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All Things Black and White

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Nuns drive dressed in black and white. Soccer balls, chocolate fondant, police cars and even ways of thinking and relating can be polar opposites on the color spectrum.

This week, writers turned to colorful ideas to express stories of black and white. As you’ve come to expect, you will be surprised by how many Crayons are in the black and white box of this collection.

The following are based on February 1, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features something black and white.

***

Fondue for Alexis by Kerry E.B. Black

They craft it with care, a perfect balance of dark and white chocolate fondue formed into a yin yang. Black swirls into white in an eternal dance, captivating as the changing seasons or the passage from night to day. She dips fruit, disrupting the balance with impunity. For this the chocolatier created it, a pot of melted goodness for the birthday girl. But I am not ready. I fumble with my camera and miss the photo, didn’t capture the precarious moment when she dangled between youth and adulthood. She chomps her chocolate-coated berry, and the fleeting moment is gone.

###

Mission by Denise Aileen DeVries

At age ten, Myra Jean had puzzled her family by saying she wanted to be a nun. “There are no Baptist nuns,” her father said. In other words, the matter was closed. To him, everything was black and white, fact or fiction. Teaching had been her compromise. Retired at 65, she could no longer become a missionary to China like Henrietta Hall Shuck. Today, she would begin proofreading at the local newspaper, dressed in her former teaching uniform, a dark skirt and white blouse. Correcting spelling and grammar was a minor but worthy mission, and it suited her talents.

###

Black and White by pranabaxom

There once was a movie named
The Manchurian Candidate
Why Manchurian
I scratch my head
Little up north
The cold frigid waste
Siberia
The Siberian Candidate
That would have been
More realistic
Wouldn’t it
Oh my my
What did I do
Realistic
May be a reality TV show
But not real life
Siberian Candidate
Everything in life can’t be
Black and white
Must use our imagination
Little shades of gray
Not just left and right
Not conservative and liberals
A little compromise
Maybe thinking about
Siberian cold
I am mixing my
Black and white
My imaginations
Taking a flight

###

Test Pattern by Bill Engleson

On this bright morning, impaired by a knee that obstinately refuses to function with ease, I succumb, momentarily to the angst of the vast American divide.

Its pettiness, as expected, depresses me, almost bores me, and I change channels.

There, the small child, three, face blackened by the ravages of frostbite, a journey of death in the mountains, a loss of two generations of her loved ones, all in the search for a freedom I have always been swaddled in, recovers from surgery.

And what do I do with this, with this contrast?

Not much.

Change the channel again?

###

Bad Signs by Paula Moyer

When Jean was little, she always felt safe. After watching a Western TV show, she came to her mother in the kitchen and said, “Aren’t you glad there aren’t bad guys anymore?”

“Oh.” Mother stopped and pushed her glasses up her nose. “There are still bad guys.”

Hairs on Jean’s back stood up. Mother kept the bad guys out.

One day they were at the train station, picking Daddy up. Signs above drinking fountains gave rules: “Whites only” and “Colored.”

“Why two fountains?”

“It’s the law.” A pause. “It’s wrong.”

“Are the people that made the law bad guys?”

###

Black and White

“Rise in adulthood aggression and medieval pre-twenty-third century Earthen ideals.”

“Thought we coded them out?”

My research partner and I watched the latest group of toddlers through the window.

A parent entered, giving their child a new battalion spacecraft toy in place of its baby doll.

“You’ll be stronger than the last,” the parent said, leaving the room, “I’ll make sure your toys won’t hold you back.”

I looked at my research partner.

“It’s not really that black and white, is it?”

“We’re innately drawn to gentle things, until-”

Parent and child passed us in the hall.

Black and White by Rebecca Glaessner

“Rise in adulthood aggression and medieval pre-twenty-third century Earthen ideals.”

“Thought we coded them out?”

My research partner and I watched the latest group of toddlers through the window.

A parent entered, giving their child a new battalion spacecraft toy in place of its baby doll.

“You’ll be stronger than the last,” the parent said, leaving the room, “I’ll make sure your toys won’t hold you back.”

