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August 3: Flash Fiction Challenge

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Science. It’s what brought my eldest and her spouse to the Keweenaw, where Michigan Tech has been a public research university since 1885. She’s now Director of Research News, writing and directing science stories for several academic publications, including the university’s research blog, Unscripted.

While I’ve had rocks on the brain since arriving — a common Keweenaw affliction — I’ve been pondering the relationship between arts and science. As a literary artist, science fuels my imagination. Yet science relies as much on creativity as it does data. As a geoscientist and dancer, my daughter understands this dynamic and writes about the intention of Unscripted:

“…This is a place where metaphor and methodology meet. Where curiosity inspires conversation, art, and science. We write the research you can’t find on news wires, capture science in action, and speak frankly about the work we do. Often succinct, we’re not afraid of an in-depth exploration either. Yeah, Unscripted is a university research blog—and then some.”

Metaphor and methodology. It’s like finding a mineral in its matrix with a spectacular inclusion at the juncture. As writers, we work to balance what drives our rawest ideas with the structure of craft. And like scientists we don’t go at this alone. We share research, theories and ideas. We encourage that curiosity to drive both art and science.

Tonight, I’m in a weather warp. Rain pummels my umbrella and I’m chilled in a sweater. Half-way up the hill I realize the “path” we chose is actually a broad rain gutter. At the top of the hill we’re greeted at the door with amusement and the comment, “Not from here, hey?”

(Note: “hey?” is an inflection not a question, a Keweenaw colloquialism.)

“Hey! No, we just relocated.”

“You’ll like it here, hey?”

We already do. The stress of the past year fades each new day, even though we face medical mountains and home hurdles. We have a safe pad at the home of Michigan Tech’s News Director and her Park Ranger/Bubbler/Baker/Solar Man. We’re exploring options to use the RV to get homed, setting up VA appointments and growing the Ranch. You might have noticed the banners for Carrot Ranch changed here, on Facebook and Twitter. That’s part of the growth that has been delayed by a year of wandering on wheels.

Branding is both art and science. The art appeal is subjective — it always is, so don’t take it personally if someone likes or dislikes your art, it’s not a true measurement. However, I like the art and what it conveys: we are a literary community. Ann Rauvola, my long-time friend, colleague and CR designer uses her skills, her scientific knowledge of color and collage to create the art. I’ll let you in on a design secret — the banner is a fusion of three photos. But the shot of the bird and horse? Hey! That one lucky shot from an afternoon of photographing the interplay between blackbirds and Elmira Pond ponies.

A science part of branding is consistency. The change was meant to be subtle, and yet I didn’t do it until I could upgrade all three banners. This is in preparation for a launch of Patreon in preparation for a launch of an annual rodeo in preparation for a launch of the first CR anthology in preparation for work on the next. Whew! Timing is everything and a misstep, or a house loss, can really throw a monkey wrench in the workings. It’s why I’m grateful to have this Keweenaw stability to actualize the literary community vision.

Why, you might ask? That’s a legitimate question.

My process is both art and science. The latter coming in the form of research — historical or natural. The art flows from the writing. Like the Unscripted researchers, I want that conversation and connectivity. Art and science is best shared, and we do learn from and inspire one another. As a platform for my writing I can be the lone cowpoke or a lead buckaroo. A community of writers is dynamic, and together we make a bigger footprint in the writing world. My long projects are, well, long so collaborative short projects keep me going. I hope you find something here, too that gives you purpose in being here.

At the heart of the community is taking time each week to interact, play and think. You all make me think. And I like thinking.

Which is why I walked up a rain gutter to listen to a scientist speak on the world-class mineral collection at Michigan Tech for a program called Science on Tap — a pub crawl with scientists. Four more blocks in the rain and we arrive to hear a second presentation on the shipwrecks of Lake Superior and here’s where science bent my brain. First, an oceanographer stands before us declaring the Great Lakes “inland seas.” He explains ocean currents and government funding; how he has to explain science to a current administration not keen on it.

