Weather Worn

Weather worn, that’s what she was, frayed further from lack of sleep. The relentless rain was a steady march, a bellicose drumbeat that only paused, never stopping long enough for anything to dry out. In the night, if the rain did cease for a time, the change in tempo would awaken her. The drilling streams from the broken gutters, the incessant drip from the trees, ponging off the roof, kept restless rhythms. Should the sun ever shine again she would lie outside and sleep in its quiet, absorbing its warmth and light into the vast reaches of her dreaming.

Carrot Ranch June 29, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about something frayed. It could be fabric, like a flag or garment. It could also be nerves or temper. What is it to be frayed?

Well, Come Back

Though it was dusty and empty in the early morning, Nancy recognized the timeless little town from Joanna’s description, in which she had referred to the few inhabitants as a small coven of ancient women, average age two hundred, but being very welcoming to a coven of forty-something motorcycle mamas. Detained by work, Nancy was now riding solo to belatedly join Joanna’s retreat, almost two days after the others, and looking forward to breakfast with the gang.

Dawn rose a ragged overripe peach nestled in the mist over the treetops. Had it rained here, Nancy wondered; the dirt lane that she now navigated was slick and damp; then in the bowl-like meadow she had arrived at she saw rings of camping gear and debris, even motorcycles, strewn like strands of seaweed showing tidelines; finally she noticed Joanna crouched and shivering on the roof of the cabin that dripped on the far side of the meadow, up the slope from the well that was in the center.

Careful to put her kickstand down on a level rock, Nancy then hurried over to help Joanna find her way down a porch post, all the while wondering about the others, absent in the eerie silence that blanketed this place. Joanna, still shivering uncontrollably, had no explanation other than to babble about the well, the well, the rising water, the whirlpool disappearing into the well.

Another “Well” installment, with another Six Sentence Prompt, cue word “peach”.

Deep Sleep

Deep Sleep   by D. Avery

The stone dreamt of cold grinding ice and was not afraid; dreamt of twisting transforming heat and was not afraid; dreamt of the crushing weight of oceans, and was not afraid; dreamt of the acidic embrace of mosses and was not afraid. The stone dreamt it was asleep and dreaming that it was asleep and dreaming of timelessness and fearlessness. The stone dreamt that it was the Earth, that it was the universe, that it was a tossed pebble.

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She awakened suddenly, slowly, acclimating herself to her limbs, her body, to the return from dreaming of being a stone.

 

 

 Carrot Ranch; June 22, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that involves a dream. This action could have happened while awake, such as daydreaming, or make up a dream when asleep. Go where the prompt leads as it could be a nightmare or just fond memories or ambition.

Dreaming Well

“There’s people there now, but I’ll clean up after them, check on the well.”

Johanna couldn’t believe her fortune in finding a special remote location for her “gang” to base their retreat ride.

“I’ll take the tractor out there and brush-hog the meadow and grade the lane so you ladies can get in and set up your tents. My, having visitors does keep us young.”

“Okay”, smiled Joanna, reaching for her helmet, “We’ll all be back next weekend, it sounds great, like a dream come true.”

“Yes”, said the older woman, her eyes gleaming, “It’s a dream come true.”

Second Six Sentence stories this week, cue word well. Also posing as a 99 word response to Carrot Ranch June 22 prompt, Dream.

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This is the fifth in the Well series. Click to be directed to the collection in sequence.

Well; what’s next

Next

Engine cut, kickstand down, she stretched off the motorcycle, removed her helmet and took in the silent, empty Main Street that made up the tired old town. Feeling eyes on her, she turned, and peering at her through the dust-speckled glass of a storefront real estate office was a woman who appeared agelessly ancient. She waved weakly, and after swigging her bottled water from her bag, she remounted and continued, eying her gauge, uneasy now at the dearth of traffic, questioning her choice of road less traveled.

Familiarity made her more confident when she rolled through the next afternoon, now backtracking to avoid road construction on the busier roads that she had finally come to, and she again pulled over in front of the real estate office to stretch and snack. As she tilted her head back to drink, she noticed what appeared to be foggy mist over the trees outside of town, though everywhere else appeared dry and clear, the sun high in the sky.

