six sentence story.jpgThe word from Girlie this week is “echo”, the challenge to use that word in a six sentence story. Follow the link to read more responses or to leave your own. 



They’d come to refer to it as her ‘downward spiral’.

Looking back, everyone tried to pinpoint its beginning. They noted declining interest in favorite activities; increasing reclusiveness; general irritability. They couldn’t ascertain whether drinking had increased or not, though agreed it had changed. It was no longer social, no longer an element of relaxed, hair down fun; now tended to splinter into sharp-pronged barbs of discontent.

Each imagined they knew where the edge of the downward spiral began and from those edges listened, dumbstruck by the silence, desperate for even an echo, surprised that she never once cried out.


dverselogo.jpg   I’m so muddled and befuddled, I am a day late with a response to Quadrille #56, Muddle up that Muse, from WhimseyGizmo at dVerse Pub. Finally I track this across the page, 44 words that muse upon the word ‘muddle’.


Words clinging to sodden shoes

soft mud chinked in tread of soles

dries and cakes, then falls loose

becomes dust, gathered by winds they blow;

cycle up into a muddled cloud

return anew as rain.

Poets through such puddles plow

soles muddied up again.

Squall Line

She could batten the hatches, weather this one out; these storms never lasted more than three days.

Somehow they always managed to arrive within moments of each other.

Three cars’ worth of doors flung open at once, spilling grandchildren who swirled behind their parents, the mass of them a single squall line bearing down, gusting through the front door without so much as a knock, her daughters’ smiles flashing like lightning.

The men and children retreated to the beach while her daughters assaulted her home, dusting, scrubbing; organizing her cupboards.

The aftermath was always erosion. She was losing ground.


This is a second take on the Carrot Ranch May 3rd prompt , 99 words (no more, no less) using a line in the story. It is also six sentences with the word “single”. Check out both sites to see more takes on these prompts, or leave a story of your own.

six sentence story.jpg                  rwr-1.png

Lines Cut

working-template-for-ff-challenges20.pngCharli’s post that primes her May 3rd prompt at Carrot Ranch this week is upbeat and hopeful with the promise and excitement of spring. But a word like “line” has so many meanings, can lead in so many directions. Here are 99 words (no more, no less) using a line in the story. 


 Lines Cut

I said I’d drop her a line and left; for adventure, for independence, for life.

I traveled, knew the hypnotic spell of the white line binding the highway’s edge, don’t cross it. I pulsed to the marcato beat of white lines cut on a sad square of mirror, don’t look. Learned to cook with a crucible spoon, quick and easy recipe scratched in welted purple lines on my skin, don’t ask.

My life is a tangled broken web, doesn’t hold fast. She tossed a lifeline but I cut it into pieces to knot around my arm, no going back.


1969_chevrolet_el_camino-pic-49513-1600x1200.jpgEarnest’s old El Camino had never shone so brightly as when Marge washed and waxed it, but he was finally ready to put it out by the road for sale, for it didn’t fit him anymore, and besides maybe he needed to spend his time and money on other things.

He and Marge were just walking away from having placed the sign in the windshield when a pickup, piloted by a big haired wiry little woman, ripped to a stop in the gravel yard in front of the shop. The driver’s side door swung open and Ilene Higginbottom swung out with it, dropping precariously from the height of her pickup truck, talking at Marge and extending a hand even before landing right in front of her on mismatched feet, “Ilene.”

“Yes, I see that”, replied Marge, shaking her hand, “What can we do for you?”

“You have something I want.”

“You’ll have to be more specific.”

“That El Camino; I need a truck that fits like a car, I am having too much trouble climbing in and out of this tank since my separation.”

“Your separation?” Earnest puzzled how Ilene Higginbottom’s status, single or otherwise, impacted vehicle entry, no matter the size of the truck.

“Yeah, since being separated from my leg, I have trouble stepping up.” Both Ilene and Marge guffawed loudly while Earnest blanched and stammered out the possibility of a trade.

They came to terms, sealing the deal with a beer, the women in the lawn chairs, Earnest roosting on a stack of used tires, facing them but unable to keep up with Ilene’s rapid fire prattle, and thinking his own thoughts anyway.

Earnest was thinking that he was glad to trade an El Camino that no longer fit for a truck that was roomy, sturdy and practical. He marveled at how everything in his life was turning out just right. If only Ilene would go home soon, but she and Marge seemed to be having a good time. Earnest smiled and caught Marge’s eye as one of the young robins took advantage of the puddle that remained from the car washing. Ilene, amazingly, paused in her talking to watch it too. She looked at the two of them, Earnest and Marge, who were exchanging glances and remarking on the bird like proud parents. Then Ilene Higginbottom looked right at Earnest, long enough to make him turn colors, before stating, “Earnest, you have a good thing here, you and Marge seem to be a good fit.”

She stood and thanked them both for the beer. “I’ll be off, I got what I wanted.”


From their series; Earnest Biggs and Marge Small