Like a kid plotting to cannonball of the diving board at a public swimming pool, sometimes we want to make a big splash. We prepare prepare to leave a memorable immpression. Other times, we trip into the circumstances. We drop the paint or the mic.
Writers didn’t tread in the shallow end of writing this week. They dove in and created waves with stories and words.
The following is based on the June 6, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that makes a big splash.
PART I (10-minute read)
Soundless by Saifun Hassam
The fountain’s cascading waters glittered in the sunlight. Mallards splashed in the lake. Children chased each other past the benches.
He drank in the sight of a graceful swan and its two cygnets gliding in the lake. A gentle breeze carried with it an elusive scent of jasmine and honeysuckle. Kite birds glided lazily in warm summery currents of air.
He sat in his wheelchair, an unforgettable first day at the park this summer. Not a sound came to him. He had always been deaf, and he would use those lessons of life to learn to live with paralysis.
Feeding Frenzy? by JulesPaige
My brain cannot comprehend where this intermittent Manna comes from.
The serenity of the opaque surface is broken in what some would call dreamscape.
Sometimes in little bits, other times too big.
I care not that I share space with would be siblings.
Those too afraid to part from schools.
I will wave my appendages, push through from underneath.
With all my energy focused on receiving this heavenly gift.
Though, I am wary of baited hooks, lines, and sinkers.
I will feed myself, and grow to spawn.
I will make a splash, not knowing or caring who gets wet.
Exercise by Reena Saxena
“Breathe in, breathe out, you’ll be okay.”
“I’ve been doing that all my life, so, don’t give me that crap.”
She sounds offended, so I decide to change the topic.
“Did you see Mrs. Kapoor in hospital on the way?”
“Yeah, I did meet her son, but she is in a coma.”
“There is a difference between living and being alive – We need to exercise goodwill to be humane, willpower to make a big splash, the brain to be counted as intelligent, limbs to remain mobile and the lungs to clear debris from your system and thoughts.
Splash by D. Avery
Dad looked surprised when I said I’d be bringing a friend home after school, but didn’t ask any questions, just grunted and nodded. Permission granted. Same as when I’d tell him I was going to Jimmy’s, or Jimmy’d be sleeping over. Or me and Jimmy’d be up at the quarries.
Dad looked even more surprised when he met Jamie, this sparkling green-eyed girl in bright mismatched clothes. Jimmy had always been a light in our gray lives, a flash of lightning, a comet, but Jamie was a splash of color rich and deep, color new to both of us.
Splash by Floridaborne
Common names change over the years; in the 1980’s Jennifer and Nicole were number one and two on the list.
I met John in 1998. I don’t know which I was more in love with, a huge wedding or the man who would take a mistress two years later with my same name.
“Nicole,” my father said. “Do you want a big splash or a trickle? I’ll put $100 a month into a retirement fund under your name for 30 years.”
I took the wedding. Two children and living with my parents taught me that trickles are under rated.
Lucinda Arrives (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills
The rumble of a Harley echoed across the valley, crushing the crackle of a nighttime bonfire. Ramona leaned forward on her lawn-chair and asked Michael, “Is that her?”
“Yes, that’d be Lucinda.”
Danni hoped Michael’s tension was excitement. Ever since he visited his aunts last fall, he spoke about the Navajo biologist he met at powwow. Lucinda rode her bike from Red Cliff, Wisconsin to Elmira, Idaho.
Rumbling up Danni’s driveway, the woman dressed in fringed black leather stopped and dismounted. Ramona gaped when Lucinda shook thick black hair from her helmet. “Oh, Michael. She’ll make a big splash.”
Burning Rubber by Sherri Matthews
I heard him before I met him. The throaty rumble of a V8 engine streets away came into view in a blue Dodge Charger with Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’ thudding from his eight track. He gunned past me where I waited with my boyfriend for this, his old high school buddy. Smoke screeched from his tyres as he skidded to a turn and brought the Dodge to a stop one inch from my feet on the sidewalk. A guy built like a truck with long, black hair got out. ‘Hi,’ he grinned, ‘thought you’d like Black Sabbath, being a Limey.’
