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December 19: Flash Fiction Challenge

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The summer before sixth-grade, a girl from Chicago moved to my small hometown in the Sierra Nevadas. She could wrap her ring finger and thumb around her wrist. Such long and nimble fingers. Mine squat short and stout upon the square pad of my hand, failing by a full inch to encircle my thick-boned wrist. This is but one of many instances of body shame I’ve felt in my lifetime.

Garrison Keilor, storyteller and creator of A Prairie Home Companion, once joked that he had a face for radio. I can relate. I’m not one for feeling comfortable in a literal spotlight. I like to be behind the camera, not in front of it. Place my writing in the limelight, and that’s a different scenario. But throughout my career in marketing communications, I often had to go on camera to deliver messages or promote fall apples.

How did I adjust to such discomfort? I got over it.

In some ways, I found it frees me not to have expectations of elegantly long fingers. No one asks me to play the piano. As for cameras, I grin and bear it. And stages? I march right up the steps (and sometimes I fall down them, too) knowing no one is there to watch me. If I’m in such a spotlight, I’m there to read my writing. By the time I finish, no one cares, I can’t encircle my wrist with my fingers. I’m a storyteller, and my voice is my superpower.

Oh, not a voice like a warbler or Dolly Parton. When I say voice, I mean that same one I use when I write. You hear it in your head, not your ears. It’s the voice that plucks the heartstrings, carries the tune of a story, and takes you someplace new. That voice. You have it, too. We all do. It’s what makes us who we are — the sum of all our experiences, thoughts, and emotions rolled up into one enchilada we sprinkle with words and syntax.

I’m beginning to believe that the notion — write what you know — doesn’t mean facts or information. For example, just because I haven’t actually encountered an elephant doesn’t mean I can’t write about one. But when I write about an elephant, I draw upon what I know from my experiences. I feel something about elephants because of the life I’ve lived thus far. I think about elephants in the way I’ve been exposed to ideas, documentaries, or information. When I write about elephants, I write what I know using my voice.

We see evidence of this phenomenon every week at Carrot Ranch. A group of writers responds to a prompt. Think of how different each story is. Sometimes writers go with a similar angle, but ultimately each story is different. Not only are we practicing the craft of creative writing, week after week, we are also exercising our voices. We are writing what we know when we follow where the prompt leads us. It doesn’t matter if any of us are zoologists or circus managers; any of us can write about elephants in our own voice.

My thoughts linger on the stage because that’s where I’ll be tomorrow night. Not the small, intimate stage at the Continental Fire Company, but the world-class 3,800-square-foot main stage at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. My knees are knocking more than a little bit. Last week, I thought I’d be sitting comfortably in my season ticket holder seat, D32 watching the old-time radio and variety show, Red Jacket Jamboree. Now, I’m one of the show’s guest storytellers.

How did this all come about? Last year, I bought a booth at the Rozsa Center to sell my stock of The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1. I met the executive director of the theater who took the time to learn about Carrot Ranch and 99-word stories. D. Avery had given me a brilliant idea — to sell 99-words for 99 cents. That encounter reminded the director that she wanted to do something literary at the performing arts center. She did. She brought in Selected Shorts this season. Then she remembered Carrot Ranch and found out I was doing 99-word workshops at the library, and that’s how I was asked to prepare writers to submit to a Selected Shorts contest.

Last week, I told you about the winning entry and the power of writing 99-words. The winning author used 99-word increments to build the arc of her 750-word story. Another writer who writes at Wrangling Words every month (the library program) had her story picked up by one of the writers and performers of Red Jacket. When we spoke after the Selected Shorts performance, my friend who went with me had picked up my story. She gave it to the Red Jacket person and said, “You have to read Charli’s story.”

We all need friends who believe in us, or who watch our backs. I’m fortunate to have such friends. After I returned from Moon Lodge, I had an email from Red Jacket asking if I’d be interested in reading “To Be Known.” You betcha! Then came a flurry of edits — it’s a radio spot, so each segment is the length of a song. I had to get 750-words down to 3-minutes. I revised, read, and trimmed more so I could control the pacing without feeling that I had to read at a clipped pace. Tomorrow at 2 p.m., I show up at the Rozsa for dress rehearsal.

