CRLC Challenge & SixSentenceStory

I’m a little late, but not too late for this week’s Six Sentence Story. The prompt word is pawn, and I almost let the living chess idea go, but then the Carrot Ranch prompt to use the phrase “hit the road jack” was the extra impetus for the following six-sentence 99-word story. Thank you Denise, host of Six Sentence Stories, and Charli Mills, 99-word guru buckaroo.

Fair Game

Live chess, with human pieces; Roman had expected blunders but this, the pawns refusing to move, was beyond the pale.

“We serve no king!”

Except for the short-lived knights, everything was in gridlock, and though the opposition moved cautiously, it was over for the king’s court quite quickly.

Roman clambered down from the platform and stalked onto the chessboard to confront his pawns, only for them to tell him what he had already witnessed— they would not advance, even in their own defense.

Roman watched his white pawns turn and applaud the black queen’s demand.

“Hit the road Jack!”

CRLC Challenge; Earthing Revisited

This is another response to the Carrot Ranch Literary Community April 22, 2021, prompt to write about “earthing”. I had posted what I thought of as two separate flashes in response to the prompt, but some readers saw them as being related and the same character. So here is a third (actually fourth) take on the prompt. This one combines the two ideas into one story and is less violent. I think this is more of what I had wanted to write in the first place. So thank you Chel Owens, for once again sending me back to the drawing board.

The Gardener

In the moonlight she knelt and breathed deeply of the sweet loamy air. The rich earth never failed to soothe her. Her garden was her oasis.

She straightened the ceramic sign, ‘Bloom where you’re planted’.

“Have to grow to bloom,” she thought. “Takes the right soil and light.”

Her garden was her oasis and her marriage a desert, with extremes of heat and cold, and violent unpredictable storms.

She squeezed a handful of soil. For him, a note on the counter. For her garden, a whispered goodbye in the moonlight.

She rose up, brushed herself off, and moved on.

The Carrot Ranch Literary Community April 22, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about earthing. Put a character’s hands, feet or body and soul into the earth. Who needs recharging? What happens between the interaction? Go where the prompt leads!

CRLC Challenge; Earthing

The Carrot Ranch Literary Community April 22, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about earthing. Put a character’s hands, feet or body and soul into the earth. Who needs recharging? What happens between the interaction? Go where the prompt leads!

Two unrelated takes from me, one dark one not.


“You wanna get up and run some more?”
He struck her again. She fell to the ground.
He stood over her. “Did you really think you could get away from me?”
Leaf mold pillowed her broken jaw. She couldn’t answer if she’d wanted to.
“You.” He kicked her.
“Will not.” Kicked her again.
“Get.” Kick.
“Away.” Kick.
“From me.”
Then he staggered back to the house, left her where she lay.
Stretched flat against the cool earth, she breathed in the sweet musty air. She reached her fingers and toes deep into the soil. She gathered strength, gathered courage.


The raised beds were filled with rich well-drained loam that she tilled and prepared for planting. Carefully she marked rows and sowed seeds. She nurtured the seedlings; diligently thinned, weeded, mulched and watered her growing greens and vegetable plants. All the raised beds were lush and verdant, except one.
One bed remained unplanted, though it was also carefully cultivated, its dark friable soil sun warmed.
“Welcoming,” she felt.
Only she knew that she planted that bed every day. Planted herself; then rose up, brushed herself off, raked the bed smooth, always leaving the garden feeling refreshed, smelling of earth.

d’Verse MTB; Hopscotch with anapestic tetrameter

Björn is manning the pub for poets this evening and has challenged us to try our hands and feet at anapestic tetrameter. (Think Dr. Seuss or T’was the Night Before Christmas.) The pub is open. Go by d’Verse to visit and write with a fine bunch of poets.

We have marked hopscotch squares with our feet. Here’s a stone

to be tossed, should you dare, in soft measured manner.

