July 27: Flash Fiction Challenge

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.

July 28, 2017

Crystalline waves slap behind my knees. A copper sun sinks slowly toward the horizon, extending sunset from about 8 to 10 p.m. The best time to catch the waves at Calumet Water Works, a public park and beach on Lake Superior, is around 7. If the waves roll just right, they act as a lens to the tumbled rock beneath the surface of clear water that has not a trace of sediment, algae or vegetation. Pure water, fresh water from ancient and icy depths.

Agates bring me here like a junkie looking for a hit. Just one more rock.

Beachcombers walk the long evening in either direction: dogs stroll and children in rubber boots and neon swimsuits dart along the shore like tropical fish. Serious rock-hounds lug buckets and agate scoopers, quickly scanning the wave-saturated edges for glints of agates among the red and black basalt, broken and tumbled smooth into goose eggs. The agates and other stones of interest are marble-sized or smaller, each year decreasing in population. Agates have no mating cycle in geology.

How to find an agate: go to where they are found and look. Rock-hounds can’t tell you how to develop an eye for them, but you can learn tips: look for luster, look for quartz. What does that mean exactly? If you were in your yoga pants and rock shoes, and me in mine, we’d go to the edge together and I’d pick up several rocks of white to show you — this is dull, like a teacher’s stub of chalk. It’s limestone. But it could be chert if it’s glassier, like this one. See? That’s luster. Chert is silica, but fine grained and opaque.

See that one, glinting white as a wave recedes? That’s nice. No, not gneiss… I mean, it’s nice and all, pretty, but it’s not that secondary metamorphic rock. Let me see. Hmm, yes, it’s a granite, has quartz but that’s not the quartz we’re looking for. The shiny you see is mica. It’s a mineral that forms in flakes. The black spots are hornblend. Sometimes you can see pink crystal faces and that’s feldspar. This is granite. Not gneiss, not schist. Don’t take schist for granite.

Ah, here’s a possibility, a white robin’s egg just rolled up with that wave. Catch it before it rolls back down! Let’s look at it. Nope. Toss it back it’s calcite. Lots of calcite and zeolites on this beach. They are silica, too. Quartz is silica. Different heat and pressure results in different grains (crystals) or lack of them, smooth like glass. Calcite is softer and has less luster than quartz. Here’s one: see how translucent it is? If we were lucky and this were an agate you would see distinct rings or bands. I found one white agate with a delicate banded eye of apricot. Exquisite but the size of my thumbnail.

My daughter — she picked up this massive caramel agate of banded chert the size of a fat fig. She’s got an eye. She and her hubby also have matching geology degrees. He has his masters. Seems like the more a geologist masters the more he says, maybe. As in, maybe that’s Thompsonite. I find lots of pretty maybes that glow when wet but dull when dry. Kind of like writing — when it’s fresh with wet ink it’s an agate of a scene. Dry it becomes a maybe page.

We’ve only learned about luster, quartz and white rocks to look for tonight. I forgot to mention that you should look for odd shapes, the not-quite-marbles. If dull they could be fossilized limestone of honeycomb coral. I have a terrific eye for fossils, maybe because I rock-hounded on Mars and in Nevada and Montana where inland seas left fossilized coral beds. I once found a coral fossil the size of a economy car. A gold mining company had left it behind in an abandoned pit because fossils aren’t currency.

The Industrial Age drove the copper miners to seek the webs of shiny copper formed in and on quartz of the Keweenaw. They dug deep and long, mining since the Cliff Mine founded in 1836. No one can say for certain why the copper formed here. Perhaps alien spiders spewing webs of copper or God’s game of where-did-the-Almighty-hide-that-mineral? Junkies have come to this beach before me, looking to get a rush from the naturally sluiced rocks found here, chasing down their origins.

Rock-hounds say the motherlode of agate is off the shore and if you’re serious you should buy scuba gear. I’m tempted. Maybe I can snorkel. Oh, look — this one is covered in fiery copper strands as thin as silk, the color of the last spill of molten metal from the sun on water. The copper is subtle. It’s hard to say what to look for; hard to say what to write. But the more you show up to the beach and the page, the better your chances of finding a crystalline wonder. Develop your eye for it. And don’t mind the slap of cold waves or the constant grind of rocks. It’s natural.

