“Pu-Chai,” Flash Fiction

The Carrot Ranch February 18, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story where a character is in the right place at the right time. It may be a cause for celebration! Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by February 23, 2021, to be included in the compilation.

Pu-Chai

“How much is the black puppy?” I pointed to the fuzzy Pomeranian in the cage.

“That one? I’ll have to check. He’s been here for months.”

Dark, soulful eyes stared at me as if the pup understood the conversation.

“Pure black Pomeranians are rare. Is he papered?”

“Yup. Two champions in his line. Nobody wants him because he’s all black. You know, bad-luck.”

He nosed my hand through the cage.

“I’ll take him.”

“Looks like you are in the right place at the right time. He’s on sale, only $99.00.”

“Sold.”

In my arms, Pu-Chai found his new home.

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

**Note: This is a true story. The name Pu-Chai, means black in Thai. This little guy lived with our family for 14 years. We still miss him.

Pu-Chai (Age 13) taking care of Alexandria, my oldest granddaughter who is now almost 20 years old.

“Mom’s Shoes,” #FlashFiction

The Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction prompt for December 17, 2020: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that features stilettos. Who will wear them and why? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by December 22, 2020.

“Lizzie, are you ready for school? You better not be in my closet again, young lady. Besides, the bulb burned out, you can’t see anything.”

The eleven-year-old sighed. How did her mother always know what she was up to? All she wanted was to borrow her mom’s shoes to match her dress for picture day.

Lizzie stumbled in the darkness and stuffed the shoes in her book bag.

“See you tonight, Mom.”

At school, all eyes were on Lizzie wearing her mom’s black stilettos as she wobbled across the floor to take her place for the sixth-grade class picture.

Join me every Tuesday on wordcraftpoetry.com for the Tanka Tuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge.

“At Heaven’s Gate,” #FlashFiction

The Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction prompt for December 10, 2020: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about something a character never dreamed would happen. The situation can be fortuitous, funny, or disappointing. Go where the prompt leads! Respond by December 15, 2020.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

December 14th began like any other Monday. However, in the early hours before dawn, he watched the green flashes of Geminids meteors whiz by in the early dawn sky.

A few hours later, he watched the blackness creep across the land as a total eclipse of the sun descended, leaving South America under a cloak of darkness.

Surely these auspicious astronomical events foreshadowed a significant event.

The angel named Beau glanced out over the cosmos. He smiled. A total eclipse of the Sun had officially confirmed Joe Biden as the President of the United States—a dream come true.

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

I felt compelled to write this piece as prompted by this article and the Carrot Ranch prompt: Donald Trump’s Presidency Will End On The Day Of A Comet, A Meteor Shower And A Total Eclipse Of The Sun

Join me every Tuesday on wordcraftpoetry.com for the Tanka Tuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge.

The 2020 Rodeo Contest #1: Folk Tales and Fables Winners are in…

2020 Rodeo

The results of the 2020 Flash Fiction Rodeo are riding in week by week in the order of each contest. We hope writers had as much fun as the Rodeo Leaders and Judges. We got to play within the western theme this year and had plenty of challenges!

In Rodeo Contest #1: Folk Tales and Fables, Kerry E.B. Black asked participants to spin a yarn as long as the Rio Grande in 99 words.

This year’s winner is Colleen Chesebro!

Honorable Mention goes to Norah Colvin, Liz Husebye Hartmann, and Mike Vreeland. Congratulations!

Each Rodeo has different independent judges. Judging is done blind. Thank you to Kerry E.B. Black for managing this contest and to her judges, Debra R. Sanchez and Beverly V. Blickenderfer!

WINNING ENTRY: FOLK TALES & FABLES

Why Wolf Howls at the Moon by Colleen Chesebro

Long ago, the Moon Spirit danced upon the waters of the lake. When she met the spirit of the Wolf, they danced together on the shoreline.

One night, Moon Spirit said, “I must return to the ebony sky and take my place alongside the stars.”

Bereft, Wolf gobbled up Moon Spirit’s reflection as it floated on the waves. “I wish I could keep Moon Spirit’s magic with me forever,” he cried.

To this day, whenever wolf drinks from the lake, he cries to the Moon Spirit, hoping she will return so they can dance upon the shore once more.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Snow White and the Seven Gunslingers by Norah Colvin

The huntsman made the all-too-common mistake of revealing everything before enacting the deed. Snow White kicked him in the shins and escaped into the forest.

Exhausted, she chanced upon a cottage. It appeared abandoned, so she went inside and soon fell asleep on one of the seven beds. She was startled awake by a septet of menacing, heavily-armed gunslingers.

When she explained her predicament, the gunslingers were outraged. “He’s a bad one, and she’s the worst. Stay here. We’re onto it.”

