“When Pigs Fly,” 99-Word Story, #flashfiction

The Carrot Ranch August 26, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a flight of pigs. It can be farm or fantasy-related. The idea can be a tale, poem or memory. You can use the phrase as an expression. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by August 31, 2021

Image by No-longer-here from Pixabay

“Come one, come all, the circus is in town,” bellowed the bearded lady.

Me and Jude stood at the side of the road and gawked at the circus wagons. The calliope played with such fervor we had to cover our ears from the noise. We’d never smelled so many smells at the same time.

When the wagon of monkeys stopped, the critters screeched and pointed, like we were the funny ones.

“What do you think, Jude? Is your ma gonna let you go?”

“I hope so. Last year when I asked her all she said was, “When pigs fly!””

© Colleen M. Chesebro

“The Meltdown,” #FlashFiction

The Carrot Ranch July 15, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the word meltdown. You can use it to describe an event or emotional reaction. You can create a new meaning or explore the word origin. You can Go where the prompt leads! Respond by July 20, 2021.

Not again! My spell had failed. I gazed at the mess covering my newly painted kitchen walls. Green goop ran like rivers into puddles on the floor.

How could this be? I’d followed the recipe from my mother’s ancient Grimoire. There were no herbal substitutions.

“Oh, this is really bad,” my husband muttered from the doorway. “What did you forget this time?”

My meltdown was now complete! How dare he insinuate that my memory was failing! “Nothing. I forgot nothing,” I answered frostily.

“Oh,” he answered. I’ve got that eye of newt you asked me to get for you.”

“New Beginnings,” #flashfiction

June 10, 2021, Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a new way to office. Has the office changed? Can we return to normal after big changes or time away? Go where the prompt leads! Respond by June 15, 2021.

“New Beginnings”

“Hello, Judith? Gather the others and meet me out back in half an hour.”

Macy hung up her phone. Productivity at fairy headquarters had slowed during the human pandemic. When the humans quit believing in magic, the fabric of fairy reality faded. The fey hid in the otherworld, waiting. Today, Macy aimed to fix the problem.

The fey folk assembled in the meadow, their new home office. They joined hands and danced. Macy said the magic words:

fairy dance rhythms drift
sacred smoke linger—cleansing
belief in magic
fiery memory's return
summer solstice fires burn

Slowly the veil lifted…

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

Our belief in magic is restored with a little help from the Japanese tanka. How cool is that?

“The Green Feet Club,” #FlashFiction

The Carrot Ranch 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! Respond by April 27, 2021.

Elsa reached the end of a miserable day. There had been so much death lately. She didn’t know how she would go on.

She stepped down the path toward the park, a new addition at the hospital. Verdant grass beckoned; she could smell it. At the first bench, she removed her shoes and socks. With her feet planted in the grass, she felt the Earth’s energy soothe her jangled nerves.

“I see you like earthing,” said Jake from the E.R.

 “I do. It’s the only way I can recover.”

Jake smiled. “Me, too. Welcome to the green feet club.”

Join me every Tuesday on wordcraftpoetry.com for the #TankaTuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge.

“Where the Deep Wishes Go,” flash fiction

The March 11, 2021, Carrot Ranch flash fiction promptIn 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about deep wishes. Where is the deep — in the sky, the ground, or outer space? What kind of wishes reside there and for whom and why? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by March 16, 2021.

Where the Deep Wishes Go

Sally gazed into the watery darkness of the well. As if reciting a prayer, she whispered with reverence, “This is where the deep wishes go.”

Her smaller sister Elizabeth asked, “Do we say it now?”

“Not yet. When we see the moon slip inside the well, then we say it.”

At dusk, the white sphere ascended into the sky. A hazy shape reflected in the inky depths of the well. Beyond the shadows from the trees, musket fire sparkled against the sky.

Sally and Elizabeth joined hands. “Please grant our wish and bring our father home safe to us.”

Photo by David Besh on Pexels.com

That was it! That’s all the oracle gave me today… a glimpse from long ago. <3

Join me every Tuesday on wordcraftpoetry.com for the #TankaTuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge.

“The Neighborhood,” #Haibun, #FlashFiction

The February 25 2021, Carrot Ranch flash fiction prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the word frozen. It can be descriptive, character focused, action driven. Go out onto the ice and find a frozen story. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by March 2, 2021.

“The Neighborhood,” Haibun (99 words)

My first walk in the new neighborhood turned up some surprises. Across the street, a fast-running stream bordered the edge of the forest along the walking path.