Then, he tell us we can see with our ears.

I’m all ears. Show me…And he does. Through a series of slides he shows us photos taken at sunset, elongating shadows. He points out optical illusions, and how to see beyond. Then he shows us slides of Lake Superior where it’s so deep it’s always dark in her ice water mansion where thousands of ships have wrecked. You can’t see those depths with a camera, but with sonar you can create a picture of light and shadow. Sound makes an acoustic image of many historic wrecks on the lake (cue Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of Edmunds Fitzgerald).

“Superior, they say, never gives up her dead…” And it’s estimated that more than 30,000 lives have been lost in this lake. This is why the scientists do not sound map more recent wrecks like the Edmunds Fitzgerald — not only is it an iron ore ship busted in half on the deep floor of Lake Superior, it’s also the grave of 29 men with family who yet live. In our collective psyche, we all think of Lightfoot’s song in this region, the scientist even admits to owning the musician’s collection of albums. Where science doesn’t go out of respect for the recent dead, our imaginations do. Art and science help each other to see.

Scientists have sent down dive teams on other wrecks they’ve discovered through the sight of sonar. In 1895, divers identified one of the wrecks as a coal ship struck and sunk by a steamer in thick fog. Four crew died in that wreck and the legs of one can still be seen poking out from spilled coal of the shattered hull. During WWI, the French worked on secret mine-sweepers in Thunder Bay (Lake Superior on the Canadian side). Two ships were lost in a November blizzard on Lake Superior without any clue of where. Two captains and 76 men disappeared. The search with sonar continues.

As writers we create images with words to tell these stories, to show these stories. Sound is often a sense overlooked in the craft of creating that image. It’s intriguing to think of how sound can map an action, character, tone or scene. Can we use sonar, sound navigation, to make a flash fiction? It might be difficult, but the art and science is there to push us to try.

August 3, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) use sound to create a story. Just as you might “see” a scene unfold, think about how it might sound. Even one sound to set the tone is okay. Go where you hear the prompt lead. Feel free to experiment.

Respond by August 8, 2017 to be included in the compilation (published August 9). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

***

A Grating Sound (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills

Gears ground when the all-terrain vehicle powered up the slope. Danni heard Evelyn shout, “Giddy-up, Mule! Haw! Haw!” The revving engine faded, and a drone of voices washed over Danni like white noise. She studied the sonar graphs, puzzling over the dark features buried four feet below the Kansas clay. Trowels scraped, volunteers called to one another and the porta-potty door slammed intermittently. Danni focused. The active noises blurred.

“I’m a gardener!” A high-pitched voice like nails on a chalkboard.

Danni grit her teeth hard enough to hear enamel chip. A child. Who brought a child to her dig?

###


141 Comments

  1. Henrietta Watson says:

    Reblogged this on All About Writing and more.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reena Saxena says:

    “…This is a place where metaphor and methodology meet. Where curiosity inspires conversation, art, and science…. These words made my day, Charli! Enough to munch on for the day.

    God bless your brilliant daughter!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. […] Carrot Ranch Communications – Flash Fiction Challenge […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sound Track

    “I love it here.”
    “Yeah, Kid, what do love about it?”
    “Well, until you showed up jest now, flappin’ yer pie-hole, I was jest lovin’ the sounds. Listen. Hear that? Far off ya can already hear the clopping footsteps of some rider bringin’ one in. Soon ya’ll be hearin’ the easy lowing of the new herd in the corral. And from up by the bunkhouse friendly laughin’ and talkin’. And, ya hear that? Best sound of all. Bangin’ pots and pans, ringin’ out with the promise of vittles. Shorty’s fixin’ to cook. Cookin’ up somethin’ special.”
    “I hear that!”

