Sugar Report CRLC Challenge

Reading, the men disappeared into embraces remembered or imagined.

copy-of-working-template-for-ff-challenges34.pngThe Carrot Ranch February 13, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes a sugar report. Use its original meaning of a letter from a sweetheart to a soldier, or invent a new use for it. Go where the prompt leads!

Mail Drop

“She didn’t forget you this week, Dougie.”

The lieutenant handed out the mail, watched as the steamy jungle faded and the men disappeared into familiar kitchens, old neighborhoods, into embraces remembered or imagined.

Then his radio man was at his side. He didn’t need to tell his men; they were folding their letters, tucking them into their breast pockets, some kissing them before putting them in the band of their helmets. The jungle was back in full focus.

“Time to draw straws.”

“Don’t bother Lieu. I’ll go.” Dougie took point, his crumpled letter left behind in an MRE can.

The Plant

six sentence story copy

Here’s six sentences. Denise has given us “plant” for this week’s prompt which sprouted this story idea. It might be more of a sketch than a story, but it’s where the prompt led. Link your six sentences at GirlieOnTheEdge’s blog.

 

Built on the outskirts of town, the plant was a heavy drop of ink that seeps and spreads across the drawing paper; plazas mushroomed around the plant and the town itself deliquesced and leaked beyond its own edges.

New houses, ranch-style and kit log homes, sprouted up along the road; familiar trees were felled, familiar fields, the ones that had produced the hay we bought, were now either unmown, or transformed into manicured wastelands, clipped green carpets rolling up to the closed-windowed houses with their attached garages.

We weren’t real farmers; we had some land but not enough for hay of our own, but we raised our own beef, kept chickens for meat and eggs, and had a large garden that provided most our vegetables and potatoes that we put up for the winter.

The new houses didn’t have gardens, and even though McCourtney’s general store at the four corners had always served most needs, convenience stores and a chain grocery store also trickled out of town, coursing along the road and eventually washing McCourtney’s away.

Butchering day always had a holiday feel, solemn, yet a celebration of life and of plenty, a time when, even if we didn’t say it, we felt grateful for what we had, but that summer, giving in to the neighbors’ complaints of odors, it was a time of mourning, for we butchered for the last time, kept no calf to carry through to another season.

There wasn’t time for the garden anymore with Dad and me mowing lawns weekends, and Mom working shifts at the plant; even so, the car she needed to get there, along with the gas and the groceries, had them talking quiet at the table over a sketch of our lot, a bleeding pen line drawn through where the cow shed had abutted the garden, a despairing swath of impoverishment like we’d never known.

Filling the Page D’Verse quadrille # 97

dverselogoWhimzyGizmo is hosting Quadrille Monday at D’Verse Pub for Poets this evening. She would have us fill the page with a 44 word poem prompted by  the word “fill”. The following fulfills the word count and somewhere within is the word “fill”. Additionally I played with the quadrille form, with an ascending then descending word count- 4,5,6,7,7,6,5,4- for a grand total of 44. Just because. What shall we call this variant?

 

*****************************************

Wilted ones cast away

some preened, pruned, renewed bouquet

refreshing tasks at end of day.

Shake the grate, clean out the ash

stoke fire again, cold night to last.

Dark filled space between night stars

fading flowers in a jar

questions all we are.

 

 

She Was a Good One

copy-of-working-template-for-ff-challenges31.pngDog stories and tears are flowing at Carrot Ranch this week. The dog in the photo was Charli’s beloved Bobo. The February 6, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to the theme “a dog in the daisies.” It can be any dog, real or imagined. Push into the setting and as always, go where the prompt leads!

The first story follows on the heels of Crystal Visions, a six sentence story featuring Marlie and her Destiny Doll. The second story is just that, a story. 

###############################

Vision Quest

“Guess what Madame Destiny saw in her crystal ball?” Marlie burst into the kitchen, still wearing her mother’s white robe.

“You handle this one Liz. Oof, I need to sit down.”

“Let’s all sit down. You too, Madame Destiny, here you are. Okay, tell us your vision.”

“It will be a girl.” Marlie’s voice was solemn under the terry hood. Her father looked helpless.

“Smart, strong, and snuggly,” Marlie continued.

“Snuggly?”

“Yes. Soft and snuggly. And her name—”

“You know her name?”

“Her name… will be Daisy. She will be the best dog ever.”

“But—”

“Quiet, Bill. Visions change.”

###############################

 

The Woman Next Door

I guess it’s spying, but I’m curious about someone so mean. Lived next-door forever, all she’s ever said is ‘Quiet down!’ or ‘Go away!’ Mom leaves cookies every Christmas, never been invited in.

Those stone markers in her backyard explain the board fence; probably buried little kids that made the mistake of trying to retrieve their balls.

Shh, there she is. Picking some weedy daisies by her back porch. Now hobbling to the graveyard. Talking to the stones. Crying. “Such a good dog, you were. And you.”

Picks up the little dog that’s followed her, smiles. Wipes her eyes.

###############################

 

Reunion #sixsentencestory

IMG_2812.JPG

You may want to read The Connection and Knowing before reading this Six Sentence Story

The Reunion

Their college friends speculated that he was still off in the woods somewhere pursuing Sasquatch, or joked that maybe Bigfoot Bill had worked his way up and by now had been abducted by aliens; or they commiserated, said they couldn’t blame her for not staying with him; she met it all with a shrug and a small, noncommittal smile.

“You really miss him, don’t you?” and she gushed ‘yes’ before she realized her friend was of course referring to Bill, but it wasn’t Bill she was thinking of, it wasn’t Bill that had her counting the hours until she could head back.

“Nobody has seen him or heard from him, it’s like Bill just disappeared off the face of the Earth.”

She hid her wide eyes behind her tilted wine glass, startled, for that’s exactly what had happened.

Bill had come back, snooping around her campsite, asking her why she was still pursuing Sasquatch without him, but quieted when she invited him to walk with her along the cliff trail.

Shy and gentle, Sasquatch would not hurt anyone; but she was only human.

 

six sentence story copy

The Six Sentence Story prompt is brought to us by Denise at GirlieOnTheEdge. The word this week is “face” and the link opens for readers and writers on Wednesday.  

 

Carrying Mail

copy-of-working-template-for-ff-challenges29.png  The Carrot Ranch January 30, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a postal carrier in an extreme situation. Even if you base your story on a true one, focus on the core trait of this postal carrier. Go where the prompt leads!                  

While Charli’s photo is a familiar scene to me, and my grandfather delivered to boxes like that for decades, I went with fiction. Go to the Ranch to leave 99 words of your own. PYOG. (pick your own genre)

***

When he first started, his route rolled through the seasons, each the same in turn. Christmas catalogues, seed catalogues and boxes of yellow chicks, postcards from traveling friends and relatives, fall catalogues; often letters, always bills. He knew his families by what he left at the end of their driveways.

Driving the same route, he now felt disconnected. He rarely saw a postcard anymore, seldom a letter, even had fewer bills to deliver.

Thank goodness for Helen. She and her son exchange letters every week. She says he’s doing well, was himself working in the mailroom at the penitentiary.