Red Jacket Jamboree performs like the Grand Ole Opry, where all the performers stay on stage throughout the show. We are to laugh, clap, and engage the audience. Naturally, I had one of those panicked what-will-I-wear moments. I had enough time to find a sheer cascading vest of red and black buffalo plaid (Northwoods meets holiday performance), and best of all, it only cost $16. My daughter, the dancer, has lots of glitzy jewelry, and she’s loaning me a set to wear and she’s doing my makeup. I’ll curl my hair, wear my black Mary Janes, and be ready for the spotlight!

And if I feel too nervous, I have a new gnome named Phineas who is like a big cuddly teddy bear. I’m bringing him backstage. Yes, I fell in love with a gnome at Cafe Rosetta. I have my own tonttu.

If you get a chance, I recommend finding an open mic night in your area. Go and read your stories. Red Jacket won a grant to develop the Keweenaw Folklife and Storytelling Center. I don’t yet know how, but Carrot Ranch will be involved! And visiting writers will get to experience the new cultural destination.

Wishing you all a Happy Holidays! I’m celebrating Solstice, Yule, Christmas and Finals next week. Embrace this season that calls us to slow down. Read a good book under a warm blanket. Unplug, unwind, go look at Christmas lights. Practice kindness. Unleash your voice. Write.

December 19, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that features an open mic night. Take a character backstage, on stage or into the deep woods. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by December 24, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

Submissions closed. Find our latest Flash Fiction Challenge.

Open Mic Night by Charli Mills

Mark tripped, spilling loose-leaf pages from a tattered folder.

Bobby laid a hand on the thin man’s shoulder. “It’s okay, dude. First time here?”

“Yeah.” Mark clutched the folder to his chest.

“A poet, eh?” Bobby tapped the folder.

Mark nodded.

“Been a while since we had rhythmical composition.” Bobby called the gathering to order, issuing encouragement. Some had instruments made of discarded objects. Some had stories memorized in their heads. One man whistled. Only Mark had paper. A luxury at open mic night on the corner of 5th and Elm where the homeless gathered for culture and comradery.


97 Comments

  1. I’m excited for you, Charli. I hope you enjoy multiple moments in the spotlight – you’ll be fab!

    On the other hand, I wasn’t excited by the prompt, but your post is really inspiring. Having done readings alongside poets recently I’d actually been thinking open mike might be my next step. I’ve never been to one, but there seem to be a fair few around.

    I really enjoyed your flash – reminds me of choirs made up of homeless people. I’ll be back later with my contribution. I imagine we’ll get a few gnomes on stage.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Anne, I think you’d enjoy open mic because you understand what it is to connect with people through readings and choir. I find that it also gives you a chance to test new material. I refine lots of my 99-word stories through readings (often impromptu). One of the local media outlets caught wind that I was going to be a guest storyteller and they mentioned that I was “known” from the dance stage at The Continental. I didn’t know I was known! I had a blast. Now I have to talk Kid and Pal into doing a radio show with flash fiction featured in between skits. I also have to find us a jazz band! I hope we see some gnomes on stage!

      Liked by 4 people

      • I love that your community has claimed you as an author and storyteller. Can’t help thinking of the hero’s journey. Seems like you’re well and truly Home after all you’ve gone through.
        Yes to the revising stuff through taking the stage. That’s something I’ve noticed with the poets. Even if no-one comments you get a feel for how it works. Fingers crossed I’ll make it to an open mike next year.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Whoa, wait, back up. You don’t want those yahoos off the ranch, Boss, things could go bad. As for Ms. Goodwin, I think there’s room in the truck if she wants to trek to my local.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Charli Mills says:

        It is a hero’s journey, Anne! 😉 Or would we say, self-protagonist or character in our own life-story? I know I have shifted (grown) since losing and gaining a home. Community became more important along the way. And yes, those poets call testing their material at open mic nights, “incubation.” I’ve often thought of our 99-word challenges as something similar. Fingers crossed for next year!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Charli Mills says:

        D., just think of it — the Carrot Ranch Yarns like a radio script! I think Kid has been preparing for this.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. […] The Carrot Ranch Challenge: December 19, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that features an open mic night. Take a character backstage, on stage or into the deep woods. Go where the prompt leads! To participate in Charli’s challenge, click here […]

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Here’s mine Charli.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family, and everyone at Carrot Ranch

    Turning Tables.

