An array of rings are offerings from a single artist. And yet, many singles dream of one ring to bind them to another. What is it about rings that are are deep in our culture and psyche? They adorn and they tell a story.
Writers explored the stories of rings to craft this collection of flash as rich as the rings an artist displays against black velvet.
The following are based on the April 13, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write about a ring.
One Perfect Rose (After Dorothy Parker) by Luccia Gray
‘I found a perfect gift,’ he said.
He gave me a pretty card, which read,
‘This gift is almost as lovely as you.’
I still didn’t have a clue.
I wondered what he had in mind,
Although I knew my love was blind,
I was hoping for a ring at last,
My happiness, it was so vast!
I’d wear it on my finger proudly.
I extended my hand slowly,
And he showed me one perfect rose.
I sighed and looked down to my toes.
‘Don’t you like the rose?’ he asked.
‘It’s not what I had in mind,’ I barked.
A Bacon Bit (Sizzlin’ in the Old West) by Liz Husebye Hartmann
Leadbelly sidled up to the bar, tossing a small leather bag on the counter. His boot hooked over the bar rail, spurs jangling, as he leaned toward the buxom barkeep.
“What’ll ya have?” Lula eyed the bag of gold dust.
“Whiskey, neat,” he twirled his greasy mustaches, “And you, disheveled.”
She rolled her eyes and turned her back. The piano player threw him out. Polishing a glass, she waited.
Josiah approached, sliding the fragrant waxed package across the counter. He laid a gold ring on top. His lips trembled. “Will you have me?”
“You and your bacon? Forever, Love.”
Heirloom by Bill Engleson
“Look at ‘em, Sybil. Sausages. Big fat sausages.”
I spread my mitts in grand emphasis.
“Yes, sweetie. You have big hands.”
“Not exactly Presidential.”
“No. But too big for your Mom’s ring. Maybe we can get it enlarged?”
“I don’t know. It’s pretty thin…probably hard to stretch…”
“Dad made it from an old copper cup. True story.”
“I’ve heard it often.”
“Well, it’s a good story. He was a handy guy.”
“A frugal, artistic man.”
“Depression days, eh.”
“Yes, it was. If we can’t expand it, maybe I should wear it.”
“It’d be my pleasure.”
Not All Chicks are Created Equal by Joe Owens
The young man stood quietly, eyes glued to the arrangement of rings. All that moved was his eyes. They buzzed back and forth across the collection like a caffeine-addled bee.
“Don’t you have anything unique?” he finally asked.
“Unique? Son all of this is unique and handmade.”
“Yeah, I know, but this chick is one in a million!”
“Chick? Are you calling some lovely young woman a chick? What’s wrong with you? You need to learn some manners young man. Women are not chicks!”
Both turned when a girl in a bird suit opened the door.
New Ring by Diana Nagai
Conflicted, her thumb bent inward, seeking out the newly placed jewelry. She was a feminist, damn it. When looking at other women’s rings, she always saw society’s symbol of ownership, a male’s claim to his property. Yet, she wanted the ring. The band gave her a sense of calm and, admittedly, a feeling of pride.
The flashing camera brought her back to the moment. Worried that she had sold out to the very institution she ridiculed, she looked up, locking eyes with her partner. Warmth enveloped her and, in that instant, she knew what all newlyweds knew; love transcends.
The Ring by Pensitivity
Embedded in the root of the hydrangea bush was a ring.
The flower which flourished every year from that part of the root was bigger, brighter and more glorious than any of its counterparts.
‘It’s your grandmother’s engagement ring,’ he said with a tear in his eye.
‘She lost it years ago and although we searched, we never found it. She told me it would eventually turn up. Come to think of it, that bush never flowered so much before she died.
Her last words to me were that she’d always be with me. Bless her, she never lied.’
Only the Ring Remained (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills
“Don’t you tire of sifting dirt?” Michael leaned back on the porch chair, drinking a Rocket Dog.
Danni knew Ike had stocked his workshop fridge with his Ranger buddy’s favorite beer. A token of appreciation. Or a bribe. “I thought we buried the hatchet, Michael.”
“Just curious. Seems boring.”
“It’s amazing how much evidence past garbage holds.”