I looked at my research partner.

“It’s not really that black and white, is it?”

“We’re innately drawn to gentle things, until-”

Parent and child passed us in the hall.

###

The Nun’s Prayer by Norah Colvin

Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

I have no need for counting sheep,

I count the girls that I made weep.

 

Lord, I ask Thee, help me please

To do my job with greater ease–

Bless them even when they sneeze,

And keep their skirts below their knees.

 

I know the task should be not hard

And I should never drop my guard

But if they’re ever marred or scarred,

It puts a mark upon my card.

 

And while she dreamed her cunning schemes,

Her girls were strangling silent screams.

###

Sparkly Pink by Juliet Nubel

What did they care about colour? All they wanted to do was play.

Diamond sat behind Emma, pulling a long-toothed sparkly comb through her golden curls. She had never touched hair this silky and soft.

Then it was Emma’s turn to undo, one at a time, her friend’s tightly pleated braids.

She stuck out her tongue as she concentrated on putting them back together again, with a tiny pink bead on the end of each one. She loved the noise they made when Diamond shook her head.

Black and white meant nothing to them. Their friendship was sparkly pink.

###

Jeweled by Chelsea Owens

Jewel often asked what her name meant; why Mother also carried it.

“You’ll see,” Mother demurred.

Their crumbling dictionary said Jewel was a stone that refracted light into color; but what was refracted? What was color?

Other things, odd things -things Jewel couldn’t quite define- also set them apart.

“Cheer up; tomorrow’s another day,” Mother reassured a stranger, in passing. How did she know he was sad? Jewel wondered, looking back at the black and white face.

One day, at school, Jewel finally knew. Amidst the monochrome playchildren; her friend, Tom, smiled.

In that glittering instant, he glowed yellow.

###

Black and White by Jack Schuyler

Sleek bodies, small splashes, in and out, in and out. When she finally pulled away from the glass, a tiny print of Ruth’s nose was left behind.

“Come on honey, let’s go.”

A large hand took hers.

“Don’t you want to see the lions?”

But Ruth poked at the smudged glass in front of her, gazing through with big eyes. On the other side, a black and white form slid from the water and peer curiously at her finger. It shook its wet feathers and tapped the glass with a stubby beak. For a second, they were almost touching.

###

Most Holy Experience by Annette Rochelle Aben

They floated, like ghosts, through the hallways of St. Benedict, school. Feet never made a sound. I’d never seen a nun before and over the next two years, I became fascinated with them.

Faces squeezing through their wimples of white, and covered head to toe in black, to a third grader, they looked like penguins. And when they were upset with you, magically, a wooden ruler shot out from under their sleeves. Ouch!

Years later, as I prepared to play the role of Sr. Hubert in Nunsense, I said a grateful prayer for carefully studying the habits of nuns.

###

The Penguins by Brutus Richmond

Rowing away from the island he looked back and saw the disorganised black and white line marching towards the water’s edge. As the penguins plunged into the icy waters and suddenly achieved grace he was reminded of nuns and, in particular, the confused old women of his youth who, he imagined, may have achieved a surprising grace as they stepped from life and into the abyss.

And he wondered too, if they might be waiting there to judge him.

But the penguins and his memories were out of sight as he eased his wife’s body silently over the side.

###

Black and White by Old Jules

“You were speeding. It’s here in black and white.” He waved his
radar gun. Beads of sweat around the bulged veins across his
crimson forehead. His sour breath overwhelmed the exhaust street odor.

“You’ve got it wrong officer.” Soft, reasonable. Respectful. “I saw your
black and white. I was behind a car just like this one.” I nodded at the
radar gadget. “It was him you clocked.”

“That’s a black lie. You were in front. A white guy. Car behind had a black driver.”

“But I’m black, officer. I just didn’t want to get shot.” Pulling off my mask.

###

Black & White by D. Avery

He was a good bicyclist, skillful and considerate, always riding to the right of the white line. He used lights and wore a white helmet, making himself visible to drivers. They say he was a good man, teaching children to ride, fixing their bikes.

