Might’ve Been #dVerse MTB

Might’ve Been,    D. Avery

It might’ve been just a paver

stone solid underfoot


fulvous rock

unnoticed had it not come to hand,

raised arm become muscled haft;

had it not glistened red,

bloodied in the sticky night.



The idea from Frank J. Tassone at dVerse Poets’ Pub for todays Meeting the Bar prompt is Imagism. Frank says, “Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a poem utilizing the aesthetics of the Imagists. Use free verse, imagery, a focus on the “thing” of your choosing, and an economy of language in service of your presentation.”

Cast Iron #SixSentenceStory

six sentence story copy

On Sundays Denise of GirlieOntheEdge reveals the word and this week the word is “iron”. On Wednesdays the linky thing is opened to any who have a story in six sentences exactly to share.



Cast Iron  by D. Avery

For about a week afterwards, until they got the new stove, neighbors paraded through their kitchen, all wanting to see for themselves the cast iron pan welded to the cook range by a bolt of lightning.

Their visitors would tug at the pan, offer theories and solutions, shake their heads and exclaim about the strike of lightning; such a close call, a stroke of luck that there was no other damage done.

For each visitor they recounted how the lightning snaked right through the keyhole then expanded and snapped like a whip between the two of them stopped short there in the kitchen, staring at each other over the crackling divide. They both agreed on the details, retold it always the same, describing the bolt as crackling light, a crackling that was observed with all the senses, not just the crumpled aluminum foil sound in the ear, but also felt as hair prickling on cold arms; smelled as a drying rush of chlorine heat in the nose; a crackling so bright to the eye that, though they were but two steps away, for a long blinding moment they lost sight of one another.

They didn’t mention, ever, the fact that just prior to the flash of lightning, her angered breath had been a hot and gusty wind; that the pan had been raised in the air, a thunderhead grasped in her two desperate hands, pealing as she crashed the pan down on the stove top, her fury startling them both, causing each of them to freeze in place as the lightning strike lashed between them.

Forever after the incident, they moved carefully, stepped widely around one another as if the divide remained between them, dangerous and charged, still crackling in the dark aftermath.

Deep Waters CRLC Challenge


Overlapping by D. Avery

She was eighty years my senior, I the youngest child of her youngest child’s oldest child. From the 20 years our lives overlapped I have only a handful of memories, recalled like sepia snapshots. But if I examine any one of those snapshot memories of us together, somewhere in the frame, in distinct shiny color, is her queen conch shell.th Me trying to fathom the spindrift shell, she saying put it to your ear, smiling as ageless ocean washes over me in a rushing tide; us, swimming easily, floating in timeless deep waters that muffle all but that moment.

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The Carrot Ranch June 11, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about deep waters. It can be literal or metaphorical. Think of a place and person and situation. Explore. Bathe. Renew. Go where the prompt leads!

I’m late this week as I thought a different story was headed my way, but the above memory is where the prompt led. Then I got a surprise visit from two characters that haven’t been around much lately, but who have their own page, The Fold

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Emerging by D. Avery

He and Hope followed the brook through the softwoods to his favorite fishing spot. But when Hope saw the clear deep pool she was no longer interested in catching trout. She became a trout, flashing sleek and slippery through the water.

Hope stood briefly, a little girl again. Then she knelt beneath the surface, remained curled up on the gravel bottom. He held his own breath until finally Hope unfolded, emerging at last from the cold water. Solemnly she disclosed that she’d been a rock for ten million years.

“There’s magic here, Daddy.”

“Yes, Hope. I see it too.”

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Saddle Up Saloon; Art Showin’

The Saddle Up Saloon is an art gallery this week! Come by to see the displays of local visual artists and leave links to your own. It’s all good here.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Saddle Up Saloon

“Wow, Lit Kit Libation Slingin’ Librarian and new bartender at the Saddle Up Saloon, this art show is happening!”

“Really Kid? I can tell there’s no word limit here. Just call me Lit Kit already. But yes, the bar is busy.”

“Yep, Lit Kit, there’s sure  a mess a folks here ta show an’ see visual art work.”

“Heehee. Some a them make Shorty look tall. Look, there’s Ann Edall Robson. An’ who’s that sippin’ a tall glass a Sauvignon Blanc?”

“You two don’t get out much, do you? That’s author-illustrator Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. And she’s been the lead buccaneer captaining Friday Fictioneers for the past eight years. Look, I have to tend the bar. Go talk to Rochelle, she’s interesting.”

