Put Out To Grass.

The crop snapped his flank,

the pop spurred him on,

His acclaimed turn-of-foot

would deliver his swansong.

A snort a twitch

The winning post Past

At the final stroke

This race would be his last.

Put out to grass

Racing finished

Time to shine gone

No friends to race

Or bowls of mash

No roar of the crowd or

heads to clash.

In this meadow

Grinding grass all day,

does he swat memories like flies away.

does he miss the cheers

Strings of horses nose to tail

Or is he happy to watch the red Kite sail.

This was for Charli Mills 99 word flash fiction prompt press https://carrotranch.com/2021/09/17/september-16-flash-fiction-challenge-2/ to join in or simply read all the responses.

Baking Her Way To Fame

By pixels

After watching The Great British Bake-Off, Sarah decides to self-tape her efforts to launch a cooking show. The next Nigella, she mused Mary Berry of East Anglia. She planned and tried recipes for days hoping to perfect a bake that would stun and make her go viral on Instagram or Tick-tock. Eventually, Sarah settled on simplicity after all, just how hard can a limoncello cream stuffed choux balls wedding cake, a Croquembouche be.

A new apron couldn’t disguise the abject failure of her bake. She now is a star on tick-tock as ‘The Comedy Baker.”

This was written for Charlie’s 99 word prompt press the 》Link here 《 to join in or read.

Cigarette Smoke and Bad Memories

To join in or just read -> Prompt here

On the anniversary, she hung her dress at the window. From her mattress, she watched the morning sun catch the turquoise fabric making it shimmer. She studied it through a haze of thick Cigarette Smoke.

The dress was the cleanest thing in there. The dress still bore the stain of his urine. Time had turned the intricate chiffon bodice a dirty shade of chartreuse.

Such a glorious name ruined as she had been ruined. It wasn’t only the prom he spoiled, but herself, her innocence and the only connection to family that she had left, her Grandmother’s beautiful dress.

September 2, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to the theme, “not everyone fits a prom dress.” You can take inspiration from Ellis Delaney’s song, the photo, or any spark of imagination. Who doesn’t fit and why? What is the tone? You can set the genre. Go where the prompt leads!

Led more by the picture I hope it sufficed to fit the requirements. Leave a comment please I just love to talk. x

Respond by September 7, 2021

The Day Tommy learns to fish

Tom grabbed his Mothers hand his eyes as big as saucers. Over his shoulder was a keep net and his three legged seat was planted close to Dad’s big rod where he concentrated on baiting a hook with wriggling maggots. “Mummy,” Tom whispered, “if we catch this one can I just have one fish finger for tea please.”

Gone Fishing

This is the last photo on my roll, taken at the #RedRoosterfestival and in response to Esme’s prompt #2 To take the last pic on the camera roll and write a short story or rhyme go where the prompt takes you. PressThis to join in or read.

Did you have a funny Story when you were small, leave me something in the comments and I will get right back

The Remnants of what was.

Photo by Elina Krima on Pexels.com

He knots his fingers and flexes his hands jerkily, leaves clean stripes on his arm and neck when he rubs hard. My lip twitches with sadness at his grimy hand trembling. Eyes down, glued to his boots, they’re good boots. He startles onlookers with his strange muttering. I’m only a step away or at least a short distance from him. My gaze wanders across his prematurely lined features and the weathered cloth of his twine tied coat. I catch the eye of my passing waitress, who nods knowingly. I wave my fingers, more chewed than she would have seen before, so quickly fist them away, out of sight. She returns with a bag for takeout. I keep watch as I settle the bill. Coffee spilt due to its weight on the wobbly-legged table. Her eyes pool as she apologises while wiping it up. She rips the cover from her note pad expertly folds it then squats to push it under the leg. I think ‘If only it could be that easy to fix everything. Her smile is kind. Blinks away the telltale tears undercover of the table. Nods once looking back towards the road. Her shoulders slump, and with a sigh, she continues to clear tables. My explanation spilt out six months ago when I first found him. Now it sits like secrets between spies ‘A nods as good as a tapped nose.’ Dad used to say when we were kids. We loved telling him it was wrong. “No, it’s a nod is as good as a wink,” We would taunt. He doesn’t joke much anymore; not one of us does.