His road bike was the green of a sent text message. The truck was black, they think. They found his bike tangled on the yellow line. His white helmet had somehow come off, somehow whole and spinning, spinning, on the silent black tar of the highway. They marked the spot with a white ghost bike.

###

Black and White by Eric Pone

“Eowyn, I have good news and bad news,” Sue said with a smile. “Bad only the bad.” He replied. “Ducky went missing this morning.” Eowyn rolled over and looked at her. “I know where he went and it’s ok. He needs Jennifer.” As Eowyn thumbed his phone the message from Ducky stumped even him.”I found her bro. I’m in Brazil and we’re in trouble. Come quick!” Eowyn looked at Sue and replied. “Cancel my plans. The Good news Sue?” “Your mothers pregnant.” She replied “Oh joy.” Eowyn replied two biracial royals would be hard to explain to the press.

###

Black and White by FloridaBorne

“Is this black or is this white?” The lawyer asked, holding up a green scarf.

“Is this a joke? That particular scarf is lime.” ” I looked up at a judge as puzzled as I.

“Is this the scarf you killed your husband with?”

“No.  Someone stabbed him.  What kind of lawyer are you?”

“One with achromatopsia,” He replied.

“Is that a kind of seizure?” I asked.

“No,” He chuckled.  “It’s total color blindness.”

“What does that have to do with my husband’s death?”

“Nothing.  Do you think my wife would like this scarf?”

“Only if you want to die.”

###

Cat Calls by Liz Huseby Hartmann

Black.
Black.
Black.

Thick, dark, heaviness. There’s some comfort in that. My body aches, too weak to move. Why would I want to? I’ll just lie here, in this fever hollow. I roll my head to one side. A channel opens and a whisper of cool air flows.

Liquid pools in the hollow of my neck, then spills. I sleep.

Black.
White.

Must be daylight. I cough and groan. My chest bubbles and aches.

Light.
Then dark, punctured by two glowing green eyes. A nip on the chin.
The Dread Mistress must be fed.

Shoulda got the flu shot.

###

Chaos in Black & White by Sarah Brebtyn

We talk, words spinning around each other like flurries caught in a gust of wind.

Eventually, our thoughts drift down and settle on the ground in a blanket of confusion.

With an incredible vocal range, we sing a song of misunderstanding. High notes, encapsulated in love, float through the air. Low notes, heavy with meaning, cling to our faces and hair. They are a jumble of uncertainty.

His world, in black and white, frustrates me.

My world, in greens, yellows, and blues, frustrates him.

We never tried to understand.

Now we do.

Only to discover we are mutually colorblind.

###

Black & White by Ritu Bhathal

I just had to ask. It was eating me up inside. The lies… the excuses…

“I saw you. With her.”

“Who? Janine? My father’s carer? And?”

“You weren’t at work the other day. Yet you told me you would be late back.”

“So? I had an appointment with Dad’s doctor. I went in late. Had to make up time.”

“Your eyes have been constantly on your phone recently.”

“I’m answering messages. From the carer. Dad’s going downhill…”

“Oh…”

“Yeah… Oh… What did you think? I’d been cheating?”

Pete rolled his eyes.

“Life’s not always black and white, you know.”

###

In Black and White by Michael Fishman

I’m apprehensive. Eyes down, I massage the oak table with my thumb, just like I . . .

Stop it.

The door opens, I look up. A man in a grey pinstripe suit enters and sits to my left. I look down again.

“Everyone ready?” he says.

No! There’s another way, I want to scream. But I know there’s nothing left to say.

I look up and meet Sue’s eyes as the lawyer slides copies of the Judgment for Marriage Dissolution toward us both.

Finally real, seeing it in black and white.

No tears, dammit, not until I’m alone.

###

Tripped Up? by JulesPaige

Bert, the father of two daughters was working three jobs
to support them. Working full-time for the Township gave
the gregarious man a small advantage as he was able to
meet other officials and police officers. He was able to
acquire one of those get out of jail free cards from one
of his Detective buddies. Judiciously Bert passed onto
his eldest.