With a Splash by H.R.R. Gorman
It would help if they didn’t wiggle so much. But boss says it’s cleaner, quieter this way. I do as boss says.
I tie the cinder block to the potato sack full of human refuse, then toss the concrete over the bridge. It hangs in midair.
“No! Don’t do this!” the sack shouts. Damn, he’s undone his gag somehow. I hate it when they do that. Now I have to pick him up and toss him by the legs so he won’t bite me.
He splashes into the canal. I wait ten minutes to confirm the job is done.
News Splash by Norah Colvin
It was splashed all over the front page. There was no hiding it now. Mum and Dad wouldn’t be pleased. They’d cautioned her to be careful. Time. After. Time. And she was. She thought she could handle it. She didn’t need them watching over her every move. She had to be independent sometime. But this front-page catastrophe would be a setback. How could she minimise the damage?
When they came in, Jess faced them bravely.
They looked from her to the paper and back. Jess’s lip quivered. “Sorry.”
“Those headlines look somewhat juicy,” smirked Dad. “More juice?”
The Dirty Apron by Susan Sleggs
My adult son came up beside me and dipped a spoon into the spaghetti sauce I was stirring. “Be careful, the boiling bubbles can pop and splash.”
“I know Mom. I learned that when I was about seven.” He looked at the front of my apron. “Don’t you think you should wash that thing?”
“No.” I pointed to different splashes. “This is gravy from Thanksgiving. This is fudge from Christmas and this is the last time I made sauce.”
“It needs a bath.”
My grandson hugged my legs. “No Daddy, it won’t smell like Grandma if she washes it.”
From a Certain Height by Bill Engleson
From a certain height,
the water below,
as supple as night,
a light winter snow,
from a certain height.
In full cannonball flight,
There’s a crueller tinge,
Blue water, black night,
As you clasp your fringe
In full cannonball flight.
As you plunge the air,
as dawn turns from night,
your essence, aware,
warmed by breaking light
as you plunge the air.
There’s no turning back,
the river awaits,
blue water cracks;
your plummeting fate;
there’s no turning back.
From a certain depth,
Day’s night, nights day,
A curable path
If you’ve lost your way,
From a certain depth.
Treasured Moments by Jo Hawk
My daughter stood at the lake’s edge, trying to skim stones across its surface. As they plunged into the water, I remembered standing on this shore, throwing pebbles to master the skill. My father showed me the proper wrist flick to send a stone bouncing over the glassy expanse. Those rocks inspired my love of geology and my assemblage of semi-precious gems.
As I reached the shoreline, she stooped, selecting another rock from the bowl holding my collection. I gasped. Then I cradled her hand, positioned her wrist to the proper angle, and together we let the beauty fly.
Big Splash by Joanne Fisher
Esther took pride in her swimming. She could move through the water like a torpedo. She reckoned no one was faster than her as she swam through the warm waters building up speed.
Her long dark hair trailed behind her as she sped upwards. She broke through the surface leaping into the air and then diving back under with a big splash. As she plummeted downwards she turned around again and built up speed once more.
Breaking through the surface a second time her silver fish tail gleamed in the sunlight before she disappeared under the water again.
Freedom’s Price by Liz Husebye Hartmann
The Gull cries warning, but Gwyneth is late to work in the Manse’s scullery. She’s agreed to pay off Auntie Shallah’s debts from drink and gambling. Shallah had bet her tailfin; she’s now imprisoned by Pastor Johnson.
Gwyneth steps from the water and sheds her own skin, trading it for the thin blue shift she hides in the cave downstream.
The minister’s boy watches—he’s watched all month. He wants a girl, a magical mermaid for himself.
Gwyneth hastens to the scullery.
He slips in the cave, takes up and sniffs the pelt, still damp and salty, like her.
Selkie Self by Kerry E.B. Black
Seline pines for the sea, fingers pressed to her throat as though strangled without its brine. She spends every moment she can with toes tickled by frothy surf, never misses a sunset when the waters engulf the great orb in their murky depths. Her tears splash its turbulent surface before she returns to her husband, the man who hides her true self and thereby enslaves her.