“Howdy ma’am. Welcome ta the Saddle Up. I’m Pal, this here’s Kid.”

“Yer a author-illustrator? Soun’s like a chicken-egg conundrum. Which comes first?”


“It’s okay, Pal, it’s a…

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Therapy #SixSentenceStory

Therapy Session, D. Avery

Since that first day that Ilene Higginbottom had recruited Ernest Biggs to pick him up and drive him to school, Vinny regularly met Ernest out at the weed rivered sidewalk, but earlier in the morning, so they could relax over breakfast at the diner and still be on time, their morning ending with Vinny hopping like a gangly fledgling out of Ernest’s pickup in the line of SUV’s and minivans at the school entrance.

On this day, as sometimes happened, it was Marge’s pickup that turned up his street, her ever-present fishing rods in the gun-rack in the back window; Vinny leaned against the passenger side door watching her, waiting for her to put it in gear and go but she sat unmoving with her hands on the wheel, looking out at the overcast sky.

“These clouds like this, Vinny, they’re going to be here most of the morning, but there’s no rain going to come from them; it’s a beautiful morning, a most beautiful morning.”

Vinny, having never heard Marge go on so much about anything before, just nodded as if he got her point, and continued to watch her from his side of the truck while she worked her phone.

“Ilene, Vinny won’t be in today, I’m taking him to his therapy session, so you should probably mark it as excused medical, that shouldn’t affect his attendance record.”

The second phone call was to Ernest telling him to take care of her most pressing projects in their auto shop, that she would be spending the day with Vinny, fishing.


six sentence story copy

The word from Denise at GirlieOntheEdge this week is “therapy“. I was delighted to have Marge Small return after a long absence and insist on fishing. Vinny is the young man that Ilene Higginbottom and her friends look out for. Here’s the linky up to share your own Six Sentence Story and read others.

Saddle Up Saloon; Craftin’ Plans

Howdy! Kid and Pal are puttin’ the call out ta visual artists. If ya wanna be a featured guest at the Saddle Up Saloon next week or have yer paintings, drawings, photographs, etc. shown, contact them via averydede.1@gmail.com .

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Saddle Up Saloon

“Pal, who’s that jist come inta the saloon?”

“Yer askin’ the wrong person, Kid. Jist shush… Howdy, Ma’am. Yer lookin’ a might lost.”

“Well, I might be lost. I’m not sure where I am. This place looks like the setting of Gunsmoke, except without the guns. Or the smoke.”

“Thet’s ‘zactly right Ma’am, none a thet here. Welcome ta the Saddle Up Saloon, where folks kin jist git away from all their present realities. Kin we git ya a drink? Whoa, Lit Kit’s already got one fer ya at the bar.”

“Yum. A Naughty Nurse. She made it just how I like it.”

“Now how’d she know… Who are you?”

“I’m the quiller.”

“”Not very subtle, are ya? ‘Fraid yer gonna have ta leave. No guns, no smoke, ‘an no killin’ in these parts.”

“Pal, she said quiller, not killer.”

“Oh. Thanks, Lit Kit. Uh, what’s a quiller?”


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Sojourners; CRLC Challenge

Sojourners, D. Avery

“I know you want to go too, Liz. But I’m going without a pass.”

“Pass? Oh…”

“I can’t explain it Liz, but I want to go this alone; stripped of my prestige and privilege, just me in my own skin, by my own self.”

“I’m afraid for you Toni.”

“That’s why I’m going to D.C.”

“Let me go with you. We’ll bring the girls’ capes. Crusade for justice. Together. For all.”

“Justice for all… all lives matter. But this is about black lives, about those who have never yet experienced justice. What matters is how black people are living.”


“I want to help.”

“Good. Help me fill my car with water and food for the protestors. And take good care of Sofie while I’m gone.”

“Bill can handle the girls…”

“Liz, I know you’re in this fight with me. Stay out of harm’s way.”

“I want to help.”

“You’re a lawyer. I need you here behind the lines. Besides, if you go with me we’ll both have to quarantine afterwards.”

“College roommates… hardworking professional women… Toni, I’ve only ever seen our similarities.”

“Color’s a difference we can’t ignore. Overcome? We can’t overcome. Not until there’s justice. For all.