    Liked by 10 people

  5. Reblogged this on ladyleemanila and commented:
    Charli’s challenge 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. […] August 3: Flash Fiction Challenge August 3, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) use sound to create a story. Just as you might “see” a scene unfold, think about how it might sound. Even one sound to set the tone is okay. Go where you hear the prompt lead. Feel free to experiment. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  7. julespaige says:

    Charli (and Community),

    When plans change…(does someone hear a Celestial Being laughing…) schedules get rearranged. I was supposed to be hearing traffic noises heading south, but I have to wait a bit for my next northern travel adventure. I do however get the opportunity to dance at my own pace for a bit. So that’s what I did before the heat of the morning got too overbearing – I took a walk and listened – that was before I came home and read the Carrot Ranch Challenge 🙂 Please enjoy:

    Forest Bathing

    Most suburbs have cookie cutter houses and some
    neighborhoods are lined with concrete sidewalks, that for a
    time were required by law. They reside in between areas
    where the yards go right to the streets’ paved edge. Which
    were at one time disconnected from other areas by remaining
    farmlands.

    Those houses with old growth trees nestled in hillsides where
    fox, deer and pheasant still hide… that is where you can hear
    the past meeting the future. Little pockets of Shinrin-yoku await.

    Insects buzz, woodpeckers tap out Morse Code. and early
    risers climb with dreamsand still stuck in their eyes…

    ©JP/dh

    This is the healing way of Shinrin-yoku Forest Therapy, the medicine of simply being in the forest. Shinrin-yoku is a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_bathing

    Liked by 10 people

  8. Kate says:

    I have driven along the north shore of Lake Superior on the Canadian side many times… rugged, wild and not a person to be found for miles.

    Paul Gross (Canadian actor) hoped to use Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of Edmunds Fitzgerald tune for his episode of the TV show Due South, “Mountie on the Bounty.” He discreetly tried to secure the rights to use the song, but out of respect for the families who wished not to be reminded of the tragedy he didn’t pursue the option aggressively. He instead wrote the similarly themed song “32 down On The Robert MacKenzie”. It was one of the episodes that somehow stuck with me. Here’s Paul Gross’ song:

    Liked by 5 people

    • Pipers always set the mood and the ballad was moving.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Norah says:

      That’s quite a different way of telling the story, isn’t it. Interesting combination of instruments and rhythm. Quite powerful rock with Scottish pipers and an Irish sounding influence too. Love it. So sad for the men and their families.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      The Canadian shore sounds similar to the American one! Thank you for sharing this rollicking ballad. Despite it’s vibrancy, the music captures the tragedy of those lost at sea on Superior. The line that caught me was, “If I don’t come home tonight, I’ll make it home some day.” There’s such a lack of closure loved ones must feel, knowing a ship sank with their beloved but living with that anticipation of “home some day.” It’s interesting how Gordon Lightfoot’s song set the framework, but Paul Gross made it into something new and different. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. floridaborne says:

    Having a vision impairment, I use sound quite often as a locator.
    It’s easy to create a picture just by the sounds you hear.
    🙂

    https://rantingalong.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/99-word-prompt-sound/

    Liked by 11 people

  10. […] fictioning. I can think of no better way to do that than with this week’s prompt over at Carrot Ranch: In 99 words (no more, no less) use sound to create a story. Just as you might “see” a scene […]

    Liked by 1 person

  11. True story. 😦

    Crinkling
    Written by Kerry E.B. Black

    Crinkling, like anxious mice in an autumn woodland, woke Wendy from a sound sleep. She wrinkled her nose around a musty smell. The insidious crinkling crept deeper. She lit a bedside flashlight and shone it on the ground. She gasped. “No.” Water crept into her room, surrounding her as though she were Thumbellina asleep on a lilypad. Her feet splashed on sopping carpet as she rushed to gather the most valuable of her belongings. Tears splashed into the rising tide. The water rose above her ankles, collecting items to ruin, crinkling like a voracious wolf gnawing an ancient bone.

