Allusionary Assembly

The Writing of Kerry E.B. Black




Charli Mills from asked us to write a 99 word story about waiting. This is what sprang to my mind.



Written by Kerry E.B. Black

We waited together for the results. Kinda gross, really, staring at a plastic stick I’d peed on, but in the end, a plus told us. A baby! My tears drenched his shoulder as we embraced.


Anxious, we held hands at the obstetrician’s to hear the baby’s heartbeat. Quick as a bunny, it raced away with our hearts. 


At the ultrasound, we watched her suck her thumb and chose her name. Faith. We painted the nursery, anxious to meet this precious child.


But one day, I bled. I rushed for help, but no amount of waiting brought back our Faith.

Silent as a Mouse

Charli Mills at issued her weekly challenge. “Write a story in 99 words involving a mouse.” This is what the prompt brought to mind, though this is considerably more than 99 words. I posted an abbreviated version at Carrot Ranch, but I’ll give the longer version here, to fill in some of the gaps in the story.

I hope you enjoy this little look at a parental failing.


Silent as a Mouse

Written by Kerry E.B. Black


We northerners stared open-mouthed at exotic blooms spelling the words, “Welcome to the Magic Kingdom.” Tears glistened in my eyes. As a “World of Disney” fan, I’d dreamed of bringing the kids here before I even had children. However, life didn’t deal me a strong financial hand or a head for business acumen, so hope of stepping foot in this Happiest Place on Earth was out of reach.

Except it wasn’t.

My daughter, Bear, endured much, and our pediatrician recommended her to Make-a-Wish’s attention.

Make-a Wish sent a charming young lady to interview Bear. Unprompted, my little girl exclaimed that she wanted to be a princess. Her consultant clapped. “There’s no better place to be a princess than Walt Disney World!” She made arrangements for us to stay at their charming Give Kids the World Village and visit all of the WDW parks.

However, there was a fly in the ointment. Costumed characters terrified Bear. I read the promotional materials and discovered what I hoped would calm her. I pointed to a page. “Look, they don’t talk.”

“Are you sure?” She wondered.

I triumphantly bumped the travel book with the back of my hand. “Absolutely. Says so right here in the official visitors’ guide.”

So, in the balmy south, just outside the tunnel to Main Street USA, we waited to meet the ambassadors of Mr. Disney’s amazing vision, Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

Consoled by the “no talking” discovery, Bear reluctantly approached her favorite cartoon, Minnie Mouse.

Minnie moved.

Bear screamed.

We turned to flee when the dear costumed actress forgot her training and reassured, “It’s okay, honey!” Minnie covered her perpetually smiling mouth with over-large white mittens, but the damage was done.

I wondered if little Bear would ever trust me again.


Luckily, somehow, she does.

Fortified Cocoa

I love the encouraging folks at . The head Buckaroo Charli Mills issues a weekly challenge, to write a story in 99 words based on a prompt. This week, I’ve revisited Oma and her lovely neighbors. I hope you’ll enjoy!


Fortified Cocoa

Written by Kerry E.B. Black


Fragrant steam wafted from the pottery mugs Oma filled. “Have a seat, little dear. Help yourself to a biscuit in that tin.” Mugs made little thumps on the knotty-wooden table while Oma hefted herself into a groaning seat beside Melanie. “Now, what inspired you to shovel my walkway?”


In the cloud of cream within the hot cocoa, Melanie saw her mother’s smiling face.


“Ah,” said Oma, “you’re Heather’s child. Give your momma my best.”


Oma poured a bit of something pungent into her own cocoa.


“What’s that, Oma?”


“A bit of something to help old Oma through the night.”

Games Omniverse – Epic Workplace

You have to read Charli Mills’ latest piece at Carrot Ranch. What a fabulous campus! I must visit sometime. Her challenge is to create a 99 word piece about another Epic Workplace, so I mentioned Games Omniverse.  I love writing for them! (There are folks closer to my age but so much “hipper” and “with it” at Games Omniverse. They seamlessly blend in with the young culture.)

September 6: Flash Fiction Challenge



Games Omniverse – Epic Workplace

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

They’re all so much younger than me, but I find their Millenial energy invigorating. I know they look on me as the Grandma of the bunch. They turn eye-rolls when I’ve fouled another computer task and hide their smiles when I say something about “me me’s” instead of saying “memes.”

Yet somehow, I bring something to the group. I’d never be so vain as call it wisdom, and my experiences aren’t always helpful. However, it works. When they need copy, I pound on the keyboard until some small magic occurs, and the Angel in charge nods. “This’s good. Thanks.”