Another response to the Carrot Ranch  “Justice For All” challenge, this follows a Six Sentence Story “What’s Wrong” which followed “Destiny Dawning” which followed Spots, a previous CRLC challenge. Marlie and Sofie and their families are standing up and speaking out.






What’s Wrong? #SixSentenceStories

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The word from Denise this week is “passion”. Go to GirlieOntheEdge to add your impassioned six sentence story to the linky and to read others’. I am using the prompt to continue a Marlie thread from other recent prompts. Indulge me this double Six this week.


What’s Wrong, D. Avery

“Toni, Sofie, come in, Marlie’s in her room Sofie, and Toni, I have just two questions for you: patio or counter, tea or something stronger?”

“Patio, and I trust you and Tito to prepare an interesting tea.”

Liz garnished the drinks with passion-fruit and joined her friend out on the patio, where they sat in silence in the waning afternoon light. Finally Toni, squeezing Liz’s hand, sighed, “You always know just what to say, Liz, even at this time… with all this madness.”

“Thank you, but I haven’t said anything, Toni.”

“Exactly, Liz, and you won’t say anything as I bawl my eyes out right here, right now, won’t attempt comforting words or explanations or even apologies.”


Toni took up Liz’s pale hand again, examined it in her own. “I cry when I think about Sofie’s Great Northern Migration project, how she researched the story of my grandparents seeking a better life, of escaping oppression.”

“It’s so sad, so scary, Toni; I have nightmares— it is a nightmare.”

“When my Joe came home from Afghanistan he had nightmares; he was haunted by what he experienced there, but he went back, always a dutiful soldier, always passionate about serving his country. If he hadn’t gotten killed over there fighting for his country— for this country— I wonder would he have been killed here at the hands of this country? Because there’s still a wrong place, wrong time for those of us with the wrong color skin.”

Justice For All; CRLC Challenge

The June 4, 2020, prompt from Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about justice for all. It does not have to take place in America. Injustice exists anywhere. What is the story behind justice for all? Go where the prompt leads!

Injustice does exist anywhere, but the hard horrible historical and present fact is, injustice exists here. In my home country. It’s a hard truth, covered over for centuries by the thinning myths of the prevailing narratives. Solomon Burke sings, ‘If one of us is chained, none of us are free’. If one reads/hears that “us” as truly including all of us, everyone of us, the pluribus and not just this unum or that unum, there is yet some hope for all of us. There is only hope for any one of us if there can be justice for all.



I encourage you to read Charli’s post.               In response to the Carrot Ranch challenge I present here two unrelated stories, each featuring familiar characters.                        There is also a related 99 word poem, Shutters


Flattening the Curve, D. Avery

The older woman slammed the loaded clip into her semiautomatic rifle. “This is for if they come by.” She tucked the handgun into her waistband. “This is if they come close.”

“Aunt Fannie!”

“What? I told you when you came here from college I was ready for anything this pandemic had to offer.” She chambered a round. “I don’t claim to be colorblind, but this rifle truly is. It delivers justice for all.”

“Auntie! You don’t have to be afraid of them.”

“Don’t I? We all do.”

“Black men aren’t inherently dangerous!”

“No shit. It’s white men I fear.”



Destiny Dawning, D. Avery

“What’s the matter, Mommy? It’s still dark.”

“Move over?”

Marlie lifted the covers and made room. “Did you have a nightmare?”

“Actually, Marlie, I did.”

“Don’t be afraid. Teddy? Or Destiny?”

Liz took the Destiny Doll, but what she really wanted— needed— was this, to just lie close with her little girl.

“Mommy, tomorrow can you make a cape for Destiny? And one for me and one for Sofie?”

“Sure. What color?”

“Every color!”

“Like a rainbow?”

“Rainbow colors, brown colors, black colors, tan colors— every color. We’re caped crusaders. Justice! For all!”

“Marlie, I’m feeling less afraid now.”



Shutters, D. Avery

Windows shuttered against black

night falls dark on the white house

The best defense a fence

barred and bricked

a strong offense a long rope (or short)

Short straws short sticks short fuses

spark oh, the best defense is a steady knee that presses

home the point

If they get off their knees, (for which it stands

to reason that) they will demand!

Crossing lines long held indivisible.


Liberties have been taken

and lives, so many lives. We’ve lost

our humanity sold

into bondage every time we shutter

our houses divided

until we unite

until there’s justice for all.