July 27, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the word crystalline. It can be used in typical forms or in creative ways (like the name of a town). What meaning does it hold for the story or character(s)? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by August 1, 2017 to be included in the compilation (published August 2). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

***

Clearly a Party Site (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills

Danni crouched and considered the crystalline structure of the rock in her hand. The lab had scoured Kansas clay from its coarse features. Pink. Granite. Not the Woodland sandstone hearth she had expected to find at this depth. What did it mean? She glanced at the identified bones – beaver, deer, elk.

“Dr. Gordon?” One of the Lawrence students approached, sweaty after a humid day of trowel-work. “Wanted to invite you to a pig roast this weekend.”

“Pig roast?”

“Yeah, my uncle’s a pit-master”

“A pit…It’s a pit not a hearth! Ha! We’ve discovered a thousand year old BBQ site!”

###

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141 Comments

  1. Susan Budig

    That’s a tough word. I like a challenge.

    • Charli Mills

      I like the way the word rolls like a Superior wave.

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for giving it go, Michael!

      • Michael

        Yes, and thanks for reading.

    • Liz Husebye Hartmann

      I found her just a little bit scary…was that just my imagination?

      • Michael

        There’s a certain mystery about her Liz so yes you could conclude a scary side to her.

  2. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    There’s no ‘maybe’ about this post. It’s a keeper. It glows and sparkles.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      And perhaps your fine prose reveals that some elements of your tumbled life are finally crystallizing and will bring you multi-faceted blessings. Hope so, Boss, hope so.

      • Charli Mills

        I like that idea, D.! Perhaps the polish is taking hold after all the tumbling. I’ll keep looking though. Among the words arranged will be the motherhood one day. 🙂

      • Charli Mills

        Ha, ha! Motherlode! Unless birthing a novel counts, I’m definitely NOT seeking motherhood in the words! 😀

  3. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Mother Lode

    “Shorty’s got rocks in her head.”

    “Yep, it’s become purty obvious. Goin’ on an on ‘bout rocks all the time. Rocks in her head, alright, and in her pockets, in her saddlebags. She’s always gatherin’, seems like.”

    “Our tumbleweed’s become a rock tumbler.”

    “That phrase weren’t too smooth, Kid.”

    “Well, I’m in a hurry, itchin’ to do some minin’ of my own. There’s 24 carrot gold in these here hills.”

    “Jest remember, Kid, glitter ain’t always gold. Me, I’m jest gonna ride under the crystalline sky, enjoy a gem of a day.”

    “That’s minin’ too.”

    “Yep, Kid, it is.”

    • Charli Mills

      Rock fever has hit for certain, but I’ve been told it’s a summer affliction. Time to absorb the sun and warm(er) air. I love the line about the crystalline shit and a gem of a day. Another fun ranch yarn that sparkles!

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        I love a line about crystalline shit, too, Boss, but you may want to check in on yer spell check.

      • Charli Mills

        Okay. That’s it. My phone is grounded! Geeze…I’m trying to compliment your pairing of words and I sound like the president’s new communications mooch!

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        First: not my president.
        Second: Really? Just gonna leave crystalline shit out there?Unplumbed?

      • Liz Husebye Hartmann

        You two are pummeling us with puns…!
        😀

      • Charli Mills

        Sometimes the plumbing goes awry…

      • Deborah Lee

        I love this whole thread. Thank you.

    • Norah

      Oh you two, you’ve given me such a laugh. The motherhood was a good start. Then you took it up D., with your clever piece. I, too, liked that crystalline sky. I’d rather not take the other – what Charli said. Would be rather painful, I think. But occasionally it wouldn’t be bad if we could just shit gems. Might be a whole lot easier than either mining or writing. Actually I think both your story and Charli’s responses are gems. There’s nothing better than sharing a laugh around. And I do love your Shorty tales, Kid. They are very clever.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Carrot Ranch; the literary community where people do give a sh_t.

      • Norah

        🙂

      • Charli Mills

        Ha, ha! Norah, I think that would be similar to passing a kidney stone! D. writes some clever sh– stuff! Good to shares laughs, even if my phone was the prankster.

      • Norah

        D. writes some awesome stuff. It blows me away. My phone is a total frustrator, rather than a prankster. 🙂

      • Norah

        I remember that one. It was goodie. 🙂

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Don’t revise yourself too much. Ta heck with people that don’t like the raw bits.

