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Allusionary Assembly

The Writing of Kerry E.B. Black

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flash fiction

Carrot Ranch Rodeo Win!

Three Act Stories1In autumn, https://carrotranch.com/ hosted a writing rodeo, and I’m overjoyed that one of my 99 word stories WON a category! The participants produced some fabulous works, and as always, I’ve enjoyed reading them and am honored to display my work with theirs.

Below is my winning entry.

 

Literary Immortality

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Benny stroked his wife’s brow. She hugged a teddy bear he’d given her when they were children. Benny knew even as a kindergartener he’d love her always. 

They’d been married five years before the sickness.

“I’m dying.” She nestled closer.

He kissed her sunken cheek. “Not really.”

When she passed, his emotions bled into words. Benny wrote a stirring obituary and composed poetry in her honor. He poured adoration into books in which she was the hero, a beloved literary legend. 

As Benny faced his mortality, a biographer asked his inspiration. Benny hugged a teddy bear to his chest.

Words

This week, Charli Mills and the https://carrotranch.com gang wrangled 99 word stories interpreting the prompt “for one day.” Writing a story in 99 words is a challenge, indeed. This is mine. Its first incarnation was much longer, but to comply with the challenge, I pared down to the essence of the story. I’d love to know what you think of it.

 

Words 

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

A toddler plied her mother with questions at a check-out line as the mother stacked goods onto the conveyor. Another toddler sat in the next cart in line, limp-legged and watchful. “You have such a sweet baby,” the harried mother said to her line-neighbor. “Mine won’t shut up. I wish I could have silence for just one day.” She chuckled darkly and turned when the cashier asked, “Paper or plastic?” without noticing the grimace on the mother-behind-her’s face. 

 

That mother’s child was born mute, and how she longed to hear even one word from her child. Even just one.

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.

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.”  

Herd of Nightmares

Excited to announce the newest collection of my short horror stories is now available for purchase!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1948894025/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1548506627&sr=8-2&keywords=herd+of+nightmare&fbclid=IwAR0R5jdN01dh_rpOCMjHUzOUCPjkaoIOyuBzb_iDWBTO_lNYghqZ1Tkejk8

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.

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.”

 

 

Guide to Peace

Guide to Peace

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

He fled, blinded by tears. Taunts and cruelty etching into his psyche. Heedless of direction, he dodged tree trunks, leapt tangles, and ducked beneath low-hanging vines until he panted into the silence of ankle-deep humus and the observation of hidden animals. He bent to relieve stitches and cramps.

 

Gentle breezes cooled tears on burning cheeks. Like teasing fingers, they brushed hair aside as if to reassure of his worth.

 

His nostrils flared to capture earthy perfumes so lush he could taste their rich decay and rebirth.

 

A delicate white flower bloomed in the shade, an unexpected guide to peace.

 

paperwhite narcissus

 

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