One day, she’ll find the skin he stole. Then she’ll slide into it like destiny. She won’t look back when she rejoins her selkie sisters, and she’ll never again misplace her true self.
Interstellar Underdrive by Keith Burdon
“Did you ever see the two golden records the humans sent?”
“Yeah, Sounds of Earth, it was my job to listen to them when they landed here.”
“Were they any good?”
“Not particularly, but then they were better than that ‘Do wah diddy diddy’ nonsense. ‘Snapping her fingers and shuffling her feet’ sounds like your first girlfriend Gliese 145.”
“Shut your snarf Camelopardalis! No worse than that Splish Splash rubbish you always used to play.”
“What’s playing next?”
“That one about your mum, you know, the ‘…one eyed, one horned purple people eater.’
“Hey, she only did that once…!”
Mythical Creatures Swimming Pool by Nicole Horlings
It was a hot summer day at Mythical Creatures Swimming Pool, and everyone wanted to cool off. The Loch ness monster was slowly swimming in circles, completely submerged at the bottom of the pool. The phoenix was sunbathing on the patio. The mermaids were flirting with the lifeguard. Leprechauns were selling rainbow ice cream cones for a gold coin each. A couple satyrs were arguing over which radio station should be playing. Bigfoot shyly came out from the bushes, and stepped out onto the driving board. He let out a warning growl, then cannon-balled into the water, splashing everyone.
PART II (ten-minute read)
Gone in a Splash by Ann Edall-Robson
Above the falls, she found what she had heard over the thunderous sound of water hitting water at the bottom of the rocks. A calf straddled over a rock, its Momma bawling on the other side.
Leaving her horse at the water’s edge, Hanna figured if the cow had crossed, she would be all right on foot.
Hanna reached out to the calf at the same time a rope settled over its head. The surprise of help made her turn to look. Losing her balance she went under in a splash, the current carrying her towards the deadly falls.
Maggie and Water by Di @pensitivity101
They say there is nothing more affectionate than a wet dog.
Maggie loves the water, and when she was a pup, we’d drive down to the park every day where she could have a swim in the sea.
She took the groynes as her personal obstacle course, which of course Hubby encouraged.
She went flying over them with ease, until the last when she did a complete somersault and ended up on her back. I was panic stricken, only to find her splashing around in total bliss as the water was quite deep on the side I couldn’t see.
Homey by Gloria McBreen
The box is nice and cold today. The last time Annie put me in here the temperature was not to my liking, and I nearly passed out.
Today, I’m feeling claustrophobic. “Annie, let me out now please.”
But she never listens to me. All she does is look at me with her big blue eyes, and beam her big toothy grin.
I’ll play dead; that usually works. Yes! Here she comes. I love this part. This is where she turns the box upside down, then I make a big splash into my lovely clean fish bowl. Home sweet home.
A Big Splashy Dance by Miriam Hurdle
“Karen, this is unbelievable. We did it. I’m so glad you accepted our invitation.”
“I didn’t know your team, but I know you. We worked well before.”
“Our dance group had been working with the choreographer for six months. Delia got hit with the flu in the last minute. I couldn’t think of calling anyone else.”
“It was delighted to dance with you again.”
“You’re natural, Karen. Just two rehearsals, you were like with us for ages. We made a big splash tonight. Our choreographer would love to have you come on board.”
“I’d like to think about that.”
One Way To Create a Splash! by Ritu Bhathal
“Can I see it? Please!” Julie ran over to Jack, straining to grab the phone.
Jack stretched his arm high up, out of her reach.
Grabbing his sleeve, she tried to bring his arm down. “I need to see the photo!”
“Because I’m not having you sharing awful pictures of me!” She pulled at his arm, her grasp nearing the phone.
Both hands on the handset – it was like a tug-of-war.
“There! Got it!”
One final wrench and it was hers… except it flew out of her hand and landed in the pool with a big splash.