Bert knew his daughter had used his gift as soon as the
black and white parked in front of his house. Jody was
being guided out of the backseat. At least the lights and
sirens were off.

###

Black and White by Robbie Cheadle

Sarah was completely enchanted by the altar boys. They wore long white smocks and helped Father O’Malley to light the candles. They all sat together at the front of the Church on the black steps. She could see them clandestinely whispering together. It looked like such fun. The next week when her Aunt took her to Church she insisted on being dressed up as an altar boy. Her Aunt fashioned a long, loose outfit for her out of a white sheet. Sarah was happy. Now she could be an altar boy too. No-one mentioned that she was a girl.

###

Black and White by Susan Sleggs

“I failed an honesty test.”

“You? How?”

“The questions were grey and they wanted black and white answers.”

“Explain.”

“One was; have you ever taken anything home from work?”

“And you said yes.”

“I have, baking pans from the pastry kitchen.”

“But you had permission to borrow them. You didn’t steal them.”

“But I took them home.”

“They were asking if you stole things.”

“I know that, but that’s not how the question was worded.”

“You should have told them what they wanted to hear and not told the truth.”

“Then it shouldn’t have been called an honesty test.”

###

Stargazing by Kay Kingsley

The black blanket of night hung above them, diamonds blinking over head long after sunset, her pale white skin illuminated in their glow.

Stargazing in the desert was the perfect way for them to enjoy one another, their last summer together before their own universes forever expanded.

A mattress of blankets, tailgate down, holding hands, watching heavens show.

Soon the world would slowly uncouple them, drawing them away from the magic of the truck but tonight the universe was theirs, stitched into the fabric of time, only the stars to witness their magic, jealous as they watched from above.

###

Eternal Love by Anurag Bakhshi

I looked at my wife lovingly and said, “You look as radiant in that white nightgown as you did on the night we first met. As soon as I saw you, I knew we were meant to be together…forever.”

She smiled shyly and replied, “And that black suit still makes you appear as regal and handsome as you did on that magical moonlit night when I invited you in.”

“Good night my love,” I whispered softly.

“Good night my Count,” I heard her say as we both shut the lids of our coffins and called it a day.

###

The Score by Sascha Darlington

Until I was eighteen, I was Dad’s favorite. By focusing on my music, becoming the best mandolinist in the three states, I pursued Dad’s ambition, which had been squelched by pragmatic parents.

Music poured through my veins, so it was natural I discover John, the most talented guitarist in three states, who had music pouring through his veins. His fingers caressed strings with innate acuity. His long fingers on long strings stoked desire.

Young, passion and music devoured, guiding us through the moment.

Dad’s world stormed black. His anger smoked white. “Dead to me,” he said, discarding us all.

###

Black and White Choice? by Anne Goodwin

My father’s gaze swept the ranks of spines. “You’ll have to give these up when you marry.”

I searched his face for signs of jocularity. Finding none, sweat gathered in my palms. “I cannot live without my books.”

“I’ve done you a disservice, daughter. Men don’t want an educated wife.”

“Then I shall not marry.”

“If only that were possible. But, when I die, you’ll lose both my protection and my wealth. You have no choice.”

I plucked a book from the shelf. Hildegard von Bingen’s Physica. “There’s another option.”

“Caged in a convent?”

“Where female minds run free.”

###

The Order by Matt Wall of Telling Stories Together

In the sacred grove, the nuns of the Order of Pure Reason gathered around the basket, set on a tree stump.

“It is decided,” said the Archmatron. “We will take the infant to the monastery, there to be raised by the Brotherhood of Iron. Who will go?”

Sister Constance raised her quivering hand.

“If the boy cannot stay here,” she said, “I will take him.”

“You know as well as I do,” said the Archmatron, “the Codex is clear on this point.”

“Yes,” agreed Constance, picking up the basket that held her infant son, “the Codex is clear, Archmatron.”