You’ll be lost should your muse skip and leave you alone

on the track. Don’t look back! Tripping feet slip, stammer.

#Friday Fictioneers; Emerging

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

Emerging by D. Avery

Even a child knows where babies come from— eggs!

But though even a child knows otherwise, adults taught that there were only two kinds of eggs; boys emerge from blue eggs and girls emerge from pink eggs. When eggs of different shades of pink or blue occurred the adults generalized to declare one or the other.

But the lavender shaded eggs! Were they more blue? Or more pink?

Finally it was realized that pink and blue are a part of lavender; maybe all eggs are shades of lavender!

Finally, all came to realize the color of one’s shell doesn’t matter.

It has been a too long time since I have participated in the Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge. But this photo of eggs inspired these 100 words. Thank you Rochelle for hosting and David Stewart for the photo.

CRLC Challenge; Generosity

Another response to the April 15, 2021, Carrot Ranch prompt: “In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that seeds generosity. Who is generous and why? Think of generosity as planting a future outcome. Go where the prompt leads!” 


People even ranked on the new kid’s lunch.

Surprisingly, Chet actually offered him his sub. The kid refused it.

“What? Ever… Loser.”

I went and sat with the new kid. “Trade?”

Honestly, mom’s sandwiches are as good or better than Chet’s deli subs. But don’t go thinking I’m generous or anything; honestly, I just wanted to show up Chet.

The second day— that was generosity. Again I choked down his bland bologna sandwich while he enjoyed mom’s egg salad.

But these days? It’s just lunch with my new friend. We split our lunches, share what we have between us.

CRLC Challenge & SixSentenceStory

A two part response to the April 15, 2021, Carrot Ranch prompt: “In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that seeds generosity. Who is generous and why? Think of generosity as planting a future outcome. Go where the prompt leads!The second part is 99 words and six sentences for Denise’s Six Sentence Story prompt, “walk”.

A Good Fit

“You’re very kind, but you don’t need to buy me clothes.”

“I expect reimbursement. I’m not that generous. But I saw these pants and thought they’d look good on you. Try them on.”

“They fit just like all my slacks— no slack. Ugh. Just break out the ice cream. I give up. I’ll be a size 14 forever.”

“That’s less than16. Plateaus happen. Besides, look at the tag— 12! You’re going down, Girl.”


She smiled, knowing that this “success” would motivate her friend in her weight loss efforts. It had been worth her effort in changing the tag.


“Forget the ice cream, it was too long a battle getting down to these size 12’s, I don’t want to lose ground; let’s go for a walk while you’re here.”

To her surprise, her friend set a faster pace than usual.

“You’ve got some real pep in your step today!”

“Be honest, do these pants make my ass look fast?” and she walked even faster, breaking a sweat. “Maybe I should buy them in another color.”

“Um, you know what, I am feeling generous after all and so in celebration of your success, the next pair is on me.” 

#SixSentenceStory; Home

It’s Wednesday, Six Sentence Story link up day, with the word of the week being “home”. Use that word or some form of it in exactly six sentences between now and Saturday. Find the linky at Denise’s GirlieOntheEdge blog. This Six is also in 99 words, the form used at the Carrot Ranch Literary Community for their weekly flash challenge. I’m too late for the recent “swift passage” challenge but it helped me here. Speaking of the Saddle Up Saloon at Carrot Ranch, there are now poetry challenges to be sampled there every first and third Monday, each open for a month, and this Monday, the twelfth, our own Clark Farley will be interviewed by fictional characters Kid and Pal.


Guides met me right away, with assurances of swift passage and a guaranteed berth. They would have preferred I take their advice but they have to honor the wishes of their charges and I’d made a promise to myself and to my family.

And so I am not where the guides advised me to go but neither am I where so many others, in stunned and stubborn denial, remain.

No. I promised those I love that I would come home.

I’ve been mourning my decision though, for I’m learning that we ghosts feel more haunted even than the living.