“It doesn’t bother you?”
“Garbage? No. The most disturbing find was considered a site contamination.”
“It was run-off from the 1956 Grand Canyon plane crash. A wedding band among Anasazi pottery. Identified as the pilot’s whose body was never recovered.”
Consider the Odds by Elliott Lyngreen
This concrete pier doglegs like a long driveway into the lake.
The horizon rises behind as I fish into the calm side; the inlet back into the marina and boat launches.
This morning, he snuck away from the wife. As I tie a lead weight to my T-dropper rig he sets up his folding chair near the steel edges crashing waters whale.
But, I am too excited to ask how he managed to get away. So I offer, “more weights in my box if needed.” He responds, “nah, just going to use my wedding bands.”
Perch season begins perfectly.
Ring For Mother by Geoff Le Pard
Mary stared at the box, momentarily lost.
‘Mum? Can you find it?’ Penny peered over her mother’s shoulder. ‘There they are.’
Mary fished out the string. ‘Yes. Your Grandma’s pearls; she gave them to me when I was 21. I…’ She sobbed.
‘Mum? What’s wrong?’
‘Nothing.’ She looked at Penny. ‘Your grandma wanted you to have her wedding and engagement rings, after she died, only..?”
‘They disappeared. Somewhere been her collapsing and her… dying. I didn’t notice until it was too late to follow it up.’
‘Don’t worry, mum.’
If only it was that easy, Mary thought.
Finders Keepers by Jules Paige
I found the gold ring with a chipped amber type square
stone with four diamond-like gems, while walking the
dogs one day. The band had a kink in it. But the sun
made it sparkle in the gutter where it lay, lost or
Now it was mine. And I wore it when ‘he’ came to visit –
‘He’ didn’t have to know that my new Beau hadn’t given
it to me. It made breaking up with ‘him’ so much easier.
I got the band fixed. Though I hardly ever wear that
ring. Now wear my white gold wedding band.
Eternity Ring by Anne Goodwin
I emptied the contents onto the table-top. Plastic decked like playing cards, coins rolled on their edges, a foil-wrapped migraine tablet squat among the notes. He held my fingertips so gently, I almost anticipated congratulations. “Take it off!”
I babbled about its sentimental value, worthless to him. He grabbed me roughly by the wrist. “Fucking take it off! I won’t ask again.”
I tugged at the gold band. Bonded with my body, it wouldn’t budge.
Spreading my hand across the table-top, he brought down the knife.
I stared at the stump. I’d lost my finger, but kept my promise.
The Rescue by Kate Spencer
The hawk screeched and dived toward its prey. Jen held her breath and screamed when one of the talons clipped the pigeon’s wing, leaving it powerless, plummeting to the ground.
She ran across the field toward the fallen dove, flailing her arms and shrieking at the hawk.
Jen kneeled down beside the motionless bird. “You’re a beauty,” she cooed and delicately slid her fingers under its shaking belly. Her beaded ring brushed against a tiny metal leg band.
In that moment, Jen felt it in her heart. This feathered friend was special. It was a survivor. So was she.
Child Bride by Kerry E.B. Black
It blurred in her vision, yellow gold devouring a too-thin finger. It weighted Shakti’s hand, tethered her to a place, a family, and an older man who didn’t regard her as more than property. She shook her hand, but the wedding ring clung like an infant to its mother’s breast.
Wild-eyed, she searched the room hung with wedding silks, praying for an escape that didn’t come.
Instead, her groom came to consummate the marriage. He lumbered atop her until she cried out in pain.
After, she scrubbed the sheets, marring the gold band denoting her new status as wife.
Junk by Allison Maruska
“Daddy!” Reese tugs at my sleeve. “Toy!” She points to the dispenser full of opaque plastic eggs.
“Honey…” I crouch. “You can’t see what’s in those. You might get junk.”
“Please?” She bats her brown eyes.
I laugh. What the hell. Standing, I dig a coin from my pocket. She snatches it.
After three cranks, an egg plops out. She pops it open, removing a plastic ring with a square rhinestone. “Like Mommy’s!”
Her words choke me. It does look like my late wife’s ring. “You’re right. It is.”
