Var paused. This opening felt different.
The echo of his soot-crusted boots ceased. His kerchiefed breathing slowed. As charred branches, brittle pine boughs, and scorched roots recovered from his recent passing; he realized he was not alone.
Furthermore, Var could not be the only living thing in this unliving world.
There! Ash-strewn sunlight touched a new, green bud. And, there! A lonely peppered moth took flight. Oh, there! Buzzing annoyance nipped a sunburned ear.
But, there! -Most of all, there! In this unnatural glade amidst a smoldering hell of war’s aftermath, he heard an ancient sound: sweet, whistling birdsong.
©2021 Chel Owens
Written for an early morning, and for Carrot Ranch’s prompt:
May 27, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes tiny flying insects. Think about how the insects shape the scene or add to the action. Go where the prompt leads!
Respond by June 1, 2021. Use the comment section [on the site] 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.
Last year, I helped judge one of the contests for Carrot Ranch. Reading through the entrants taught me two things:
- People don’t read instructions very well.
- More people ought to enter!
I therefore challenged myself to enter all of the contests Charli posed for 2019. Imagine my surprise when she posted one of my stories as a finalist. I thought I’d place in all of them!
In all seriousness, entering contests is difficult and subjective and …wait. You all know this because of my Terrible Poetry thingie every week. Charli knows. A superhuman in her own right, she posted a spot-on description of writing, contests, revisions, and letdown.
Oh, and here is my ONE entry that ‘won.’ I’ll schedule one contest entry for each of the following days, now that we’re allowed to.
Ellie prided herself on her independence. Nothing, no one could affect her -certainly not internet whispers or radio station warnings.
She left for work with her earbuds in. She returned to her lonely apartment in the same way. She never listened to the wind, the silenced birds, nor the ever-increasing beeping of impending doom.
In fact, one might say that Ellie was the least prepared for the aliens when they came. No matter -hers was a quick and painless death, immediately decomposing in the stomach of Earth’s attackers. It was those silly survivalists who dragged out humanity’s inevitable demise.
©2019 Chelsea Owens
Where once the tingling, Jack Frost taste
Bit bent and ser’ious mien,
A sky-rinsed stretch of waking Earth
Draws out unfurling green.
And called upon by nature’s pow’r,
Or, by a lace-tipped wing,
Th’ smiling, newborn flora shouts
Happ’ly: Suddenly spring!
Phan clutched her halo, rubbing already-tarnished finish. And sighed. If only she hadn’t been so diverted this morning, with the clouds. Then there’d been flowers. Then path swirls -which led right to the end of the lengthy queue…
“Next!” the angel matriarch called.
Phan floated forward. At a scowl, she hastily replaced her halo and hoped it aligned itself. It didn’t.
“Late again, Phanuelle.”
“There’s only one assignment left; a newer one.”
Phan peered beyond the matriarch at the mostly harmless-looking blue and green sphere to which she must go. Oh, well. Perhaps it would have flowers, too.
Created for Carrot Ranch‘s writing prompt.
April 11, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the phrase “beggars can’t be choosers.” You can play with the words, alter them or interpret them without using the phrase. Give it any slant you want — show what it means or add to its meaning. Go where the prompt leads!
Respond by April 16, 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.
Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay
Were I a god
here, with nothing
a great compression of
till the built-up force of spaces between the nothing nothing nothing
cause slivered bits of, simply, everything.
Were I a god
there, with slivers
a sparkling shower of
till, gathered, they form a winking blinking ball of thunk thought think
condensations of, really, sentience.
Were I a god
everywhere, with sentience
a malleable mess of
till the clumps of godmade intelligences breathe stretch move
flaming forms of, actually, life.
In answer to Frank Prem’s analysis (in the end the flame)
Ethereal stardust touched her; tickling, licking, tempting her forward. A thousand thousand glittering steps pulsed the way.
She stepped. And stepped.
One hesitant footfall at a time led her past an eternal tunnel of cosmic shimmering, but also to the edge of inevitable, gaping nothing. Here, there was no stardust, no glitter, no shimmer. Not even a chill, poetic wind whipped against her hesitant spirit, paused on the edge of infinity.
With no eyes to close, no throat to swallow, no resolve to strengthen; she stepped over the edge…
Looking back only once, at the discarded Earth-body far behind.
Based on the prompt from The Carrot Ranch Literary Community.