creamed eggs on toast with tea

Liebster Awards

To my great surprise, I was nominated for the Liebster Award by the lovely Ronel Jance Van Vuuren at


 Thank you so much, Ronel! I’m honored.

The rules are as follows:

–Say thank you to the person who has nominated you for the award.
– Answer the 11 questions the person has asked you.
– Nominate people (comment on their blog to let them know).
– Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions

Here are Ronel’s 11 questions:

  1. Pantser or Planner: do you plan your projects or do you just go by ear?  I do a lot of mental planning and always know the ending before I begin. I’m usually a bit sketchy on the details in the middle, but I try to be certain they all add to the point of the story. So, I’m neither a true planner, nor am I in fact a pantser. Instead, I’m a hybrid of the two.
  2. Red or Green: in new situations do you jump in all fired up or do you watch and listen?  I am a watcher and listener.
  3. Short Stories or Novels: which do you write and why?  I have written both, but I have more confidence in my short stories. Thus, I’ve done little with the novels, of which there are three.
  4. To NaNoWriMo or not to NaNoWriMo: will you write a complete first draft this November or not? Explain. I’ve participated in the NaNoWriMo. I completed a novel. However, I don’t know if I need another doorstop littering my little house. Haha! I will eventually edit the completed manuscripts and ask for Beta Readers. Anyone interested in helping a writer? Until I polish the existing pieces, I don’t imagine I’ll write anything longer than shorts.
  5. Give away your writing for free: do you publish short stories about your novels on writing platforms like Wattpad to generate more readers? Whether you do or don’t, explain your reasoning. I have not used Wattpad. Perhaps I should look into it. You’re giving me so much to think about.
  6. Writing competitions: do you enter them or do you shun them? Why? I have entered some writing competitions, even earned honorable mentions on a couple, but I don’t pay to enter.
  7. Social Media: Google+ or Twitter? Which one do you prefer and why? Twitter is great fun and I’ve made some really fabulous contacts through it.
  8. Slow blogging (once or twice a week) or daily blogging: which one appeals to you most and why? I guess I slow blog, with the exception of the A-Z Challenge. The A-Z Challenge asks bloggers to pick a theme which can be represented by the alphabet and post daily, save Sundays. I’ve participated for three years. Otherwise, I enjoy answering Charli Mills’ weekly prompts at
  9. Fantasy (and other genres like it) or Realism: write it, read it and what appeals to you in it? I read almost everything. As a result, I write an eclectic mix of stories.
  10. If you could only eat one type of food for every meal forever, what would it be and why? I suppose it would have to be stir fry, because stir fry contains a lovely blend of the food groups. Although, if I could have a side of truly fresh fruit as a side, I’d be a happy person!
  11. Oliver Queen from Smallville (first guy in green below) or Oliver Queen from Arrow (second guy in green below): who would you rather have guarding your city? Why? green-arrow-vs-smallvilleAlthough he’s a bit more angsty, I think Stephen Amell’s portrayal of the character feels more “real.” He on the right has a compelling backstory and is a hero despite a lack of obvious “super powers.” However, the Smallville Oliver Queen has the advantage of a close friendship with Clark Kent and Lois Lane, so I guess I’d go with him.


I now have 11 nominees listed below, and I look forward to their answers to the 11 questions I’ve included in the end.

Staci Troilo at

Reena at

Joe at

Gillyflower at

Rainne at

J at

Reena at

Sarah at

Crow at


  1. How much time a day do you spend writing?
  2. What are your greatest influences?
  3. What is your favorite color and why?
  4. If you could travel anywhere, where would you visit? Live?
  5. Plan a dinner party with anyone, living or dead. Who highlights your guest list?
  6. What’s your favorite scent and why?
  7. What size is your family? Do you have many siblings?
  8. What is your preferred mode of transportation?
  9. Do you have a cause you’d fight and go to jail for?
  10. Ever think of running for political office?
  11. What is your favorite social media platform and why?

Blog at

Up ↑