She heard them say as they rode out of sight, “Hi ho! We’ve got a job to do.”

Sky Rider’s Happily Ever After by Liz Husebye Hartman

Rapunzel was a rodeo champ by day, a sky watcher by night. Nobody could beat her barrel riding and calf roping. Stormy nights, she’d climb the Tower Mesa, hear thunder roll, knowing someday she’d join that rodeo.

It got so she spent both nights and days on the Mesa, losing interest in regular rodeos. Family couldn’t call her home, but took comfort, watching her lengthening golden hair glinting in the sunlight.

Along came Pepe LeGume, with his offer of magic beans for her golden tresses. She took the offer, cut her braid, and rosed her lasso to that magic vine.

Flem and the Rattlesnake by Mike Vreeland

Flem, Unlike most cowhands, was toothpick thin, bow-legged, and always smiling. Never once did he lose his cool, even when he found a large rattler in his bedroll. Instead, he cajoled the snake, letting it sleep next to him for warmth. 

Their bond grew.

One day, cutthroat robbers were after Flem. With nowhere to hide, the snake swallowed Flem whole, shook its rattles, and frightened off the thieves. 

After a bit, Flem crawled back out.

“Thank you immensely, Snake,” he said, sharing his hearty meal.

The moral of the story: Sometimes it’s okay to have Flem in your throat.

***

Please join me in wishing congratulations to all of us! Please visit the post below:

Source: https://carrotranch.com/rodeo-contests/2020-rodeo/

“The Blessings of Ziva,” #FlashFiction

October 30, 2020, Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about life savers on any body of water. It can be a formal Coast Guard, historical or contemporary. It could be an individual who unexpectedly takes on the role. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by November 3, 2020.

The Blessings of Ziva

“Hurry or we’ll be late, Bisera. We have to be there before sunrise,” called Emika.

Bisera balanced the jug on her hip without spilling a drop. “I’m right behind you, Emika. Did you remember to bring the apple?”

“I found the last red apple in the bin. The apple and the water are our offerings to Ziva, the ancient goddess of water.”

Bisera reached the river and tumbled toward the icy depths. “Help me.”

Emika grabbed the girl’s scarf and saved her from harm.

“Thank you, Emika. The goddess put you in the right place at the right time.”

On the eve of the New Year, in ancient Slavic countries, the young maidens took offerings of water and apples to the local river to honor the goddess Ziva. Read more about Ziva, the Slavic Goddess of Water, whose name itself means life.

First Flight, #flashfiction

The August 13, 2020, Carrot Ranch Literary Community Flash Fiction prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a first flight. It can be anything or anyone that flies. What is significant about the first? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by August 25, 2020.

The wings were brand new. The two small buds on her back had blossomed into full-fledged wings covered with white feathers. She stretched these new extensions as far as she could, flexing the newly formed muscles taut.

She was sure that they made these new appendages for flying. How long had she wished to fly free like the eagle and the hawk?

She sniffed the air and pawed the ground. From a canter to a dead run, she was ready to spread her wings. At the cliff, the ground fell away, and she flew. It was unicorn’s first flight.

Who is Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry?

I’ve been missing my friends at Carrot Ranch, so when D. Avery, suggested we define our blog’s purpose, I considered it a worthy goal. What a brilliant idea! Okay, here we go:

“Yep. Folks, try defining yer blog’s purpose in 99 words; focus that statement even more in 59 words; then hook us with 9 words. Ya might even post these versions at yer own site. Tell us who ya are or what yer about here in the comments, 9 words, no more no less.”

Saddle Up Saloon; Blog Blusterin’

Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry

99 words:

Word Craft – Prose & Poetry is an uplifting community where poets can learn the basics of writing Japanese and American syllabic poetry by sharing their own poetic inspiration within a weekly poetry challenge called Tanka Tuesday. Participants submit their poetry written in one of the eleven forms: Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Gogyohka, Haibun, Tanka Prose, Cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, Nonet, and/or Shadorma. Poets receive positive feedback from peers who inspire each other to stretch their creativity. Participants and readers return each week to celebrate the weekly poetry stars and to buy books from the Tanka Tuesday Book Store.

59 words:

Word Craft – Prose & Poetry is a poetic community encouraged by Colleen Chesebro where poets learn the basics of writing Japanese and American syllabic poetry through a weekly challenge called Tanka Tuesday. Participants submit their poetry written in one of the eleven forms: Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Gogyohka, Haibun, Tanka Prose, Cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, Nonet, and/or Shadorma.

9 words:

A weekly challenge featuring American and Japanese syllabic poetry.

