Spamming; CRLC Challenge

square-template79.pngActually, the July 9, 2020 prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary Community this week is to, “In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes that answers the question, who is Monreal Dorb. You can imagine the life of this fictitious person in any era or circumstance. Is there cause and effect at play? Go where the prompt leads!” Spamming comes up in Charli’s post. So does gardening, little critters, and writing craft. All leading me to the following response.

 

Canned Goods             by D. Avery

“Live around here?”
Wary, but staying planted in the paltry shade of the parking lot tree. “Around.” The constant circuit of shelters and flophouses; what her mother had called ‘da orbit’.
“What’s your name?”
Wondering why that matters. Eyeing cases of canned goods in the cart. Hunger always a dull ache pacing a wire cage but add today’s heat, she’s weak kneed from it. Named for a city her mother’d always tried to return to, she pronounces her first name the way she, with her missing front teeth, had. “Monreal. Monreal Dorb.” Finally is given a can of Spam.

Saddle Up Saloon; Walk About

Walk deliberately or just wander over to the Saddle Up Saloon. This week the saloon has become a trailhead, a place for you to share a comment, short poem or prose piece, or even a link about walking, favorite walks, or the relationship between walking and writing. Leave footprints!

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Saddle Up Saloon

“Dang it, Pal, what’s she doing here? I told ya! Barely been a week an’ here she is. Cain’t jist leave us be.”

“Lighten up, Kid. Don’t fergit, ever’one’s welcome at the Saddle Up Saloon, even our writer. Now shush…. Howdy, D. Avery.”

“What d’ya want?”

“Nice to see you too Kid. Hello Pal. I was just out wandering.”

“So yer lost?”

“No! I recognized the Saloon, thought I’d wander in.”

“Ya got lost!”

“No, Kid, all who wander aren’t lost. More important, even though I don’t always know where I am, I know where I’m not.”

“So here ya are. Jist ignore Kid. Seems ta have a permanent burr unner the saddle. What ya been up to?”

“Walking old trails, Pal, checking out new ones. Look at this.”IMG_1830.jpg

“Oh, thet’s purty. Thet along one a yer trails?”

“Nowadays it’s a public trail, but as a kid I used to…

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A Blossoming Scene; CRLC & SixSentenceStories

A little late with a Six Sentence Story where the word prompt is “line“, but have combined that with the Carrot Ranch Literary Community July 2, 2020, prompt to “in 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes the word blossom.The idea of lining bees came, then I realized the characters suited for that would be that Vermont farm family. First I wrote it as it came without counting sentences or words; it was 298 words. I then reconstructed and deleted to meet these prompts. After all that I feel they are each some sort of draft, and highly recommend the exercise.

six sentence story copy(Six Sentences; 217 words)

“I’ll be staying right here until this truck runs right again, so you two go line bees without me.”

He understood he was not to go with them but he watched as they stepped into the uncropped clover that aproned the barn where, as if moved by a gentle breeze, the purple blossoms, held aloft on trifoliate flagged stems, nodded and swayed with the weight of honeybees.

“We start right here, Hope,” she said, “We watch these bees load up with pollen, see which direction they go when they are done gathering; we follow.”

When Hope said “They buzz like sunshine, Mommy,” he knew it was true, that sunshine could be heard and felt as a buzz and hum, pulsating with life and promise; he heard it now and knew it was more than the bees on the clover, more than the tin of the shed roof beginning to ping as it warmed in the sun. He followed with his eyes as mother and daughter made their way across the meadow towards the hardwoods and though they used no compass or bee box he wouldn’t be surprised if they found the hive. He heard their laughter, a buzzing hum like sunshine and knew that even if they didn’t locate the hive, none of them would be disappointed.

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Three 99-word sections of the same story:

“Hope, have you ever lined bees?”

From under the truck hood he noted how her French Canadian accent was more pronounced with these sorts of questions, questions that might be asked of a much older person that she was working on getting to know, not of her own daughter. Like Hope, he also recognized it as an invitation, and he turned his head from his work to see the girl’s smile.

“I’ll be staying right here until this truck runs right again, so you two go line bees without me.” He understood he was not to go with them.

***

As if moved by a gentle breeze, the purple blossoms nodded and swayed under working honeybees.

“We start here, Hope. We watch these bees load up with pollen. Then we follow.”

“They buzz like sunshine, Mommy.” When Hope said that he knew it was true, that sunshine could be heard and felt, not just as heat but as a buzz and hum, pulsating with life and promise; he heard it now and knew it was more than the bees on the clover, more than the tin of the shed roof beginning to ping as it warmed in the sun.

***

He followed with his eyes as mother and daughter made their way across the meadow towards the hardwoods. Though they used no compass or bee box he wouldn’t be surprised if they found the hive. The pair paused. Though too far to see he knew they were at another patch of clover blossom, that they were again observing the bees, recalibrating their line. Looking across to where his wife and daughter crouched together he felt as much as heard their laughter, a buzzing hum like sunshine. Even if they didn’t locate the hive, none of them would be disappointed.

******

square-template12.pngOne 99-word version of the story:

As if moved by a gentle breeze, the purple blossoms nodded and swayed under working honeybees.

“They buzz like sunshine, Mommy.”

“We’ll follow when they take off with their pollen.”

Mother and daughter set across the meadow towards the hardwoods. Though they used no compass or bee box he wouldn’t be surprised if they found the hive. He saw his wife and daughter crouched at what must be another patch of clover. Well out of hearing range, he felt their laughter, a buzzing hum like sunshine. Even if they didn’t locate the hive, none of them would be disappointed.

******

Might’ve Been #dVerse MTB

Might’ve Been,    D. Avery

It might’ve been just a paver

stone solid underfoot

innocuous

fulvous rock

unnoticed had it not come to hand,

raised arm become muscled haft;

had it not glistened red,

bloodied in the sticky night.

 

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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

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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

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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?”

“Kid!”

“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?”

“She’s…

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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.”

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“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.

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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.