CRLC Challenge; partying hens

From Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch, the May 6, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about party hens. Who are these chickens and why do they party? Go where the prompt leads! Turn yours in by days end tomorrow.

Flying the Coop

“Where you going now?” he squawked. “Let me guess, another one of your ridiculous groups. Book talk? Stitch’n’bitch?”

She scratched in her purse for her keys. “If you must know, a life changing decision’s been made. A bunch of us are gathering to celebrate.”

“Hmmf. Well fine, go to your hen party, I’m sure I’ll find something to eat. Don’t worry about me.”

“I won’t,” she clucked, and shut the door behind her.

“Don’t be out with those biddies too late!” he crowed after her.

“The cocky good-for-nothing,” she cackled. “Can’t imagine it’s me we’re celebrating. That he’s cock-a-doodle-done!”

#SixSentenceStories; Connection Deux

It doesn’t rain but it pours. Here’s a second Six for this week’s “connection” prompt, kind of a prequel to my January 13th Six, entitled The Usual. Thanks again to our host Denise and to all the Sixers.


“Only thing hotter than this weather is you, little lady, but my rig’s fully air-conditioned; you and me could get real comfortable.”

Flirting with the regulars that she had rapport with made a big difference in the tip jar, but this guy was just plain hitting on her so Deborah gave the paunchy truck driver the cold shoulder, was terse and monotone in reeling off the specials while she took his order. He ate his meal in silence and didn’t order dessert.

When another driver Deborah didn’t recognize asked her, “What’s a nice gal like you doing in a place like this?” she was about to shut him down too, but at second glance Deborah smiled back, shrugged, and said that it was a long story.

“Well,” the other woman said, “I’d really like to hear it.”

Deborah had a new regular, one that she immediately felt a strong connection to.

#SixSentenceStory; Connection

The word from Denise at GirlieOntheEdge this week is “connection”. The rules? Write a story, (or poem or memoir), that is Six Sentences, exactly, and includes some form of or connection to the word “connection”. Read and comment on your fellow Sixers’ Sixes, a great way to connect with other writers.

Rain Maker

He crept out of bed, careful not to wake her.

He noticed she was sleeping later and later these rainy days, though upon awaking she would badger him about silver linings and rainbows and being your own sunshine— her usual Kumbaya crap.

He was as fed up with her and her sunny disposition as he was with the incessant clouds and drizzle.

He quietly got dressed as rain drummed grayly at the window.

Reaching again into the dresser drawer he flushed as his fingers grasped ahold of it and he drew it out, held it, almost reverently at first, the metal as gray and cold as the damp dawn.

She couldn’t tell him that there wasn’t a connection between weather and state of mind.

#FridayFictioneers; No Fault

No Fault

Insufferably fair, he hadn’t made the divorce difficult. “We’ll split everything right down the middle.”

She went away with a dog and $12,334.89 of their $24,669.78 savings. She was glad they had two dogs and not one or three.

Flashers on, driving one of their two vehicles— her car— she had led the wide load tractor-trailer that carried her half of the house to their investment lot. His half had the bed; she had the couch and the air mattress.

Later she inflated her mattress, watched it expand and take shape.

She smiled, stretched.

She was beginning to feel whole.

The photo, by Ted Strutz, is the May 7 Friday Fictioneers’ prompt, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Limit 100 words.

CRLC Challenge; Hit the Road Jack

The Carrot Ranch Literary Community April 29, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase, “hit the road, Jack.” You can interpret the phrase any way you like — road trip, goodbye, or story. Go where the prompt leads!

Hapless Jack

Like a hapless fairy tale Jack he was always certain his luck would change, that things would work out for the better.

But the perfect job always fell through, usually after a heated argument with his boss. Or he’d quit to pursue some entrepreneurial scheme. “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick,” he’d say. But the scheme would fail.

“Next time,” he’d say. And he’d smile that smile and tell Jill no matter what, she was his princess. Once more they’d pack up. “Time to hit the road, Jill.”


Jill sighed. How much longer would she go stumbling after?

CRLC Challenge & SixSentenceStory

I’m a little late, but not too late for this week’s Six Sentence Story. The prompt word is pawn, and I almost let the living chess idea go, but then the Carrot Ranch prompt to use the phrase “hit the road jack” was the extra impetus for the following six-sentence 99-word story. Thank you Denise, host of Six Sentence Stories, and Charli Mills, 99-word guru buckaroo.