    • Charli Mills

      Hi Reena! Creative form you used this week, too. I like that!

    • Liz Husebye Hartmann

      Remember to use a tiny hammer and chisel. Those sledgehammers don’t respect the finer points of the gem!

      • Reena Saxena

        Fully agree!

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      I’ve heard of this. So diamonds really could be a girl’s best friend.

      • pensitivity101

        So they could!

    • Charli Mills

      They say diamonds are forever, but, wow! Fun and yet thought-provoking take on the prompt.

      • pensitivity101

        Thanks Charli.

    • julespaige

      Thank you Jane… I visited your post and got a tad carried away poetically with my comment – I thought I’d post my comment here too:

      “While change is the only real constant – I will have my words in books that I can hold. I may be unschooled amid classical writings – but I will wonder books stores with shelves of sheaf’s that behold the hidden truths in poetic wrangling… And if I am to be consumed by those waves of words I shan’t ask for water… just specks… the kind one needs to make words crystalline, even if only briefly imagined in my dementia.” – JP/dh

      • Jane Dougherty

        It’s a cri de coeur. Long may you rule 🙂

      • julespaige

        cri de cœur ?/kr? d? ?k?r/: noun
        a passionate appeal, complaint, or protest.

        I had to look that up – thank you for teaching me something new. We shale ‘rule’ together equally passionate within our diversity.

      • Jane Dougherty

        A cry from the heart, as we say over here 🙂

      • julespaige

        Oh…I found this to add: Origin and Etymology of cri de coeur. French, literally, cry from the heart. First Known Use: 1897.

      • Jane Dougherty

        That was what I meant 🙂

      • julespaige

        You have inspired another 99 word flash…I am in the process of posting it…

      • Jane Dougherty

        I’ll have a peek.

      • julespaige

        🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Hi Jane! Good to see you at the Ranch! And sparking cri de coeurs and inspiring other flashes. How crystalline your presence is this week! 🙂

      • Jane Dougherty

        Hi Charli! I’ve been out of it for a while, just not finding the time for all the prompts. This was an interesting one though, couldn’t pass it up 🙂

      • Charli Mills

        Glad it sparkled to attract your attention! 😉

    • Liz Husebye Hartmann

      Subtly…and heart-breakingly–dystopian.
      Amazing application of 99 words, and crystalline imagery!

      • Jane Dougherty

        Thank you, Liz! Dystopia, or a particular kind of dystopia, is my thing 🙂

  4. julespaige

    Since my morning got turned upside down, I wrote first.

    OK on the site of my post which should be the title (link) there is lots of info.
    I’ve added to Janice vs Richard with the help of a wordle, an obsolete word and a busted myth.

    Tralucent Trauma? JvR 16

    Tralucent Trauma? (Janice vs Richard #16)

    Unlike a bull in a china shop, anger and rage permeated
    every nervous pore in Richard’s body. Vacant eyes stared
    at the salvaged offal staining the shine of the celadon bowl
    of the animal he had just dissected. His shoulders sagged
    as just the hint of abashedness tried to surface. His trenchancy
    returning as he carefully placed the clippers on the tarp covered
    table. He thought he would ‘read’ the offering after setting fire
    to it.

    Richard wanted crystalline clear directions of what to do next.
    Would he, could he destroy the only thing that had once loved
    him?

    ©JP/dh

    Celadon (n.)) a pale grey-green, any of several Chinese porcelains having a translucent, pale green glaze..)
    Trenchancy (adj.)) incisive or keen, as language or a person; caustic; cutting; vigorous; effective; energetic)
    Tralucent: (Webster’s hardback): a. transparent; clear; translucent. [Obs.-obsolete]

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      This guy again! Couldn’t he have googled for direction rather than table top eviscerations?
      But then we wouldn’t have your fun take, I suppose, with all those words.

