CRLC Challenge; Lost Time

This week, November 5, 2020, the prompt from Carrot Ranch is to: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about lost time. You can write a realistic scenario or something speculative. How does lost time impact the character of your story? Bonus points if you include a 1982 brown rubber watch. Go where the prompt leads! My first take is just playing with the ennead syllabic form that Colleen Chesebro concocted for the 2nd Rodeo event at Carrot Ranch, except I went beyond 99 syllables until I also got to 99 words. The second take is a 99 word story that uses a setting and a character first seen in a Six Sentence Story not too long ago.

Lost Time

Give my watch back to me

Lost since ‘83

Relic of time— brown rubber band, hands that wind,

Never thought I would see

its face again; Sea

scratched, sand-blasted; etched, lined

not so unlike mine

Time-keeper losing faith; time come back to me

Covering sands march blind

measuring marked time

Not for the watch these tears

Thirty-seven years!

It’s the time that went (foolishly spent) I want   

In a flash, disappeared!

Suddenly I’m Here.

Another flash, lost time

No reason, low rhyme

Give me my watch, give me back the time it’s seen   

Worn trails, tracked storied lines


The Present

“Welcome to the What-You-Seek Boutique.”

She said she was just browsing, not really seeking anything.

“No?” The shopkeeper proffered a brown rubber banded watch.

“I had a watch like that once, but haven’t missed it. I don’t need it.”

“It’s still ticking. Look.”

She looked. The path around the watch face showed all she’d ever done, places she had been. The watch’s one hand pointed to Home, not a written word but a feeling of what Home meant to her and her alone.

“Home… but— what next?”

The shopkeeper smiled.  “There’s time. Take it. A present for you.”

d’Verse Meeting the Bar; Synesthesia

I don’t know if this meets the bar for the prompt at the Pub for Poets, but it’s where the prompt led. Today’s publican, Grace, says:  “Today we will write about color from the perspective of a synesthete. Pick one color or several colors. Create your own Dictionary of Color. All sounds have color. The alphabet has color. Days of the week have color. Each day has a color and a certain shape.” Head over to the d’Verse pub to see more responses to tis prompt.

A Counting

A is for apple, red cheeked ripe

ripping smile at my first truck (red), number one, opening day,

the bloom was on the rose; going places, ay?

B is the bounty of blueness, of twoness, of

my blue-eyed brother and his beloved bride

my  backdoor backwoods brave sister by marriage.

C the last prompt at D’verse— see November

the eleventh month, gray and full of color (cold color)

gray November is 11, strong columned

(At its roots November was ninth

Septem, Octo, Novem—

seven, eight, nine; nine, ten, eleven?— fall has fallen out of line.)

Let’s get back to Nine, number with no time.

9 is the black behind a mirror’s glass

A crooked smile, a question mark— with answers, if you ask.

A number both cheery and serious, a colorful character— though

Ten always said Nine was lacking something, some One—

Oh, Ten; smug yet soft, a nectarine, a yellow plum

Over the shoulder afraid to be undone

by Nine, tight-skinned aubergine

-shaded square who speaks in threes

Honestly, frankly; smoothly and slick

under clear glass, rich colors shine

brought to light by the dark magic of Nine

Offers no landmark, no handhold in roiling brine

But surges and surfs, expectantly shines mile marked songs

of the journey, blacked and blued; colored, cresting the climb.

Another Tender SixSentenceStory

Here is a second take on the prompt, “tender” provided by Denise at GirlieOntheEdge.  The rules are still 6 sentences, no more no less, the suggestion is still to have fun and interact with the other writers and readers.

The Handy Man

As a little boy his best times were those spent as his father’s tender, fetching supplies for him, handing him his tools, learning how a job was done.

“If they don’t find you handsome, they might as well find you handy,” his father would say. If he brought the wrong tool, his father would tousle his hair and exclaim, “At least you’re handsome,” then patiently remind him of the differences among the pliers or any of the many tools in his chest, and to what specific purpose each was applied.

His father could fix anything it seemed, though some jobs tested his limits; when he saw him scratching his head the boy would hand him a hammer, which always brought a smile— “The tool of last resort.”

