Carrot Ranch · Poetry · writing

Lookout

  I wrote this for the January 31st Flash Fiction Challenge



Roger stood in the bow and watched the fog roll in. He hunched in his Pea Jacket to stave off the weather. His hands were in his pockets where he clutched a silver flask of brown whisky.

He felt it before he saw it.  He watched it emerge from the haar that obscured visibility to the north. It was an old Soviet boat, running on the surface, twin screws churning the water.

Roger reached for the handset of the sound powered phone, “Bridge – Bow.  Surface  contact  bearing  tree fife  zero,  fife hundred  yards,  moving  left  to  right slowly.”


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about sea mist. How does it create an environment for a story? It can set the stage or take the stage. Go where the prompt leads.

Carrot Ranch · Poetry · writing

Porcelain Shards

  I wrote this for the January 24th Flash Fiction Challenge



The last of the dessert set goes into the furnace
Final firing for
cups, saucers, plates and bowls.
There’s a coffee pot and warmer,
a creamer, sugar bowl, and cake plate.
All done in a stylized violet motif
A signature design favoured by my father.

This time there is trouble in the kiln
Most likely the sugar bowl blew
I’ll never know for sure though. I lost that sugar bowl,
and it’s lid,
two cups that had been positioned close by.
Fine porcelain reduced to shards.
Doesn’t happen often, but its part of the game.

Move on, make more.


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about shards. You can write about the pieces, the item they once were, or who picks them up and why. Go where the prompt leads.

Carrot Ranch · Poetry · writing

Maybe It Won’t Be So Bad

  I wrote this for the January 17th Flash Fiction Challenge



Dario was a cad, a reprobate. He knew when he died because the pain disappeared.

Dead Dario rose, brushed imaginary dust from his shoulders, and looked ahead; there was no behind.

He was on a covered walkway surrounding a garth filled with souls of the suffering damned. Tapered stone columns stood like sentries between him and the wretches. Each column, labelled with a lie, that he recognized as one of his own:

Promises he’d never intended to keep, yet made to women he’d wanted.

Yarns spun to investors whose monies he stole.

Dario was a sinner, foreordained to perdition.


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes colonnades. It can be natural, architectural, or a metaphor. Take a stroll and go where the prompt leads.

Carrot Ranch · Poetry · writing

enrichment, in no particular order

  I wrote this for the January 10th Flash Fiction Challenge



art and artists
knowledge and teachers
buildings, builders and architects
children and discovery
dogs and cats
food, farmers, ranchers
coffee and mornings
freedom and soldiers

 

big skies in Montana

 

friends and family
oceans and boats
giving without taking
help and contributors
confabs and conversationalists
ideas and thinkers
jobs and colleagues
mountains and fresh air
music and players
amor y novias

 

New Mexico and wide open spaces

 

poetry and poets
sculptures and sculptors
seabirds and majesty
shipmates and brothers
when a plan works
stories and storytellers
wives and daughters, or husbands and sons
books and authors
cake and ice cream


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the idea of enrichment. Use many of its different manifestations or explore reasons why it matters to the character. Go where the prompt leads.

Carrot Ranch · Poetry · writing

The Right Bank

  I wrote this for the January 3rd Flash Fiction Challenge



The night was wet.
Not with raindrops, but a heavy mist hanging in the air without ever seeming to fall on the pavement.
Luc moved up the Rue des Barres, away from the river as gargoyles from Église Saint-Gervais watched from above.
Glancing over his shoulder he caught a shimmer illuminated in the single streetlight below.
Only a flickering,
as though the lamplight were refilling a space hastily vacated by whatever he had not seen.
There could be no doubt. They were on to him again.
He quickened his pace and remembered Aubree; her dark hair, and her laughter.


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a character who looks back. It can be a metaphorical reflection or a glance in the rear-view mirror. Who is looking back, and why? Go where the prompt leads.

Carrot Ranch · Poetry · writing

The Wedding That Never Was

  I wrote this for the December 13th Flash Fiction Challenge



Seems that Cora was laid to rest that day at Mountain View Cemetery next to her husband, John Blackwell Holman.