      • julespaige

        I watch too many CSI shows… and well the word lists help too. 😉

        I was actually inspired by another bloggers’ take on reading fortunes…but with tea leaves. So everything gets mashed.. (yeah pun intended). :S

    • Charli Mills

      There’s so much joy in a writer who can find inspiration in “a wordle, an obsolete word and a busted myth. ” Thanks for teaching me “traluscent.” If we use it, will it no longer be obsolete? 😀

  5. Rachel A. Hanson

    This prompt is a challenge! I’ll have to do some thinking about it today 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      It’s not always clear! 😀

  6. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Crystalline

    She laughed. “What do you mean you love me? We just met.”
    “Yet I’m madly in love with you.”
    “What do you love about me?”
    “The way you talk. I love the clarity of your thought, that sparkle in your eyes. I love the lustre of your smile.”
    “You talk like a geologist.”
    “And I’ve found a jewel. I’m in love with you.”
    “You don’t even know my name.”
    “So tell me.”
    “Guess.”
    “Ruby. No, it’s Gem, that’s what you are.”
    “No, and no. Not Ruby, not Gem.”
    “Tell me.”
    “My name is Crys.”
    “Crys?”
    Short for Crystalline.”
    “Aha!”

    • Charli Mills

      Great playfulness in your dialog, D. I’m wondering if Crys is pulling his chain, though. It works to stump his efforts.

  7. julespaige

    (with thanks to Jane Dougherty… cri de cœur ?/kr? d? ?k?r/:
    noun a passionate appeal, complaint, or protest. Origin and
    Etymology of cri de coeur. French, literally, cry from the heart.
    First Known Use: 1897)

    CR/ Replay, Rewind, Repeat

    Replay, Rewind, Repeat

    While change is the only real constant – I will have my words
    in books that I can hold. I may be unschooled amid classical
    writings – but I will wonder books stores with shelves of sheaf’s
    that behold the hidden truths in poetic wrangling… And if I
    am to be consumed by those waves of words I shan’t ask for
    water… just specks… the kind one needs to make words
    crystalline, even if only briefly imagined in my dementia.

    Imogene’s specks were thick to magnify print. Reading the
    classics with dementia was like reading them for the first time
    everytime.

    ©JP/dh

    • Charli Mills

      First of all, I’m delighted that you and Jane exchanged words bringing literary art to life through discussion, interaction, discovery and response. To me, that is what word play and story catching is all about and I find it meaningful. Next, I’m moved by yourflash and where you took the prompt, your new-found phrase, and what it stirred in you.

    • julespaige

      Considering the prompt just got put up today – I can’t see how you are late. Fate is like that sometimes… the wrong words trigger the right response.

      • floridaborne

        I consider finding the prompt an hour later “too late.” It’s in my nature to be like that.

      • julespaige

        And then I have been known to not worry and get my flash in moments before the dead-line.
        🙂 Though I have gotten better sometimes I post just a day or two after the prompt comes out 😉

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Well, I liked your offering. Though no pie this week, he got his just desserts.

      • floridaborne

        Thanks. 🙂

        Winding down from a whirlwind two weeks at work and hoping to offer a better assortment of goodies next week.

    • jeanne229

      It’s an inventive use of the prompt. “Crystalline clear” still doesn’t get the message across to some…

      • floridaborne

        There are some messages that can’t be understood until they’re lived — or someone you know and love has been broken by it.

    • Liz Husebye Hartmann

      Oh yes! Why don’t they get that no thank you means NO THANK YOU! Bet if she looked back, he’d be staring at her, dumbfounded and still undeterred…grrrr!

    • Charli Mills

      Party’s always on Joelle! And I admire you for pressing through when you don’t feel satisfied with a piece. I feel that way some weeks, too but I find that it’s also freeing to let go and let the writing be.

      • floridaborne

        Thanks. 🙂

  8. denmaniacs4

    Blind Dreams

    The sun is so bright.

    Against sensible advice, I stare into its brilliant firestorm.

    The shock is immediate, I am blinded yet see the careening crystalline future, colors rampaging off into fireballs, shimmering delights chewing away at any clarity.

    I see all.

    I see nothing.

    My kaleidoscope eyes twinkle in the darkness.

    My mind’s eye remembers all.

    I have visions, you know.

    Sightless from the laser sun scorching my eyeballs acinder, images as clear as irony feast on my memory.

    I walk the night.

    It is as if it is day.

    And lo, it is the sun, so bright.

    http://www.engleson.ca

    • Liz Husebye Hartmann

      This is (also) a timely caution to those who don’t prepare for our August solar eclipse… 😉

    • Charli Mills

      Bill, I’ve often wondered what would really happen if someone could hold the burning gaze of the sun. This reads philosophical as much as literal.