But then his father would say, “No, Son, this job is worth doing, so it’s worth doing right; we’ll figure it out.”

Now he tended his father through the appointments, unable to smile back when he announced that the handsome doctor was now reaching for the hammer.

Tender; SixSentenceStory

Every week, without fail, Denise at GirlieOntheEdge provides a prompt word on Sunday and a link up on Wednesday. I often fail to respond but after turning on the radio for just a bit this day after election day I got the line that would get me Six Sentences: Too close to call. The word is “tender” the rules are 6 sentences, no more no less, the suggestion is to have fun and interact with the other writers and readers.

Tender Wounds

It was a terrible thing, a calamity, seemingly unpreventable and yet, in hindsight, foreseeable, not exactly an accident.

Now there was much wringing of hands, for none had ever seen her laid so low, so weakened; now her people wondered and worried if she would ever recover from her wounds.

When the people wailed aloud, “How, how could this be happening?” the wise ones— the healers, elders, shamans and such that had gathered— looked at the people, exasperated but not without tenderness; “How indeed? She is not indivisible, not if the people do not stand united.”

“Will she make it?” they asked, “Will she survive?”

The wise ones, lowering their heads, could only say she was very tough but that her wounds were deep, her ills long unaddressed. “It’s too close to call.”

d’Verse Poetics; November

At d’Verse, the pub for poets, Sanaarizvi’s prompt is to write about November and to explain ourselves. I have always loved November in New England, even though I recently heard it referred to as Stick season, a let down for many after Leaf season. For everything there is a season and for leafless trees it’s all about roots and inner space. These three poems I had written some time ago but they never had any place to go– until now.

 November Skies
 First day of November 
  dawned kettle gray, scoured clean.
 Blue jays scrabbled by.
  Curled leaves clung, faded green
 but mostly burnt shades 
   orange, red, yellow 
  bristling against the canvas sky.
 Gray November skies,
  impassive and impartial 
 to the desperate brush; 
  orange! red! yellow! have no hold 
 on the marbled gray
  that reins the wind 
 that might send them flying
  that leashes the rain 
 that might wash them away.
 November is a wise month
  of endings and of beginnings
 destructive, creative, first and last at once.
  Last leaves, first cold
 crisp days expressed 
  between lengthening nights
 November’s gray casts a special light.
  In just a while all will be all right. 
 Mid November
 November gray dawned then calmly went along
  with gifts of days blue skied, days of warmth and sun
 November also gave the wind its head, loosened the reins and let it run
  stretched galloping; through nights and days it reared and plunged
  and cavorted with the leaping lashing rain unleashed 
 On those days leaves were wiped from their berths
  were spun and whipped and thrown down
 Color now mumbles subdued at the feet 
  of trees where, still grumbling, finally turn brown
 Wind and rain are brought to heel again
  to November’s commands obedient
 As much a Janus as another, yet ego-less and wise
 November emanates omniscience and is content 
  with the palette of its steely skies.
 Some power was shown, not all, not all
  brought to heel again, it’s not too late 
   to resurrect your fall. 
 November’s End
 November wanes, 
  no wind, no rain
    Cold sparkles in night’s dark.
  Lean land revealed, kneeled 
in prayer bold braced, skeletal bare,
   Clean spare trees exposed like spars;
  the bones of November support the stars.
 November has a deep abiding strength, so equably borne
  Strong and beautiful, elegantly unadorned. 

The Medusa Project

To find out more about the Medusa Project go to Mookychick. And yes, I have a poem in this anthology.

FREE: Download The Medusa Project Anthology

FREE: Download The Medusa Project Anthology
Lit Community > Personal Essays

Celebrate Halloween And Womxn Everywhere With The Medusa Project, A Debut Anthology From Mookychick. Download Poetry, Fiction, Artwork And Rituals… For Free.

CRLC Challenge; Lifesavers

The “CRLC” in the headings for my responses to the Carrot Ranch prompts stands for Carrot Ranch Literary Community. The Carrot Ranch Literary Community is a place where people freely and safely practice literary art 99 words at a time, a place to learn and grow as a writer. This week we are challenged by the community’s leader, Charli Mills, to write about lifesavers, and though the Coast Guard and their predecessors were implicated, as ever, we go where the prompt leads.