    Liked by 10 people

  12. […] Carrot Ranch, August 3, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) use sound to create a story. Just as you might “see” a […]

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Offerings D. Avery

    She listens to comfortable thuds and thumps as he prepares breakfast, brewing coffee rumbling a baseline to the robins’ chirping. The last stair-tread squeaks as Hope joins her father. Both quiet and reserved, in the mornings together quite talkative, sharing observations from the farm or surrounding woods, their voices rolling soft like the round-rocked brook.
    Against the breeze in the open window the curtain snaps. The daily escape of Hope’s favorite hen is heralded by its triumphant flapping and clucking.
    They bring her coffee, tentative daily offering. Unconsciously they interpret morning sighs, worry they might rouse her to flight.

    https://shiftnshake.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/offerings/

    Liked by 9 people

  14. Annecdotist says:

    Love how you’re settling into your new community, Charli. And the world would be a better place if there were more integration of arts and sciences.
    So, I think I’ve written about sound rather than the more challenging writing a sound story. Look forward to seeing where this takes people.
    Two novels about a young woman’s breakdown in the context of enmeshed family relationships http://annegoodwin.weebly.com/1/post/2017/08/two-novels-about-a-young-womans-breakdown-in-the-context-of-enmeshed-family-relationships.html

    Liked by 9 people

    • Your flash resonates with foreshadowing.

      Liked by 2 people

    • jeanne229 says:

      Ahh, the deals with the devil a parent would make. Your flash so evocatively captures that impossible demand to provide for the sublime when money can only buy the mediocre.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      This is a good community for both science and art, which I’m thoroughly enjoying. Yesterday we sojourned to the nearest VA hospital for our first visit outside the local clinic and even though it was 2 hours south, it was still in a remote area. Upon returning, we first passed MI Tech University and then the old mining town brick buildings and house set on the hills above the lake channel. It felt surreal, realizing how far removed this place is and yet how vibrant its history, art and science makes it. A pleasant place to be! And thank you for taking the sound challenge. Sometimes, writing about it helps figure out the next steps in craft.

      Like

  15. Norah says:

    Fascinating post as usual, Charli. I like that you are talking about the relationship of arts and science, just when I was doing the same on my readilearn blog. 😊
    I agree with this statement: “science relies as much on creativity as it does data”. Scientists must be forward thinkers, and future oriented. They must be able to see options that haven’t been thought of or investigated before. How can advancements be made and innovations inspired without a sprinkling, or more, of creativity. Sometimes scientists are thought to be left-brained and fact-driven; but without the creativity of original thinking we’d never advance far. I think scientists must be a wonderful mix of the two. How wonderful that your daughter is using her multitude of skills to write about science and direct the research news. I have subscribed to “Unscripted”. I don’t know how much I’ll get to read, but hopefully a little from time to time. It looks to have much interesting content. “The meeting of metaphor and methodology” – that’s pretty cool.
    I’m pleased to hear you are feeling more settled with each new day, and that the trials (and trails) of the past year are fading behind you, hey!
    The new banners are great and herald further advancements on the Carrot Ranch trajectory. The photo of the bird and horse is beautiful and combines the grounded with the flight of imagination and creativity. What a lot of launches are ahead. Both aspects are required for the concept to work. I wish your dreams come true! Your actions are taking you in the right direction. Your determination will get you there.
    Science on Tap – a pub crawl with scientists! What a great idea.
    The history of Lake Superior with its wrecks and drownings is tragic. Discovering what lies beneath using sound is fascinating; and seeing with our ears an interesting way of viewing it. The challenge of writing a story using sound is tough one, but not as tough as the challenge of discovering what lies beneath the surface of Lake Superior. Good one, Charli!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Norah says:

      Hi Charli, I’m back with my contemplative contribution, a bit of a cop-out, but never mind. Sounds surround us http://wp.me/p3O5Jj-Xe
      I forgot to comment on your flash last time. What a powerful use you have made of sound and the sound words. I used the sound of nails on a chalkboard in one of my earlier discarded attempts. You’ve used it well here. Sounds like Danni has important finds on her mind in this piece.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Charli Mills says:

        Thanks for commenting on my flash, Norah. It’s a larger scene I’ve been working on since Kansas, and I think it helped to focus on sound because it helped me better feel what Danni is doing in that opening moment. Funny, but I like the sound the word “cop-out” makes! I don’t think it’s that at all.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Norah says:

