CRLC Challenge; Feathers

July 8, 2021, Carrot Ranch prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that features feathers. It can be a single feather or more. Where did the feather come from? Does it hold meaning to the character or story? Go where the prompt leads!

This prompt made me think of past prompts where I featured feathers in those responses. So first there’s this:

Rhymes in 99

A first feather from a first flash
A poet’s page fluttering from ash

Once upon another time, a magic feather quill
A heroine true to her path, one she travels still

Another tale of transformation, turtle becoming crane
No longer pining, shedding shell for feathered wings

Many birds have tracked across these pages
Blue herons, common loons, sashaying chickens, noisy ravens

Here at Carrot Ranch I first began to write
Here took up quill and with that quill took flight

Now it’s a matter of when and not whether
I’ll come up with a flash again featuring a feather.

At the last minute, there’s this, a fresh response after all, another blast from the past, with Marge and her pals Lloyd and Ilene and there’s more allusions to former prompts and I get bonus carrots at Carrot Ranch for getting a unicorn in:

Goodwill Hatching

“Okay, I’m here. With truck. Goodwill? What’s up?”
“It’s epic, Marge.”
Brightly colored clothing spilled and tumbled out of boxes and bags that lined Ilene’s walkway.
“What’s epic, Lloyd?”
“Ilene’s molting!”
“Yes! I’m divesting myself of my plumage! It’s simple earth tone tunics and leggings for me from here on out.”
“Don’t you mean legging? Really, Ilene? No more Toucan Sam outfits? Bet Fruit Loops here put you up to this. You going to cut your big hair too?”
“No! That’s my crowning glory!”
“At least keep this pink feather boa, Ilene. And what’s this?”
“My unicorn headband.”

CRLC Challenge; Old Photograph

The Carrot Ranch July 1, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about “the old photograph.” What is captivating about it? Where did it come from? How does it incite a story? Go where the prompt leads!

My first draft was 170 words and showed more the mother’s being stuck and the impact of the family dynamics on the mc. I enjoyed the challenge of whittling and hope the 99 words work.

Arrested Development

There was he and his brother, practically twins, astride their motorcycles, grinning widely. Ten years ago. Same old pictures; did any of them smile anymore?

“Will you ever update these photos?”

She ignored the edge in his voice. 

 “Your brother misses you.”

“Right.” But he went to his room.

“Hey, Bro. How about a picture of the two of us?”

The selfie showed his own face fuller but much the same, his hair thinning at the temples. His brother’s skin was tight and shiny, his open eyes vacant and unseeing. The breathing tube showed, the feeding tube did not.