“Sit down. You schlep.” It came from a monstrous brute seated at the bar.
“OK. How about … An oyster, and a lobster, and a goldfish go into a bar …”
The comedian quickly ducks as a napkin filled with goodness knows what approaches his face.
“Not that one either. I’m not from around these parts. The first time I was driving through …” This one was drowned by raucous boos and horrid hisses.
“No biographical jokes either.” The comedian boldly stepped closer to the microphone. “Knock, knock…”
The audience was instantly quiet.
Written for THE CARROT RANCH CHALLENGE:December 19, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that features an open mic night. Take a character backstage, on stage or into the deep woods. Go where the prompt leads!
“Oh, there’s no place like …” carolers were approaching my door.
I’d gotten a call from my elderly neighbor just seconds ago. “They’re all over.” She whispered. “All over the street.” She was frantic. Should she call 911… she thought she should… but she was sure the police wouldn’t believe her.
Before I could decide how I could be of assistance, there was a knocking on my door.
Parting the curtains, I peeped.
Gnomes… and gnomes… and gnomes. As far as the eye could see.
“… For the holidays you can’t beat gnome sweet gnome!”
And then they left.
Written for THE CARROT RANCH 99- WORD CHALLENGE: 12-12-19.
Requirements: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a gnome. It can be a garden gnome, a Christmas Joulutonttu, or a sauna protector. You can write magical realism, or feature contemporary gnome-like product. Go where the prompt leads!
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through my house … all seven grandchildren were racing up and down my back stairs like little rats.
The tree was up (I keep it up year round. Yes, I’m one of those…) and the lights were blinking.
This year, each family member was to bring a small bear.
We sipped warn cider with toffee cookies as we each told our story and placed our treasure upon the tree. Collectibles… Grizzlies… Polar…and Teddies.
Emma Sue, the youngest, always wanted to go last.
“Two-for-one, Grandma,” as she hung a beautiful koala and child.
Written for THE CARROT RANCH FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE. July 11, 2019, prompt: “My kingdom for a koala!” In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a koala in a kingdom. You can create a character out of Norah’s koala and give it a Vermont adventure. Or you can make up a story however you want! Can you pull off a BOTS (based on a true story)? Go where the prompt leads!
“Dwight, many of the strawberries are ready. Take the basket and pick the ripest; I’ve a mind for a shortcake trifle for the picnic.”
Strawberry trifle was his favorite. Dwight was out like lightening and soon returned with the finest strawberries mouths could desire.
The guests arrived; ravenous men with their genteel lassies. Dinner completed, they went out back for their annual Horseshoe Extravaganza.
“Don’t worry ladies. The icebox is ours.”
Upon its opening, the upper shelf was lined with iced strawberry mint smashes. We adjourned to the Adirondack chairs out back to enjoy the swearin’ and the fuedin’.
Written for THE CARROT RANCH CHALLENGE: May 30, 2019. Prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes strawberries and mint. The combination evokes color contrast, scents, and taste. Where will the combination take you? Go where the prompt leads!
My heart is lightened remembering the first time I had pulled this old thing from our attic. Its ebony wool was frayed and one of its brass corners had been removed. It had be Great-Aunt Gertrude’s carry-on for her train-ride to the West.
For me, it was my get-away bag. My denied destiny… the rodeo.
Girls weren’t to climb trees, bust horses, or chew…. according to Father. But I was better than brother at all three.
I was packed and gone – three whole hours- when Grandpa found me headed toward Tulsa.
But I never did unpack it.
Written for Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. Requirements: July 26, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about what happens next to a stranded suitcase. Go where the prompt leads you, but consider the different perspectives you can take to tell the tale.
Humping down the stairs and around the backyard, Pop, his cane waggling in front being used to scatter the beagle and the three strays more than for maintaining any semblance of balance, was headed toward the chariot… a ‘62 Valiant… and into the hayfields.
I raced beside him knowing there was no waiting.
Opening the door, I swung from the roof into the backseat.
“Wait!” I bellowed. My fingers had not released from the roof before Pop had slammed the door.
Exasperated, Pop opened and shut the door. Hard.
“Next time, get’ya whole self in.”
And off we went.
Written for The Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge.June 28, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that is a sketch or about a sketch. It can be “A Sketch of a Romance” or “The Sketch of Aunt Tillie.” Go where the prompt leads you to scribble.
She was wildly pursued on OkCupid as well as Happen, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Bumble. Hundreds of hits a day was the norm. This she enjoyed.
Tender and Down even offered incentives if she would allow her picture to appear on their advertising after her photo shoot in Maui. Financially, a plus!
LuLu, Match, and Zoosk had called her attorney wanting exclusive rights to her personality profile. Don’t throw at stick at that!
Being so sought after from all the dating app corporations could really swell a girl’s head…
Maybe actually being too-good-to-be-true was too good to be true.
Written for The Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. Requirements: May 31, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about warrior women. It can be myth or everyday mothers and wives. Go where the prompt leads.
“Chichi.” There was no response. “Papa, if I wouldn’t have designed it, someone else would have.”
“This was built on the park where I courted your mother. The park where we picnicked with you as a child. The cranes that we treasured for our family’s good fortune… It was their home.”
“It still is, Chichi.” Taking his father’s hand, Tsuru continued turning the pages of the photo album.
“I remember my namesake’s stories. Look, Chichi. The Sasaki Medical Complex is in her honor. We reclaimed the fouled marshlands. Reestablished walkways and shelters. Chichi, the cranes are safe once again.”
Written for The Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. Requirements: May 10, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story defining “the charisma of cranes.” For centuries, cranes have inspired art and philosophy. You can write a crane story or create something new out of the phrase. Go where the prompt leads.
“Wish you the best.” Tears flowed from my eyes as I hugged my best friend since grammar school.
“Don’t worry,” whispered the beaming groom. “It’s only a week. I’ll even drop a line from Dubai. When I’m back, it’ll be like old times. Crystal understands us.
Giving one firm push to close the trunk I stepped alongside my wife. “See ya, son. Drive safe. Call us when you get there.”
David waved as he backed away.
“Don’t worry, Hon,” my wife said as she placed her head on my shoulder. “He said he’d drop us a line every week.’
Written for The Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. Requirements: May 3, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) use a line in your story. You can think of the variation of the word meaning, or you can think of visual references. Go where the prompt leads.