May 6: Flash Fiction Challenge @Charli_Mills #Flash #Fiction #Challenge

Feather Groom and Gossip

“Annie, you of heard of Ida?”

“Of course!” replied Annie, clucking. “A hen with attitude! Pecking mischief and mayhem everywhere! Remember her hen party?…”

“It was a bloodbath. Her ex and new beau fought fierce, feathers flying.”

“Ouch!”

“Her disapproving beak pierced the clouds’n’air. She skipped off with the drunken hens for a good ole night of feather groom and gossip. After which she eloped with a former beauty Queen. No more eggs, or demanding Cockerels just lots a gal time now!”

© M J Mallon

On Saturday, May 15, Charli has set up three Zoom Rancher Gatherings to cover a diversity of time zones and availability. Hop on to meet and talk with fellow writers at Carrot Ranch. Maybe meet the chickens of Boston or the wild Mause of the House. Celebrate. Socialize. I’ll read a snippet from my thesis and ask any questions about MFAs or writing. Bring your own bubbly! Times: 9 am/2 pm/7 pm (Eastern Time US).

If you are interested in the sound bath, socializing on Saturday, or setting up a time to chat, shoot Charli an email at wordsforpeople(at)gmail(dot)com for links and instructions. If you want to send graduation cards, you can mail to headquarters at 1112 Roberts Street, Hancock, MI 49930.

It’s Charli’s birthday on May 21. Her son and daughter-in-law are driving up from Wisconsin for the weekend. She will complete her celebrations that weekend and start the new journey in earnest. For now, She’s going to party like hens let loose in the berry patch.

Happy Birthday and Graduation Charli!!! xxx

Note extended deadline on account of Party Business.

May 6, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about party hens. Who are these chickens and why do they party? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by May 18, 2021. 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.

To join in… https://carrotranch.com/2021/05/06/may-6-flash-fiction-challenge-2/

Hope you enjoyed!

Lol. That was a laugh!

March 18: Flash Fiction Challenge

Today, I arrived at the supermarket at 9am forgetting that it doesn’t open until 10am on a Sunday. I decided to go for a walk in our local country park. After a short walk, I sat down and started writing down the idea for this flash fiction piece. Whilst there, I was intrigued to see two old gents chatting in the park bench just a short distance away from me. I couldn’t resist doing a bit of writer eavesdropping. They were so lovely – one was my dad’s age – and he mentioned it’s his birthday next Saturday! They were talking about the passing of time, their youth, and the like. I enjoyed their company so much, lol, Little did they know!!! I hope I see them again! Anyway, I digress. Perhaps, they will feature in a future flash fiction piece that I will write.

For now, this is the flash I came up with:

March 18, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that takes place a year later. It can be any year. Explore the past year or another significant passing of time to a character. Go where the prompt leads!

The sun shone, bathing my face with a pink glow as I sat in the garden of our new villa.

Portugal. I’ve always loved this beautiful country. Now we’re here for keeps.

My husband played a cheery tune on his guitar. The stress of COVID diminished with each strum and every note. Tears streamed from his eyes. Tears streamed from my eyes. I reached out and touched his hand. No one else could make this happen. No one would brave enough to take such a chance during a pandemic. Only him.

We didn’t speak, our tears told the story.

Here’s the link to Charli’s post: https://carrotranch.com/2021/03/19/march-18-flash-fiction-challenge-2/

Hope you enjoyed the flash. I still hope to live in Portugal one day… let’s see whether it happens! If anyone can make it happen my hubby can! Lol.

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
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Flash Fiction Challenge: Carrot Ranch Literary Community #flash #fiction #challenge

I’ve always enjoyed Westerns!! The prompt this week is to write a story about what happens on the dusty trail and Respond by October 6, 2020.

Excitement is building at Carrot Ranch for TUFF – TUFF stands for The Ultimate Flash Fiction which is every Monday — October 5, 12, 19, and 26.

So here is my Oct 1st Flash Fiction take about how love must have been short and sweet in times of life and death.

The Darnedest Cowboy

The darnedest cowboy walked towards me. His cowboy boots churned up the dusty road. My heartbeat so loudly I swore it was going to giddy up, catch a ride on a wild horse and land on his Western shirt. His eyes twinkled as he dawdled a few feet away. He kicked a stone, spat some cheeky grits into the ground and walked right past, lassoing my heart with his.

I stayed still until I heard the deafening gunshot. Damn. Wild West gals sure don’t remember no dead cowboy long.

Love ain’t for dead buckaroos!

Flash Fiction Challenge : Snacks #flash #fiction #snacks #humour

The challenge this week from Charli Mills is to write about a snack. This piece of flash fiction is based on a true story. I made an apple pie… and this is more, or less what happened…

A Culinary Faux Pas

Vanessa cut the homemade apple pie into dainty, perfect slices.

