Lava Hot

When twelve Brett told his aunt that chickens were dinosaurs. She laughed. What a stupid kid.  

Brett’s mind was lava hot, hot enough to melt chaos into understanding.  After reading that chickens were dinosaurs he looked at the hens in the chicken house who’d peck when he reached for the eggs they were sitting on differently.

True, they were smaller.  True, they had feathers.  True, they didn’t really run like Tyrannosaurus Rex.

When seventy another nugget of reality melted in his ever hot lava lamp of understanding. What if his old aunt was right? What if they weren’t dinosaurs?

Linked to Carrot Ranch’s August 6th Flash Fiction Challenge. Charli Mills offers the theme of molten lava, real or metaphoric, for the 99-word stories.

August Blooms

Stacking Stones

Nature does a grander job. What we made was mindful.  Besides that wasn’t why we piled stones on top of one another.  We were testing each other’s patience.

I failed the test and let her set the last stone, her crowning glory, on top.  They didn’t fall and so per agreement she left.

I would have told you about the arguments, but I’ve forgotten them.  I only remember where we set those stones.  It was out of the way.  A decade later I came back.  I looked everywhere.

Nature let us take our turn then washed it all away.

Linked to Charli Mills’ July 30th: Flash Fiction Challenge to write a 99-word story using the phrase “her crowning glory”. Although the story mentions “I”, it is not autobiographical.


Jim spent decades getting sick without realizing it.  When finally diagnosed with an autoimmune disease he didn’t believe it.  Sure he had a belly, but he felt fine.  Reality smacked him and he rejected all prescribed medications.  He would rewind his life’s bad habits starting with his diet.

That took time, but he lost weight.  His biomarkers improved. The diet became habitual. Jim forgot he was even on it.

He stopped thinking about himself. He realized he was consuming less. Perhaps even he, old Jim, could steward the earth rather than want to eat more and more of it.

Linked to the Carrot Ranch July 23 Flash Fiction Challenge where Charli Mills offers the theme of “a story to show what it is to protect nature around us”.

In the Sun

Don’t Say a Word

Jeremy stepped inside. In his ear he heard, “Stay near the door. Don’t respond to anything they say.”

“Look. That guy’s back.”

“OK, let’s finish this. You’re going to get what’s coming to you. You hear me?  No one will care how loud you scream in this place.”

The five men stepped out of the safety of the shadows moving toward Jeremy.  When they were visible in the middle of the room, shots shattered the windows.

Jeremy heard a gunfight outside.  His earphone went silent.  He wondered what happened. Was it safe to leave?

He left the room anyway.

Linked to Carrot Ranch July 16 Flash Fiction Challenge to write a 99-word story with the theme “scream inside your heart”.


Independence Paint

The hot afternoon brought a sinister cloud extending across the western horizon that painted the sky behind it dark. From the distance of our heroes on Earth they could not estimate its speed, but they knew it would be upon them at any moment.

“That is the largest alien vessel I have ever seen! It covers the sky.”

“It’s a storm cloud. We need to reach shelter before the downpour.”

“It’s part of the rebellion to liberate the universe from the evil empire. They want our planet as a base of operations.”

“I hope not.”

Then the aliens landed.

Linked to K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge where the theme is “a state of independence” and to Charli Mill’s Carrot Ranch where the theme this week for 99-word stories is “paint”.

Storm Clouds

Without Ice

Bart looked left and right at the majestic Atlantic Ocean, the blue skies and hot sandy beaches. It was 90 degrees. He told the real estate agent, “I suppose if the global economy heats up so much that the ice caps melted then all of these high-rise condos would turn into part of the Everglades.”

“I’ve been waiting for it to happen for over two decades.”

“This place could sink into the ocean. I wonder who’d want to live here then?”

“I’m sure the alligators wouldn’t mind.”

Bart agreed with the agent: Better buy while the ground’s still dry.

Linked to Carrot Ranch. The theme this week for the 99-word stories is “without ice”.

Morning Rain

Beggars Can’t Be Choosers

“Beggars can’t be choosers,” Ryan pontificated.

“We’re all beggars. We all depend on a handout, on something going right once in a great while.”

“Not all of us. Some of us can choose.”

“You know you’re a beggar just like I am.”

“Nope. I can choose.”

“What can you choose?”

“I can choose to sit right here.”

That’s when they saw Hawkins, a policeman, approach.

“I wonder what he wants?”

“You know what he wants.”

Hawkins stopped. “OK, guys, it’s 10 o’clock. Time for both of you to go to the shelter.”

“I get top bunk.”

“No, you don’t.”

Linked to Carrot Ranch with the constraint for this week's 99-word stories to be to use the phrase "beggars can't be choosers".
Lizards and Shadows


Despair defeats hope with fire.

Pete wondered what that was supposed to mean while reading the fortune to his wife. He felt enough despair for it to feel like the fires of hell.

“What does yours say?”

“It’s blank.”

“Remember when I got ‘A fool at forty is a fool indeed’?”

She remembered, but her blank fortune worried her.

“Maybe I should ask for another one?”

“Let’s switch.”

“Does that count?”

They switched. She read these words, “The fire of hope defeats despair”,. and gave it back.

“This one belongs to you.”

She asked for a new fortune cookie.

Linked to Carrot Ranch where the theme this week for the 99-word stories is “fire”.

Happy Together


After moving to the beach town whose eminence attracted him he no longer got up early to join the seagulls as the sun rose above the ocean. He no longer paid attention to the tiny lizards running on the sidewalks. He stopped celebrating the tropical climate and started complaining about the heat.

It shocked him to realize that he no longer wanted to go to the Cuban-run bakery for a cortadito. He made his own coffee.

His relatives from northern lands were still awed by palm trees and lizards, but by moving to paradise he had become a local.

Linked to Carrot Ranch where the theme for this week’s 99-word flash fiction challenge is “eminence”.

Lizard Sitting Still Hoping I’ll Go Away

Bucket of Water

Grace fills a small bucket of water from her sink for four plants on her balcony overlooking the bay overlooking her former life far away. She hopes the plants thrive. They may not like it here and they have no way to escape.

With the water delivered she looks down on the tiny neighbors walking the street all accustomed to being here, mentally preoccupied. They look happy, but who knows? Happiness is not what it’s all about. It’s all about – what?

She figures those tiny plants have to trust her, but sometimes water comes from the sky as well.

Linked to Carrot Ranch with 99-word theme: "bucket of water"
pigeon feather