Candidate by Abhijit Ray
“Make noise, a lot of it,” Nikhil’s political advisor said excitedly, “let people know your arrival.”
Nikhil and his advisor were chatting on the way to his party office. There was a buzz that party will announce Nikhil as party candidate for assembly election.
“How?” Nikhil asked his advisor, “help me improve visibility?”
“Give interviews, address public meetings,” said advisor, as he stepped on a banana peel “create a splashhhhh!”
“Created enough splash for a day!” commented Nikhil as he pulled his advisor up from the mud puddle, “hope I do not land on my behind like you!”
A Splashing Good Time by Sally Cronin
Her husband insisted she was incapable of learning to drive, refusing to pay for lessons as a waste of time and money. After seven years she found her own voice, and grateful there were no children to witness her failure, she left. With a new job, cottage and money to make her own way, she passed her driving test first time, and purchased a small car. One day torrential rain filled the drains, creating deep puddles each side of the road. She saw him walking along the pavement. Smiling, she swished passed him, creating a wonderfully drenching big splash.
Big Splash by Robbie Cheadle
How do you see
your life unfolding?
What gives you purpose?
What inspires you
to get up in the morning
and face the day?
Do you care if your actions
leave the surface
of your own life
and that of others
smooth and unmarred?
Or is your ambition to cause
small ripples across
its glassy face?
Do you think it’s important
to make an impact?
To do or say something
that will be noteworthy
and possibly inspire change
to the course of many lives
What is your purpose
To leave an unmarred surface
Or to make a big splash?
Couple Counselling by Anne Goodwin
Laying the printed sheet on the table, she smooths out the creases. “Sorry about your questionnaire.”
“Butterfingers splashed red wine on it,” he says.
Quite a splash. The pink colour-wash obscures half the words.
“He jogged my arm.”
“She hogged the remote.”
“My programme hadn’t finished.”
“She knew kick-off was at eight.”
“Who’d watch football on his wedding anniversary?”
“May I interrupt you a moment?”
They look up like naughty children. “Give us another,” he says. “I won’t let her mess it up again.”
“No need.” I toss the questionnaire in the bin. “We’ve plenty to work on already.”
Front page Splash by Hugh W. Roberts
London, May 1965
All his fears had come true. Had it been worth it? Yes. But here it was splashed all over the front pages of every newspaper.
As a single, 33-year-old, man who had just been elected as a minister of parliament, the woman he had slept with had done all the hard work in persuading him to have a sexual relationship with her. He wondered how long it would be before the police came to arrest him.
As he lay back on the bed, he questioned if there was a parallel universe where heterosexuality was not illegal.
Envy by Violet Lentz
Half-way through Mr. A’s lecture, Evie grabbed the bathroom pass and dashed into the hall.
Without even securing the stall door, she flung herself to the floor in front of the commode. Her empty stomach writhing and heaving against itself. She retched violently, producing only a thick strand of greenish spittle that clung precariously to her lip for what seemed like forever, before splashing silently into the placid waters below.
Just then, the bathroom door swung open.
“Did you see Evie last night? She heard Jocelyn Medgar exclaim. “She was hammered!”
“God I wish I could drink like that!”
Ocean Waves by Susan Zutautas
The waves were splashing against the shore and it was the perfect time for bodysurfing. Sandy just needed to get out a little farther to ride them in. What she wasn’t expecting though was that there was a strong undercurrent and on her second ride in, down she went, under the water, the undertow dragging her across the sand. She felt as if she was about to drown and knew she had to fight her way back to shore. Disorientation caused Sandy to stay underwater not knowing that she was close to shore until she bumped into another person.
Bowing Out by Valerie Fish
Lucy knew exactly the date she was going to depart this mortal world, and she was going out with a bang, she just hadn’t yet decided how.
Slitting her wrists was out; Lucy couldn’t stand the sight of blood; or stick her head in the gas oven as she was all-electric.
The job had to be done properly, nearly but not quite dead wouldn’t do.
The decision was taken out of Lucy’s hands when, so engrossed was she in her dilemma, that she stepped off the pavement into the road straight into the path of the 223 to Uxbridge.