###

Black and White by Kim Blades

Sadie had made her mind up. Finally. Today was the day.
She could not stand her life the way it was anymore. It had no colour, not even black and white.
There was only a debilitating, miserable, empty greyness.
So she deliberately stepped onto the very edge of the cliff.
Immediately loose stones and sand began to crumble away. Sadie began to slide down with the rubble.
Suddenly a white hot fear of death that she had thought was her only salvation, suffused her mind and body. She grabbed wildly for something that would stop her falling into blackness

###

No Winners by Kay Kingsley

Trying to explain to her that addiction and depression were not a choice, it wasn’t black or white the way her painfully constructed world was, fell on deaf ears.

Her argument… “Choose to be happy, choose to not drink. You’re in control. By continuing to use, to be depressed, means you don’t want to change.”

For years, we dug further into our stances, further away from each other.

The rift fractured our family, a cracked foundation no “I’m sorry” could fix .

Our fight was to the death although it wouldn’t be ours, it was hers.

War has no winner.

###

Population Control by Heather Gonzalez

I knew the time had come when I began to see the black crows landing in the snow outside of my house. No one knows how they know but they always do. Death was coming for one of us.

People turn on each other and the mystery of who will die is solved very quickly. Then the body would be wrapped in a white cloth while the rest of the family adorns the traditional black garb.

I decided to close the curtains before anyone else saw crows, letting what was inevitable happen naturally. But death never came for us.

###

Let it Fade Away by Reena Saxena

“Watch the scene that troubles you on that television set, beyond the glass screen in that long corridor. The image is shrinking, the colors are fading to black, white, grey and sepia, lashing raindrops through the window destroy the TV, it is covered with muck ….. it is disappearing, it is gone ……”

The therapist’s voice boomed in my subconscious mind.

“I feel so much better now,” I mumbled incoherently while taking a deep breath.

“The incident is in the deep, dark past which is dead and gone. It is only the colors of your imagination that trouble you.”

###

Winter Fatigue by Molly Stevens

Beverly pulled open the curtain, peering at a dismal winter day.

Why can’t there be color? I need to see something besides black, white and gray, she thought.

She smiled in spite of her foul mood when she realized she couldn’t look away.

Like a car wreck.

She spied something red in a tree branch. Abandoning her coffee, she donned her heavy, wool coat, and lumbered out to investigate. Her mind churned with possibilities.

Was it a cardinal? Or a wayward, satin ribbon?

The sale flyer mocked her as she stared at an advertisement for a red snow blower.

###

Die Hard by Sherri Matthews

Bill checked the time. Almost midnight. He took another beer from the fridge.

‘That’s when I heard it,’ he later told the cops. ‘My wife was still out when I heard the scream from next door.’

The cops left and Bill cracked open another beer. His wife, dead. Should have known it was that asshole neighbour, luring her in with his black and white movie collection.

‘Why do’ya watch that mindless shit?’ she had screeched at him when he put on Die Hard.

Well screw them both. Black or white down the line baby. It’s Die Hard or nothin’.

###

Black and White by Robert Kirkendall

“Trust me, son, you’ll like this film,” father said as he inserted the DVD. “It’s a classic!”

“Oh no, not another black and white movie.”

“Still a quality film.”

“But old movies are so dated,” the son insisted. “And they talk so fast you can’t understand them.”

“That’s because they were all high on Benzedrine, but you’ll like this one,” father assured. “A timeless story.” He pressed play on the remote, the movie started, and they watched the opening scene.

“So if this is a black and white movie,” the son wondered, “how come it only has white actors?”

###

Black and White by Hugh Roberts

“Well, we’ll never see the blood properly if the movie is in black and white. It’ll be like watching Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ with all that chocolate sauce used in the shower scene,” nagged Margaret.

Not only did Colin, her husband, wish he’d never downloaded the movie illegally, but he wished his wife would just stop nagging him all the bloody time.

Twenty minutes later, as the figure with the knife jumped back into their television set, Margaret’s last sight was that of the real colour of blood from the stab wound to her stomach.

