Small Acts

Small Acts

It was a simple note, hastily scrawled, but it made her smile. Leaving a note was a small thing that she appreciated and that he usually didn’t bother with; he’d even signed this one “I love you”.

According to the note he would be back from his errands in an hour. She decided, as a small act of reciprocation, to have his favorite snack ready and waiting for him.

When an hour and a half passed she was mildly annoyed; when two and a half hours passed she had gone from anger to worry; when the phone rang following the distant sirens, she trembled answering it.

She still has the note, reads it often and wonders what the rest of their lives together would have been had it not been for that terrible accident that took him so swiftly and unexpectedly that afternoon.

six sentence story copy


Take NOTE. It’s another Six Sentence Story prompt from Denise at GirlieOntheEdge. Drop by and leave a Six of your own or read the others.

Please read and write responsibly, six sentences at a time.



It’s a quadrille Monday at the Poet’s Pub, #89 in fact, and Merril has served up the word “set”. Despite some initial technical difficulties I am now all set with these 44 words.



Seed potatoes and onion sets

his planting now mostly these

come fall he’ll gather butternuts

apple drops from straggly trees.

His old horse predeceased him

hamed collar hangs near the plow

wonders how he’ll get the wood in

to keep winter fires burning now.


Not here.

Not today,

not tomorrow;

there’s no more safe haven.

Dreams die.

You know

ugly truths

under myths’ cloaks.

Were there ever havens?

We’ve lied.

All hopes wither with yours





For awhile I have been meaning to try out “cinqku”, a form that Kat Myrman has been using quite effectively at like mercury colliding. This is not that five line form. This poem  does have two sets of  five lines with the cinqku 2,3,4,6,2 syllable count, followed by two final lines of 6 and 2 syllables. I fudged it, in form and function, all so that I cold make the 32 word count for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt challenge using the word “haven“.  

Well Read

It’s bad enough having a brother, even worse when he’s a twin, but not an identical twin, just fraternal, just another brother, except this one has the same birthday and everyone compares us, which he likes because to him everything is a competition, a contest, even though everything comes easily to him, even school.

In fifth grade Mrs. Wilson said she can’t go bending the rules now can she, that even though I have started reading a sixth book I haven’t finished six books so I can’t get on the bus to go on the special picnic with my brother and all the other kids who’ve managed to read six or more chapter books since Christmas break. I will have to stay behind with Ms. Danielson and her first and second graders.

It’s lunchtime but instead of going upstairs to the gym where lunch is usually served the little kids carry boxes of sandwiches and chips outside for a picnic and then we stay outside all afternoon because some of the boxes contain picture books. Ms. Danielson has me help some of the little kids with their reading and she tells her class to always choose kind and to work hard like me, tells me she knows I don’t just coast through school.

Now I am in sixth grade and Mrs. Wilson is trying to convince me to go on the picnic bus because I read eight chapter books, two more than my brother, but I don’t, I get permission to stay behind because it’s Friday and ever since that day in fifth grade I go to Ms. Danielson’s on Friday afternoons to read with the little kids.

six sentence story copy  The Six Sentence Story prompt is “coast”. Thank you Denise at GirlieOnTheEdge for continuing the venerable tradition and coaxing stories, six sentences at a time. 

Rodeo #1: Modern Tall Tale

Saddle up! The Carrot Ranch Literary Community’s writing contests have begun.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Out west where I grew up, to tell a tall tale was to tell a whopper of a lie so big no one would ever believe it. Someone would start the storytelling, and the next person would try to out-exaggerate the last one. Some told tall tales as a joke, especially if an inexperienced newbie might believe it. Wild Bill Hickok’s biographer, Joseph Rosa, suspected that Bill magnified the truth for fun.

Tall tales are the stuff of dime-store novels and pulp fiction.

What is a tall tale? One that openly exaggerates and magnifies the truth to the point of being unbelievable. The story itself is hyperbole. But we want to believe it because it’s humorous, melodramatic, or sensational.

This contest asks you to give a tall tale a modern bent. Don’t rely on the stories of Pecos Bill or 19th-century dime-store westerns. Go past the early sci-fi and…

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Get Ready to Rodeo Like It’s 2019!

Yep. It’s Cowpoke Christmas time again! October, Rodeo at the Ranch, when challenge becomes contest, when ya saddle up and give each prompt yer best ride.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

The 2019 Flash Fiction Rodeo begins October 3 (TODAY!) and remains a free-to-enter series of contests. Here’s the contest schedule:

  • Oct. 3 (11:59 pm EST): Modern Tall Tales (entries due Oct. 9, 11:59 pm EST)
  • Oct. 10 (11:59 pm EST): Pro-Bull Mashup (entries due Oct. 16, 11:59 pm EST)
  • Oct. 17 (11:59 pm EST): Three-Act Story (entries due Oct. 23, 11:59 pm EST)
  • Oct. 24 (11:59 pm EST): TUFF Beans (entries due Oct. 30, 11:59 pm EST)


This is your pep talk. Saddle up, you got this! It’s also the post to help guide you through the expectations. Each contest will have its own post, going live at 11:59 p.m. EST (set your clock to New York City). You have until the following Wednesday by 11:59 p.m. EST to submit. That’s a full seven days.

The Ranchers…

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Abandoned Ship

copy-of-working-template-for-ff-challenges15.png Charli Mills sounded the historical depths of her Superior lake and discovered a mysterious and spooky tale , though what caught her was the idea of those “unremembered”. Who are they? What’s their story? The prompt led me to write from the Hudson’s point of view, to suggest an answer to the question of why the ship sank and why it rises once a year. I hope this prompts you to click over to Carrot Ranch to read the collection of 99 word stories that surfaced from Charli’s September 26 Flash Fiction Challenge.



I just stopped. Our arguing raged like the gale winds that pummeled us broadside. How could he? How could he have a fiancé waiting in port? I refused to move unless he forswore that woman. For hadn’t he already chosen a life on the waters? Wasn’t he wed to me?

He had his engineers doing all they could but I refused to respond, for his desperation was to make it to land- to her. No. Let her be unremembered.

High rolling waves consummated our vows. Now every September we celebrate our anniversary. He and I will never be forgotten.