#SixSentenceStories; Detour

A Six Sentence Story is a story told in exactly six sentences. It could also be a six lined or six stanza poem; it could be a soc, a bots, or creative non-fiction. This week’s prompt word, provided by our hostess Denise, at GirlieOntheEdge, is “detour“.

Six Sentence Detour

She didn’t feel up to a dinner party, not on the very day she finally was back in her own home, but for this hostess she would make an effort, would throw together a six-bean salad for the potluck buffet, would make an appearance, would at least be seen on the scene before ducking out and retreating to reflect on her long strange detour.

For she wasn’t yet ready to talk about where she’d been and the beautiful, austere lands she’d seen— damaged yet enduring lands that, despite dust storms, droughts, wildfires, and floods, still managed to inspire a sense of wonder and a modicum of hope.

She’d found some people living in those lands to also admire for their endurance and adaptability, but mostly the trip had made her weary and wary of the lands’ people, not of those many she’d seen that didn’t have a meal, let alone a home, but of the many more that looked the other way, that tossed blame instead of help or empathy.

And now a dinner party?

Well, these gathered people with their stories, as colorful, as sweet and sour as her proffered salad, might be good medicine for her subdued mood. No more detours— time to break bread at the Bistro, with its down-home cooking, served with all the sixin’s.

#SixSentenceStories; Rhythm

A Six Sentence Story is a story told in exactly six sentences. It could also be a six lined or six stanza poem; it could be a soc, a bots, or creative non-fiction. This week’s prompt word, provided by our hostess Denise, at GirlieOntheEdge, is “rhythm“. I’m early this week, the link will open Wednesday at six pm, EST, so write now so you can link up your story then and join the fun crowd of Sixers.

A Strong, Regular, Repeated Pattern by D. Avery

Rodney Snoddergust, though a good sport, was not known for athleticism or coordination, in fact quite the opposite.

In basketball he stood out for his clumsy missteps and spectacular airballs and at season’s end when the court was transformed and decorated for that unfortunate school dance, his signature move was, all too literally, the anklebreaker.

He and his dance partner were both healed and ambulatory by baseball season, when Rodney stoically donned cleats and took up the bat for his team, but always he swung a beat too late, never occasioning to hear the gratifying ring of aluminum connecting with the ball, nor the satisfying slap of a ball in the pocket of his mitt.

But his school also fielded a spelling bee team and it was here that Rodney excelled; in this arena Rodney was the cleanup hitter assuring his team of victory; here he confidently stamped out the letters of the most obscure words linguistics had to offer in a metronomic voice that never faltered throughout the finals, for here Rodney was in the zone.

There was only one word that rattled this spelling prodigy, and suddenly the pronouncer lobbed it, that vexing six letter word that seemed strangled and constricted by its plethora of consonants, but Rodney took a deep vowelly breath and stepped up to the microphone.

“Rhythm; r-y-t-h-y-m; rhythm.”

#SixSentenceStories; Harmony

A Six Sentence Story is a story told in exactly six sentences. It could also be a six lined or six stanza poem; it could be a soc, a bots, or creative non-fiction. Thing is, our hostess Denise, at GirlieOntheEdge, is pretty easy going. Six sentences, and this week include the word “harmony“. Link up your story, read others, have fun.

Silent Accord by D. Avery

Harmony Entwistle flat out couldn’t carry a tune but she could carry on in an argument and certainly could carry a grudge. The only thing sharper than her shrill voice were her features and the biting wit she directed at her husband Lester, noting with glee his every fault.

Lester Entwistle felt he was suffocating in the dissonance of their marriage and after too many discordant years he conducted a plan. He purchased a tuba, a rather large one, with a hard case for transport.

When Harmony Entwistle’s one friend, Melody McNasty, rang one day and inquired whether Harmony was in the house, Lester almost answered yes, but informed her that Harmony was away. Then he hung up and enjoyed the peace, the tuba shining where it stood uncased, big and brassy and silent.

