Revealing Cracks

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

August 6, 2014

Carrot Ranch Flash FictionThis week writers have revealed the richness of the word “crack.” We find cracks in research and cracks in the ceiling. Life is not what it’s cracked up to be, although sometimes it can crack us up. Else we crack under the pressure; we crack a windshield; we hide cracks beneath foundation.

Here you will find a buffet of cracks, including, yes– cracked crab legs. Dine on these 99-word stories that involve a crack.

Crack in the Façade by Geoff Le Pard

‘Come on Mum, they’re here.’

Following Penny, Mary eyed Rupert and his mother.

While Rupert and Penny bought drinks, Mary sat opposite Alison, surprised how Alison had aged.

Alison said, ‘Thank you for coming. I wanted you to have this. It was your grandma’s.’

The ring was beautiful. ‘Your father should never have given me it.’

Mary nodded. Her anger – how could he have given this to his mistress – was tempered by the touching gesture.

‘He said the stones matched my eyes. Fool.’

Mary nodded.

‘Careful, Mum. Your face has cracked. That’s a smile.’

‘It’s not. It’s wind.’


Crab Leg Complaint by Larry LaForge

They told us at Crab Leg Academy to keep quiet, but this needs to be said.

Those cracking tools you humans use are brutal. Your repeated whacking and stabbing are uncalled for. And please, do you really have to curse?

You’re supposed to make a single crack, followed by a smooth scoop with a tiny forked utensil, and then a delightful dip into the melted butter. (Oh, the butter!)

All I ask is that you listen carefully to the instructions from the server and use your cracking tool correctly.

It’s not much to ask. Put yourself in my legs.

The 100-word version of this story is posted on larrylaforge100words at Flash Fiction Magazine.


Crack Flash by Anne Goodwin

That long jagged one above her dressing table is like the Amalfi Coast where they went on honeymoon. Where he cheated on her the first time. The short straight one above the window reminds her of the Caesarean scar from the baby they made when he promised not to hurt her again. That one branching like a tree evokes his other family, his secret second wife whose children do not die.

So much time she’s wasted alone in bed staring at the cracks in ceiling. Dreaming, not thinking, not daring to wonder why her man was so late home.


Exposure by Robin L. Flanigan

Sophie’s husband told her in a school parking lot that he’d fallen in love with another woman three weeks ago and was leaving. He was going home to tell their son, and then he was heading to his mother’s house to live until he could find a suitable apartment for himself and his girlfriend.

Sophie recalled his “I love you” the day before and the recent afternoon he called her his “bright spot.” She thought about their upcoming trip to New York, the kitchen renovation, the plans they had to write a play together. She’d never seen the crack.


Busted by Pete

“This shouldn’t take long,” the clerk said, his fingers tracing the web of cracks in the windshield.

Peter mumbled a quick thanks. The clerk nodded, struggling to remain professional while clicking his pen furiously. A slight grin as he started to speak, then took a breath to organize.

“So windshield and headlight replacement. And um, would you like us to try to buff this out as well?” The clerk gestured towards the shiny black front and rear doors down the side of the BMW, where in runny blood red letters generously applied with spite, it read: CHEATING BASTARD.



Cracks by Susan Zutautas

I could hear chanting coming down the street as I sat stunned not believing what I was hearing……
One little girl skipping as she happily chanted over and over again …..

One more sidewalk
One more crack

That’s all it’ll take
To break someone’s back

You better watch yourself
Or it’ll happen to you
I’ll make your back crack
And it’ll be the end of you

You’ll lay there in pain
Never again the same
What a shame
Cause now you’re lame

As she skipped by my house I shuddered, went inside, shut and locked my door …. totally creepy.


Face the World by Sarah Brentyn

When we were young, I envied her. She had perfect skin—like porcelain. The boys called her Snow White. The girls, jealous, nicknamed her Casper. She was that knock-you-over kind of beautiful.

The only makeup she wore was sheer, tinted lipgloss.

After the accident, she wore layers of foundation and powder she had never learned to apply. It was too thick and the wrong shade for her skin. No one mentioned the deep, scarlet scars showing through cracks in her makeup. I wished she would wash it off and show her face to the world. She was still beautiful.