Rich smiled as he popped one in his mouth. “Did you make the pastry yourself?”

“Yes.”

“It’s crumbly. And different. A magic ingredient?”

“Cinnamon and lemon rind.”

“Oh, from unwaxed lemons?”

Vanessa swallowed. “I, Oh dear!”

Rich picked up the melted candle on the table. “So, we’re eating cordon bleu Apple Pie Snacks flavoured with cinnamon and hot wax?”

“It seems so… Aren’t they delicious! ”

© M J Mallon

Oops, a bit of a culinary faux pas…

Saddle Up Saloon; One Shy of a Six Pac at the Mic « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Charli Mills encourages writers to participate as readers or audience in 5 at the Mic, (video recordings of live readings of our creative writings.) I’m there, (with my humorous tale – the bubble monster,) along with Bill Engleson, Paula Moyer, Anne Goodwin and Ellen Best all sharing our writing gems by reading aloud!

Source: Saddle Up Saloon; One Shy of a Six Pac at the Mic « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Flash Fiction Challenge: Charli Mills @ Carrot Ranch #trees #flash #fiction #neighbourhood #mother-in-law #elderly

My flash is based on a true story. I visited my mother-in-law in Edinburgh, Scotland. She hadn’t been too well but made a miraculous recovery. At ninety-four she is an incredible woman! This tree and our conversation inspired me to write this piece of flash.

It was kind of eerie at the time… knowing what I know now. The wind was blowing lightly but I added a gust of ghostly wind to the flash fiction piece!

The Tree of Life
I encouraged my mother-in-law to venture out for a walk. She hadn’t been out since a fall laid her low before lockdown. We sat by the wise old tree. I had no idea that just a few days ago this area had been the site of a funeral gathering. The family decorated the branches with colourful ribbons, dream catchers, pretty baubles and teddy bears. As we talked, a tremendous gust of wind blew the ribbons, twirling them in a whirl of colour as the baubles and teddies danced.

I heard leaves rustling; it was his last goodbye.

I didn’t know the man who died, or what he died of. His funeral happened at a time when people couldn’t gather in the usual way. So, touching and sad. His friends and family came together to say their last goodbye amongst nature, by that tree, in the area in which he had lived. Passersby who may, or may not have known him saw the reminder of the vibrancy of his life in the colour of the adorned tree.

I picked some purple flowers for my mother-in-law which she carries in the photo. Purple is her favourite colour. She always mentions our walk each time I speak to her. Somehow, that walk to the tree have given her confidence back. I believe she has now walked to the shop again. I’m glad I encouraged her to walk with me even though I was so worried that she might fall. Sometimes you have to be brave to make a special memory.

Flash Fiction Challenge: Charli Mills Carrot Ranch Literary Community

The last time my eldest daughter left home I wrote a flash fiction piece for Carrot Ranch which I entitled The Riptide Suitcases expressing my emotions at my daughter moving abroad.

The Riptide Suitcases

The riptide hid in two shallow suitcases. Foreign tee-shirts lay crushed against jumpers, jeans pressed unfolded next to sandals and boots. I lifted my daughter’s larger suitcase up; it was heavy but not as heavy as my swirling heart.

No traffic impeded our journey. The ripples began early, too early. We shared coffee but didn’t eat. The departure gate beckoned. The riptide began. It burst out of me. I cried, no I wailed. Guilt crashed against waves of sadness. Sadness wrestled and drowned my heart. Never again will I feel such depths of emotion. My adventurer, daughter had gone.

Here is the link to that piece of emotional flash: https://mjmallon.com/2017/09/18/september-14-flash-fiction-challenge/

That was three years ago. Natasha stayed in South Korea for a year and absolutely loved it. I’m so proud of her for taking that courageous step, to travel to the other side of the world to teach English takes a considerable amount of guts especially when you don’t speak the language and you are so young. She was the youngest EFL teacher in her school, newly graduated from University.

You can see a little about that here: (unlike her mum she never really got into blogging, she only wrote two blog posts! )

https://tashainkorealand.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/this-place-sure-has-soul-my-first-trip-to-seoul-south-korea-part-1/

It’s been such a confidence boost for her. What an experience!

Today, she is travelling again but not so far this time – to Glasgow to study to be a secondary English Teacher. I wish her luck, happiness and success.

I wrote about our trip to Glasgow, ( looking for accommodation,) and a poem here: https://mjmallon.com/2020/03/06/colleens-2020-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-167-poetschoice-haiga/

Why Scotland? Natasha has always loved it. My hubby and I always make Edinburgh our home-from-home, so it’s no wonder that at least one of our children might decide to stay there…

This is my piece of flash:

This Life

Three years ago, we said our goodbyes at the departure gate before that first flight. How I cried. I wept for a day, and the next day I wept without weeping. My darling daughter gone so faraway. She braved how scared she was. Now, she is adventuring again – not so far this time! And yet her friends miss her already. I miss her already. This is life, young adults are always moving, taking those steps to independence. They never leave your thoughts. They’re always a part of you, wherever they are.