Interested? Click the link below to learn more about Tanka Tuesday

“Green Faeries,” Speculative Fiction Challenge

Hugo swung his legs to the floor and sat up. What a night! The party lasted into the wee hours and by the time he’d stumbled home; he passed out on the couch, never making it into his bed. His head ached, and thirst clogged his throat.

He belched. The stench of alcohol and the pong of a dirty ashtray perfumed the air. He fumbled for his cigarettes, rifling through his pockets, on the hunt for his lighter. He retrieved a pack from his shirt pocket and found it empty. His anger erupted. He balled up the packet and threw it across the room.

“Hey, quit throwing stuff at me!”

“What?” Hugo’s bleary eyes tried to focus, but he couldn’t see straight.

He staggered toward the open window and gasped. Like an old-timey movie reel, grainy images flickered on a silver screen. After his bloodshot eyes cleared, he observed what looked to be his house, precariously perched in the crook of a massive tree. A glaring of cats roamed across the roof, and an elephant stared him in the face.

“Yeah, I’m talking to you.”

With eyes the size of saucers, Hugo shook his head. “Elephants don’t talk,” he wheezed out.

“Well, this one does. I’m your conscious. Wikipedia says:

“Conscience is an aptitude, faculty, intuition or judgment that assists in distinguishing right from wrong. Moral judgment may derive from values or norms. In psychological terms conscience is often described as leading to feelings of remorse when a human commits actions that go against his/her moral values and to feelings of rectitude or integrity when actions conform to such norms.”

Wikipedia

“Did you just define my conscious?” Hugo ran his hands nervously through his hair.

“Sure. How many did you have last night? Do you feel any remorse?”

“Too many to count. And, no, I don’t feel any guilt at my having had a good time. Now, leave me alone!”

“I bet you drank “Green Faeries,” again last night,” said the elephant. A grin stretched across his face.

Hugo closed his eyes and swayed in place. Damn absinthe! No wonder I can’t focus.

“Now do you feel guilty?” The elephant extended his long trunk toward the window. He nosed Hugo’s shoulder.

Hugo raised his shaking hand to his damp forehead. His heartbeat raced, and he shivered as if the heat of the day chilled him to the bone.

“What have you done with my house? What’s the deal with the cats?” asked Hugo.

The elephant’s nasal voice dissolved into laughter. “It’s the delirium tremors, my friend. Stick around, we’ve got a big show planned for you.”

***

This story was created from two sources. One, D. Wallace Peach’s monthly writing challenge, and two; this post from The Dark Netizen. I laughed the entire time I wrote this story. Thanks for the inspiration, you guys! 😀

Don’t drink them!
Learn more about the Green Faery HERE.

Diana’s February Story: The Elephant Child

D. Wallace Peach reads a poem she created for her monthly writing challenge. It’s fabulous! Have a listen and read along!

Myths of the Mirror

I actually recorded this if you want to listen along.

The Elephant Child

by D. Wallace Peach

An elephant child, carefree and wild
Walked into the wintry woods
He followed fox tails and jackrabbit trails
Ignoring his mother’s “shoulds”

Of course, he got lost and chilled by the frost
As night began to fall
To his rump he sunk and tooted his trunk
But no one answered his call

Oh, that cold night, to the elephant fright
The clouds began to snow
He sniffled and shivered, shook and quivered
His nose he needed to blow

The blizzard swirled and snowflakes twirled
He plodded on wobbly knees
His head grew stuffy, the snow so fluffy
He blew out a honking sneeze

Losing hope, he started to mope
When in an evergreen tree
He spied a house, just right for a mouse
And he let go a trumpet of glee

Alas the…

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January Photo-prompt Round-up

D. Wallace Peach has created a monthly writing challenge that is tons of fun. If you’re looking for something to read, this is the place to come! ❤

Myths of the Mirror

Thank you to everyone who participated! I felt warm all over reading your responses despite the image’s wintry chill. Below is the round-up of all the January poems, flashes, short stories, and some artwork too! If I missed yours for some reason, please add a link in the comments and I’ll happily reblog. I invite everyone to enjoy some unique stories and meet some wonderful writers. I’ll post February’s prompt tomorrow!

 January Round-Up

Jerry Packard – Ice Dragon

Dawn – Frozen Giant

Balroop Singh – A Craving

Jomz Odeja – The Sacrifice  

Teagan Geneviene – Ice Dragon

Sue Vincent – Even Mountains Mourn

Geoff Le Pard – Little Helpers

Pensivity – Untitled

Dorinda Duclos – Frozen in Time

Carol Forrester – This Terrible Thing Called Hope

Fandango – The End of the Gods

Robbie Cheadle – Glass Mountain

Trent McDonald – Cold War

Anita Dawes – Ancient Evil

Anneberly Andrews…

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