Allusionary Assembly

The Writing of Kerry E.B. Black


Kerry E.B. Black

My friend Charli Mills at has issued a new challenge. She calls for freedom. The very word tastes sweet on my tongue, yet today I’m a bit mired and less hopeful than I prefer. Thus today’s take on the prompt isn’t cheerful. However, I hope you’ll still enjoy these 99 words, and as ever, please let me know if you participate. I’d love to read what you’ve come up with, too!

Memorial in the Marble

Charli and the good folk at have a new 99 word weekly challenge posted. “In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story behind a memorial. Is it a structure, plaque, or something else? What does it seek to remind those who view it? Go where the prompt leads. Submit by 4 June.”

This is where the prompt led me.

Memorial in the Marble

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Brom chose the marble for its fine lines and smooth surface, so like her admired skin, cool and pale with fine, blue veins. He ran a hand along its surface and recalled her reaction to his touch. Her shiver of anticipation. His surge of longing when she whispered his name.

His eyes misted. He swiped away emotion with calloused hands, determined. 

Fellow artists advised against this project. Don’t mix personal with professional.

Michelangelo saw the angel in the stone. Brom sought the memorial in the marble.

With meticulous care, he marked and carved her beloved name onto the tombstone.

Speaking Spell

This week’s challenge brought us to a farm of our imaginings. Somehow, I pictured one of Oma Rochincco’s sisters toiling in her garden.

Speaking Spell

A tale told in 99 words for Carrot Ranch

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

“These are special.” 

The old woman knelt beside rows of blood-red flowers, hand-gathering the seeds from their black centers. With a silver blade, she nicked the stems on opposing sides, near the head and below the leaves. Sap bubbled around the wounds. She continued these ministrations until she’d gathered from and scored the occupants of the entire flower bed. 

She brushed loamy soil from her knees and collected her basket. “They’re grown from the blood of fallen heroes.”

Once the sap dried, she’d gather the resin. “A spell made with these will allow us to commune with the dead.”

Watch “Well Read Beard – Shorts On Shorts Episode 269: Kerry E.B. Black – Pillow Talk” on YouTube

Carrot Ranch 99 November Words

Charli and the great gang at “Carry On” their 99 word challenges with some poignant responses. Below is mine. I’m sure it will illustrate my present frustration. As ever, please let me know if you give the challenge a try so I can pop by and read what you’ve created.

Work and Play

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

The cheeky cursor blinked on the screen. The hopeful writer glanced at the time. 1:37AM. She sighed.

She squinted through the laptop’s glare without adding any words. She caressed the keys, hoping to somehow funnel inspiration from the depicted alphabet. 


She reread earlier chapters, referred to her painstakingly created outline, and suppressed another gaping yawn. She recalled Kubrick’s lead in “The Shining.” This evening, no work and no play made her novel a “dull boy.”

Her vision swam. “Fine! I’ll try again tomorrow.” She closed the laptop. “But I’m adding today’s missed words to tomorrow’s required count.” 

99 Word Story of a writer’s seat

This week’ 99 word writing prompt involved a writer’s seat. Below you’ll find my response. What do you think?

Queen’s Corner

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

There, in that nondescript corner of the family living room, she wielded words like a general marshalling troops. Caught up in her private battles with deadlines and artistic excellence, she remained miles from the mundane. It’s hard to imagine the wonders she created from such a threadbare throne, yet create she did. Three novels and countless short stories she penned in the days before computers, long-hand translations of mental impressions and fanciful flights of imagination. She answered contest questions to earn spending money, captioned for prizes. Now, we haul the wingback to the rubbish as we mourn her loss.

Festival of Books in the Alleghenies

I’m attending this weekend’s Festival of Books in the Alleghenies in Ebensburg, PA. The festival begins at 9AM and lasts until 4PM at the Veteran’s Park and promises activities for every age. There will be children’s storytimes, balloon creations, a graphic novel creating class, and glitter tattoos for the younger guests. Everyone will be treated to the live music, and there will be food trucks, vendors, and of course authors! If you’re in the area, please stop by and say, “Hi!”

The weather cooperated, and Ebensburg is a lovely town, rich in history. I enjoyed meeting and interacting with readers and fellow writers.

Stars in the Sand: A response to this week’s 99 word challenge

Charli Mills issued a new challenge and presented an exceptional and emotional 99 word story of her own. I do hope you’ll take the time to read it! My response is below. I hope you’ll like it.

Stars in the Sand

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Lonely footprints in the sand marked her progress, footprints watered with her tears and the exuberant salt spray. She sniffed sadness with each step as she left her marital home.

The moon danced in the dark ocean’s waves and laughed at the woman’s consternation. This orb’s influence led the sea astray, pulling the waters along lunar whims. Likewise, it diverted the woman’s husband, enhancing his basest instincts. Like a madman, he romanced in moonlight with howls, dances, and gore.

In despair and fear, she fled, unaware with each resultant spray of her passage, she revealed stars in the sand.

A 99 Word Carrot Ranch Cacophonic Lament

Charli Mills posted a new word prompt, but since I am sick and feeling a bit sorry for myself, this is my response. I suggest you check out for happier responses. And if you feel so inclined, I can uses some virtual chicken soup.

This Sickness

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Someone with a ball peen hammer pounds every joint, stretching muscle and ligament until bone grinds cartilage.

An orchestra warms-up between the ears, its cacophony deafening, with pulse matching its erratic rhythm.

Eyes receded into aching sockets, where lightshows dance along the periphery.

Shadows sink into vision, obscuring. Strained eyesight triggers migraines, with comic book enthusiasm. “Bang, Pow, Pop!”

Razorblades reside in vocal cords, stripping speech to a barely audible squeak. Amusing to the children.

An anaconda squeezes the midsection, shrinking stomach capacity.

Hazy zombie turns to exhausted fever dreams between doses of medicine that promise returned good health.

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