Tales of Turquoise

Written by Charli Mills

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

March 11, 2015

Tales of TurquoiseTurquoise is a bold color. It’s one that can be worn large, making a billboard-sized statement in life. It is a stone of strength, color of confidence and dazzling eye-color that can hint at potential murder or possible romance.

Writers colored their stories this week with turquoise.

Some found inspiration in memories that the color triggered and others looked to interesting ways to include the color from book cover coordination to mysterious lights over Stonehenge. All in all, the color held its strength and beauty.

The following compilations are based on the March 4, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) color your story turquoise.

The Girl With the Turquoise Eyes by Roger Shipp

“It’s embarrassing,” I confided to Shaman. “The same dream every night.”

“For three months,” concern was in Shaman’s voice. “It has meaning. Tell me everything.”

“I am standing as the second, with my father, for the final meeting with foreign tribal dignitaries. She walks in with them. She is walking as the second to her father, their tribal leader. After formal greetings, my eyes meet hers. I can say nothing. I am lost. Frozen. I am falling… uncontrollably falling deeper and deeper into her turquoise eyes. And then she smiles.

The shaman softly chuckles. “Yes, my lad. I understand.”


Happy Holi by Ruchira Khanna

Ragini’s heart was racing when fingers were pointing in her direction.

She had to decode this fear and get into the groove of fun for Holi or else she would be dragged outside and colored with all the possible hues.

Just then, she accidentally tripped over a table that had a bowl of dry green and blue color. The mixture flew like pixie dust and got sprinkled on her, giving her a whiff of the color tone, thus helping to bring clarity to her thoughts.

‘Stepped out with confidence as the turquoise color had shown her the way!


Color of Books by Anne Goodwin

“There’s this book, right? Something about purple?” The girl addressed her words to the counter instead of to me.

“Alice Walker, The Color Purple,” I said. “You’re in luck. A copy’s just come in.”

I strode across to the bookshelves. She shuffled behind me. “I already looked there.”

I found it between Turquoise and Aquamarine.

The girl stared as if I’d plucked a rabbit from a hat. “What’s the purple book with the turquoise books?”

The manager wanted everything alphabetical. This teenager knew better. “I was keeping it for someone who really needs to read it. Someone like you.”


The Billboard by Phil Guida

The man in the turquoise suit was a sight to behold. It wasn’t really a suit but may as well been one. Pretty much decked out from head to toe with the blue green color of the stone.

To top that, he was huge in body type. It was comical in a way, kind of like having a thumb for a nose or dog ears.

Now I love turquoise, in fact it is my favorite choice in jewelry.

Come to find out that this walking billboard for turquoise was the owner of the largest gemstone shop in New Mexico.


Turquoise Eyes by Susan Zutautas

The night was still young but Meghan had had a long day and her entire body ached from exhaustion. She would finish her beer and go straight home to bed as tomorrow was going to be another demanding day at the office.

Chin in hand staring across the bar she noticed the most beautiful turquoise eyes staring back at her. She started to blush and straightened up on her bar stool as she thought to herself, I must meet this man that is checking me out.

Now wide awake, Meghan ordered another beer with thoughts of home totally gone.


Turquoise by Ula Humienik

Julia clasped the oval turquoise stone in her hand. She took a deep breath and made her way to the living room, where her father was nestled in his favorite chair with a cup of coffee in one hand and a newspaper spread before him like a map.

“Father,” she said gripping the turquoise.

He barely looked up.

“I don’t want to marry Tomas, I don’t love him.”

“It’s been decided. There’s nothing to discuss.”

“You mean YOU decided.”

Father continued to study the paper.

He barely noticed Julia leave the room. Tears swelled.

He never saw her again.


The Ring by Larry LaForge

“Edna, it’s a stupid rock. It doesn’t mean anything.”

Edna leafed through the photo album to show her husband Ed a picture of her wearing the turquoise ring last year. “It’s definitely faded in color,” she said.

“So what?”

“Don’t you see?” Edna pleaded. “Fading turquoise. It means I’m dying.”

“Get outta here. You’re not dying—going crazy maybe, but not dying.”

Ed’s crude attempt at humor didn’t sit well.

Edna calmed herself. “Maybe you’re right. My checkup last week was fine, and I’ve never felt better. It’s probably not me.”

“Huh?” Ed mumbled, suddenly looking a little worried.

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


Turquoise by Luccia Gray

“What’s your mother’s favorite color, Chelsea?”

He smiled. I rolled my eyes and supposed Tom was trying to bond with that gross question.

He’s been dating my mother for months, and he still doesn’t know her favorite color? Don’t they ever talk?

“Turquoise. Get her a necklace, with matching bracelet and earrings.”


So I bought Alice the necklace, bracelet, earrings and a pair of turquoise sandals too, hoping to gain Chelsea’s approval.

I realized something was terribly wrong when she opened the presents gasped and giggled.

