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Allusionary Assembly

The Writing of Kerry E.B. Black

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Another 99 word story inspired by a Carrot Ranch prompt.

Seriously, gang, if you’re interested in writing and working on honing your craft, you should check out the weekly prompts at https://carrotranch.com . Head buckaroo Charli Mills and the rest of the Rough Writers and ranchers are a supportive bunch, adn writing a 99 word story is an interesting challenge. As always, if you give it a try, let me know so I can ‘hoot and hollar’ your praises. In the meanwhile, here’s my take on the prompt. Charli always says go where the prompt leads. Well, she asked for it…

Garden Club Party

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Fiona covered her eyes. “What are you doing?”

Her brother, Ian, lifted weights. “Getting ready for the party.”

“What party?”

“You know the hot chick across the street?”

Fiona crossed her arms. “The woman who just moved in?”

“Yeah, her. She’s started a garden club.”

“You don’t garden.”

Ian leapt to the chin-up bar. “Thought…” pulled himself up, “I’d try…” chin-up, “Something new.” 

“But where’re your clothes?”

“Read the invitation. Printed right there, ‘Come to the Buff Garden Club Party.’ Now, I’ve got to shower.”

Fiona wondered when he’d notice the name on the mailbox. It read, “The Buffs.”

“Lessons Learned”

written by Kerry E.B. Black

another 99 word story inspired by another great weekly prompt from https://carrotranch.com

Yes, you heard that right! Carrot Ranch is an online literary community headed by Charli Mills that offers a weekly prompt. Members can then accept the challenge to write a 99 word story based on that prompt It’s an interesting exercise in brevity and necessity.

Here’s mine. As always, I’d love to hear what you think of it.

Lessons Learned

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Toddlerdom is difficult. Janice pulled a doll from her younger cousin’s grasp – not to cuddle it, but to keep it from her cousin’s cuddles. Her mother speaks in soothing admonishments until the doll finds its cousin cuddles restored.

Preschool is difficult. Janice hoards crayons and markers, exacting yowls of classmates’ outrage as payment. Her teacher instructs with patient practice until order again rules.

Janice weathered childhood and young adulthood, wearing the lessons on her heart. As an adult, she runs a homeless shelter with fairness and honor, pouring upon all her volunteers and residents equal portions of no-nonsense love.

Helen’s Prospects: A tale of 99 words written for a Carrot Ranch Prompt

It is quite a fun challenge to tell a story in very few words. Below is my tale, and I recommend you check out https://carrotranch.com/2021/03/25/march-25-flash-fiction-challenge-2/comment-page-1/#comment-79628 for more

Helen’s Prospects

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

For her sister Helen’s graduation, Augie bought a huge bundle of helium-filled balloons, each proclaiming pride in the attainment of higher education. Springtime gusts worried them like windchimes, braiding their strings, as she crossed to her car, a storm-blue Prius. Pushing them into the back hatch proved tricky, each poking out like ‘whack-a-mole.’ Driving with the encroaching bunch also presented challenges, as they obscured her rear view. Upon arrival at the celebration, Augie threw open her hatch, but another energetic wind whipped the hard-won strings from her fingers. They soared high, as unstoppable in their escape as Helen’s prospects.

Dressing up 99 word stories for Carrot Ranch

Hop on over to https://carrotranch.com for details about the 99 word weekly challenge – dressing up. I really enjoyed Charli’s!

Below is mine.

Wedding Trappings

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

This wouldn’t be the wedding of her dreams. Finances had seen to that.   

However, it wasn’t about the trappings, or so she kept telling herself. 

She smoothed the front of the gown. It registered more as the ivory of aged teeth rather than the dazzling white of a Hollywood smile, but it was an antique. Something old. A relic from Gram’s wedding. She spritzed the high collar with perfume to overpower the lingering mustiness the cleaners couldn’t remove. No fairy-godmother’s transformation for her.

When she saw her groom’s appreciative smile, however, she knew. Their wedding wasn’t about the trappings.

New 99 Word Story for Carrot Ranch

Charli Mills, the creator and head buckaroo at https://carrotranch.com (an excellent and encouraging literary site where the focus is on concise story telling) enjoys pushing the creative envelope. So, this challenge, she wanted to elevate a humble helper. We were to tell a 99 word story with a toilet as the main focus.

Yep. You read that correctly.

Here’s mine. What do you think?

Love and Porcelain

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

“You’re my best friend. That’s why I’m hugging you. I hug what I love..” Starr leaned against her smaller – and less drunk – friend, Autumn.

Autumn shifted her weight to support her friend.  “Love you, too. Keep walking, though. You said you didn’t feel well.”

Starr froze, concern broadcasting across her features.

Terror gripped Autumn. “Hold on, honey! Just a few more steps.”

They plod-hurried like ungainly sack-race contestants into the bar’s women’s room. Autumn held Starr’s hair. “Better out than in,” she reassured.