“You wanted colour?” smirked Colin.

###

 

The Onyx Stone by Wallie the Imp & Friend

The pendant reflected her face like the smooth surface of a midnight lake. She placed it in the snow, at the center of the forest clearing.

“You found it.”

She raised her eyes to see the man watching her. His appearance was mist-like, vaporous.

“Yes,” she said. “Here. It’s yours.”

He pressed the pendant to his lips. His eyes, as black as the ornament stone, shone with a wild and breathtaking emotion. That look burned in the woman’s mind long after he vanished. It was all the thanks she needed.

She left, her footprints gentle in the fallen snow.

###

Chickadee Song by Ann Edall-Robson

Chick-a-dee-dee-dee. The unmistakable song of the small bird in the black and white habit speaks its piece nearby. Following the sound until the eyes focus on its safe perch within the shrubs, under the feeder. Flitting from branch to branch, pecking at tasty morsels as it goes. Feeding on bits of this and that left behind on the limbs. Always watching through the bare, leafless bush and then it’s gone. Darting across open ground to safe refuge in the trees nearby. Once again its identifying sound announces it has landed. Chick-a-dee-dee-dee.

###

Mother Church by D. Avery

Outside the Ryman, hoping for coffee, I watch an agitated couple; seeing me, they hand me a ticket, say ‘enjoy the tour’, disappear up the street.

I’m happy to go inside, warm, with clean bathrooms. Not how I dreamed it, but I’m going to the Mother Church.

For hours I sit in the pews, awestruck. Memories and magic spirit the altar of the Grand Ole Opry stage. Tourists come and go but I remain, unmoving. I am moved. I am restored.

I leave, hopeful again. Looking up I see, high above this haunted town, a bald eagle, searching, soaring.

###

Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief, Nun? by rugby843

Why nuns wear black and white? Maybe it’s the notion most of us have about nuns, no middle ground–everything is white or black, good or bad, even white or black hats? I’m just speculating, for I’ve only known one nun in my life.

I met Carol as a lawyer when needing advice with paperwork after my husband died. She also tutored my grandchildren in math, sewing, quilting and knitting.

When we met, an instant friendship blossomed with whirlwinds of conversation where I learned she was kind, intelligent, funny, generous, and been a nun! Then we moved. I miss her.

###

Soccer with a Stranger by Lisa Luciano

My son arrived home last September– a brief visit from the Air Force.
Franco is a fan of the newly birthed Minnesota United soccer team – the Loons.
He brought home a fan scarf for me to wear in Section F, seat 18.

I didn’t know he had season tickets.

I stared at him sideways while he cheered for his favorite footballers.
When did he become a stranger?

We ate smuggled snacks and snapped selfies. I swung my scarf around at the proper moments.
In two days, he was gone– leaving us empty, but transformed as Minnesota United soccer fans.

###

Black and White By Raymond Roy

Tun Tavern 1775

Espirit de Corps they call it , a willingness to die. Not a jury’s verdict, but boot camp on P.I.

Devil dogs before them, earned title that they seek,

Transformation from fatherless, phony tough, crazy and meek.

Stand on yellow footprints , wee hours of the morn, step between polished doors through which an oath is sworn.

Recruits white, black, brown,many color of a hand,

Dreads, bushy and straight hair, on barbers floor will land.

Drill instructors don’t discriminate, by race, color or creed, all are equally worthless until becoming the Marine Corps breed.

###

The Arrest by Colleen Chesebro

I stared at the pea-green walls of the interrogation room feeling the pinch of the handcuffs behind my back. The door opened, and a tall man wearing an ill-fitting suit strode toward me. He threw a bunch of black and white photos on the metal table.

I peered at the images noticing the age of the photos. My countenance had been captured at different points in history, yet I still looked the same today.

“How can you be in each of these photos? Who are you?”

I crossed my legs and licked my lips. “I’m your great-great-grandmother.”

###

Black and White by Deb Wittam

Forgive me Father for I have sinned

I thought I was so clever with my petty deceit, that I was so adept at identifying black, white and all the shades of grey that they would never suspect.  I was correct, no one ever realized.