I wipe my eyes with a paper napkin that I am twisting thoughtlessly in my fists. I hold my breath as I watch. Martin takes too much time manoeuvring unseen enemies and mined traps. I am counting his steps, speaking out loud. I am startled to silence by a mumbled word (Crackpot) coming from a suited man brushing past me. Four minutes it took for him to walk six feet of the busy pavement. The lunchbreak office staff, bankers, business people and shoppers moan and gripe as he blocks their path and swallows a moment of the hour of freedom they have. A pensioner’s rheumy eyes spot him. He nods knowingly, pats his arm and dodders on.

Martin is opposite me, with only one road to cross. But I am hopeful today, whisper > today I will be successful <. He stoops, scans the tarmac, takes an audible breath and runs as if his life depends on it weaving towards me. I stand, my face pulls the biggest of grins I feel my arms start to lift. Then a horn blasts, I see him freeze, a voice shouts obscenities at him. And just like that, he is gone. There is no point in chasing him. I learned the hard way how that goes. No, I will try again tomorrow and all the other tomorrows that no doubt there will be. With sisterly love and a heavy heart, I tip the server, straighten my back and fasten my coat. Before I leave, I pause to pass a raggedy bundle in a shop doorway the bag of food that Martin did not get. For we never know their story, we only see the remnants of what was.

Too many of our ex military, police, medics Firemen and others are left broken by the trauma they see and clear up every day. This flash fiction is a glimpse at that, a speck of what we know is on our streets, in our towns and villages. Broken discarded people #MentalHealth. Please comment leave me your thoughts below.

My Escape to A New Normal.

It’s now August, and I wonder how you are all faring. It seems that my focus during all this has changed. Writing has been the toughest. Just when I thought writing would fill every day. I took many writing and poetry workshops to try and motivate myself, wake the muse, or improve my skill set.
Like many of you, Netflix came in handy, as have audiobooks with Audible, and Marie Kondo delivered full days of sparking joy (or trying to)as I de-cluttered, sorted drawers and cupboards and drove ‘The Husband’ bonkers. We stayed home. I baked over Zoom and subsequently became more rounded. Literally, from eating homemade bread, cookies, cake and fondants. We gained the obligatory covid-19 pounds. We would clap (make noise) on Thursdays for the health workers, which meant putting clothes on, blowing horns banging pans from behind our gate.

Next the lockdown was learning a new skill. I joined a group called act your age and began learning the writing of Monologues, duologues and radio plays. I embraced it and wrote for the theatre over Zoom. I was invited to read my flash fiction and short stories on an open Mike night in America; from the UK on YouTube. Thanks to Charli at the Carrot ranch. I Loved the way my confidence grew each time I performed. The wordy skills have been quite a success, hearing actors bring my tales alive has been the best … but words are my thing, some would say too easy 🤔 but it is not easy learning a new skill.

This Summer, I have been trying my hand, or tablet, at digital drawing. This one task is a challenge as drawing anything, I find, is impossible 🥺 but it’s all in the learning, not in being perfect at it. I am enjoying how to use a drawing app and produce some naive pictures. I know I am not artistically bent. I will never become a great illustrator. Learning a new skill or trying to wake new synapses in your brain can offer some protection against dementia, so trying anything is a no-brainer; pardon the pun.

