Allusionary Assembly

The Writing of Kerry E.B. Black



Squeaky 99 Word Challenger


A tale told in 99 words

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Nothing terrifies like an unexpected sound on a creepy night. Alone on a couch, housesitting one autumn evening, a bowl of buttered popcorn resting upon a lap wrapped in a Sherpa-soft blanket, a classic horror film flickering on a television so ancient it requires an antenna.

Ears prick.A squeak of an overhead floorboard in an otherwise abandoned house. A groan emitted by the long-disused hinge of a door leading to a decaying basement Poe would admire. The sigh of the wind sneaking into a home believed secure, one betraying its sole inhabitant by seemingly allowing admittance to specters. 99 word challenge-24 October, 2022

Roll the Bones

A story told in 99 words for Carrot Ranch

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Dice rattled between Marlon’s cupped palms, potential prepared to burst onto green felted game board. A lucky roll! He punched the air with enthusiasm.

Surrounding players demanded, “Double down.”.

A more prudent man might have passed, taken his winnings and called it a night. Marlon, however, wasn’t known for his wisdom. “Sure!” He bared his shiny teeth with confidence, even if losing might cost him every Hollywood-worthy one.

He blew on the bones, single pips up, and tossed. He leapt, overjoyed.

“No way! Lemme see those dice,” The casino owner growled.

Unfazed, Marlon collected his winnings and whistled away.

A new 99 Word Story

Charli at Carrot Ranch issued a new 99 word story challenge. Muddy tires! Below is my take on the prompt. Why not try your hand at it, too? Follow the link above, and let me know so I can cheer your successful completion of the challenge.

Driving Lesson

A story told in 99 words 

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Mia chewed her lip, shoulders tight enough to snug her ears. Heart pounding, gaze darting everywhere. Good speed. Not too close to the white. Not too near the double yellow with its onrushing traffic.

“You’ve got this.” Her mother depressed an imaginary brake on the passenger’s side. Her white knuckles belied a different story than her calm voice. “Stay in your lane.” Tone shift. “Back on the road!”

“You’re making me nervous!” 

The car veered further.

“Pull over.” 

While her mother checked for damage, Mia fought tears. 

Her mother pulled Mia into a hug. “Just muddy tires. Try again.”

99 buoyant words

Charli Mills issued a new challenge at Write of balloons on a bumper.

Here’s my take on the prompt. Please let me know where I can read yours.


Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Tailgating grew in popularity as the Steelers won football games. Stout-hearted fans arrived hours prior to kickoff with increasingly elaborate spreads served from the back of their vehicles. With parking at a premium, finding tailgate parties proved difficult at times. To become easier for invited guests to find, the Toggart family hung black and gold helium balloons from their bumper. However, many fellow tailgaters noticed the increased visibility the balloons provided, and they began employing the same technique. Soon, all of the bumpers outside of Three Rivers Stadium boasted sparking, helium-filled mylar balloons, a sea of black and gold.

This week’s Carrot Ranch 99 word Prompt

Charli Mills posted another charming essay this week. I hope you’ll stop by and read it when you have the chance. This week’s challenge was to interpret the phrase ‘floppy as puppy ears.’ Mine is below. As ever, I love to hear your thoughts on it, and it’s great fun to read how you’ve interpreted the prompt. So please let me know so I can stop by and read what you’ve written.

The Return

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

in 99 words for a weekly prompt.

The librarian lowered her glasses and fixed the patron with her no-nonsense stare. 

The patron fidgeted beneath her scrutiny as he slid the books across the returns desk. “They’re on time.” He offered a wavering smile.

She sniffed, never breaking eye contact. “You know, Mr. Monroe, I distinctly remember including bookmarks when you checked these out.”

“Um, yeah. Did you need me to return them, too?”

“No, I need you to use them.” She flipped the cover of the top book and ran a finger along the pages’ upper corners. “Dog ears are darling on puppies – not library books.”

Photo by RODNAE Productions on


Charli Mills challenged everyone to use “remote” to create a 99 word story by the 6th.

Mine is below.

Bereft on a Beach

told in 99 words by Kerry E.B. Black

I walk along a lonely shore. Without even the screeches of gulls for company, I count a half-hearted breeze my only companion. Overcast skies meld into the steely sea, and the sense of the monochromatic drips with tears – mine and the clouds’ – to inhospitable gray sand. Waves slap and hiss, strikes from inner turmoil manifested. 

I step over the transparent blob of a beached jellyfish. Within its carcass pulses malignancy. Dull driftwood ornaments the shattered black shells crunching underfoot. Values of darkness manifest along the shore, speckled reflections of my own failure. 

I squint, searching for an understanding soul.

Remembering sweetness

Charli Mills shares a darling story of a little cherub and her own changing life this week for the Carrot Ranch 99 word challenge.

I’ve written my response below. What do you think? I hope you’ll tag me if you participate so I can read your 99 word story, too.

Cherry Wine

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

I sip cherry wine from a crystal goblet. 

Within its red swirls a summer spent on a picnic blanket at the edge of Lady’s Lake, dandelion fluff caught in our hair. Birds sang of hardships to come, but we didn’t heed, tangled in each other, legs entwined, hearts beating the same romance. Ants collected scraps as we tasted sweetness in each other. When summer storms threatened, we’d roll until the blanket enveloped us, its red and white checks deepening to burgundy and grey as rain soaked through. Nothing dulled our love. We lived on cherry wine and each other.

July 99 Word Story for

Charli Mills’s latest 99 word challenge presented the word “float.” This is my response. What do you think?

Should Not Float

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Mrs. Tigerio’s fifth grade science class sat cross-legged along the parking lot curb. All seven kids tracked something overhead.

“I really thought the evidence would prove she was too heavy.” Tom blinked, owl-like.

His best friend stroked his chin, searching in vain for the beginnings of beard stubble. “Seemed that way.”

Chrissie shaded her eyes with her hand. “Guess our computations were wrong.”

“Mercury’s denser,” Tom mused. “Who’d’ve thought?”

Everyone nodded. 

“So on Mars, we’d weigh least.”

Another chorus of silent nodding.

Chrissie worried. “How’re we getting her down?”

“She’ll reacclimate to earth’s gravitational pull,” Tom’s brow furrowed. “Eventually.”

Another 99 Word Story!

The newest challenge issued by Charli Mills at is “write a 99 word story ‘for a day.'” My little brain took a protagonist through a memory. Please let me know if you’ve participated so I can cheer you on, and as always, I enjoy hearing your thoughts on my attempt.

Without further ado:

Marching on the Twenty-fifth

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

She pulled the box from beneath her childhood bed and blew dust from its top. Bound with a chocolate heart’s red ribbon, the box held a maiden’s treasures. Poetic offerings from her only high school beau. A green pinkie ring – his favorite color. Her prom photo – They’d missed most of the dance, but their youthful smiles didn’t mind. A tiny brass rose and dolphin bookends. A dried corsage, its decayed perfume more vibrant than its crumbling flowers. An envelope of ticket stubs decorated with a floating dinosaur. No longer Romeo’s Juliette, she replaced the lid and slid it back.

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