      • denmaniacs4

        I expect you would grasp the entire solar system, for one brief fiery flash.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      A challenge, but you eight it up. Rocked it.

      • susanzutautas

        Thanks so much!

      • susanzutautas

        Thank you Liz!

    • Charli Mills

      Oh, wow, Susan! When you feel challenged you make even more challenging! Great poetic form!

      • susanzutautas

        Thanks Charli, it was a fun challenge 🙂

  9. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    An intriguing word to work with. Here is another take; a darker one.

    Dark of Winter

    The joke that winter was everyone walked on water. Because everywhere was frozen water. It came down as freezing rain and remained frozen, encasing the countryside in a glassy sheen. Rain would be followed by a cold spell, with never any snow to soften the bleak monotonous gray. It was a winter of impossible travel, of long days stuck inside, of boredom and its attendant drinking and tempers. It was a winter when heinous occurrences, mute secrets, were blamed on the entrapments, the relentless icing.
    She wished the crystalline memories that gripped her, still frozen, would shatter, would melt.

    • Charli Mills

      A darker take, D., but crystalline nonetheless. It’s one of those winters that won’t loosen its grip.

    • Liz Husebye Hartmann

      So clever…the punchline made me chuckle!

    • susanzutautas

      Not sure if it’s my computer (more than likely is), but I can’t seem to get to your site. I will try again later on.

      • Charli Mills

        Were you able to get there, Susan?

      • Annecdotist

        Hope you made it, Susan

    • Charli Mills

      Not sure there is cheating in word play, Anne! 😉 Your topic does make me wonder, as that answer has changed over the years.

  10. Norah

    This is a really interesting post, Charli, and sent me on my own (online) exploration for agates. I like the way you liken writing to agates, and maybes. And polishing too, allows the inner beauty to show through. I remember having a beautiful creamy white stone polished for me when I was a child. I wonder was it an agate.
    I hope you find lots of crystalline stones, literally and figuratively. We all turn up and complete the tasks often enough. I love the flash and the way Danni got a flash of inspiration from an unrelated comment. Fabulous. The mind works in mysterious ways.
    I see there are many comments already, but I’ll read after I have completed my own. It hasn’t been in the tumbler yet – still tumbling around in my head!
    Have a good week!

    • Norah

      Hi Charli, I’ve completed my crystalline wonder: Darling Crystalline http://wp.me/p3O5Jj-X1. I’m looking forward to reading the other submissions. Will hopefully do that this evening. Best wishes. N

      • Norah

        You’re too kind. 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Aha, the tumbler! Yes, a good place to put stones and stories. Do you still have that white stone from childhood? I remember finding a captivating stone in the creek as a child, and then promptly dropping it back into the water. I never found it again. And Danni’s story is from the distilling process of having dug in Kansas! It’s been a good week, hope it has been for you, too!

      • Norah

        No, I don’t have that stone, but I do have a few others. G2 was quite interested in stones and gems, and I bought her a collection for her last birthday. I remember having a discussion with her on the beach at Santa Monica this time last year when she was but four. We discussed how many things were needed to make a collection. I bought her a tube of stones at the Tar Pits in LA, and then more for her birthday in November. I’m not sure if she still looks at them. I must ask her. I have a lovely piece of petrified wood sent to me by a special friend in the US. I think it has magical properties. 🙂
        Isn’t it great when all the experiences tumble around and come out with the freshness of a new story. Glad you had a good week. 🙂

  11. robbiesinspiration

    An interesting post about agate and crystalline stones, Charli. My older son and I collect rocks so I am sure we can come up with something interesting for this. I did participate in last weeks prompt. So that I didn’t link it back to your post but I will do so this time. Sometimes I schedule posts and then forget to do the link back.

    • Charli Mills

      Oh, Robbie! Missing your post last week is like overlooking an agate! I try to stay on top of blogs but that’s often hit and miss, mostly on Mondays my “admin and social media day.” I will catch up with it though, and get it into last week’s compilation. I’m so glad to see you writing flash fiction!

  12. A. E. Robson

    It’s been a while since I joined the crew here in the corral. Charli, your post reminded me of a girl who always had a collection of rocks in her pockets. Like you, the collecting still continues. There is something intriguing about the solid mass we find beneath our feet.