    The mic beckoned.
    Alone on stage, it stood in its stand, waiting for the nervous, afraid, timid, confident or gutsy individual to grab it by the throat and pull it from its anchorage.
    From comedy to singing, poetry to story telling, everyone had a chance to stumble, fail or knock proverbial socks off with their performance.
    The spotlight came on.
    No-one was there. The room hushed.
    A cough, whispers, then silence.
    A crackle came over the speakers:
    ‘I am The Mic, and now it’s my turn to entertain you’.
    In the wings, the contestant smiled. He had their attention.

    Liked by 12 people

  4. Enjoy Charli as I am sure your audience will.. Merry Christmas and I will be back to join in again in the New Year… ♥

    Liked by 3 people

  5. You go girl, you’ve got this and you will shine because you are beautiful inside and out ❤ Kindness and lights and hope and friendship…you have a great community of support who will be cheering you on every step of the way. Me included, albeit from afar 😉 I'm so excited for you, you've got this! I managed to force a few shutdowns on my laptop to get here but it's flickering as I type. My resolve…? New laptop and flash regularly at the Ranch in 2020! A whole new start and it starts now. Merry Christmas, Charli, and to all at the Ranch, and here's to a great New Year ahead. Until then, big Christmas hugs to you 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 5 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Hi Sherri! Thank you for such a beautiful message! It all went well (you were in my pocket). I got a bit stir crazy back in the green room, waiting for the second episode, but on stage I had a blast. I hope your computer trots along until it can be put out to pasture. You have an exciting year ahead of you. Can’t wait to see you flashing! Merry Christmas! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks so much, Charli. It’s trotting along so far so good, with a little Christmas magic worked by V, albeit temporary 😉 Oh I bet, you must have been so nervous! I’m so proud of you, I knew you would be magnificent…I could tell, from your pocket 😀 Merry Christmas to you and yours and here’s to a flashing 2020!! ❤ 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Charli Mills says:

        Hoping the Christmas magic holds, Sherri! Merry Christmas (from the Cotswolds)! ❤

        Like

  6. […] Carrot Ranch December 19, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that features an open mic night. Take a character backstage, on stage or into the deep woods. Go where the prompt leads!// Respond by December 24, 2019 […]

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Jules says:

    Charli – All I can continue to say is that you are AMAZING!
    I really enjoyed your flash. I’m not sure I know of many places that the homeless can gather like that. I do remember reading about a homeless couple who got married in the laundromat where they met (and the bride worked).

    Continued success for you and all who participate in what ever there comfort levels may be… I did a three part piece here because that’s where the prompt went: Done With Drama?

    1.
    drama unfolding
    rearranging the line up
    becoming upstaged

    I tried an open mic night once… I had a dramatic piece and was told I’d go last. But the organizer upstaged me. She went last. I can tell you I disliked the waiting to read. And trying to interpret the other readers in the small setting where there wasn’t room for questions or discussion (at a time when smoking was permitted), left me with a sour taste for such a venue.

    Small rooms can get crowded and loud. Two things I’m not a fan of. Self promotion is another one.

    2.
    drama unfolding
    spirit of transformation;
    I’ll try most things once

    Perhaps an open mic night would be different if I had known anyone else there. I hadn’t known a single soul. I was trying to spread my wings. Which are now spread as far as they are going to go. I’m not quite on the proverbial down slope sinking into the mire of my fears. But I know what I like and what I will tolerate and how I can avoid being uncomfortable.

    I’ve starred on stage, I’ve appeared in the local paper (no photo) – that’s enough for now.

    3.
    drama unfolding
    new year soon to be tolling;
    time begins again

    Change is one of those things that is most constant. Something that we can’t predict. Can’t add to or totally erase. Every experience makes us grow, shrink, fidget or gain confidence. I can live with that.

    I can take each day and watch it transform. I can pretend my written words might in the future be read at some kind of open mic setting. But maybe just not by me. And I’m OK with that. My life’s stage has enough spot lights without thinking about open mic stress.

    ©JP/dh

    Wishing all Warm Happy Lights and a wonderful new beginning for the New Year.

