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Allusionary Assembly

The Writing of Kerry E.B. Black

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flash fiction

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

 

Sponge Cake Petit Fours

The good folks at https://carrotranch.com asked for a bit of April Foolery. (Have you ever played an April Fool’s prank? Been on the receiving end of such a thing? If so, please let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear about it!

Follows is a 99 word “based on a true story” tale of mischief. I hope you’ll enjoy it! 

Sponge Cake Petit Fours

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Cali hummed as she spread a thick layer of buttercream icing over the pink sponge, creating perfect petit fours. She dotted each with stripes of dark chocolate and the first initial of each of her four children’s names. Proud of the accomplishment, she set the completed deserts on a paper doily. She washed the bowl and spatula, put away scissors and discarded tell-tale plastic wrappers.

When each kid came home from school, starting with the eldest, they eagerly grabbed their treats. When they bit into them, though, the cake rejected their bites. “Hey, these aren’t sponge cake! They’re sponges!”

petit fours

Youthicorn

https://carrotranch.com requested 99 word stories about unicorns. Follows is mine. What do you think?

Youthicorn

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

It sparkles in my periphery, silver as moonlight and as illusive. When I turn to catch it with my full gaze, it flees swifter than a shy spirit. Still I feel its unfailing goodness.

 

I used to be good, too, used to befriend the creature that haunts the corners of my consciousness. That was long ago, before age and experience settled upon my shoulders like cloaks layered atop one another. Before I lost my innocent interpretations and bowed to cynicism.

 

Now its glinting horn points to my failure, the unicorn that was but will never again exist for me.

unicorn rampant

A High-Kick Beyond

Charli Mills at https://carrotranch.com issues a weekly challenge to write a story in 99 words based on a prompt. This week’s prompt word is ice.

 

A High-Kick Beyond

A story of ice told in 99 words

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

Huge cubes clinked in Aniya’s glass, dazzling as diamonds. She ran one over enflamed pulse-points. Better swelter than shovel.

 

Back home her family complained of freezing temperatures.

 

Not here in Nevada.

 

Not in her line of work. She’d rehearsed and auditioned until tenacity paid off. Headdresses and costumes made her alluring, but a showgirl’s career only lasted as long as her legs, and not a high-kick beyond.

 

She squirreled away money, lived in a hovel knowing the gig mightn’t last. So, ice cubes were her diamonds, but at least she didn’t have to shovel them to get to work.

Lady Fireweed

If you’re a writer (and most everyone who follows this blog is, indeed, a writer.), you should check out https://carrotranch.com for a supportive community and some incredible weekly prompts. You need to tell the tale in exactly 99 words. Are you up for the challenge?

This is my response to this week’s 99 word challenge:

Lady Fireweed

My SpukWu’say cast herself like the seed of the willow herb on an Alaskan breeze, blowing where fate might have her alight. I don’t think she cared if she ever landed. She wanted to experience freedom and, since she’d been nurtured and knew her worth, she felt no fear. She drifted until she found a prairie and a community she admired. There she set down roots. She stretched her abilities like tender greens, practiced healing and aided all. When at last she bloomed, her talents lit her world like translucent fairy dances until all tried to imitate Lady Fireweed.

fireweed4-174x300*Coastal Salish people mixed the abundant, cotton-like seeds of this plant with wool to make warm blankets. The greenery is nutritious, and the plant is used medicinally, especially to aid digestion.

Fondue for Alexis

Charli Mills’ latest https://carrotranch.com 99 word challenge made me nostalgic. It’s bittersweet and below. There’s lots of time to come up with something for the compilation. Check here for details: https://carrotranch.com/2018/02/02/february-1-flash-fiction-challenge/

Fondue for Alexis

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

They craft it with care, a perfect balance of dark and white chocolate fondue formed into a yin yang. Black swirls into white in an eternal dance, captivating as the changing seasons or the passage from night to day. She dips fruit, disrupting the balance with impunity. For this the chocolatier created it, a pot of melted goodness for the birthday girl. But I am not ready.  I fumble with my camera and miss the photo, didn’t capture the precarious moment when she dangled between youth and adulthood. She chomps her chocolate-coated berry, and the fleeting moment is gone.

alexi yin yang fondue.jpg

The Edge

From Charli Mills’ https://carrotranch.com/2018/01/25/january-25-flash-fiction-challenge/ : In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that goes to the edge. Consider what the edge might be and how it informs the story. Go where the prompt leads. Respond by January 30, 2018

My response. What do you think?

knife

The edge

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 Julia’s life balanced on a silvery precipice, its sharp cleavage pressed to her throat. Its wielder clasped a bruising hand over her mouth to keep her from screaming. As the blade cut into delicate skin, Julia pushed into the knifeman’s chest to escape its bite.

His voice rumbled, an avalanche of fear in tenor. “Stay back.”

Julia’s husband, palms outstretched in supplication, stopping inching toward them. “Alright, but let her go.”

A tiny blood rivulet escaped its confines and tickled to her collarbone. Julia held her breath, lest movement might cause a deeper cut.

“Can’t. She’s coming with me.”

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