        I’m looking forward to reading that larger scene in its entirety.
        Cop-out. I guess it’s in our interpretation, isn’t it?
        When I was in high school, we had a writing project. I can’t remember what topic was set but I was stumped. The walls of our shower were of a product called Tilex and was pattered with squiggly lines of gold on white. As I contemplated the wall, pictures popped out at me from the patterns. In desperation I wrote about that and got an A+!! Writing this “flash” reminded me of that. One can never tell what another will like. I thought it was a pretty poor effort.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Charli Mills says:

        That’s definitely getting inspiration from you environment! I think learning to accept inspiration from any quarter takes time to recognize as worthy. Somehow we think it has to be a certain way, but really it’s the unexpected from any way. Good job on that essay!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Norah says:

        Thanks, Charli. It used to stun me what the teachers thought was good. 🙂

        Like

    • Charli Mills says:

      Hey! I’m feeling invigorated by the meeting of metaphors and methodology in this new place. And notice the placement of my eh/hey — that’s an old western colloquialism. I thought I’d shake up the community a bit by reintroducing hey as I grew up using it! 😀 And the practical aspect of Unscripted is that the stories are quick reads, yet full of fascinating research and provocative ideas. Yes, scientists need to be thinking of the future, unless of course they are researching the past. Even then, historians are trying to predict the future by understanding current events through the lens to the past. Did I mention this all makes me feel invigorated, hey? I really loved your post at readilearn, melding the art and science of preserving the coral reefs and the inspired beauty they give us. Even the art on silk was a science, how to understand the timing and colors. Stunning!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Norah says:

        So pleased to hear you’re feeling invigorated, eh? (My eh = you hey!) I subscribed to Unscripted but haven’t had a chance to read anything yet. My hours used to be 30 minutes long. Now it seems they’ve been reduced to 15! I just don’t seem to achieve what I used to, or what I hope to. It flies by too fast!
        Enjoy your renewed vigor!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Charli Mills says:

        Yep! Your eh = my hey, although I’m confusing Finlandia with my early placement! 😂

        Like

  16. […] August 3: Flash Fiction Challenge […]

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Michael says:

    My first crack at this one, like the idea.

    https://afterwards.blog/2017/08/06/99-word-challenge-sound/

    Each night it starts with a scratch scratch scratch on my window. I close my eyes and hope this it is just branches blowing against my window, but it never is.

    From the forest into my room they creep, scuttling across the ceiling, shrouded in darkness. Skull less eyes glow red, foul hissing breath on my skin as they envelop me. I lie frozen and unable to scream as their claws caress me, hungry tongues snaking out to feast on my fear.

    With a full belly they return to the night and I am free to scream, too late.

    Liked by 8 people

  18. A. E. Robson says:

    It’s really too bad we can’t read and close our eyes at the same time. So much can be seen and heard when we let our minds take us to another place, another era.

    Jack Pine Wings
    by Ann Edall-Robson

    The wind in their faces, the full moon above. Always upwind of the unsuspecting herd feeding in the quiet, illuminated darkness at the meadow’s edge. Spooked to a dead run by the young men moving ever closer. The fleeing sound of pounding hooves, branches snapping, voices yelling. Escaping the open to the trusted sanctuary of the trees, only to face barriers built by those pushing from behind.

    Jack Pine pole wings guide them into the funnel opening of the corral. Held in the stronghold, wild-eyed, snorting, blowing. Squeals of defiance fight the ropes settling around sweating, heaving necks.