    Note: Taking a year end break. Might still work on a few prompts.
    I’ll have short daily observational pieces. (yeah this one got a little longer…)
    …Might be a tad slow on return visits as well…

    Liked by 10 people

    • Jules, enjoy your break. You might surprise yourself one day should you find the venue that fits. Since last March I’ve had a few encounters with the mic, and it was a good thing to have done- certainly preferable to rappelling or zip lining. And I get not doing any of the above.
      Take care.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Jules, I think that even the homeless, or maybe especially the homeless, crave the expression of art. Wherever people will gather. Wishing you the peace and comfort of the lights this year-end. Enjoy some downtime and we’ll see you next year!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jules says:

        Attempting some down time with out of state family – always a tad stressful though when having to visit with a person with demented/memory loss… I have a small glimpse of the bay and am watching some seagulls play against the wind – before my lunch reunion. 🙂

        I’ll catch up more when I can. Hope you have some sun during the winter break and good luck on your finals!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Charli Mills says:

        It’s going to be a quiet week, Jules. May you find some peace and what i like to call, “process time” — staring out those windows! ❤

        Like

  8. Charli,
    Your story reminds me of a man who used to emcee a local poetry reading. He wrote “low-ku” (his name for his haiku that were probably somewhat like senryu with a pun ending) and had many of them memorized. Good guy, he was. While he wasn’t homeless, he certainly lived marginally with a sick wife he tenderly cared for. A good guy he is! ~nan

    Liked by 7 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      As I imagined with the homeless gathering, I think getting out and socializing is a way to cope with any kind of circumstances that oppress. It can also be pure joy to share stories and puns and poems. He sounds like the kind of person I’d enjoy listening to. Thanks for sharing his story, Nan.

      Like

  9. Liz H says:

    Love that reveal in your final line of the flash. Drew us in, got us relating to the characters, then added the detail that has most of us looking away for distance. Nice hug for the homeless!

    Liked by 6 people

    • This is absolutely true – it was a fantastic flash!

      Liked by 5 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Thanks, Liz and H.R.R.! In Sandpoint, one of the regulars at open mic was living at the local men’s shelter. Another time, we gave a ride to a homeless man who was walking across the US. He was a poet, too. I’m sure, even on the mean streets, people still gather because what else do we have of our humanity that can’t be taken from us? I like that phrase — a hug for the homeless.

      Like

  10. Pete says:

    I’ve always admired your honesty and courage, Charli. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Mine comes with an expanded flash. I’ll leave the link below.

    Jake

    I plunked along, off-key and frazzled, missing chords and verses because my hands shook from nerves and detox. My voice was hoarse, the song terrible. It was all Jake’s fault.

    My best friend had willed me his guitar—with more than six finely tuned strings attached.

    A clumsy finish to polite applause. Misty gratitude on an otherwise perfect spring day. I started for the casket but couldn’t. I stumbled out to my car where I broke down, one of two promises fulfilled. Then I turned the key and drove to Cedar Baptist Church.

    I had a meeting to attend.

    Expanded flash here: https://lunchbreakfiction.com/2016/01/16/jake/

    Liked by 10 people

  11. Leanne says:

    How exciting! Look forward to more updates 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a fine flash, Charli Mills. Beautiful and sad to think of this cultural gathering where art prevails.
    Here’s 99 words, do you think there might be bits of real in the fiction?

    Second thoughts teetered on the verge of fear as the road wound along mountains, past ponds, and farther and farther through stonewall traced woods. How well did she really know the driver? Why had she agreed to go to such an improbable place? Finally lights from houses appeared, 19th century houses, but a peopled hamlet. Relieved, she followed into the old general store, which housed a small yet lively bar at the back. Her relief was short lived however, for now she must face and overcome a truly crippling fear. They’d come to read. It was Open Mic Night.

    Liked by 6 people

  13. […] was written for the December 19th Flash Fiction Challenge at the Carrot Ranch. With a prompt like “open mic night,” I decided to attempt going […]

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Everyone’s already pointed out what I thought I’d say, but I’ll repeat the sentiment that it’s awesome you’re getting this chance! I bet this experience will help you if you ever want to narrate your own audiobook, or it could just give you connections to people with the right equipment!

    Anyway, I decided to take a weird turn with my flash. Might as well do what inspiration brings, eh?

    ***The Repairman***

    The microphone still sat, open and in pieces, on my workbench. I dreaded having to stay awake all night to get this antique fixed, but the owner needed it repaired by tomorrow.

    That was easier said than done. The diaphragm on the capacitor was shot, but I didn’t have a replacement part handy.

