Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest #8

Charli Mills has presented a TUFF concluding challenge to an exciting first rodeo. You have a week to write for this one. Journey over to Carrot Ranch to test your mettle.
Stay tuned for announcement of contest winners, beginning November 7th.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

TUFF: The Ultimate Flash Fiction

by Charli Mills

What if I told you that writing flash fiction will get you to where you want to be? Would you scoff, or consider the possibility? Would you think I’m handing you a magic elixir? Ah, an elixir. Let’s pause a moment and talk about the hero’s journey.

If you answered the call to participate in the Flash Fiction Rodeo this past month, you answered the same call every hero hears: the one the hero reluctantly answers. We think of heroes as Thor or Wonder Woman. Yet, the hero’s journey calls to us all. Winnie the Pooh and Frodo and Mary Tyler Moore are all heroes. It’s about the path:

  1. The call: the opening scene in which the hero is called out of the ordinary world.
  2. The test: the story develops conflict through tests, challenges, temptations, allies and enemies.
  3. The cave

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God’s Gift

Ruth took great comfort at the arrival of the familiar midwife. “My Godsend has come for me”, she smiled up from her bed.

The last time she’d come for Ruth had been when her son was born, a difficult, dangerous birthing, but she had let Ruth return. Now she was again holding Ruth’s hand, was again asking her if she was ready, if it was time.

“It’s time. I was so afraid before, but I’m ready now.”

“We’re proud of how you used your gift, how you’ve lived generously and fearlessly.”

As her son and his grown children wept around her bed, Ruth was peacefully borne away.


The bulls have been released at Carrot Ranch. For the sixth rodeo event writers must write a fictional story that involves facing a challenge or fear in 107 words and eight sentences and must include the two words drawn as your prompt (you may change the order of the words and they do not need to be adjacent). There are extra prompt words available if you would like to head on over and try this challenge.

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Just Desserts

“What I want ain’t on the menu, sweet cheeks.” His usual prelude to a grab at her ass.

He was a regular. She and Annie disagreed about the regulars, this one in particular, but Annie was the owner as well as the cook. “He’s just having a little harmless fun”, Annie would say.

He always sat at her tables. If she worked the counter he took a stool. “Lean over the counter, show me your specials.”

Straightening involuntarily, she endured his dessert order. “Gimme a taste of your cream-pie.”

“I knew you’d say that”, she said. “Here you go, made it special. The pie is to die for today.”

 

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My response to the challenge of #FFR event # 7: Write a flash fiction in 109 words, no more, no less and weave a murderous vibe through an every-day setting, either in thought or deed. Go to Carrot Ranch and enter this contest for the chance to win cash.

 

Flash Fiction Rodeo #6

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Bucking Bull Go-Round

By D. Avery

Luck of the Draw, Resilience of the Rider

Bull riders are “today’s gladiators,” willing to risk injury and death for their ride to fame. Can you imagine straddling an angry, snorting 1800-pound animal that wants nothing more than to shake you off and perhaps gore and trample you, too? What must it be like to prepare for that, to face down fear as you approach the chute and settle atop this beast that you will dance with in the arena? What are people’s motivations to confront such a challenge, to set upon it and not only hang on for dear life, but to ride it with as much grace and finesse as possible, showing courage and skill in equal measure? Carrot Ranch’s Bucking Bull Go-Round event is a flash fiction approximation of rodeo’s most dangerous event, bull riding.

At the Professional Bull Riders’ (PBR)…

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First Separation

“My bellybutton.”

“What?”

“That’s the first scar we get, the first scar of first separation.” She trailed her finger around his navel as she spoke.

“Ok”, he said, rolling onto his side, “Besides your bellybutton, what other scars do you have?”

“The blankets when you toss them aside and leave my bed are a scar. A scar of separation.”

“Really?”

“Yes, and when you go, it is wrenching, and the door is a scar.”

“Another scar of separation? Drama! I return, we heal.”

“What makes you think I have scars?”

“Everyone does. They’re our own imprinted stories. I showed you where I slid into the barbed wire fence.” He lifted his calf for her to see the scar again, then kissed her, held her gaze. “Thing is, we’ve been together a few times, but always with the lights off, always you wear a nightshirt.” Her eyes dropped.

“Look. Pruning saw slipped the branch, ripped my finger.”

She kissed his finger then pushed his hand away. She sat up, pulled off her shirt. “Scars of separation”, she whispered. “But I got away.”

“Know that I’ll never hurt you”, he said, gently tracing each raised imprint of a plunged knife.

 

This is my response to Irene Water’s challenge for the Rodeo event #4 over at Carrot Ranch. In a double length Carrot Ranch flash, or 2 chapters of 99-words each (198 words total), tell a story that shows a scar. It can be memoir, other forms of creative non-fiction, any genre of fiction or a BOTS.

Go over there and try it.

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Licked

On his fourth birthday his dad went to prison.

Shortly before his eighth birthday his dad was paroled.

His mom and dad partied together until she od’d.

The man called Dad left them, left him, alone.

He searched the house in vain for hidden presents.

He found needles, empty bottles and some uneaten oreos.

He ate in silence, imagining that she only slept.

Twisting each oreo apart, licking the filling, he knew.