    The Journey
    By Ann Edall-Robson

    The freezing winter season turns my path into ice
    Blankets of snow keep me safe in my place
    Dislodged by the thaw and watery storms
    Occasionally, I rest with the spring’s flooded debris
    Waiting my turn to be unceremoniously flung adrift
    Traversing the land between rain drenched banks
    Travelling for miles only to stop unexpectedly
    Laying for days on end or tiny minutes in time
    I’ve rumbled and rolled, gathering speed in the flow
    From the highest of peaks to the creek bed below
    Cousin to crystalline, gold, sandstone and shale
    We’re gathered together in bunches along sandy shores

    http://www.annedallrobson.com/99-words/the-journey

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Yeah. I like the movement and flow of this.

      • A. E. Robson

        Thank you. It was fun to write.

    • Charli Mills

      Good to see you at the ranch, Ann! Pockets are meant for rocks. 🙂 I’ve been holding on to a vision of you internalizing those stunning shots you take and tumbling them into stories with the crystalline structure of your words. Your flash conveys the journey of any long process, taking time and gathering the results.

      • A. E. Robson

        Slowly we gather (the words) and when they start to roll, it often becomes a run away until we once again rest before taking on the next chapter. It’s good to be back, Charli.

    • Liz Husebye Hartmann

      Sometimes fate will cut to the heart and deliver.
      Nicely done!

      • Deborah Lee

        Thank you!

    • Charli Mills

      What wonderful happy hours you had! Moments like those last a lifetime. And I love hearing, “What a keeper,” although I get the “pretty…maybe…nope, calcite…” often.

  13. Liz Husebye Hartmann

    You were quite punderful in this post..love the roll and play on words! Makes me miss my Lake Superior mornings, rock hunting and minnow chasing!

    • Charli Mills

      Gneiss that you caught the word play. 😀 How can anyone touch Lake Superior and not miss her when gone? I feel that way about mountains, wild west spaces and the Queen of the Great Lakes. From which shore did you have your lovely mornings?

      • Liz Husebye Hartmann

        My folks had a place on Madeline Island, and sailed the Apostles and around Thunder Bay, & was blessed to see the Lake in all her many moods.

  14. Liz Husebye Hartmann

    Back in the saddle again, or maybe back on my skis. This one also needed pie, cuz I missed last week.

    Homecoming

    Deep winter, full moon, subtle rhythm of skis hissing through snow just-crystallized after a day of drifting flakes. No firm path, just skirting the deep wood where nobody with good sense enters after dark.

    She liked to live on the edge.

    Cutting across the meadow towards cliff’s edge, she changes her stride for deeper pack. Ahead, her hut will be warm, sweet with the scents of tea, and pie made from autumn’s bounty—once she reanimates the hearth. The moon sparkles crystalline off the fjord’s open water.

    Shucking skis, she sets wards around the perimeter. No surprise visitors tonight.

    https://huldermn.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/homecoming/

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      There’s nothing better than moonlight skiing; except the warm hut (with pie) afterwards.

    • Charli Mills

      Bonus points for pie, Liz! Your flash reminds me of the Nordic heritage in my new place. We’ve looked at houses and rentals, and high on my list now is one with hearth and sauna. Lovely line: “The moon sparkles crystalline off the fjord’s open water.”

  15. jeanne229

    Thinking about my “crystalline complexion” and the “all natural” beauty hype this week.

    https://jeannelombardo.com/2017/07/goop/

    My Crystalline Complexion

    The sales associate was all of 20.

    “I just want some eye cream,” I said.

    “I have the perfect product for you,” she enthused. “The Gone in 60 Seconds Instant Wrinkle Eraser.”

    “C’mon, nothing is going to erase my wrinkles,” I said.

    “This one will. With all-natural sodium silicate, it instantly erases fine lines and wrinkles. It’ll provide that little bit of a ‘lift’ you need. ”

    “Hmmm” I said, my skepticism deepening the frown between my eyebrows.

    “Really, I use both the eye and the face cream in the line. I’ve been told I have a crystalline complexion.”

    • Charli Mills

      Ha, ha! Jeanne, your opening line cleverly sets up the last. Silicas and even micas are the rage in beauty products now. Yet I hear they settle in wrinkles, which reminds me of the veins of sugar crystal I find in metamorphic rocks. Great take on the prompt!