    (Read the whole story at http://www.annedallrobson.com/99-words/jack-pine-wings)

    Liked by 8 people

    • Cool. Sounds of the round-up. I could listen and learn from you.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Ann, your flash has achieved that sonar status where sound has recreated a scene from the past. It’s like looking in the meadow and hearing ghosts in full reenactment. As buckaroos, my family worked often in Nevada where wild horses yet roam. Back then, they’d build similar wings of high desert cedar or take advantage of a box canyon. My father once showed me an old set up they used near a spring. There’s a tragic side to running wild horses in the Great Basin, but I’ll linger on the beauty of your wild hay meadow in Canada.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. micketalbot says:

    A newbie to this challenge, and by way of another blog, (she/he will know who’s when they clock the title), I arrived here, I think I’m at the right place? Nah, I am sure, couldn’t find the rules though. My entry is an acrostic, definitely flash fiction and follows the 99 word rule. My link

    https://mickhispoetry.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/august-3-flash-fiction-challenge-acrostic-buzz-to-bang-99-word-classified-top-secret/

    Hope you like it, fingers crossed…

    Liked by 6 people

  20. I like the process of combining art and science. For so long art has been seen as a very poor second to science although I think there is now a growing realisation that you can’t have one without the other. I loved that our nursing faculty (science based) and creative industries faculty (arts based) have joined together and are collaborating in their post grad projects. Some very interesting and exciting outputs are happening.

    Glad you are feeling the stress fading. A good feeling. The banner looks great and heralds a busy time ahead for the Ranch. I knew Lake Superior was large but had no idea about the ship wrecks that lay on her bottom.

    A great exercise writing sound. Mine https://irenewaters19.com/2017/08/07/buzz-to-bang-99-word-flash-fiction/

    Some good sounds in your flash. I particularly liked chalk on a board. It gave me the shivers up the spine and arms that I used to get in class many years ago.

    Liked by 7 people

  21. […] wrote this in response to Charli Mills’ August 3, 2017 Flash Fiction Challenge.  In 99 words (no more, no less) use sound to create a story.  Just as you might “see” as […]

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Kate says:

    For the past week, in lieu of sunny skies, I have been waking up to blankets of smokey haze. Wildfires. Everyone around here is talking about them; the media is full of stories of courage, resiliency, kindness and hope. These became the inspiration for my flash this week, Wildfire. https://eloquentlykate.com/2017/08/06/wildfire/

    Liked by 4 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      My heart goes out to everyone impacted, Kate. I’ve experienced the great generosity of people in wildland fires. I was so caught up with them, mesomorized and yet sad and choking on the daily smoke when they hit north Idaho and eastern Washington so badly. I hope Americans are helping you out as the Canadians helped us.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. […] week at the Ranch, Charli hosts the Rough Writers and Friends flash fiction challenge. This week’s prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), use sound to create a story. Fun flashes […]

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Pete says:

    My dad’s eyes flashed silver when he got into a bottle. His lungs darkened, his voice bellowed, and Mom would whisk me off to bed amidst the building gusts.

    In my bed I could still smell the sourness in his skin, his blood charged with ozone and bourbon. I counted the seconds between flickers of light beneath my door and thundering steps. I’d curl into a ball, flinching at every sudden bang.

    Sometimes it passed. A heavy downpour would turn to snores. Other times it thrashed about, uprooted and blowing a gale, heaving against the house through the night.

    Liked by 9 people

  25. denmaniacs4 says:

    Jubilee Night

    Some might think it sounds like a drunken grizzly scratching a chalkboard.

    In the cities night air, the grizzled old academic, twitching in his fuming sadness, hears the piercing refrain from Marie’s Wedding seeping through the raccoon infested briar that separates his Edwardian from the Collectives.

    “Damn hippies,” he mutters, tips his flagon, and swallows his sour brew.

    But the beauty of the pipes, a surprize this Saturday Eve, intrigues him.

    He rises and is drawn to the window that overlooks the neighbours lawn, replete with a hundred celebrators.

