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Allusionary Assembly

The Writing of Kerry E.B. Black

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flash fiction

Esurient Mine

Our friend Charli Mills at https://Carrotranch.com issued a new challenge. Write a 99 word story including “tap.” I hope you’ll like mine. Mine. heehee. (You’ll see.) She’s promised some “PoeTree” next month, which should be great fun as well.

And, of course, Happy St. Patty’s to you all!

Esurient Mine

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

“We’re lost!” Tears bubbled into Layla’s trembling words.

Craig studied his chalkmark. They’d passed it twice already. Lost, indeed.

“Why’d we come here? There’s no treasure.” She slid to the hard ground. Stone snagged her long hair as though hungry for her touch. “Nobody even knows we’re here.”

“Shh, what’s that?”

She sniffed to silence and heard it. Tapping, alluring as the Pied Piper’s song.

She whispered, “Is it a miner?”

He shrugged. “Maybe.” 

They followed. Better to accept their punishment for trespassing than die lost in the mine. 

Knock, tap, tap. They followed deeper into the longing darkness. 

Clarice Vance in Court

Charli Mills and the Rough Writers are at it again, issuing the challenge to write a concise piece of writing using 99 words and a prompt. This week’s prompt: Clarice. Any Clarice. Real or fictional. I forewent Hannibal’s friend and instead went with an American Vaudeville and silver screen actress. I hope you’ll enjoy the story, and I do hope you’ll try your hand at a 99 word piece of writing. If you do, please let me know so I can cheer you on!

Clarice Vance in Court

written by Kerry E.B. Black in 99 words in answer to the weekly challenge put forth by friends at https://carrotranch.com

Miss Kingston represented Mendel Kingston during the court case.

At over six feet, Clarice Vance commanded the courtroom. Her rich voice reverberated. “Your Honor, Mendel Kingston’s cloak material is a blatant copy of my famed dress’s material.” Clarice spun slowly. Mirrored material accented her waspish waist and full, jeweled bodice.

Miss Kingston objected. “My father invented that material over forty years ago. Back then, ‘flirtation numbers’ used hand mirrors to reflect the spotlight, so Papa designed the material to imitate that.”

Clarice smiled. “In 1870?”

Miss Kingston smirked. “Yes.”

“Well, the first spotlights were Jablachkoff Candles. Used in Paris. In the early 1880’s.”

Clarice won her case.

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.

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