#SixSentenceStories; Ingredients

Below is a Six Sentence Story, a story told in exactly six sentences, and this week includes the word ingredient. Our hostess is Denise, at GirlieOntheEdge. Link up your story, read others, have fun. Oh, you may not get this season where you are, but it is high Mud Season just now in northern Vermont.

Sweet by D. Avery

“Look, I appreciate your enthusiasm and poetic license and all that, but please, I just need you to stop, I need to concentrate on driving.”

For that wasn’t icing and marble cake, it was actual ice, compacted snow coating the rutted road, the mud underneath that frozen-slick in the cool morning.

Her daughter shrugged and fell silent, stopped describing the treacherous road as if it were a delicious dessert. But as they topped the hill and eased around another curve she grinned again. “Ok, but just look at that lemon meringue sky with the sun glowing through the fog.”

She sighed, because the warm sunny day that was forecast combined with the snowmelt were the perfect ingredients for what was sure to be thick syrupy chocolate pudding on the return trip that afternoon.   

#SixSentenceStories; Canvas

I was determined to take part in Six Sentence Stories this week, even started out confident in a story idea. Somewhere along the way that idea, though drafted, became not good enough. I contemplated repurposing a poem originally written for d’Verse and soon to be a part of Poem City as it just happens to have six periods and includes the word ‘canvas‘. But I determined to take part and for me that means something fresh for the Sixers. Shouldn’t be so difficult, all that is required are six sentences. The prompt and the linky thing are provided by ever gracious hostess with the mostest, Denise, at GirlieOntheEdge.

Painting by D. Avery

Canvases are everywhere; a weave of clouds, snow crusted field, the blank white-paged stare. No, what I’m without is paint, and when I pick up pen to parry this lack, I am beaten back, my attack an easily read feint. 

I’ve been lucky, rarely, to see the light page lift as if a wing, words colorful birds that take flight and sing.

Sometimes the page is sail cloth, other times a winding sheet, but every time I pick up pen and do not admit defeat.

The thing about a canvas, so neat and clean and bare, is how it faces me with bald contempt, presents such an audacious dare. 

Weary, ever wary, I pick up pen, feint and parry, and wonder what mark I might put there.

#WWP #249; Recipe & #SSS; Rambunctious

Here’s what happened. First I wrote these 36 words for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt:

Recipe for a classic tale:

Character(s)

beginning, middle, end

Problem— to solve or tragically fail

stir in wily nemesis, maybe loyal friend

let set (hard time alone)

serve character(s) changed and arrived back home.

Then I figured I should follow that recipe, and further figured I could get in under the wire for the Six Sentence Story prompt. With only 36 words this was a bit of a challenge. It’s all a might fudged. The nemesis and loyal friend are to be inferred, and there’s a plot twist. The 6-line 36-word tale was pared down from the longer draft below.

Domesticated Oats

Rambunctious prince undergoes quest

wild to pass his father’s tests

Encounters a woman wholesome and good

tending a small field within a large wood

Ambitious prince now settled down

found something richer than a gold crown

Rambunctious prince requested to settle down

was sent to slay dragons and giants, maybe rescue a princess

his father’s demands would be met before passing the crown.

At the far edge of the forest, a woman with no royal interests

captured the prince with a disarming smile

agreed to teach him to live, fair warned him it’d take a long while.

His quest to settle down far from foiled

his sword now a plough, the prince tills the soil.

He slew his old dragons of ambition and greed

lives happily with his queen with all that they need.

P.S. Is anyone else having a new problem with Word Press? Or am I doing something silly? I can no longer copy/paste text from a document into the text blocks in WP. It comes in as an image.

P.P.S. Here’s what I figured out: Though I didn’t used to have to, it does work to first copy/paste from Word into Text Editor and then copy/paste from there into WordPress. That’s not so bad.

#SixSentenceStories; Redemption

The Road To Redemption by D. Avery

It took Kid and Pal a while to figure out what was different at Ernie’s place, but it sure looked good, tidier than they could ever recall seeing it. 