Cracks by Chris Magnuson

It does not matter where we live.  All summer long we see business owners
spraying weed killer into the cracks of the sidewalks.  Well, I ask, what
about the rights of the weeds, or plants, or even flowers that are
struggling to take root in that crack?  All they ask for is the joy of
spreading their leaves out – reaching to the sun and the rain.  They just
want to live.  They just want to grow and be appreciated.  Can you look at
a sidewalk crack in the same way again?  Now that you know life could grow


Flash Fiction by Irene Waters

Janet’s screams tore through the house. Another nightmare. She hated these dreams of the earth shaking, swallowing her parents in the cracks which divided the earth and disappearing as the earth shook shut. She knew it didn’t happen. She’d been having them since she was three and now at twelve she should know better. She didn’t live in an earthquake zone. Still she perspired and longed for her parents to come and comfort her. Why didn’t they come? Rising she padded out to find them. In the dark she couldn’t see the crack – not until she felt herself falling.


Crack of Thunder by Sarah Unsicker

I lay in bed, refusing to wake up. I enjoy this quiet morning, even with the toddler kicking me in the back. Eyes closed, I see a quick flash of light.

Am I hallucinating? The world bright for a moment, then suddenly dark. The flash does not happen again. Is this the beginnings of a brain tumor? After that quarter-second, the world is back to normal. Quiet, dark, toddler in the back, nothing has changed. Or has it? Am I cracking up?

I hear a distant crack, a rumble of thunder. Everything is, once again, right with the world.


The Crack by Norah Colvin

She willed the earth to open up and swallow her whole. But it didn’t. She just stood there trembling, attempting to hold back the deluge that threatened to engulf her.

She strained to remember, knocking her head with her fist. Quick. Try. Try. What’s the rule: i? e?

She stammered an answer. Wrong again! Too many rules! Stupid rules! Broken – just like her.

She fled, eyes stinging, mouth twitching; and as she passed, with one hand grasped the confiscated unicorn sitting askew the teacher’s desk.

Away they flew, the assault of mocking laughter fading far below.


Devotion of a Mother by Ruchira Khanna

Judith had a long day at work. She reached home exhausted, frazzled and totally hollow eyed with the intention to hit the sack.

Her daughter greeted her at the doorway and reminded her of the promise to mend her costume for tomorrow’s dress rehearsal.

Judith’s heart sank on seeing the hope in her daughter’s eyes.

She nodded but had resentment as she plunged on the couch next to her daughter who was watching TV and laughing in delight while she was forcing her eyes wide that had been open since the crack of dawn to sew together her apparel.


Calico Curtains by Charli Mills

Sarah stared at the crack between calico curtains. Cob had teased her when she hung the divide.

“Why the bed veil? I like watching you stir the fire from here, Rosebud.” He reclined on the trundle bed, leaning on an elbow. Thick black hair tousled. Blue eyes shining like summer sky on water. She remembered smiling, abandoning her task.

Her ears rung as acrid smoke drifted from parted calico. Cob had just come to the back door, asking for water, touching her fingers lightly as she passed the cup.

It was the perfect place to hide, behind those curtains.


Maria and the Crack by MrBinks

Maria twitched. She wasn’t sure how long she’d been staring at the crack but it must have been a while. The coffee in her cup, previously too hot, was now perfectly drinkable.

She blinked rapidly and took a sip, her eyes fixated. It wasn’t pretty. It certainly wasn’t that interesting but here Maria stood. She could not look away. She was just, mesmerised.

A thud. A smack. The sound of gushing water.

The crack moved.

“Ah, sod it. Sorry to ask, Love,” it said, “but could you pass me my tool-bag. It’s just there, by your foot. Cheers Darling.”


New prompt on Wednesday. All writers welcome!

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  1. MrBinks

    Cracking stuff, everyone!

  2. Sarah Brentyn

    Wow. A crack. That brought out silly, funny, serious, deep, and sad responses. Love these writers (yes, I’m talking to you all!) and their interpretations of your prompts, Charli. These compilations are always a fantastic read.

    • Charli Mills

      It felt like an emotional roller coaster, pinning them together. I remain amazed each week when the compilation is formed. Wow, writers, wow!

    • Charli Mills

      Wowsas all around!

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