  16. jeanne229

    Thinking about my “crystalline complexion” and the “all natural” beauty hype this week.

    https://jeannelombardo.com/2017/07/goop/

    My Crystalline Complexion

    The sales associate was all of 20.

    “I just want some eye cream,” I said.

    “I have the perfect product for you,” she enthused. “The Gone in 60 Seconds Instant Wrinkle Eraser.”

    “C’mon, nothing is going to erase my wrinkles,” I said.

    “This one will. With all-natural sodium silicate, it instantly erases fine lines and wrinkles. It’ll provide that little bit of a ‘lift’ you need.”

    “Hmmm” I said, my skepticism deepening the frown between my eyebrows.

    “Really, I use both the eye and the face cream in the line. I’ve been told I have a crystalline complexion.”

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Aging gracefully is all done with mirrors; I avoid them.

  17. jeanne229

    Sorry for the double entry! Trying to fix that runaway quotation mark 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      I got it! It’s gathered like a stray calf and in it’s proper pen. 🙂

  18. Kerry E.B. Black

    Crystalline Confusion
    Written by Kerry E.B. Black

    Doriya squinted into the crystaline globe, willing her gypsy blood to interpret the nothingness within. Her client chewed her lower lip, dark eyes wide in a too-pale face. Designer purse. Manicured nails, but terrible skin and teeth. A gold heart locket about her neck. Doriya ignored the silent ball and relied on body language. “You’re nervous.”
    The client blinked over-large eyes. “Do you see him?”
    Doriya nodded. “He’s handsome.”
    The client jiggled her foot. “Yes. Will he propose?”
    Doriya frowned. “Sorry, no.”
    The client’s cheeks colored, and she left. Doriya’d provided the wrong answer if she wanted a tip.

    • Charli Mills

      Kerry, what your flash crystallizes for me is how the crystal ball reader sees nothing within the ball and instead reads the client for the clues and answers.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      A tale of the one that got away. More clarity brings less regret. Nice take.

      • kittysverses

        Thanks a lot!

    • Charli Mills

      And thank you for contributing! I enjoy reading what you write!

      • kittysverses

        This means a lot to me, thank you very much, Charli!

    • Charli Mills

      The life of a rolling stone! 🙂

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      It was a good use of nostalgia. And you were old when you were five, so don’t worry about that.

    • Charli Mills

      If nostalgia leaves you feeling old, I think Jeanne can direct you to some goopy snake oil to treat that! 😀

    • Charli Mills

      Aren’t rocks amazing? Once I discovered I could buy them, I collected in a different way. But my favorite collecting on location. Thanks for your flash and for introducing me to pyrite suns!

  19. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Liked the last line; for doesn’t everyone create their own cages?

  20. Charli Mills

    Thanks for taking the challenge!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. July 27: Flash Fiction Challenge – Crystalline | Morpethroad - […] Written for: https://carrotranch.com/2017/07/28/july-27-flash-fiction-challenge-2/ […]
  2. Bit by Bit – Reena Saxena - […] Flash Fiction Challenge – Carrot Communications […]
  3. July 27: Flash Fiction Challenge – Crystalline | pensitivity101 - […] https://carrotranch.com/2017/07/28/july-27-flash-fiction-challenge-2/ […]
  4. Microfiction: Unnecessary – Jane Dougherty Writes - […] story is for Charli’s Carrot Ranch. This week’s challenge is to write a story of exactly 99 words including…
  5. Crystalline | ShiftnShake - […] Carrot Ranch, July 27, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the word crystalline.…
  6. Carrot Ranch Challenge – 2 – Crystalline – The Bag Lady - […] July 27: Flash Fiction Challenge […]
  7. Dark of Winter | ShiftnShake - […] second take for Carrot Ranch, July 27, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the…
  8. Crystalline (Jane Doe Flash Fiction) – 99 Monkeys - […] week at the Ranch, Charli Mills hosts the Rough Writers and Friends flash fiction challenge. This week’s prompt: In…
  9. Homecoming | From the Valley of the Trolls - […] Carrot Ranch Prompt (07/27/2017): In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the word crystalline. It…
  10. Crystalline wonders | Norah Colvin - […] This week, Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch Communications challenged writers to: In 99 words (no more, no less) write…
  11. Caught In the Current – Up Against Mortality - […] Prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the word crystalline. […]

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