The Dream by tracey
Jan worked on her novel off and on for years, decades. Long off periods: moves, jobs, babies, cancer. But she never totally gave up. She wrote and edited, wrote and edited some more. On her 65th birthday she decided it was finished.
Jan left the book sitting on her desk, printed and bound by the local UPS store. Her granddaughter found it, read it and self-published it on Kindle. Turns out it made a big splash in the mystery genre. Meryl Streep played her heroine in the movie adaptation.
If only Jan had lived to see her wonderful success.
Splash by Anita dawes
I am looking through my rain painted windows
Waterlogged drowned gutters run
with rainbow coloured bubbles
Rain, when pouring, dancing to its own tune
Children finding the best puddles to make a big splash
Returning home to drip rain indoors
Red cheeks, happy faces
Safe in front of warm fires
Snug under cosy blankets
The deluge continues as you gaze
through your kitchen window
The heavens open, turning your garden pond
Into a tidal wave
Gold carp dancing in water lifted
Spinning lights flashing
Golden doubloons dropping
A big splash, smooth water once more
Cup of hot chocolate calling…
Unmannerly Speaking by D. Avery
“Pal, yer goin ta hell in a tote bag.”
“That’s ‘in a hand basket’ Kid.”
“Mebbe yer goin ta hell in a box a rocks.”
“No, Kid, that’s ‘dumber ‘an a box a rocks. Figger ya’d know that idiom.”
“Yer callin’ me a idiom?”
“If ‘n the boot fits.”
“Well, you kin take a long walk off a short pier, Pal. Make a splash.”
“Speakin’ a short peers, how ‘bout thet Shorty? Didn’t useta have a ghost of a chance, now she’s chancin’ upon ghosts an’ rubbin elbows with writin’ idols.”
“An idyllic life!”
“Yer still an idiom, Kid.”
Splash Down by D. Avery
“Hey Shorty. Kid’s up in the Poet-tree agin. Says it flows up there, kin git words down easily.”
“Jist hope Kid also gits down easily. Really pursuin’ that buckaroo-ku, huh?”
“Yep, seems like. Kid’s real het up on doin’ some writin’ lately. Wants ta make a splash.”
“Hey you two, I kin hear ya. Hang on, I’m climbin’ down with what I writ. Whoa, oh, ohhh! Oooh. Ow.”
“Kid, ya made more of a splat. But don’t give up.”
ripples on the pond
lead away from the tossed stone’s
lilies nod at the passing splash
Limrickin’ by D. Avery
Headquartered in a state appendicular
Way up on the Keweenaw Peninsular
There’s no need to fret
Because of the net
Worldwide, the Ranch is not at all insular.
“Knock it off, Kid, limrickin’ gits my Irish up.”
“Yer Irish, Pal?”
“No, thet’s an idiom.”
“Ah, stop with the name callin’ already. Oof, speakin a limb wreckin’, I’m some sore from fallin’ outta the Poet-tree. Was up there spinnin’ tales, then was in a tailspin.”
“Mebbe ya shoulda hit the ground runnin’, Kid. Or flapped yer arms ‘stead a yer gums; soared ‘stead a sored.”
“Someday you’ll pay, Pal.”
Yup… Definitely created a splash with these entries!😊
I think we all created a big splash. Great reading! 🙂
Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
Time of the week to catch up on all the flash fiction that has been submitted to the Carrot Ranch…and thanks again to Charli Mills for all the work that goes into compiling this weekly anthology.. I know I enjoy participating… and hope if you don’t already to do so, you will join us for the next one.
I forgot to fill out the form, didn’t I? Darn it!
Good mix of stories, everyone! 🙂
You amaze me, Charli, with your compilations, the way you put them all together so perfectly. These made a splash all right, fab stories! <3
Great collection of stories. Haven’t read them all YET, but I definitely feel soaked from ones I read. Well done, all.
I’m a bit late getting to this collection, Charli, so I’m pleased I read many of the stories on the prompt post. So many different ways to make a splash – well done, everyone.