Gram’s Peculiar Taste

Charli Mills and the great bunch at issued a new challenge. Write a 99 word story about carrot cake. Carrot cake, you say? You’ll have to read Charli’s excellent post to learn more, which I encourage you to do! While you’re here, though, please let me know what you think of my interpretation of the prompt. Thanks! You’re great!


Gram’s Peculiar Taste

Written by Kerry E.B. Black


Constance frowned and poked her piece of cake, leaving four tine-marks as evidence of her displeasure. Carrot cake? What kind of trick was this? Her mother didn’t disguise the vegetable’s presence. She proclaimed it in orange and green icing atop the sea of ivory.

Not like the time she served squash and pretended it was spaghetti.

Who knew what other things she slipped into meals?

“Mo-om, why can’t we have chocolate?”

Mom bustled about, polishing the silver. “Because carrot is your Gram’s favorite.”

Gram sure had peculiar taste.

At least Mom made chocolate chip scones.

Or were they current?


Gentle Harvest

Charli Mills at issued her latest 99 word challenge. Show a harvest. This is where my mind went.

(By the way, exciting things are happening at Carrot Ranch. They’re hosting a writing rodeo, and it looks exciting, challenging, and fun. I’m looking forward to roping some words and busting a bucking story or two. Join the fun?)

In any case, here’s the story. What do you think?

Gentle Harvest

Written by Kerry E.B. Black


Death walked the hospital halls like a shadow until she found Jane’s glowing soul.  She listened to Jane’s life whispered in rattles and gasps. Death assumed a comforting form. For this soul, she became Jane’s beloved Grandmother. Death stroked the patient’s sweaty hair from her forehead until her twitching calmed. Her voice reverberated with love. “Jane?” Jane’s eyelids fluttered. Pain and fever stole vision. Death hummed a childhood song, one Jane had sung with her Grandmother when they had brought in crops and sipped iced tea after. By holding hands, Death made her harvest and guided Jane home.


Call Him Houdini

The challenge from Charli Mills at In 99 words (no more, no less) write about an escape artist. It can even be you, the writer, escaping into a different realm or space in imagination. It can be any genre, including BOTS (based on a true story) or fantasy. You can focus on the escape, the twist or the person who is the escape artist.

My escape artist is clever, but he is not a person.


Call Him Houdini

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Betty draped Smokey’s reins over a hitching post and tightened the saddle’s girth. “Stay put while I get the others. Trail riders’ll be here in about fifteen minutes.” She led another pony to the arena where Smokey rubbed his withers against the post, sucking in his stomach. The saddle slid over his rump. He ignored Betty’s warning, “stop, you little imp!” and scraped the bridle over his ear. He spit out the bit. With a whinny, Smokey squeezed beneath the bottom of the fence and trotted away. Betty glared at the frisky escapee. “Guess I needa saddle another pony.”


From the Obscuring Mist

Over at, Charli Mills offered a charming 99 word story featuring music and berries and issued the challenge to write our own. Follows is mine, which took my imagination to the time when the veil thins and the nights hold mysteries.

From the Obscuring Mist

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

A merry band of trick-or-treaters skipped along the sidewalk, elbows locked, voices raised in wolfish songs and merry laughter. Parents followed, lugging the kids’ sacks of sweet loot.

Fog curled from the valley, obscuring autumn leaves gathered along bone-white fences underplanted with berry bushes. Nearby, an owl hooted.

From the obscuring mist another costumed group emerged. The small ones added their voices to the wild song. Their caregivers’ lips sparkled with adult distractions- drinks and elicit kisses.

The youth embarked on promised adventures with their new companions. As the children sampled other-worldly treats, the others gathered their innocent souls.

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Oma’s Wisdom

Charli Mills at asked we write a 99 word story about pie. Here’s mine. Hope you find it tasty.


Oma’s Wisdom

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Oma Rochinka relaxed into her rocker, her smile bleeding into the crepuscular rays of the setting sun.

Her granddaughter scowled. “Why’re you smiling? Daddy’s crashed. He coulda died.”

Oma touched a wizened finger to the child’s nose. “But he didn’t.”

“He’s hurt bad, though.”

Oma nodded, assuming an enigmatic expression. “He’ll have a tough patch alright.”

Her granddaughter thrust out her chin with indignation. “And he lost the whole harvest of apples.”

Oma nodded. “Can’t sell bruised fruit.” Cinnamon wafted from within and mingled with petrichor.

“Then why’re you smiling?”

“Cause he’s alive, and we have lots of pie.”

apple pie

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