So, this is where the deer came from, I thought. We’d spotted deer tracks in the snow as they came right up to our front porch. A real Michigan welcoming committee!

Around the corner, I spotted a pond, frozen beneath the afternoon sun. I day-dreamed about the frogs and crickets serenading us in the stillness of a long summer night.

 frost-bound pond glistens
 cattails rattle in the wind
 mourning dove calls spring

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

Join me every Tuesday on wordcraftpoetry.com for the #TankaTuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge.

“Pu-Chai,” Flash Fiction

The Carrot Ranch February 18, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story where a character is in the right place at the right time. It may be a cause for celebration! Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by February 23, 2021, to be included in the compilation.

Pu-Chai

“How much is the black puppy?” I pointed to the fuzzy Pomeranian in the cage.

“That one? I’ll have to check. He’s been here for months.”

Dark, soulful eyes stared at me as if the pup understood the conversation.

“Pure black Pomeranians are rare. Is he papered?”

“Yup. Two champions in his line. Nobody wants him because he’s all black. You know, bad-luck.”

He nosed my hand through the cage.

“I’ll take him.”

“Looks like you are in the right place at the right time. He’s on sale, only $99.00.”

“Sold.”

In my arms, Pu-Chai found his new home.

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

**Note: This is a true story. The name Pu-Chai, means black in Thai. This little guy lived with our family for 14 years. We still miss him.

Pu-Chai (Age 13) taking care of Alexandria, my oldest granddaughter who is now almost 20 years old.

“The River of Life,” #DoubleEnnead & #Flashfiction

This 99-word story prompt from Carrot Ranch will be posted and presented to Sue Vincent on February 17. If you want to be included in this special collection, respond through the form HERE.

The January 28, 2021, Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about life as a river of consciousness. Think about the possibilities of the prompt. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by February 11, 2021.

dawn reflections shimmer
a blood-red birthing
the new journey meanders in small ripples
searching for a known truth
testing the waters
a small stream traverses
the land, growth is key
consciousness actuates a forward passage
as water rushes fast,
over stones ahead
From the sun's dying light
the darkness succumbs
to the passage of time, the river still flows
in the celebration 
of a life well lived

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

The Double Ennead comprises five lines with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, (33 SYLLABLES per stanza) 3 STANZAS EACH = 99 SYLLABLES, NO MORE, NO LESS!

The old gods had stood sentinel over the Grand River for as far back as I could remember. The water that cut through the forest of towering trees emptied into the icy depths of Lake Michigan downstream.

In winter, ice froze her glassy surface. In summer, the quiet drone of insects filled the air as they danced on her waves. Teeming with fish, the crystal waters surged with the pulse of life, never ending in an eternal circle of life and death.

For me, this ancient river had no beginning and no end, only the steadfast current of living.

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

“Mom’s Shoes,” #FlashFiction

The Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction prompt for December 17, 2020: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that features stilettos. Who will wear them and why? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by December 22, 2020.

“Lizzie, are you ready for school? You better not be in my closet again, young lady. Besides, the bulb burned out, you can’t see anything.”

The eleven-year-old sighed. How did her mother always know what she was up to? All she wanted was to borrow her mom’s shoes to match her dress for picture day.

Lizzie stumbled in the darkness and stuffed the shoes in her book bag.

“See you tonight, Mom.”

At school, all eyes were on Lizzie wearing her mom’s black stilettos as she wobbled across the floor to take her place for the sixth-grade class picture.

Join me every Tuesday on wordcraftpoetry.com for the #TankaTuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge.

“The Lemon Queen Festival,” #flashfiction

The Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction challenge for August 27, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that features Lemon Queens. Maybe it’s an ancient fairy tale or a modern brand name. What ideas seep into your imagination? Is there a character or place involved? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by September 1, 2020.

“So, what does it say?” Francine asked.

Rachael stared at the positive pregnancy test results in her hand. “It says I’m pregnant. Now, I’ll never fit into my dress for the Lemon Queen Festival.”

“Mom’s going to blow a gasket when she finds out. What are you going to do?”

Rachael pondered her sister’s question before answering. “I’m not sure. I might have to live with Dad.”

“Mom will never let that happen. Just tell her the truth!”

“Tell me what?” Mom asked from the doorway.

“I’m going to miss the Lemon Queen Festival this year,” said Rachel sheepishly.

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

“It takes strength and courage to admit the truth.” 

― Rick Riordan, The Red Pyramid

Goodreads.com/quotes