“It’s not junk.” She skips ahead.
No, it sure isn’t.
The Onyx Ring by Susan Zutautas
Grandma would sit and tell Molly stories about her life in the old country. Scotland sounded amazing to Molly but what she most wanted to know about was the ring grandma wore.
Well dear this ring wasn’t always a ring. Your grandpa gave me this as a necklace that I wore for years. One day I decided I wanted to make it into a ring and took it to a jeweler.
It was a black onyx stone with a diamond in the middle and Molly just loved it.
Years later when grandma passed away, Molly was given the ring.
A Father’s Blessing by Roger Shipp
“Pap-pa, Esmeralda. She’s the one I’ve been telling you about.”
Freddie lost his father. Lost? No… He just left.
And Freddie appeared. Assisting with weeding the mowing… shooting hoops in the driveway… caring for the Dane when I’m away.
The two are aglow.
For a bride, so many traditions. Something old… new… borrowed… blue.
Nothing for the groom. Marriage license. Money. Rehearsal dinner. More money. Honeymoon. Even more money.
If a groom has no roots of his own… it’s hard to grow.
I wonder… my fingers encircle the ring I’ve worn faithfully since Sara’s passing.
“Freddie… if you’d like it.”
The Wife’s Ring by Michael
It was the start of our adventure and it meant packing up house and moving to a new town.
Everything was going well. We had a place to move to, we both had jobs and our new place was way out in the bush.
It came undone when my wife lost her engagement ring. It had vanished in the clean-up. Did it go in the rubbish? Was it thrown in the incinerator?
We searched high and low, blamed each other, but it was never found. I liked that ring, it was special and unique. It would never be replaced.
The Ring by D.Avery
He acted like he had found gold, though it was just an old skidder wheel-rim.
“Whatever for?” she asked.
“For you”, he said. “I got you a ring.”
He set it in the clearing behind the house. He gathered wood. He brought seats.
And they along with friends and family often ended up there, speaking easily around a crackling fire, into the night, gazing into the flames in communion, staring in their own silent reveries.
In the daytime, empty and cold, it looked like what it was, an old rusty rim. But it was gold. She loved this ring.
Commitment by Reena Saxena
Stella looked beautiful in the red dress, as she glanced at the mirror, one last time before leaving. Her father’s eyes fell on her be-jewelled hand.
“Don’t you think you need more space, if David proposes?”
“No, Dad! These are gifted by people with different talents, and are all important to me. David needs to create a unique slot for himself, if he proposes today.”
Her father’s thoughts moved back to his deceased wife, whose ring could not be removed by the coroner. Either it was rigor mortis, or her undying love for him.
The world had clearly changed.
Flash Fiction by Pete Fanning
Maybe if she’d been wearing it things would’ve been different. But my skin was burning off my bones. I pulled for breath. Bugs skittered down my neck.
Jada wasn’t home. The ring sat there. Shining.
They gave me eight hundred bucks for it. Two days later I was broke again. Jada cried. Moved to her mother’s. I sat in a ball, for two days, shivering.
The ring sat on the shelf. Shining. My skin burned. Nausea like shame in my gut. There was nothing to sell. Just the brick in my hand.
I went to get Jada’s ring back.
The Solitaire by kittysverses
She looked at her solitaire ring, with amusement. She had always dreamt of it since she was a kid.
The numerous fairy tales she read affirmed the fact that her prince charming would come, galloping on a horse and gift her a solitaire.
Years later, he did come and gifted this on a trip they took together.
Today she looks at her fate in amusement, it indeed gave her a solitaire but took away her prince charming to a place from where he could never come back. And now I’m a solitaire in my own solitude, mourned she.
My Silver Ring by Lady Lee Manila
It was a silver ring with heart
Crafted by my own hands
One of my evening courses
Silver jewellery making
It wasn’t easy to make
I just wanted a simple ring
Something dainty for my finger
It was a silver ring with heart
I never had an engagement ring
We were still students then
I thought I’d make one myself
Crafted by my own hands
I love taking courses
Yoga, academic writing and Zumba
One of them is jewellery making
One of my evening courses
Sawing, soldering and annealing
Sanding and polishing
These things I learned
Silver jewellery making