When I took the job I didn’t tell them, for it all seemed so simple – in an emergency press the green button, not the red button.  I didn’t ask which button was green.

He looked into the priest’s eyes – his confession was pointless.  Apologizing for being colour blind would change nothing.

They were still dead.

###

New in Angels Camp by Charli Mills

Sister Maria D’Abreau soaked the hide, tamping it down with a wooden pole. Her black dress felt softer than her habit packed away.

Henry watched, leaning against the corral. “You got laundry skills, I’ll say that much.”

Maria kept silent. What Mother Superior failed to teach her, living rough in mining camps had. She wouldn’t provoke a prickly miner down on his gold dust.

She stopped to test the hide, smiling when the hair slicked beneath her fingers. It would make the chore easier.

Father Kincaid approached. “The lass knows rawhide as well as mules.”

Henry spat. “We’ll see.”

###

Black and White by Pete Fanning

I’m at the piano when the door swings open. Sheriff Bailey enters, clicking across the black and white tiles to the table where the game stops mid-deal.

Bailey’s rasp fills the room. Pit stains and glistening, he’s the wettest dry county sheriff I ever saw. Sure enough, he finds the bottle of Jake Leg, admires it.

“Drinking AND Gambling. Very nice, boys.”

A chair falls. And Earnest, full of giggle juice, staggers. “No boys in here, Sheriff.”

Moans all around. We’re going to jail.

The Sheriff only smiles, then knocks back a hefty swig.

“That’s good. Deal me in.”

###

A Couple of Jokers by Geoff Le Pard

‘An old joke, Logan. What’s black and white and red all over?’

‘No idea, Morgan.’

‘Go on, try.’

‘A liquidized nun.’

‘Geez, you’re one sick numpty. Come on.’

‘A Native American zebra.’

‘You can’t say that.’

‘A First People American Zebra.’

‘You’re not trying.’

‘Unlike you who’s very trying. I’m trying… to read the paper.’

‘Exactly. What’s black and white and red all over?’

‘There are days when I wonder if you are completely evolved. This gag passed me by.’

‘A newspaper.’

‘That’s it? Since when is a newspaper red… oh, geez. Red as in Read. Ha bloody ha!’

###

The Tao of -Tivity by Dan C. Julian

I’m considering objectivity and subjectivity.

Here is my basic understanding of these terms: ‘objectivity’ refers to the impartial, the neutral, unbiased point of view; ‘subjectivity’ is essentially the opposite – the egocentric, biased point of view.

Consider the moon there. No, don’t look at my finger! Look at that at which my finger is pointing: the moon. Ha.

So, an objective point of view might be that the moon is a chunk of rock orbiting the Earth.

A more subjective point of view… the moon is a light to help me see at night.

I see the tai-chi symbol.

###

Magpie by Sarah Whiley

The warbling started outside my window.

I pulled the pillow over my head, but the musical gargle intensified until I roused. Bleary eyed, I poured the seed, taking the tray outside.

The black and white bird was clever; already waiting for me. I stepped back as he gobbled the offering. His beak ‘click clicking’, eyeing me all the while. I thought, “Magpies really get a bad rap. They’re not so bad.”

As I stepped out the door, I heard a whooshing sound as snapping mandibles narrowly missed my ears.

I guess it wasn’t so black and white after all…

###

Perspective by Calm Kate

Nothing is ever totally black or white, most things are on a sliding scale of grey. Every situation or idea has complications so we need to maintain a neutral or more objective stance

Fundamentalists tend to be black and white and this rigidity is where they lose the essence of their arguments … and our attention!

Personally I cannot wait for the day that our perception stretches into full technie colour. Meaning that we ditch those bland colours and just see the sheer joy, the playfulness and curiosity of every little thing. That’s a much healthier perspective to embrace!