“We need to talk about Chelsea,” she sighed and patted my hand lovingly.


Scarf of the Ocean by Sarah Unsicker

The turquoise yarn glided through her fingers, slowly shaping itself into a piece of cloth under her skilled digits. She had her qualms about knitting him a turquoise scarf. He usually wore blacks and grays. Pacific colors. But despite his somber dress, he had a buoyant personality. The color of the Caribbean Atlantic would accent his somber colors with personality.

He excitedly opened the gift in its colorful packaging. Scraps of paper flew around the room. Seeing the scarf, he stopped opening. He tossed it in the pile with his other gifts, then reexamined his new box of Legos.


Turquoise Dreaming by Norah Colvin

Marnie paused at the gate. The house looked the same: roses by the steps, bell by the door, windows open and curtains tied back; just as she remembered.

She shuddered as the memory of her last visit flashed momentarily: she was running, almost blinded by tears, stumbling with fear, up the steps, to the open door and open heart. She rubbed the turquoise pendant Miss had given her then, for “protection and peace”. She had worn it always.

Now, Marnie walked the path with an unfamiliar lightness. It was over. Really over!

She knocked at the door.


Colouring the Memory by Geoff Le Pard

‘I thought you’d thrown that dress away?’

‘I just wanted something bright.’ Mary flattened a rough crease with nervy fingers.

‘Will you be alright on your own?’

Mary didn’t answer. Logic said yes; she knew nothing of the dead child. But her stomach churned. What did the police think about her father’s role?

Paul smiled. ‘The blue suits you. Matches…’

‘It’s green.’

Paul nodded. ‘Ok, let’s say turquoise.’

Mary started to smile then burst into tears. Paul stroked his wife’s hair. ‘Shh.’

Gulping air she said, ‘Mum’s favourite broach was studded with turquoise stones. I miss her so badly.’


New Sister by Paula Moyer

“I didn’t like ‘Midnight Cowboy,’” Ann grinned as she nursed her baby. Her eyes, brilliant turquoise, sought out and met Jean’s. “In fact, I felt like I needed a bath afterward. It’s a brilliant story. Just not a pleasant one.”

A shift. “Jean what did you think about ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’?”

Something different about the meeting of their eyes. Ann was her boyfriend’s sister-in-law. She had been a high school English teacher. Now she invited Jean to discuss her freshman composition class.

Jean had just graduated from high school. In their conversation, Ann welcomed Jean into adulthood.


A Glamorous Man by Pete Fanning

Ron parked his truck, hurrying towards the restaurant. Laura had been so adamant about the time. “It’s just another birthday,” he told himself, ignoring that pesky ache in his ankle.

Only it wasn’t just another birthday, because his picture was plastered all over the glass doors at the entrance. The picture.

Friends cheered as he bowed past the artifact—a glossy portrait of teenage Ronnie. One hand under a pimply chin, the other resting on Measles, the cat. His faraway gaze set the mood, while his restless mullet gushing over his turquoise turtleneck set the tone.

“Happy 40th, Ron!”


Turquoise by Rebecca Patajac

Dark branches released cherry blossoms, awash with pale pink and deep magenta, and sent them floating upon the subtle mountain breeze.

The dragon’s tail flicked, dusting the landscape with a glitter of red as it gazed through an orb laden with four yellow stars, tendrils of smoke drifted skyward from its mouth.

An orange form darted past, the dragon’s eyes followed its flash of colour for a moment before a cascade of turquoise enveloped the koi and carried it down the mountain stream.

A man sat tall upon the peak, eyes trained as he painted his dreams of colour.


On Your Permanent Record by Pat Cummings

In ninth grade, I encountered the terror-tactic of high-school principals, the Permanent Record. Bane of college-track students, it threatened to overturn plans for careers and prestigious schools by shackling us with the mistakes made as adolescents, so those choices would stain the rest of our adult lives.

Senior year, I colored my hair turquoise for Homecoming, only to find it wasn’t washable dye. For weeks afterwards, my embarrassing hair was the same shade as my dad’s Indian belt buckle.

But as the year went on, I realized the truth. Bad hair dye grows out. There is NO Permanent Record!


Whatever Became of El Dorado? by Charli Mills

Lamina’s Navajo grandfather clicked his tongue, speaking to the Campfire Girls squatted in a semicircle at his feet. This was her classroom, her troop. The girls were earning a story-telling badge.

“Coyote, the great trickster, led the Spaniards to El Dorado.”

Maisie wiggled her raised hand. Lamina nodded and the girl gushed. “And the streets were paved with gold!” The other girls chattered in agreement.

“Not gold; turquoise.”

“Did they bring any back?”

“No. They were never again seen.” Grandfather stopped and left the end unspoken. What if the Holy City of Revelations already came and Conquistadors destroyed it?


A Special Little Fishy McGold by Sacha Black

The turquoise running through her eyes worried me most. It was alive, dangerous even.

“You ok, Nance?” I asked biting my nail.

