If you’re a writer (and most everyone who follows this blog is, indeed, a writer.), you should check out https://carrotranch.com 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:
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.
*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.
Birthday of the Zombie Master!
Born in the Bronx, New York, on 4 February, 1940, George A. Romero began his film-making career with his 8mm at the age of 14. He studied at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Carnegie Mellon University and filmed a tonsillectomy segment for “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” before founding “Image Ten Productions” with nine of his friends. His most famous film, the black-and-white “Night of the Living Dead” ripped onto the American social conscience in 1968, changing the definition of zombie forever. (Hitherto, Hollywood presented zombies as people under the thrall of a powerful sorcerer. Romero’s zombies hungered for brains.)
This writer, director, editor, cinematographer, and actor has been involved in over twenty film projects, including “Dead” sequels, “Martin,” and “Knight Rider.” He collaborated with Stephen King on 1982’s “Creepshow,” 1988’s “Monkey Shines,” and “1993’s “The Dark Half,” and his flair for the macabre proved an invaluable asset on the set of television’s “Tales from the Darkside” from the mid 1980’s. He’s even acted. For example, he served as one of Hannibal Lecter’s jailers in “The Silence of the Lambs.” He authored and co-authored several books, spearheaded DC Comic’s “Toe Tags” and Marvel’s “Empire of the Dead,” and stars as himself in video games.
His works often contain a frequent metaphoric commentary including consumerism and the collapse of the family unit. This sneaky social conscience and skill in film making is acknowledged in his influence of other filmmakers such as Tarantino and his friend fx master Tom Savini. He was awarded the “Mastermind” award by Spike TV in 2009.
Mr. Romero died in July, 2017 after a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer.” He passed while resting near his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero and listening to the score of one of his favorite films, 1952’s “The Quiet Man” according to a family statement made to “The Times.” He lived 77 years.
From Charli Mills’ https://carrotranch.com/2018/01/25/january-25-flash-fiction-challenge/ : 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?
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.”
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.”
Happy Birthday Edgar Allan Poe!
Once upon a January dreary, while she labored, weak and weary, there came a gentle cry into the chill Boston air…
Born the second son of actors Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe and David Poe, Jr. in 1809, Edgar Poe became an orphan by the time he was two when his father abandoned the family and his mother died. John and Frances Allan of Richmond, Virginia took him in and kept him until he grew to adulthood. Although they never formally adopted Edgar, they gave him the name “Edgar Allan Poe” and had him baptized in the Episcopal Church. During Poe’s formative years, the family travelled to Scotland and England. Upon his return to the United States, he served as a lieutenant of the Richmond Youth Honor Guard when the Marquis de Lafayette visited. Poe attended the University of Virginia for one semester, majoring in ancient and modern languages, but left when he couldn’t pay for higher education. Using an alias, “Edgar A. Perry,” and lying about his age, Poe enlisted in the Army in 1827 and published a collection of poetry “Tamerlane and Other Poems” as an anonymous “Bostonian.” He obtained the highest rank for a non-commissioned officer, but he ended his enlistment early.
After his foster mother died, Poe moved in with his Baltimore relatives, the Clemm’s, published a second book, “Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems,” and entered West Point. His relationship with his foster father deteriorated, and Poe was disowned. He was court martialed in 1831 and pursued the life of a poet and writer. Fellow West Point Cadets helped finance his third book titled “Poems,” which was printed by Elam Bliss of New York. He placed prose in journals and won a prize for his short story “MS Found in a Bottle.”
27-year-old Poe married his 14-year-old cousin Virginia Clemm on 16 May, 1836. She died of tuberculosis in 1847, two years after the publication of his famous poem “The Raven.” Alcoholism plagued the Poe family. Edgar’s elder brother died because of alcohol in the early 1830’s, and Edgar himself lost positions due to drunkenness. He hoped to edit and produce a literary journal, but he died of unknown caused on 7 October, 1849 before he published.
Despite detractors such as Griswold and Huxley, Edgar Allan Poe left a legacy of writing, much of it gothic. Poe is credited with penning the first detective stories. To this day, Edgar Allan Poe’s iconic works influence popular culture in the United States and beyond. Several of his residences are preserved as museums, and The Mystery Writers of America present The Edgar, an annual award for distinguished writing established in his honor.
Halloween Forevermore remembers this amazing writer on his birthday.
“And so, being young and dipped in folly, I fell in love with melancholy.” Edgar Allan Poe
Fellow writer Lorah Jaiyn just released a tale of courage, love, and redemption.
$2.99 for a limited time only.
Reserve your copy today: https://goo.gl/fihFfA
Sometimes second chances start with four paws.
In the small town of Marshall Glen, Sofia retreats from life following the death of her husband. Six-year-old Kady lives in foster care and hasn’t spoken since a house fire stole her family. After she saves Kady’s dog from drowning, Sofia attempts to stay locked away, but learns that—
…even though she’s given up, her heart wants to—try again.
When Kady runs away from her foster home, Sofia meets the cop in charge of the search, Brandon—her first love. Sparks fly even as she struggles with her conscience. Is she being unfair to her husband’s memory?
When random acts of vandalism turn to attempted kidnapping, Brandon helps keep Kady safe. As the danger deepens, how far will Sofia go to save a child?
This week’s challenge from https://carrotranch.com is to write a 99 word story featuring wet ink. I’m enjoying the contributions thus far, including two on the foibles of left-handedness. Follows was my interpretation. What do you think?
written by Kerry E.B. Black
Youngest of the order, Brother Seamus crafted ink by scraping carbon from candle backs, crushing Gum Arabic, and adding drops of wine to reach the correct viscosity. He carried a bottle stained black to replenish his brothers’ failing supplies. They hunched over vellum made from animal skins stretched until translucent. Hours, weeks, and months bled into each of their artistic pages. Awed by a piece, Brother Seamus leaned closer, forgetting himself. Fresh ink poured over an illuminated letter, marring the holy scene. His eyes widened in horror, and Brother Seamus fled before the artist broke his vow of silence.