Carrot Ranch · writing

More Strength Than Meets the Eye

I wrote this for the May 2nd Flash Fiction Challenge



It is born from bitter winter cold
Not a nip or chill, but a biting, vicious cold
A cold that comes with long, nights, and
Northern lights
It has nothing to do with gain
It’s about diving into the water
Simply for the sake of it
It’s about laughing in the face of tragedy
It’s about mocking and defeating whatever adversity is thrown your way
Always getting up
Something akin to, yet more than,
Dogged perseverance
Intensity that thrives in the long days of summer

You are stronger than any one of us, or even you, could ever imagine


The prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about sisu. It’s a Finnish concept of enduring strength, the ability to consistently overcome. Think long-term. Go where the prompt leads!

Carrot Ranch · writing

Exhausted

I wrote this for the April 25th Flash Fiction Challenge



“Raul, please rest. You can’t help us if you’re dead.”

“I’m sorry, Alondra. I have to finish before the rains come.”

She shook her head and returned to the house, where she made a big jar of Sandia Agua Fresca. Then she made Pambazos and wrapped them in a napkin, to keep him going. He was bleary-eyed when she returned with the food.

“Raul, you need to rest.” She took his hand and led him to the cool shade of a large Alamo tree. They ate. They made love in the dappled sunshine. Afterwards, she watched him sleep, exhausted.


The prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes exhaustion. Who is exhausted and why? Can you make art of exhaustion? Go where the prompt leads!

Carrot Ranch · writing

A Question of Identity

I didn’t write this for the April 18th Flash Fiction Challenge
I wrote it as part of a longer story in 2014.
Guess what? Ninety-nine words exactly.
I think it kinda fits the prompt, in a tangential kinda way.
I’m gonna roll with it, if it’s OK with you, Charli.



Jimmy and Nancy continued to go steady for about three more days after the party.  A year after high school Jimmy managed to secure some venture capital and founded a software company in San Jose.  There’s a scholarship fund named after him now. Nancy works at the Speedy Mart.

Tito never came back from Vietnam, still MIA.

Becky is the Assistant DA of Lincoln County and has been in a committed relationship with Samantha Christian since she got out of law school.  Samantha is a stay at home mom, taking care of the two boys she and Becky adopted.


The prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about gender. It can be fixed or fluid. Explore the topic on your own terms and open your mind to possibilities and understanding. Go where the prompt leads!

Carrot Ranch · Poetry · writing

Restoration of Hope

  I wrote this for the April 11th Flash Fiction Challenge



He didn’t hold a sign or jingle a cup with a few coins.
He wasn’t selling apples or matches, or singing street music.
He sat with his eyes closed in the chill evening air; had his blanket pulled tight.
So, he didn’t see her approaching from across the road.
“Hey,” she said to catch his attention.
When he looked up at her he was startled.
She was well dressed, but looked stern, the way his teachers had done.
He took the white paper bag that she proffered.
“It’s warm,” he said.
She simply nodded, turned around and walked away.


Follow the hyperlink at the top of the page to find out what the prompt was. Take a tour of Carrot Ranch while you’re there. You might want to have a go at the challenge. You might not. You have choices. Thanks, Charli; this was a good one.

Carrot Ranch · Poetry · writing

Owls and Auks

  I wrote this for the March 28th Flash Fiction Challenge



He chose to stand atop a grand eminence, banked by steep outcroppings; a sentry, ever vigilant who watches over the Pacific.  He has stood this post for more than fifteen hundred years. He is a giant towering over 300 feet high. He is massive, with a base of more than 30 feet in diameter. A Giant Coastal Redwood, a landmark with owls and auks living amongst his branches.

I come here to admire him from time to time. I always come alone. I am humbled.

Majestuoso y eminente, por derecho propio, es bien conocido a lo largo de esta costa.


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that uses the word eminence. It’s a rich word full of different meanings. Explore how it sounds or how you might play with it. Go where the prompt leads!

Carrot Ranch · Poetry · writing

Ashes of the Truth

  I wrote this for the March 21st Flash Fiction Challenge



Kenny hitched his trousers up and plopped on the front porch couch. A cloud of red dust rose up; some settled back on his Momma’s old Chesterfield, while the rest got picked up by the breeze and carried away.

He sat for a while watching the clouds roll in. When he was sure it was gonna rain he went and fetched the old galvanized bucket with the broken bail from beneath the sink. He sat the bucket in the bedroom directly below the ceiling stain.

Tonight he would say his prayers and ask for cash to fix the roof.


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a bucket of water. What is the condition of the water and what is the bucket for? Drop deep into the well and draw from where the prompt leads!


Kenny’s bucket is currently empty, no water. There should be water tonight though. Should be water tonight.

Carrot Ranch · Poetry · writing

The Fisherman

  I wrote this for the March 14: Flash Fiction Challenge



My father was an artist; a sculptor, usually working in clay or stone. One day he, and six of his drinking buddies, brought a large stone and sat it in the centre of his studio.
 
“What are you going to make from that, Papa?” I asked.
 
“I won’t make anything from it,” he said, “I think I can find something.”
 
He told me that he believed a fisherman was hiding in the stone. That he would find the fisherman by knocking off small bits and pieces. He promised he’d take care not to cut the fisherman with his chisel.

 


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a chisel. Use chisel as a noun or a verb. Think about what might be chiseled, who is chiseling. Be the chisel. Go where the prompt leads!

Carrot Ranch · Poetry · writing

Snowed In

  I wrote this for the Intermittent Challenge



I thought it wouldn’t matter much.
I had plenty of food;
electricity and gas are still on
‘least for now.

Then I ran out of beer.

I climbed from a second floor window onto the garage roof
and used a broom to clear a path to the edge
where I could sit down and put on my new snow shoes (couple hundred bucks at REI).
Stepping off the roof I only sunk a foot or so.

I can do this.

Leena’s Liquors is on the highway just this side of the river bridge.
It’s about three miles or so.


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words, no more, no less, write a story about “buried in the snow.”

Carrot Ranch · Poetry · writing

The Matchmaker

  I wrote this for the February 14th Flash Fiction Challenge



My elderly neighbor, Mrs. Silverberg, is always trying to fix me up.
She once arranged me a date with her granddaughter, Ruth.
I liked Ruth, just fine. Ruth just didn’t like me.

She told her grandmother that she had found me – awkward.

On the first of Shevat I happened to meet Mrs. Silverberg at the park.
She wanted to talk with me; about me.
She offered to coach me, so that I might become – less awkward.

It seems that her Rabbi’s youngest daughter may be looking for a husband.
Mrs. Silverberg believes I can be ready by Valentines.


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about valentines. It can be Valentine’s Day, the exchange, love for another, romance, or friendship. Have a heart and go where the prompt leads!

Carrot Ranch · Poetry · writing

Country Music

  I wrote this for the February 7th Flash Fiction Challenge



The sign on the door read, “The Unwritten Halibut”. She stood just inside waiting for her eyes to adjust to the gloom. This was her kind of place. It was a drinker’s bar. Dark paneling lined the walls; a couple of neon beer signs glowed in the back. A ghost of smoke held up the ceiling in defiance of a local ban. Rainbow colored bottles sat on glass shelves and four or five patrons rested at the bar; staring into their drinks, not talking. The volume was low as Hank Williams sang a hard luck song on the box.


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a sign. It can be a posted sign, a universal sign, a wonder. Go where the prompt leads.