    “Oh!” I mumbled. “What I wouldn’t give to have that part!”

    A man in a pinstripe suit and thin mustache appeared at my side. He held a new diaphragm with his fingertips. “Your soul sound a fair price?” he asked.

    “Sure.”

    “Then let’s make a deal…”

    In case people want a link: https://hrrgorman.wordpress.com/2019/12/21/the-repairman/
    Thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 8 people

  15. […] 19, 2019,Carrot Ranch prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that features an open mic night. Take a character […]

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Here’s one of my favorite characters. This was easy to write, that is the original 140 word version was. What a wonderful exercise this paring down to 99 words. That wasn’t so easy but I really don’t think there was anything trimmed off that was so necessary or bettering. This is one of my favorite puzzles!

    Stepping Up

    There was the butterfly garden, sod house, annotated maps, essays, and mock journals. Marlie and Sofie decided to share their migration research with an audience.
    That’s when Marlie became a stage manager as well as a key performer, for many of the invited family friends wanted to share a song or poem inspired by the topic. That’s when Marlie wrapped her Destiny doll in tinfoil until just the spiky hair on the top of her shorn head showed.
    “You can do it,” she encouraged the nervous adults who climbed up to the treefort stage. “Just speak into the microphone.”

    Liked by 6 people

  17. denmaniacs4 says:

    By coincidence, Charli, my small community’s open stage was happening last Thursday, the night you sent your fine post. For a number of years I was one of the organizers of the Audio Arts Collective. Mostly I’d start the fire in the wood stove in the back hall on colder nights, sign up the performers, host occasionally and offer my meager offerings from time to time. We’d typically get 50-75 folks out.

    I haven’t attended much of late. A neighbours printer was out for the count Thursday and she had asked me to print off The Cremation of Sam McGee, as she was hoping to recite Service’s poem that evening. I gave some thought to attending but it was wet out and I didn’t want to end up like old Sam. Anyways, enough rambling. Here is my slightly memoirish take on your delightful prompt. And have a great holiday season, everyone.

    Spotlight

    Bill Engleson

    It’s the Back Hall, eh.

    That’s what it’s called.

    That’s where it is.

    Where it happens.

    Our Open Stage.

    Our Open Mic.

    On a given night, the third Wednesday of the month to be precise, except when it isn’t, a dozen or more local artists, musicians for the most part, ply their inspired wares.

    I’ve read the occasional poem.

    Even sang a few times.

    One night, I sang the theme from High Noon for I too was once forsaken by a darlin’.

    There, on that little stage, you are as safe as you would be in your own bed.

    http://www.engleson.ca

    Liked by 7 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      What a great name, Bill — Audio Arts Collective. Lots of character (and characters) in the back hall, I’m sure. I would have enjoyed hearing you sing High Noon. I like how the stage is safe space. We need more open mics like this.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. floridaborne says:

    This was more fun that I thought it would be. I work with people who have developmental disabilities.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. There’s trouble brewing and I don’t know how any of this will end but here’s your fast break serial.

    D’ Spies

    “What’s up Pal?”
    “Plenty, Kid, an’ I don’t like it. Slim Chance is aroun’, wants ta talk ta Shorty ‘bout a merger, wants ta franchise the Ranch.”
    “Ranch french fries? Mmmm.”
    “No, Kid, fran-chise, and I’d bet that little French friend a yers has somethin’ ta do with this.”
    “Pepe LeGume? Why d’ya think that?”
    “’Cause somethin’ ‘bout this stinks.”
    “Pepe an’ I’s way ahead a ya Pal. We’re suspicious a Slim Chance too, so Pepe’s with him, ‘cept Pepe’s bolo tie is really a mic.”
    “Spies! But ok, let’s listen… what? Thet thunder?”
    “Uh-oh. Think Pepe’s mic dropped.”

    Liked by 6 people

  20. No Phony

    “Kid, Pal. You wanna spill the beans as to what’s going on? Ain’t never seen you two wearing headphones afore.”
    “Pepe’s wired, Shorty.”
    “Yeah, he’s a hyper little fella alright.”
    “No, he’s wearing a mic. We’re collecting intelligence.”
    “Ha! Fat chance a that!”
    “No, Slim Chance. We’re worried ‘bout his plans fer the Ranch.”
    “Ah, you two, d‘ya really think I’m shortsighted? This’s my ranch. An’ while I’m happy to share with the ranch hands, I wouldn’t ever sell out. Got my own plans.”
    “Shoulda realized thet. Sorry Shorty.”
    “Yep, sorry Boss. Hey look’t the evenin’ sky. Emergin’ stars!”