Under the mask, pandemic fears still linger. I take tiny steps towards freedom, two forward, four back. I am not mask-less yet. Palpitations are a new thing for me when people get too close or group together. My hands tremble, perspiration wells up like tears to an infant. I protest a semblance of sanity as I swear there is a herd of wild horses galloping in my chest. There are days where I stay in my writing uniform (pyjamas) and when being a recluse still feels safe. I am not enjoying the trepidation around me or my lack of confidence in the community. I hope I am not alone in this and that these feelings are how we are to arrive at that place, ‘The New Normal.’ At the end of this pandemic, I want to escape unscathed and just maybe I will have a superpower as a ‘ Survivor of a world Pandemic, stronger, braver and obviously wearing a Cape. I look forward to it all fading into history.

Have you found your way around the new normal? Have you learnt new skills on the way? Let me know in the comments.

The Monologue Of An Old Mirror.

A mirror.

Just below in the next block is a link to the whole post being read. Turn up the volume and play 🔊

Tap here to listen to me reading this.

Here she is! That’s right … Drag your fingers through your hair that’ll work; NOT. When will you learn? Four hours is not enough sleep to fix this! Good lord don’t put that back in your mouth.” If only you could hear me.” you need a tongue scraper for that. Really! water on your finger, that will not clean your teeth and breathing on your hand can not come close to letting you sniff the stench of overnight breath. Uhoh, she has slumped on the side of the bathtub now that is not a good sign.. What’s that … water pooling in her lower lids > sigh < No no no, not today please. I am all for the occasional blubber, a silent weep to clear the emotions, but when you bury your face in your palms and silently shudder … That clouds me, makes me feel unhappy the whole day.

Photo by Alex Green on Pexels.com

Today is her special day, I often like to reminisce. When there were lots of smiling faces popping in an out, music bouncing from room to room trickling up the stairs. It made me dream of being on the other side; joining in. People wearing flowers and rainbows winking and pouting straight at me. Then came the dabbing on rituals, bits of colour from little pots, the sprays of delicate fragrance, secreted in minuscule purses on golden chains > sigh < You my lady were bouncy and twirly, your eyes reflected the light. You shared your sparkles with everyone who came near you; it made my day.

Courtesy of pixels

Where is she, that glorious woman? She is in there somewhere I know. Ahh, that old trick, steaming me up with the shower. I will have you know … it blurs the look in, but not the look out. No wonder you cry so, look how hard you scrub; it must hurt. That heat can not be good for you. Your skin is raw from the bristles of the body-brush; are you hoping to melt, or dissolve, why do I torture myself with pointless questions, I will never know or be told the answers to. Thank goodness a warm fluffy towel and soothing lotion. You will feel better in no time. Come closer, just a bit nearer > sniffs < Ahh! that is delicious, that’s right keep on, gently smooth it in.

My lady, come back … let me see the flowers and rainbows … please. She won’t, she never does. Maybe, just maybe one morning she will. She will look into herself through me and see what others see.

Please let me know what you thought of this, what do you think your mirror would say? I can’t wait to read and reply to your comments.

It Was An Express Delivery.

One, two, three Argggh! > Pant pant pant whhphoooo <. The Midwife passed a glass of ice and a cloth to cool her fevered brow. Furrows crease his handsome face. His eyes bright with disbelief, from glass to cloth he looks and snaps shut his gaping maw.

Nonchalantly he raises his body from the chair, hands his wife the cloth stoops to kiss 💋 the air. The pain swung in she pushes hard and fierce, Scowling Mama puffs and blows; a roar disturbs his peace. Midwife now between her legs sits on her swivel stool, tells her it is far to late to use the birthing pool.

Lunch consumed, ear buds removed, he finishes a last slurp of wine. Strolls across to hold her hand and whisper in her ear. “I forgot desert … have I time? She glares and said “shall I make it clear!” A push, a scream, the cord is cut, an express delivery is done. Together they smile, and greet a bouncing baby son.

July 17th / 31st. use the prompt above to make, craft, write, paint or cook something inspired by the picture. Thank you for prompt #1 Esme Slabs of #SIPB Facebook group.

Presshere to read and join in.

A tongue in cheek delivery, do you know of one to tell? Answers in the comments please … I can’t wait to read.