Ernie looked about the same, like a big old brillo pad bristling through faded overalls, and he heaved himself into his truck, told those two he was headed to Sixville, looking for redemption.

Well, they couldn’t figure that one out, thought Ernie was already redeemed for he was no longer known as Ornery, he’d given up drinking, had forgiven and welcomed back his wandering wife Wanda and now just tended his garden and baked cookies. “Yep,” he said, reminiscing, “if I had a nickel fer ever beer I drank…”

Kid wondered out loud what Sixville could possibly have that couldn’t be found on the Ranch, and Ernie only answered, “Redemption!” and drove across the Ranch to Sixville.

And that’s when Kid and Pal saw that the back of Ernie’s truck was stuffed with bags of empty beer cans and reckoned Sixville must have a redemption center, reckoned further that Ernie was cleaning up so didn’t begrudge him the extra 99 words for this, his very own six sentence story.

Some of you might recognize these Ranch Yarn characters. Kid and Pal are fictional ranch hands who identify as real and have something to say every week at Carrot Ranch. They’ve crossed borders before, in “Lookin Good”, and “Eye On the Prize” . Their friend Ernie decided redemption is worth crossing the line into Sixville, also known as Six Sentence Stories, where the word this week is redemption and the law of the land is: Thou shalt write six and only six sentences. Link your six sentences HERE.

#SixSentenceStories & #99Words; Scribing 49

Wednesday is link day for Six Sentence Stories at host Denise’s GirlieOntheEdge. Below is my Six Sentence response to this week’s prompt word, “scribe”. I also set the story in the California Gold Rush and told it in 99 words in response to the current challenge at Carrot Ranch.

Gold Dust by D. Avery

He pressed the lock of golden hair to his lips before returning it to the small pouch meant for gold nuggets.

That there were no gold nuggets hadn’t mattered. They’d both come to California as much for adventure as to find fortune. Then they found each other, and were soon imagining a future rich in shared plans and dreams.

                                                                       Lucas   

1825-1849

He paused in his carving, knowing that Lucas’ last name was part of the past he’d renounced back east.

Smiling through his tears, he finished inscribing the wooden cross, giving his own last name to his dear Lucas.

#SixSentenceStories; Wear

“I wish the kids had taken us out to dinner for our anniversary, they never invite us out anymore, probably because you always wear that godawful shirt, even to fancy places.”

“That’s my fancy shirt— I want to be buried in that shirt.”

“I want that too, believe me.”

“Maybe they don’t want to hear you complain that you’ve nothing to wear and then spend all of dinner complaining about the shops you had to go to before finding something acceptable.”

“You’re wearing on my last nerve, old man.”

“I wish the kids would come by more often too.”

The Six Sentence Story prompt word, from Six Sentence Story hostess Denise is “wear”. These six sentences in 99 words that make mention of a wish made are also influenced by the current challenge at Carrot Ranch. In both cases you have until Saturday to respond.

Last Holiday Rerun; Pining For Perfection

six sentence story copy

The following Six Sentence Story, prompt word “pine”, was originally aired in 2019. It’s a fact that I used to retail Christmas trees, but this is just fun fiction. There are two fairly recent Christmas themed flashes, from this year, but that’s it for reruns, the holiday specials are over. Have a safe and happy New Year.

Pining for Perfection by D. Avery

“What do you mean, you don’t have any pine— there must be dozens here.”

“M’am, a pine is an evergreen, but evergreens aren’t all pines; I carry fir— balsam mostly, Fraser fir, some Douglas fir.”

The woman clutched at her fur stole, looking around, still skeptical, until her face lit up; “That one, I want that… fir over there, or even this little one here with the red berries.”

“Sorry M’am, those are part of the landscaping, planted, not for sale, and anyway that’s a spruce and this one’s a yew, in other words, Taxus.”

You are taxing my patience, as I didn’t come here for horticulture lessons— all I want to know is, do you have the perfect Christmas tree for me?”

“Oh, yes M’am, I most certainly do, we’ll find you a Fraser that looks like that spruce, and M’am… happy Holly days!”