“Well, well, well, you’re back”, she heard, and, lowering her water bottle, she turned, taking a moment to discern that the middle-aged woman smiling knowingly at her from the doorway was in fact the same woman she had seen the day before.

Written for Six Sentence stories, cue word well

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This is the fourth in the Well series.

Well Linked

“The realtor, what was she, like somewhere between eighty-five and four hundred years old, what was it she said about this place being a vital link to the town’s history? She was kind of cryptic, if not down right creepy.”

“Oh, the old woman is just desperate for a sale, probably hasn’t sold property since the time of Noah, that’s why she encouraged us to stay here, see if it suits us.”

They had driven as far as they could up the brush-arbored lane and now walked towards the cottage that rested on the rise of land like weathered driftwood, taking in the railed front porch, the rusted old car a raft among the weeds, and further down the hill, what appeared to be an old well, its stone toothed maw muzzled with vines.

“There’s something about this rustic old place that I find appealing, especially that old style well.”

“Yeah, let’s get the sleeping bags and set up camp; after all what’s the worst thing that could happen?”

 

Written for Six Sentence stories, cue word link. 

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This is a link to the two Well stories posted earlier.

June 15: Flash Fiction Challenge

Carrot Ranch Communications

Guest Challenger: Word Wrangler, Shorty’s Creator, Author, Ranch Hand & Pre-Dawn Warrior, D. Avery

No tales from the West or Midwest this week. This prompt was inspired from an opposite direction.

The native people of this place are the Wampanogs, the People of the breaking day. Their name for this place means Faraway Island. Here there are no mountains, no hills, not even tall trees to buffer the relentless brightening that rolls in from the east, unimpeded by the lapping waves of the Atlantic. The day breaks early.

There is scrub, which provides ample food and shelter for the birds that daily celebrate this brightening, most insistently the male cardinal, who chirps and trills from the highest perch he can flag, greeting the sun before it even cracks the horizon. It is hard to sleep through the unhindered light and the joyous symphony of early dawn.

Some people have always…

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Games People Play

Counting,  by D. Avery

“Come on, Buddy, that’s at least fifty.”

When they were kids, they counted to ten. Then twenty-five. Fifty was a maximum.

Sometimes they just had their hands, clenching a fist with the index finger serving as barrel, thumb as hammer. Sometimes they’d find perfectly shaped sticks. Christmas might bring a realistic looking cap gun.

Cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians; “Bang, you’re dead”, and if it was an obvious hit you had to fall down for a specified count.

Now they were playing army. They were the good guys.

“Buddy, just get up. I don’t want to play anymore.”

 

 

 Carrot Ranch; June 8, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that involves playing an outdoor game, like tetherball, hoops, tag. It can be made up, traditional, cultural or any kind of twist. Go where the prompt leads.

 

In the Woods

Guess what? This poem was published in the Green Mountain Trading Post.

 

Up in the Woods, by D. Avery

 

Predictions are made

About which trees will fall

And which ones should

Up here, in familiar woods

 

Leading limbs

Prevailing winds

Lay of the land

Lead decisions, taken in hand

 

Trees are cut

With an eye towards the future

Which will look like our past

Ever present, these woods will last

 

The woodsman carves out subtle changes

Carefully he rearranges

Familiar woods remain; trees fall, trees grow

In these woods the woodsman’s family knows

 

He will leave his woods for his progeny

Who’ll climb and hug and fell a tree

Up here in these woods we know

Things change and remain even as they grow.

 

Up here I want to believe

There’s no bigger decision to make than these;

Than which tree will fall and which will stand

To strengthen the durability of this our land

 

Up here I have faith that the world might see

The wisdom of a woodcutter and of a tree;

Some trees are felled, and others are left to grow;

The proudest woodcutter has trees to show.

Gratitude

Loveless   by D. Avery

“Of course I’m grateful for what I’ve got, but still, it’s no field of daisies.”

“Are you looking at greener pastures, got your eye on something bettest-margaret-of-antioch-knotting-4r?”

“No, not at all, it’s just that, well, things aren’t the same; the thrill is gone, as they say, and anyway, if I moved on I’d hardly be missed, be replaced in a heartbeat, and I really wouldn’t mind being out on my own.”

“Well, if you’re just going through the motions, maybe you should quit it.”

“Thank you.”

Five sentence fiction in response to Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt # 5