She was buried with a photograph and a tattered wedding invitation. The photo showed a smiling young miner. Penned on the back of the photo in a woman’s hand: the name John Y and a date – September 1892. The invitation was hand printed:

Cora Kingston
and
John Yendow

REQUEST THE HONOR OF YOUR PRESENCE
AT THEIR MARRIAGE

ON SATURDAY, 9TH OF JUNE, 1892
AT 2 O’CLOCK IN THE AFTERNOON

OUR LADY OF IMMACULATE CONSUMPTION CHURCH
CAT HARBOR, MICHIGAN


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about Cora Kingston. You can answer any of the questions history obscures or completely make up a Cora Kingston story. Go where the prompt (and the name) leads you.

Carrot Ranch · Poetry · writing

The Petroglyphs at Three Rivers

Know that this was written for the December 6th Flash Fiction Challenge



Istaqa was a sentry. The night threatened to be as cold as it would be long. He was not vigilant. He spent the night carving pictures of goats on the rocks surrounding his post. Come morning he would show the goats to Chosovi’s father. Chosovi would be his wife if Istaqa could present her father with sufficient goats, and a rifle.

The goats were a symbolic transference of wealth. The rifle was a true symbol of peace between their families. No warrior would arm his enemies.

Istaqa already had the rifle and by morning he would have enough goats.


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about graffiti. It can be an artist, art or the medium itself. Get out your can of spray paint and go where the prompt leads you.

Carrot Ranch · Poetry · writing

The Meaning of Life

I chose a lighthearted approach for this flash fiction. It’s
written for the November 29th Flash Fiction Challenge



Abelard Stiles turns his profile and strong jawline to the audience as he clasps both hands of Marissa Herring, his costar, playing Angelique. He looks longingly into her cerulean eyes, pellucid as gems of northwestern azure.

“Angelique, my love, I must go. I leave you now for the glory of Canada. My comrades await. ” He drops her hands and pivots melodramatically, walking out of the spotlight, into the dark at the back of the set.

Marissa pushes her hair back, clasps her breast, and collapses like a husk to the stage. “Oh, Neville; don’t go, come back, please.”


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the phrase “into the dark.” What must a character face? Write about an encounter, journey, relationship, or quest. Follow the ship’s lights on gloomy seas. Go where the prompt leads you

Carrot Ranch · Poetry · writing

Russian Eggs

I may have taken a few liberties with the prompt in this cigarette story. Know that it was
written for the November 15th Flash Fiction Challenge



When the new Pastor showed up at the parish potluck bearing Russian eggs; the Elders all objected.

“This is a church event,” they insisted, “deviled eggs are inappropriate.”

Pastor Huberd chuckled until Elder Belknap blocked his path and an argument ensued. The Elders all were adamant, they stood united. Soon chests puffed up. There was pushing and shoving.

No one knows, for sure, who threw the first punch; I believe it might have been the Widow Montes.

In the course of the ensuing scrap, the fancy plate broke and the eggs were trampled underfoot. It was a total loss.


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that uses scraps. It can be scraps of dried flowers, paper, metal, fabric, food — any kind of scraps you can think of. Then write a story about those scraps and why they matter or what they make. Go where the prompt leads you.

Carrot Ranch · Poetry · writing

Super Carl

Written for the November 8th Flash Fiction Challenge


Carl knew he was different from his classmates. Yes, he had superpowers like all the other kids, but his gifts were more eccentric. He couldn’t see any practical applications for them.

Carl had the ability to manipulate plants. He could also transform himself into a gelatinous substance, like potatoes mashed with an electric mixer.

School was torture and constant teasing until he slathered up the opponent’s lanes at the track meet against Eastwood High. Their star runner, Flash, never left the starting blocks, he couldn’t gain any traction.

All the trees and shrubs in the schoolyard fell over laughing.


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that pairs mashed potatoes with a superpower. It can be in any circumstance, funny or poignant. Go where the prompt leads.