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Allusionary Assembly

The Writing of Kerry E.B. Black

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Carrot Ranch

Charity’s Childhood

Charli Mills at https://carrotranch.com asked anyone interested to write about gender in 99 words. No more. No less. 

Here’s my take. What do you think?

 

Charity’s Childhood

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Charity played football while wearing her tutu and tiara. Her Barbies explored sunken treasures, donned armor, and battled evil warlords. She named her bike Ragnarok and imagined charging into battle every time she pedalled, yet she stopped to admire flowers, searched for fairies in mushroom rings, and danced like Shirley Temple.

Deeana broke from a group of gossiping classmates, manicured hands on her designer jeans. “Charity, why do you think boys like you because you can hit a baseball?”

 

Charity’s nostrils flared like a wolf scenting prey or a doe ready to flee. “Why do you hate me because I do?”

Even if Flawed

Charli Mills at https:carrotranch.com asked ranchers and guests to use “chisel” in a 99 word story. Here’s my result. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

 

Even if Flawed

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

Michelangelo saw the angel in marble and carved until he set it free. The world admires him. For hundreds of years, people have clamored for a mere glimpse of his work.

 

I’ve studied, learned every technique.

 

My teachers whisper appreciation of my creations, yet I’m poised with a chisel, too petrified to begin. I touch smooth, unblemished stone so flawless it glows.

 

Yet I imagine my inadequacies disrupting its natural perfection.

 

The master’s words return then, and an angel’s wings pound beneath the placid surface.

 

Art must be freed, and even if flawed.

 

I place the chisel and swing.

Silent as a Mouse

Charli Mills at https://carrotranch.com issued her weekly challenge. “Write a story in 99 words involving a mouse.” This is what the prompt brought to mind, though this is considerably more than 99 words. I posted an abbreviated version at Carrot Ranch, but I’ll give the longer version here, to fill in some of the gaps in the story.

I hope you enjoy this little look at a parental failing.

 

Silent as a Mouse

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

We northerners stared open-mouthed at exotic blooms spelling the words, “Welcome to the Magic Kingdom.” Tears glistened in my eyes. As a “World of Disney” fan, I’d dreamed of bringing the kids here before I even had children. However, life didn’t deal me a strong financial hand or a head for business acumen, so hope of stepping foot in this Happiest Place on Earth was out of reach.

Except it wasn’t.

My daughter, Bear, endured much, and our pediatrician recommended her to Make-a-Wish’s attention.

Make-a Wish sent a charming young lady to interview Bear. Unprompted, my little girl exclaimed that she wanted to be a princess. Her consultant clapped. “There’s no better place to be a princess than Walt Disney World!” She made arrangements for us to stay at their charming Give Kids the World Village and visit all of the WDW parks.

However, there was a fly in the ointment. Costumed characters terrified Bear. I read the promotional materials and discovered what I hoped would calm her. I pointed to a page. “Look, they don’t talk.”

“Are you sure?” She wondered.

I triumphantly bumped the travel book with the back of my hand. “Absolutely. Says so right here in the official visitors’ guide.”

So, in the balmy south, just outside the tunnel to Main Street USA, we waited to meet the ambassadors of Mr. Disney’s amazing vision, Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

Consoled by the “no talking” discovery, Bear reluctantly approached her favorite cartoon, Minnie Mouse.

Minnie moved.

Bear screamed.

We turned to flee when the dear costumed actress forgot her training and reassured, “It’s okay, honey!” Minnie covered her perpetually smiling mouth with over-large white mittens, but the damage was done.

I wondered if little Bear would ever trust me again.

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Luckily, somehow, she does.

Heart Healthy

Heart Healthy

written as a Valentine in 99 words for Charli Mills’ epic https://carrotranch.com

by Kerry E.B. Black

 

Joelle gave up on Valentine’s romance long ago.

 

In grade school, when everyone exchanged cards, her lace-covered shoebox remained empty. As she grew, hers was the only locker devoid of tissue-paper flowers, and in college, no vases of flowers perfumed her dorm.

 

However, she refused to wallow. She didn’t tune to romantic movies, hum love songs, or read bodice-rippers.

 

Instead, she jogged. The world blurred into a sepia sunset as slush squelched beneath her trainers. She ran toward true heart-healthiness.

 

When she stopped for a smoothie at the local shoppe, she never dreamed she’s lose her cynicism concerning love.

exercise hobby jog jogger
Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

Help

Charli Mills at https://carrotranch.com issued her newest challenge (write a story in 99 words about sea mist) while bringing a bit of information to her readers.