Her lips pressed and eyes narrowed as she grasped at something in her handbag. She started shaking.

“It was an accident, you know that, right?”

I reached out to pat her on the arm, but she yanked it away.

“He wasn’t just ‘a’ fish, Jake. He was special.”

A vein in her head pulsed.

“That’s not a gun is it?” I laughed nervously.

She pulled out a bag with another goldfish in it and her shoulders relaxed.


Something in the Air by Sherri Matthews

Jack checked the instrument panel and flicked the fuel gauge. Zero. Still no engine. Yet he was gliding smooth as butter through the clouds.

A blinding flash suddenly filled the skies and Jack stared, mesmerised, as a turquoise glow flooded the cockpit.

He didn’t remember landing. “Are you alright love?” his wife asked. “You look pale.”

“I saw something,” he muttered. “So beautiful…”

“The sunset,” she laughed.

Breaking news that night reported sightings of an unidentified object crashing near Stonehenge. A reporter told of a brilliant turquoise light witnessed by thousands.

Now it was Jack’s wife who turned ashen.


Birthdays & Burial Masks by Sarah Brentyn

He didn’t believe in reincarnation.

Standing on the cliff, he savored the sensation of his toes no longer feeling earth beneath them. His rough hand held the smooth turquoise stone.

Memories flooded his mind—mosaics, ceremonial masks, necklaces… The blues and greens of lapis lazuli, jade, jasper, beryl, aventurine inlaid with turquoise.

“Happy Birthday,” he said, the wind pulling his words. Twenty years on this earth. Already or again?

He had insisted on traveling alone. To a place he had never been. The stone, wedged in red rock, waited for him. He had left it there twenty years ago.


Turquoise by Jeanne Lombardi

Even the word, the sibilant tail of it whispering secrets encased in the hard box of its beginning.
Mountain and river.
Mesa and sky.
Stone like a spoonful of water frozen in time.
Stone with a veined heart.
The fallen sky-stone, the People called it. Born of their tears mixed with rain and planted in the dry earth.
Far below, at the bottom of the red canyon, the river was an angular snake, just the color of it. She toed the edge of the trail with her moccasin. Held the stone out. Watched it fall to its mother.


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  1. Sacha Black

    Fantastic set of flashes they really are :), particular compliments to Anne and Ula, I really really enjoyed theirs. 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      It’s a great compilation! Thanks for being a part!

  2. Nicholas C. Rossis

    Beautiful stories! I like how a colour inspired so many different stories. Thanks for sharing!

    • Charli Mills

      Isn’t it am amazing collection? And when I think of turquoise, I think of Greek waters and white marble. Thanks for reading!

  3. susanzutautas

    I’m finding it much easier to wait until all the flashes are posted in one post than to keep checking back all the time for more to read. Is that wrong of me?

    All the flashes are so good!

    • Charli Mills

      No, not wrong of you at all. You can click on the blog links to comment. This gives me an idea…I can link the stories that are left in the comments (without a blog link) to the original comment which would make it easier to find so that those writers can enjoy comments, too. Thanks for helping me figure that out! 🙂

  4. Jeanne Lombardo

    So sorry I missed this one. Can’t believe it! Love the prompt. Really evoked some beautiful flashes! Norah’s pendant for protection and peace; Rebecca’s gorgeous fantastical dreamland; Pat’s touching coming of age realization about turquoise hair; Sarah’s mystical moment on the mountain with the turquoise talismans. So many beautiful stories….if I have time I will come back to comment on more.

    • Charli Mills

      Turquoise evoked lots of strength and beauty! You are always welcome to add a story to the mix here in the comments if you feel inspired! 🙂

      • Jeanne Lombardo

        You are so kind Charli! I couldn’t resist. So here is my ode to turquoise.


        Even the word, the sibilant tail of it whispering secrets encased in the hard box of its beginning.
        Mountain and river.
        Mesa and sky.
        Stone like a spoonful of water frozen in time.
        Stone with a veined heart.
        The fallen sky-stone, the People called it. Born of their tears mixed with rain and planted in the dry earth.
        Far below, at the bottom of the red canyon, the river was an angular snake, just the color of it. She toed the edge of the trail with her moccasin. Held the stone out. Watched it fall to its mother.

      • Charli Mills

        Ever so beautiful! Thank you for sharing this lyrical vision that feels as expansive as that river below!

  5. Jeanne Lombardo

    Oops just popping back in to check the notify boxes below. Somehow I unsubscribed to this post.

    • Charli Mills

      Oh, good! I’m not the only one who does that! 😀

  6. Norah

    You’ve done it again, Charli: managed to round up another great set of stories. 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      And they all live up to the color! 😉

      • Norah

        True blue!

  7. Anita Stout

    Great stories around my favorite color? Its going to be a good day!

    • Charli Mills

      That’s awesome, Anita! I thought the same thing as I compiled them. Hope you enjoyed the colorful read!

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