Fair Game

Live chess, with human pieces; Roman had expected blunders but this, the pawns refusing to move, was beyond the pale.

“We serve no king!”

Except for the short-lived knights, everything was in gridlock, and though the opposition moved cautiously, it was over for the king’s court quite quickly.

Roman clambered down from the platform and stalked onto the chessboard to confront his pawns, only for them to tell him what he had already witnessed— they would not advance, even in their own defense.

Roman watched his white pawns turn and applaud the black queen’s demand.

“Hit the road Jack!”

CRLC Challenge; Earthing Revisited

This is another response to the Carrot Ranch Literary Community April 22, 2021, prompt to write about “earthing”. I had posted what I thought of as two separate flashes in response to the prompt, but some readers saw them as being related and the same character. So here is a third (actually fourth) take on the prompt. This one combines the two ideas into one story and is less violent. I think this is more of what I had wanted to write in the first place. So thank you Chel Owens, for once again sending me back to the drawing board.

The Gardener

In the moonlight she knelt and breathed deeply of the sweet loamy air. The rich earth never failed to soothe her. Her garden was her oasis.

She straightened the ceramic sign, ‘Bloom where you’re planted’.

“Have to grow to bloom,” she thought. “Takes the right soil and light.”

Her garden was her oasis and her marriage a desert, with extremes of heat and cold, and violent unpredictable storms.

She squeezed a handful of soil. For him, a note on the counter. For her garden, a whispered goodbye in the moonlight.

She rose up, brushed herself off, and moved on.

The Carrot Ranch Literary Community April 22, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about earthing. Put a character’s hands, feet or body and soul into the earth. Who needs recharging? What happens between the interaction? Go where the prompt leads!

CRLC Challenge; Earthing

The Carrot Ranch Literary Community April 22, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about earthing. Put a character’s hands, feet or body and soul into the earth. Who needs recharging? What happens between the interaction? Go where the prompt leads!

Two unrelated takes from me, one dark one not.


“You wanna get up and run some more?”
He struck her again. She fell to the ground.
He stood over her. “Did you really think you could get away from me?”
Leaf mold pillowed her broken jaw. She couldn’t answer if she’d wanted to.
“You.” He kicked her.
“Will not.” Kicked her again.
“Get.” Kick.
“Away.” Kick.
“From me.”
Then he staggered back to the house, left her where she lay.
Stretched flat against the cool earth, she breathed in the sweet musty air. She reached her fingers and toes deep into the soil. She gathered strength, gathered courage.


The raised beds were filled with rich well-drained loam that she tilled and prepared for planting. Carefully she marked rows and sowed seeds. She nurtured the seedlings; diligently thinned, weeded, mulched and watered her growing greens and vegetable plants. All the raised beds were lush and verdant, except one.
One bed remained unplanted, though it was also carefully cultivated, its dark friable soil sun warmed.
“Welcoming,” she felt.
Only she knew that she planted that bed every day. Planted herself; then rose up, brushed herself off, raked the bed smooth, always leaving the garden feeling refreshed, smelling of earth.

d’Verse MTB; Hopscotch with anapestic tetrameter

Björn is manning the pub for poets this evening and has challenged us to try our hands and feet at anapestic tetrameter. (Think Dr. Seuss or T’was the Night Before Christmas.) The pub is open. Go by d’Verse to visit and write with a fine bunch of poets.

We have marked hopscotch squares with our feet. Here’s a stone

to be tossed, should you dare, in soft measured manner.

You’ll be lost should your muse skip and leave you alone

on the track. Don’t look back! Tripping feet slip, stammer.

#Friday Fictioneers; Emerging

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

Emerging by D. Avery

Even a child knows where babies come from— eggs!

But though even a child knows otherwise, adults taught that there were only two kinds of eggs; boys emerge from blue eggs and girls emerge from pink eggs. When eggs of different shades of pink or blue occurred the adults generalized to declare one or the other.

But the lavender shaded eggs! Were they more blue? Or more pink?

Finally it was realized that pink and blue are a part of lavender; maybe all eggs are shades of lavender!

Finally, all came to realize the color of one’s shell doesn’t matter.

It has been a too long time since I have participated in the Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge. But this photo of eggs inspired these 100 words. Thank you Rochelle for hosting and David Stewart for the photo.