Daughters always stay in your heart.

***

It will be my youngest daughter’s turn next – Georgina – and then it truly will be empty nest syndrome! Still, I still have her for now… Yay!

Having spent so much time with both of them during lockdown I know I will find it especially hard.

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction: Good Vibrations

The flash fiction below is based loosely on a true story! I’ve been asked to beta read twice recently. One of those beta reads was a little different…

Good vibrations can come in the most unusual ways! A friend of mine asked me to beta read for her. She mentioned that her story wasn’t her usual style of writing and she was using a pseudonym. With various writing projects on the go, I didn’t give it much thought. I knew I’d help her, as she’s always supported me.

When I started reading the manuscript, I soon realised what she meant. This was a  sensual read. I ploughed on; completing the beta edits of the romantic erotica in record time!

June 18, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes good vibrations. What is unfolding? Is someone giving off or receiving the feeling? Where is the story situated? Gather some good vibes and go where the prompt leads!

Respond by June 23, 2020https://carrotranch.com/2020/06/19/june-18-flash-fiction-challenge-2/

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction #Racism #GeorgeFloyd #Flash #Fiction #Dedication

Photo by Anya Snyder from Pexels

The prompt from Charli Mills – June 4, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about justice for all. It does not have to take place in America. Injustice exists anywhere. What is the story behind justice for all? Go where the prompt leads!

This was probably one of the hardest pieces of flash fiction I’ve ever written. There were many revisions, I hope it does some justice.

This blog does not tolerate racial hatred. This blog does not tolerate sexual discrimination, or religious bigotry.

This blog believes men and women are equal.

This blog is about unity. One world.

Who am I? I’m mixed race, my mother is Asian, my father Scottish. I’m very proud of my cultural heritage. I grew up valuing people of different races. I owe this to my mum and dad, like me they believe that cultural diversity makes the world such an interesting place. Acts of racial violence and hatred stem from ignorance.

My mother worked for a time as a housing officer, in the course of her work she was racially abused. One of the council’s tenants called her a Paki. She put him right! I also had similiar experiences when I was younger, being picked on for being different. I learnt to stand up for myself. Sadly, sometimes racists end up in positions of power, what happened to George Floyd is a tragic example of that.

The following flash fiction piece is dedicated to the memory of George Floyd and all those who have suffered at the hands of racial injustice, or who have lost their lives to cruel, racial hatred.

Jordan vowed to protect his world from deranged, hate-filled people. He vowed to be a braver man, to speak up against injustice, standing unified with his loving wife beside him.

His words: “Racism kills. It divides and discriminates.”

Her words: “We are one, we refuse to let the racists win.”

After the protest, his wife’s creamy fingers cupped his obsidian skin. Her loving eyes filled.

They both wept, remembering George Floyd.

Their thoughts raged no more hatred, ever.

Denounce racism, curtail this relentless boot inflicting suffocating death. Stop it now, end the pain.

This is for Charli Mill’s carrot ranch flash fiction challenge: https://carrotranch.com/2020/06/04/june-4-flash-fiction-challenge-2/

I hope for a better world, one world.

Saddle Up Salloon: Blog Blustering #Flash #Fiction #Humour

This is a fun challenge featured on Charli Mills blog via D. Avery – Saddle Up Salloon, blog blustering to describe your blog in 9, 59 and 99 words. https://carrotranch.com/2020/05/25/saddle-up-saloon-blog-blusterin/

Here’s the prompt from D. Avery:

“Yep. Folks, try defining yer blog’s purpose in 99 words; focus that statement even more in 59 words; then hook us with 9 words. Ya might even post these versions at yer own site. Tell us who ya are or what yer about here in the comments, 9 words, no more no less.”

Here goes…

(99)

Six years ago my life changed. I became a blogger – a strange creature, even if I say so myself! Initially, I named my blog home: Kyrosmagica – a magical shore of books, writing, photography and inspiration. Kyros after the Greek word crystal and magica to represent magic.

When interviewing authors I sometimes adopt a new persona, calling myself MJ.

I feature authors, review books, take part in poetry, flash fiction and photography challenges, nothing is off-limits. Sometimes I become sensible Marje when necessity calls.

Kyrosmagica has evolved; It is now my author website with lashes of crystal magic!

(59)

Six years ago I became a blogger. My blog home Kyrosmagica – a magical shore of books, writing, photography and inspiration. Sometimes I am known as MJ, sometimes as the author Marje, or even M J Mallon. I write reviews, interview folk, take part in poetry, flash fiction and photography challenges. Nothing is off limits, blogging is such fun.

(9)

Kyrosmagica blog is me! Books, writing, photography and magic.

Much love, MJ!! xxx