#SixSentenceStories; Branch

A Six Sentence Story is a story told in six sentences. This writing challenge is a weekly event, but my muse has been ornery lately. But here is a response for the current challenge, with the prompt word “branch”. Thank you Denise at GirlieOntheEdge for hosting SixSentenceStories. Post your own HERE or just go there to read more Sixes.

Broken Branch by D. Avery

“Here, now, my darling, my dove, let’s not fight, I am extending the olive branch.”

And there it was, his usual peace offering in a chilled thin stemmed glass, skewered olives balanced on the rim, trailing an oily sheen in the dirty vodka martini that never failed to smother her smoldering anger.

“I wasn’t fighting, I only was trying to get you to listen,” and she knew this was true, again, and that again she wasn’t heard.

But again, his answer was to make drinks and usually she would put aside her anger, would succumb to another bleary armistice, would forget what it was she even wanted to say.

But not this time, this time she would not accept the terms of the truce, this time she’d say one thing, if only to hear it herself.

“No, I’m going to a meeting,” and she stepped, boldly, shakily, out the door.

#99Word Stories; Bones

The October 24, 2022 story challenge from Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch is to: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about bones. It can be any genre or tone. Is it spooky, irreverant, poignant? Go where the prompt leads! Submit at Carrot Ranch by October 29, 2022.

You might remember a double I wrote for the January 23, 2021 prompt, which was “Light At the End Of the Tunnel“. This response features those characters.

Something More by D. Avery

A corncob pipe rolls on the dash as the boat plunges and heaves, plunges and heaves through the chop.

At the helm of Skipper’s boat, it’s more than chill headwinds bringing tears to my eyes.

A solid sure boat. Skipper built it himself.

“Boats— just skin and bones. And something more,” Skipper would say, twinkling.

Skipper’s light has gone out.

I idle the engine.

“Ashes to ashes.”

I dump his remains into the waves. Then his corncob pipe. I watch pipe and ash and bone bob and sink before steering towards shore with a following sea.

“Fair winds, Skipper.”

Be sure to go to Carrot Ranch to read the complete “I See the Light In You” collection from last week. And there’s always the Ranch Yarns with Kid and Pal’s responses HERE.

#PicoftheWeek; Once A Year

autumn oblations
loons’ summer plumage offered
to the winter sky

The “Once A Year” square from Maria Antonia‘s #picoftheweek photo challenge bingo sheet refers to the annual migration of loons from their northern lakes to open ocean to the south. Before they go they molt, dotting the lake’s surface with clouds of feathers.

Check out Maria’s  #2022picoftheweek to see how you can participate in this fun prompt.

#99 Word Stories; “I see the light in you”

The October 17, 2022 story challenge from Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch is to: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that references “I see the light in you.” You can use the phrase or demonstrate it in a story. Who is shining and why? Who is observing or reacting? What is the setting? Go where the prompt leads! Submit by October 22, 2022.

An Encounter by D. Avery

She searched her reflection in the bathroom mirror, looked deep into her own eyes. She didn’t like what she saw. Still…

‘Aanii,’ the old woman had said. ‘I see the light in you.’ What a strange way to greet someone, someone you don’t even know.

“I don’t see it,” she said to her reflection, her sad eyes staring darkly back at her. But she couldn’t forget the twinkle in the old woman’s soft gaze.

She had seen a light in her.

That was something.

She put the pills back in the vial, put the vial back in the cabinet.

The last two Carrot Ranch Literary Community prompts, “tea”, then “water”, were great prompts and got great responses. See these collections of 99 word stories HERE and HERE.

#PicoftheWeek; Red or Green

fall torches burn bright
seasonal parades lit up
signals of winter

Since I last responded to Maria Antonia‘s weekly photo challenge she has come out with a new bingo sheet for the remaining three months of this year. I am using the “Red or Green” square for this photo, though the deciduous trees have no choice in the matter. Check out Maria’s  #2022picoftheweek to see how you can participate in this fun prompt.

Saddle Up Saloon: Cowsino October 2022

Kid and Pal host a monthly writing prompt at the Saddle Up Saloon. Try your hand at the Cowsino.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Welcome to the Saddle Up Saloon where we feature interactive characters, real-life authors & poets, the occasional Carrot Ranch announcement, and a Cowsino story game every first Friday of the month. You can learn about the craft of creative writing, introduce your own characters to the Kid & Pal crew, discuss the writer’s journey, and be part of making literary art accessible to anyone.

“Welcome back ta the Cowsino, ever’one. It’s the spot where ya git anuther chance ta practice yer writin chops without leavin the comfort an safety a the Carrot Ranch Literary Community.”

“Thet’s right, Kid. The famous story spine slot machine is in the Cowsino, at the Saddle Up Saloon, jist over the line from Carrot Ranch.”

“Atchally, Pal, I think it’s me an you that’s over the line. The Saddle Up is a part a the ranch, a waterin hole an restin place fer all our…

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