The US Veteran Crisis Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 (press 1). You can also text 838255, or open access help for those hard of hearing (and most combat veterans suffer hearing loss) 1-800-799-4889.

To participate, Respond by February 5, 2019.

 

Help

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

Mist floated above the water, ghostly aspirations undulating as the river swelled and dipped like lovers’ sighs. Transient by nature, it fettered fine tendrils around Erin’s poetic heart.

 

She plopped to the moist ground and beckoned the cloud. Perhaps within its obscuring she could find clarity.

 

Waves lapped the shore with the steadiness of a heartbeat. Erin’s own inner workings joined the pace as though engaging a dance. Delicate as dew, fog surrounded her until all she could see was the problem at hand.

 

Thoughts thick with worry, she stared into a luminous blank and surrendered.

 

“I need help.”  

Fractal Features

Charli Mills at https://carrotranch.com challenged writers to come up with a 99 word story about shards. Here’s my take. What do you think? Also, why not stop by the Ranch and share your own fictional flash?

 

Fractal Features

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

After their argument, she retreated into the museum until she no longer heard the derisive laughter and tinkling of toasted congratulatory conversation.

 

Cold air buffeted from a neglected hallway. The percussion of her footfalls punctuated until the crescendo burst her dammed emotions. A torrent smeared makeup while suppression unknotted.

 

She beheld glass fingered with frost. Backlit, it reflected her amplified imperfection. Within the fractal features resounded his criticism.

 

Instead of accepting the carnival-mirror version of herself, she punched the unfair portrayal. The window shattered into a crystalline spider web. Pain shot through her wrist and left shards for remembrance.

Fortified Cocoa

I love the encouraging folks at https://carrotranch.com . The head Buckaroo Charli Mills issues a weekly challenge, to write a story in 99 words based on a prompt. This week, I’ve revisited Oma and her lovely neighbors. I hope you’ll enjoy!

 

Fortified Cocoa

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

Fragrant steam wafted from the pottery mugs Oma filled. “Have a seat, little dear. Help yourself to a biscuit in that tin.” Mugs made little thumps on the knotty-wooden table while Oma hefted herself into a groaning seat beside Melanie. “Now, what inspired you to shovel my walkway?”

 

In the cloud of cream within the hot cocoa, Melanie saw her mother’s smiling face.

 

“Ah,” said Oma, “you’re Heather’s child. Give your momma my best.”

 

Oma poured a bit of something pungent into her own cocoa.

 

“What’s that, Oma?”

 

“A bit of something to help old Oma through the night.”

Games Omniverse – Epic Workplace

You have to read Charli Mills’ latest piece at Carrot Ranch. What a fabulous campus! I must visit sometime. Her challenge is to create a 99 word piece about another Epic Workplace, so I mentioned Games Omniverse. http://www.gamesomniverse.com/  I love writing for them! (There are folks closer to my age but so much “hipper” and “with it” at Games Omniverse. They seamlessly blend in with the young culture.)

September 6: Flash Fiction Challenge

 

 

Games Omniverse – Epic Workplace

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

They’re all so much younger than me, but I find their Millenial energy invigorating. I know they look on me as the Grandma of the bunch. They turn eye-rolls when I’ve fouled another computer task and hide their smiles when I say something about “me me’s” instead of saying “memes.”

Yet somehow, I bring something to the group. I’d never be so vain as call it wisdom, and my experiences aren’t always helpful. However, it works. When they need copy, I pound on the keyboard until some small magic occurs, and the Angel in charge nods. “This’s good. Thanks.”

Reckoning

I’ve been lax about posting my 99 word https://carrotranch.com participation here, and for that, I’m sorry. Charli Mills’ latest prompt involved magic, so I’ve explored a bit more of my W.I.P. novel, “Wolves at Bay.”

 

Reckoning

by Kerry E.B. Black

 

“Where is your wife, Ward?” The magistrate’s robes flapped like a gaping hole.

“She took our son to visit her family.” Thank God she fled.

But what of Nina? Legs twisted like gnarled, unsupportive vines. Defenseless. Her only crime saving his infant’s life.

The magistrate rested a heavy hand upon Ward’s shoulder. It pressed like a stone. “Your wife will be tried. She consorted with a witch to save your son.”

Fire erupted within Ward, but he struggled to keep calm. “She didn’t. I fetched the woman who nursed our son. My wife had nothing to do with it.”

 

 

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