Charli’s Starlings

No one knew where the starlings came from. One day, the sidewalks and light posts and old brick buildings were bare; the next, they were scattered with flight.

Up and down Shelden Avenue elderly friends stopped their morning walk and children pointed and pulled at parents’ pants.

Winged, iridescent forms swooped up a wall. Yellow-beaked stills observed from flower pots. A proud male perched atop an awning.

Passersby soon realized that, lifelike as the birds were, they existed solely as pictures. For one woman, that mattered little.

She kissed her paint-stained fingertips in fond farewell, turned, and headed home.


For Charli and her starling, and for this week’s prompt at Carrot Ranch.

June 27, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that involves paint. It can be fresh, peeling or in need of a coat. What is being painted and why? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by July 3, 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.


Photo Credit:
John Yunker


©2019 Chelsea Owens

28 thoughts on “Charli’s Starlings

  1. Norah July 3, 2019 / 4:34 am

    I love the idea of all these starlings brightening up Sheldon Avenue, Chelsea. What a great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. tnkerr July 3, 2019 / 6:05 am

    This is very nicely done. A pleasure to read and a fresh take on the idea. I envy your writing skills. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. masercot July 3, 2019 / 9:29 am

    This one was different than your usual style. I liked it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. AJ.Dixon July 3, 2019 / 10:28 am

    Such wonderful imagery. I very much liked imaginging how the paintings captivated the passing locals. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens July 3, 2019 / 10:49 am

      Thank you! I had a few more descriptions before paring it down, so I’m pleased to hear it still conveyed that. 🙂


  5. H.R.R. Gorman July 3, 2019 / 1:22 pm

    I love what you did with Charli’s starling story. Such a magnificent, poignant tale.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Charli Mills July 3, 2019 / 8:45 pm

    I’m touched, Chelsea! What a heartfelt piece of art, a healing balm, a colorful respite. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens July 3, 2019 / 9:21 pm

      You’re welcome, Charli. I wish you continued progress toward your goals!


  7. Liz H July 4, 2019 / 7:52 am

    I can see our fearless leader at the Ranch, paint-stained and carrot-topped, glowing joy and determination. Lovely portraiture!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens July 6, 2019 / 12:14 pm

      🐦 My city’s paid artists to paint the electrical boxes. It looks nice.


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