    Liked by 6 people

  21. […] Mills’s Carrot Ranch Writing Prompts – In addition to Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday prompts (Colleen nominated me), the Carrot […]

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Jim Borden says:

    congrats, I hope your performance went well! and I loved how your open mic story ended.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. susansleggs says:

    Charli, How exciting you are “known.” It’s often who you know that makes the difference. Have fun with the notoriety. I know you will use it for good. I learned a long time ago, with the stage lights on you, the actor, you can’t see the audience. One can pretend they aren’t there and let the voice roar. I can lead a meeting, but reading leaves me in tears. I wonder if being hypnotized would help?!? Enjoy all the holidays and have a hot cider when you submit that last final for this session. On to my offering…

    He’ll Sing Anytime

    Tessa’s father handed Michael a beer. “The Vets and family members December open mic is tomorrow night. How about joining us?”

    “With a bunch of poets and storytellers. No thanks.”

    “There’s no formal way to share. Tessa just talks. The younger women look up to her.”

    “We don’t need to show off we’re together. People know.”

    “Well then, would you please bring your guitar and lead some carols after the speakers finish?”

    “That I’d be glad to do if there’s no discussion about me using my chair.”

    “That’s your habit to change, but remember, some don’t have the option.”

    Liked by 6 people

  24. On Bullhorns and Bull Shift

    To grab the bull by the horns might be the best course of action if the bull is bearing down on you anyway. Microphones are one-horned beasts, uni-horns, and open mics, being open, would not seem to present the horns of a dilemma; the only consequence of not stepping up to speak are your words unspoken. While not as dangerous or as foolhardy as running with the bulls, public readings will most certainly get your heart rate up. And you will, in the jelly-kneed afterwards, have that silly grin sense of accomplishment.
    See that uni-horn? Grab it. Give voice!

    Liked by 4 people

  25. […] This was written with the prompt open mic provided by the Carrot Ranch December 19 Flash Fiction Challenge. […]

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Stories told around an evening fire out on the range have evolved into some amazing gatherings of cowboy poets around the world. Yes world. It only seemed fitting this prompt would encourage one of the characters in Hanna’s Story to be such a story teller…

    Cowboy Poet
    By Ann Edall-Robson

    Cowboy poetry reading at the benefit dance had been Hanna’s idea, but no one expected to see who walked onto the stage.

    On the horizon some 800 yards out
    An unusual sight needed some learnin’ about
    Come close glasses makin’ the scan
    Not one, but two shapes—sure wasn’t a man
    Across the creek, up the hill at last
    Had to be coyotes movin’ that fast
    At the top of the ridge those vermin swung round
    Laughter erupted at what had been found
    Those coyotes leavin’ the waterin’ hole
    Turned out to be bovines on top of that knoll


    Liked by 5 people

  27. […] It’s complicated, but I made this one for the December 19th Flash Fiction Challenge […]

    Liked by 1 person

  28. tnkerr says:

    When I first read this challenge, I was excited and raring to write. I got this idea and put it on paper.
    My initial pass, as is usually the case, was done without concern for word count. Then I began paring it down. I couldn’t get it down far enough though. I decided to use what I had for my intro to OLWG this week. I figured I’d just write something new for this Carrot Ranch challenge. I liked the idea too much though so I kept working on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Charli Mills says:

    Merry Christmas Eve! I’m posting our collection early. A Christmas gift under your tree in the morning, or perhaps a delight to go with coffee. I’ll be at my daughter’s place on the Keweenaw all day tomorrow. If you have something to add to the collection, I’ll grab it Thursday and update it. Continue to use the submission form and interact with each other here. Thanks for your wonderful stories!

    Like

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H.R.R. Gorman, Columnist

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Susan Sleggs, Columnist

Anne Goodwin, Columnist

Norah Colvin, Columnist

Bill Engleson, Columnist

Ann Edall-Robson, Columnist

Cee’s Listing

Making Masks

Charli Mills in the UP Reader

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