###

Bene Fiction by D. Avery

“Hey Pal, what’s black and white and read all over?”
“Jeez… what, Kid?”
“Flash fiction by the ranch hands!”
“Har, har Kid, but I don’t think all this flashin’ is so funny. It’s gittin’ outta hand. D’ya see what they’re about this week? It ain’t right.”
“Pal, what kinda humor does an ornery ole ranch hand have?”
“Kid….”
“Nun! Black and white, yer favorite colors, Pal.”
“Kid, I’m serious, they shouldn’t be puttin’ nuns in monster trucks.”
“It was un-convent-tional, Pal, but good fun.”
“It’s outta hand.”
Why’re ya worried?”
“Because flash fiction is habit forming.”
“Oh brother.”
“Sister.”

###

Dividends by D. Avery

“What’re you doin’?”
“Gonna check the books, make sure the ranch’s in the black.”
“Y’ain’t qualified nor authorized, Pal!”
“It’s gotta take some green ta maintain all these green pastures, Kid. I worry.”
“Reckon Shorty figgers it’ll kinda pay for itself.”
“Been all aroun’ this ranch an’ I ain’t seen a money tree yet Kid.”
“There’s a bookstore. An’ Amazon sales. Jeez, Pal.”
“Yeah, yer right. An’ let’s tell folks about the “slot machine” up in the left hand corner, gives great returns on investments.”
“Don’t lie, or you’ll pay, Pal.”
“White lie, Kid. It does give great returns.”


45 Comments

  1. Ritu says:

    It’s wonderful to know so many minds can find such varied directions to take prompts in!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Colourful stories on a black and white theme.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. calmkate says:

    Wow I landed in the midst of great talent, love them all! But Norah, Brutus, Anurag and Kay get the trophies, I am impressed 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Norah says:

    Charli, I get the impression this prompt has wrangled more responses than any others. And what great responses they are too – and such a variety. It used to take only a few minutes to read and comment on the responses. Now I need to settle into a comfy chair with a strong cup of coffee. Congratulations to all the writers who have found their voice and a safe haven at the Carrot Ranch.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. What fun it was to participate and as a first timer, I feel so welcome! Love reading the varied, creative responses to the prompt. Will be coming back to read them all when time allows.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bakshi Ji says:

    Black and white , important to all even as the color of cloth,
    People have their preferences which one to wear or both.
    They show darkness and brightness signs,
    Black used for absorbing and white for reflecting sun shines.
    Black and white are two sides of a coin,
    They always look attractive , when both of them join, when both of them join……..

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Wow, so many different responses! I have my coffee – in a black and white mug, by coincidence – and I’ll be settling in to read. I’ve been sitting out for the last several weeks. We’ll call it a long winter’s nap. 😀 But I’m ready to get back in the game. Looking forward to the next prompt!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Liz H says:

    No simple black and white at the Ranch–the Flashes this week came in all shades and stripes!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Jules says:

    I finally got to read y’all. Good thing eventually our Lead Buckaroo’s making a book. Then we can set a spell to read em at our leisure. I only had time to leave ‘Likes’ at the ranch this week.

    Thanks to all for the diversity of the community of our Buckaroo Nation!
    Welcome to all the first timers too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Charli Mills says:

      Well, not to be misleading, Jules, the anthologies are not the same as the collections. I work hard every week to include all the writers here and I put a lot of thought into how I arrange each collection. The collections are how these stories get published. I arrange them so it’s easy for all of you and our readers who don’t follow the comments to read all the responses.

      The anthologies are a collaborative work of the Rough Writers and while based on these 99-word stories they are not books of the collections. Who knows, if Carrot Ranch becomes more sustainable with support and donations, then it could become a possibility.

      But for now, grab a cuppa and enjoy the weekly collections right here! Thank you for the warm Buckaroo Nation welcome to all our new writers (and readers)! I love the diversity of stories each new and existing writer brings, too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I fun group of stories. I’ll be reading in detail over a cup of tea tonight. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great group of stories everyone! I am both impressed and inspired. Very well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Some really excellent responses to this prompt, Charli.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jennie says:

    These were enjoyable to read. The theme brought much diversity among the stories and poems. I loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

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