Into the Storm

Through rain pelted windows Marlie’s tree fort hove into view. Marlie read, curled up with Daisy on the couch.

“Remember when she used to sail in weather like this, captaining a mighty ship?”

“Remember when she made Tommy walk the plank?”

“Do you miss Tommy, Liz?”

“For better or worse, I do. I miss our opportunity to give Tommy a respite from his family. The great unmasked… What’s Marlie researching now, Bill?”


“The candy? Or health care workers?”

“Life savers— nascent Coast Guard.”

Putting her book aside Marlie donned her foul weather gear. She had to go out.


“Who will rescue us, Bill?”

“What? Are we a wreck?” He crowded into the window seat. Beyond the steamy window, Marlie braved the high seas to pluck Destiny from the surf.

“Not us. Us. /U/ /S/. Of A?”

“Oh. Ship of fools. Headed for the rocks.”

“We’ve been commandeered by pirates, with a fool spinning the helm. I’m scared Bill.”

“Me too.”

“Oh! Marlie! You’ve returned.”

“Mom? Dad?”

“We’re huddled in our lifeboat, Marlie. Get in.”

Marli climbed in with her parents and assessed their circumstances. “It’s going to be rough. But we’ll make it. All storms peter out.”

CRLC Challenge: Spooky Tale

It’s another week another post another prompt from Carrot Ranch. The charge this time? In 99 words (no more, no less), write a spooky tale told around a campfire. It doesn’t have to include the campfire; it can be the tale. Go where the prompt leads!

Coming Full by D. Avery

“No! He didn’t go on the mountain!”

“Don’t think I didn’t try to stop him.”  The old man squinted through the plume of pipe smoke enshrouding his face. Fog engulfed the mountaintop.

“Not today! The moon is coming full.”

He pulled hard on his pipe. “I warned him.” Coals glowed round and red in the bowl. “Just laughed… always wanting to prove us wrong.”

“At least tell me he’s not planning on hunting it. Not today.”

“He wouldn’t listen.”

They heard one shot, far up the mountain. Then shrieking wind. He sighed, tamped cold gray ash from his pipe.

Boutique; #SixSentenceStory

What-You-Seek Boutique by D. Avery

Her mood overcast and as unsettled as the weather, she ventured in, smiling at the sign in spite of herself, wondering how she’d not noticed the little boutique before with it’s two bay windows either side of the door, each sparkling with kitschy knickknacks and tchotchke.

She drifted among the crowded aisles until stopping short at a shelf where she found, carefully arranged in chronological order, all of her pain; she picked up the most recent, turned it over in her hands and examined it, and as she did, the shelf was rearranged by category, the full collection of all her losses before her, some, despite being older, still more acute than the one she now held. She gathered the losses all up at once and wondered at the weight of them, then carefully put each loss back down on the shelf, now espying other pain; slights, disappointments, and regrets along with deep injustices she’d suffered.

She remained, looked at them all in turn until the shelf transformed again, until amongst those relics she also saw her joys; love and friendship among the losses; growth and wisdom, resolve and resilience among the hurts and injustice.

“Forgiveness; hope; looks like you found what you were seeking.” The wizened shopkeeper winked, and immediately she was back on the sun speckled street where she saw, as if for the first time, the long vacant shop with its splintered shutters like eyelids closed against the dusty windows and between them the faded sign, ‘What-You-Seek Boutique’, over the centered door.

The word prompt for Six Sentence Stories this week is “boutique”. All you have to do is include the word within six sentences that have some semblance of a story, or even a poem. Thank you to Denise at GirlieOntheEdge for hosting.

d’Verse Quadrille #114; Poetical Magnetism

De Jackson, aka WhimsyGizmo, is tending bar at the renown pub for poets. For today’s Quadrille she wants us to “get out your poetical science kit and play with magnets”. I have a playful poem but my real achievement is that I am experimenting with the new block editor with this post, something I have resisted up to now.


Tested metal—  this man was tin!

Unaligned, no lodestone within

No choice, no either ore

alloy, ally, I needed more

What’s the point, of what worth

if unable to find true north?

Lost my bearings with that man

steeled myself, gave him the can.