    “Damn fine tune for the bagpipes,” he allows. “Damn fine tune.”

    http://www.engleson.ca

    Liked by 5 people

  26. […] This week at the Carrot Ranch Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) use sound to create a story. […]

    Liked by 2 people

  27. susanzutautas says:

    Didn’t think I’d get one written this week but I did it 🙂
    http://everythingsusanandmore.blogspot.ca/2017/08/lock-bathroom-door-flash-fiction.html

    Liked by 5 people

  28. […] Carrot Ranch Prompt (08/03/2017): In 99 words (no more, no less) use sound to create a story. Just as you might “see” a scene unfold, think about how it might sound. Even one sound to set the tone is okay. Go where you hear the prompt lead. Feel free to experiment. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Just under the wire…hard to switch gears for this one. Hope it’s met the challenge! 🙂

    Sunrise Flash

    He stands on the bank where forest parts to sunrise on the rich strip of green, and lowers his muzzle to feed. Thick grass pops between his rotating jaws, snapping as he tears into clumps of equally satisfying roots.

    He sneezes, shakes his antlers, and freezes at the whisper of small feet on the low cliff, opposite.

    Alert, he steps back into shadow.

    She sees him and laughs as water over shallows.

    He nods, unconcerned, as she sheds her nightshirt and plashes into deeper water. Skin twinkles and turns, and flipping her tailfin, she’s gone.

    He nuzzles the grass.

    https://huldermn.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/sunrise-flash/

    Liked by 5 people

  30. […] that covers two pages, which I condensed down just a tad for this week’s prompt from the Carrot Ranch: In 99 words (no more, no less) use sound to create a […]

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Lovely post, Charli. To write about a sound only is an interesting idea. I am intrigued by bringing senses other than the eyes into poetry and writing. My son was studying metaphorical poetry last year and that initially set me upon a path of trying to incorporate the other senses into my writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Charli Mills says:

      Robbie, I’m so taken with your fondant characters and their role in your story-telling. I think they add another a sense of touch in that they’ve been molded into creation. I was thinking it could be fun to do a 5-senses challenge and write the same story but each time telling through another sense!

      Like

  32. […] Thank you Charli Mills for running the challenge at Flash Fiction Challenge. The challenge is to write in exactly 99 words based on the word of the week- “Sound”. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  33. kittysverses says:

    Thanks for running the challenge, Charli. Here’s mine
    https://kittysverses.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/a-mothers-journey
    Thank you all for stopping by and reading.

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Hey, Boss, i suspect yer riding’ through. If you want this one, here it is, or use it later or set it loose,as you wish.

    “What’sa matter Kid?”
    “Look at Shorty’s new sign over the gate. Use’ta jest say Carrot Ranch. Now it also says ‘literary community’.”
    “Yeah?”
    “Well? Is it a ranch or a literary community?”
    “Cain’t it be both Kid?”
    “I jest wanna ride the range, wrangle some words now an’ agin.”
    “But ya generally begin an’ end here at the ranch. Where they’s other wranglers; an’ readers… you know, a community.”
    “I ain’t the communal type. I’m free range.”
    “Ah, Kid, come on in outta the cold. There’s bacon cookin’.”
    “This community has bacon?!”
    “And raw carrots.”
    “For me?”
    “For all.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Takin’ a midnight ride? You know I’m always up for a story! And you are welcome at the fire and and to free-range, explore all you got stored up in your saddle bags and what’s still left in the hills for you to find. At this ranch you can range and rest. Happy to have your company!

      Wait…what’s this? A bacon-wrapped carrot? Well, I’ll be!

      Like

  35. Chris Mills says:

    Well, I don’t know if I’m too late for this or not, but I’ll just post it and see what happens. 🙂

    Little Rock

    By Chris Mills

    Brandon checked his pocket with his free hand to make sure it was still there. His other hand was occupied with that of Karissa. They strolled along the boardwalk around the harbor, talking and laughing as sunset approached.
    They sat on a bench and watched a fisherman. Brandon fished in his pocket for the box. He removed the top and turned to Karissa as she turned to him. Their hands bumped followed by a kerplunk.
    “What was that?” Karissa was looking through the slatted boards between her feet.
    “Oh, just a little rock,” said Brandon as he dove in.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. […] by the Carrot Ranch August third and August tenth flash challenges. A continuation from The […]

    Like

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