This wasn’t birthday cake and his mom wasn’t asleep.

On TV, 911 calls bring action, help, and noise.

He would call, but after the oreos were gone.

 

This is my response to the Twitterflash challenge laid down by C. Jai Ferry for the Rodeo over at Carrot Ranch. 11 sentences of nine words each, tweeted. #FFRodeo#twitterflash     Try it.

Agape

Hanging up his coat and hat, the Reverend affixed a smile when he heard his wife speaking with someone in the dining room but that smile quickly folded in surprise when he recognized the stranger from his church seated at the head of the table, set for three.

“Welcome home, dear, I want you to meet Josiah, whom I have invited to have dinner with us- and to stay in the guest room for a while.”

The reverend’s mouth was agape as the stranger, his eyes shining warmly, spoke. “It is true Christian spirit, Reverend, to break bread with me and to offer a bed to me, a poor traveling preacher.”

Before the Reverend could respond, his wife Mary cheerfully reported that Josiah was willing to lead the congregation while they went on a long overdue vacation, and wasn’t this a godsend, she marveled, a traveling preacher?

The Reverend swallowed the rest of the wine from his wife’s cup before sitting heavily in an uncustomary seat beside her at the table as the traveling preacher planned aloud his first sermon, to be based, he said, on a quote attributed to Jimi Hendrix, ‘When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace’.

 

unnamed-11-e1462409384457This six sentence story written for  Unchartered Life under the Radar cue word “spirit” is a third, beginning with “Passing”, then “Showing Up“. 

Big Break

I am no musician, not with these big meaty mitts, but I sure enjoy good music, like to go to that little pub where the act sets up right there in the corner, like to sit close at the nearest table to watch and listen.

This guy the other night, man he was something, just himself and a well worn but well tuned acoustic six string, and man, well, like I say, I am no musician but he was something to hear and to see. He had these thick glasses half hidden by his tangled mop of hair, and I don’t think he was seeing anything anyway he was so intent, just playing, his music just amazingly clean and clear. He was very versatile, as skillful a picker as anyone I’ve ever heard, but my eyes ended up focused on his left hand, flowing up and down the neck of his guitar, his fluid fingers like nothing I’ve seen, wringing the most amazing sounds from that old guitar of his.

Finally pausing, mopping his brow, wiping his glasses, he announced that he had gotten a big break, had a recording contract and was heading to a major studio in a couple days but as he was doing all this his glasses slipped and skidded to a stop near where I sat. I don’t think this guy can hardly see without his glasses, because I had already picked them up to hand them to him when he bent over and was feeling about for them on the floor, but I didn’t expect that and I can’t tell you how bad I felt when I heard that awful crunch of his left hand under my big dumb boot.

 

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This six sentence story written for  Unchartered Life under the Radar cue word “fluid”. 

Flash to the Rescue #Flash4Storms

Though I’ve claimed to post only my own fiction here, this is a rare reblog, as Sarah Brentyn’s inspired generosity is worth sharing. Read her post and consider pitching in by pitching some words to help out those who are in real need.

Harvey, Irma, Maria… These hurricanes have hit hard, leaving massive damage in their wakes. Here’s how you can help: 1. Write a piece of flash fiction in 50 words or less with the theme: Help (This can be any sort of assistance, support, encouragement, or a story of someone or something that needs […]

via Flash Fiction Prompt for Hurricane Relief #Flash4Storms — Lemon Shark

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Here’s mine:

Flesh Fiction  #Flash4Storms

“Flash?”

“I think it’s a fun idea.”

“Flash?”

“Flash. Short and sweet. You’ve flashed before.”

“Yeah but I was so much younger then. But if it’s for a good cause… “

“It’s good for a dollar.”

“Then here ya go!”

“Um, please close your raincoat.”

“Wrong flash?”

“You need help.”

Transformation

That first time she was especially disoriented, dizzy even, and was uncertain and disbelieving. In the beginning she had not willed the experiences to happen, in fact was overwhelmed and bewildered when, while simply admiring a mossy knothole or a fern shrouded gnarled stump, she would suddenly feel herself falling in dark spinning space until she found herself inside the hollow, free to explore, incredulous that she fit. These first basic portals did not lead very far, and she did not, as you might be hoping, see any faerie people, though it seemed entirely possible.

In time, through attention and focus, she was able to exercise control and actually initiated these liminal experiences. First she would recognize a portal, which wasn’t so much a discovery as a declaration; “Ah, that is an enchanted spot, a sacred place”, she might say to herself and whoosh, she was in, at once both the consecrator and the consecrated. Each time she found there were vaster reaches to explore, and she spent more and more time in these secreted passages, feeling sanctified and whole. As she gained experience and confidence, she recognized more doorways into contemplation, became bolder. A bit of blue sky showing through clouds; whoosh! A bit of cloud in blue sky; whoosh! Even a worm hole; whoosh! And then, a raindrop suspended on a blade of grass. Whoosh! Here she was transformed by the warming sun, and ascended as mist.

There she contemplated the possibility of returning as a faerie person.


Written for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #22; Prose Challenge – Write a story with a maximum word count of 250 words that tells the story of a character or group of characters who discover a secret doorway.