Emptied, Starr clasped the cool porcelain. “I love this toilet bowl!”

“Well, you are hugging it.”

If you participated, let me know so I can give it a read, please.

Responding to this week’s 99 word challenges

Much is afoot at the wonderful Carrot Ranch! It’s the final week of the Writing Rodeo, and what an exciting contest it’s been! I hope you’ve tried your hand at wrangling some words to participate in these challenges! Although I posted the link in a different post, here it is again: https://dailyflabbergast.wordpress.com/2020/10/27/writing-contest-rodeo-4-wanted-alive/

Speaking of challenges, Charli Mills has posted a new essay and issued a new challenge. Tell a camp fires story in 99 words. Here’s the link: https://carrotranch.com/2020/10/22/october-22-flash-fiction-challenge-2/

My interpretation of the prompt is below. What do you think? (I think I’d like to visit a Witching Wood, actually. How about you?)

Witching Wood

Written by Kerry E.B Black

Don’t leave the campfire’s glow this evening. This is a Witching Wood,

I’m warning you, don’t follow breadcrumbs. You won’t like where they lead. In woods just like these, Wolves charm, Bears make porridge of invaders, and witches’ candied houses grow legs and scratch out secrets. With haunting melodies, PIed Pipers and Washer Women lead the unwary on eternal dances beneath earthen mounds. Even the stars themselves conspire to pixie-lead astray.

See, the full moon hides behind grey veils.

Best shiver in the shadow of ancient, bent boughs beside the campfire until sunlight chases the boogies from our paths.

My 99 Word Response to the latest Carrot Ranch weekly challenge

Charli Mills and the good folks at https://carrotranch.com sure have a lot going on this Spooky Season. They’re harvesting words in their Writing Rodeo with weekly challenges (which I hope you’re entering!) while continuing the weekly writing prompts. This week’s involved kid gloves.

Let me know what you think of mine, please? I love hearing from you all! And as always, if you participate, let me know so that I cheer your accomplishments.

Without further ado:

1863 Revisited

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Henry scoffed, an ugly, guttural dismissal. “Sure, you saw a ghost.”

Clara swiped tears from blazing cheeks and stormed to her car. 

“Come back,” he called to the thinning taillights, “maybe Casper would like tea.”

Chill breeze brought wafts of rotting peaches, and he pulled his jacket tight. 

“Did you offer tea, Sir?” A translucent woman dressed in antebellum finery, from her lace-edged cap and upswept hair, to the hem of her hoop-defined skirts, tapped a tasseled fan in her kid-gloved hands. “But my name’s Amanda, not Casper.”

Henry beat a hastier retreat than General Lee’s exit from Gettysburg.

“Snacks” – another 99 word story written for a https://carrotranch.com prompt

Charli Mills posted the prompt for this week’s 99 word challenge, and I have a response below. Please, if you participate, let me know so that I can pop by and read your stories! And I’d love, love, love to hear your thoughts on mine.

Also, next month, Carrot Ranch will host not only weekly 99 word prompts, but also a WRITING RODEO. It is a series of great contest with NO ENTRY FEE! Prizes, experience, potential glory, and lots of fun await all of you Buckaroos! AND GUESS WHAT??? I am organizing the first contest!!!!!!!! I’ll post more details about it here NEXT TUESDAY!

Now, for my 99 word story:

Snacks

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Fans cluster, elbowing one another for a better position to see him. Modern “young adult literature” has proved such a boon for his waning popularity. 

Their eyes fill with desperation, their hearts pump intentions and desires they don’t even understand yet. They’re bunched together, a throng of feminine longing, as the creak and groan of rusted and ill-used hinges announces his appearance. They shriek – not with horror but with ecstasy!

His tight-lipped smile barely disguises his pleasure as he wades into the fawning assembly. 

At last, with fangs fully extended, he shows these deluded youths the truth behind vampirism.

“Mouse Rescue,” A 99 word Carrot Ranch story.

Holy Hunka Munka and Tom Thumb, Rat Man! Charli Mills and her Carrot Ranch Gang have a new challenge for the week. Check it out here: https://carrotranch.com/2020/09/18/september-17-flash-fiction-challenge-2/

My 99 word response is below.

Mouse Rescue

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Nadia peered into the cage at the panting white mouse. “When did you get her?”

“Not quite a month ago. The other mice were picking on her. I had to get her out of that pet store.” Jenny frowned. “I don’t think they were letting the poor thing eat, either.”

“Why?”

Jenny baby-talked, “Because now she’s plump as a teensy-weensy golf ball.”

Nadia licked her lips. “Hon, I don’t think the other mice were picking on her.”

“You didn’t see them, jumping on her.” She leaned close.“Wait! What’s that? Is Luna hurt?”

Nadia laughed. “Nope. Those are babies.”

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