Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Stars in the Sand

That’s right
I’m the sidekick
Riding the tailcoats
Of those braver than I

Too shy
Too scared
To bare my teeth
And so I smile

Push me around?
You can for a while
I promise, I won’t mind
Instead I smile

My knuckles are white
I grit my teeth
Composure like armour
“Yes,” I smile

My soul awakens
She tries to get out
Shh. No one cares
I falter…

Gently I push
Gently I prod
The cocoon opens wide
And I fly right out

I am bioluminescent
I’m ready.
Projecting my stars in the sand
For all to see

By Sarah ©2021

Photo by Kevin Wolf on Unsplash

Carrot Ranch, August 19: Flash Fiction Challenge, and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Take Weaver -19/8

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Dream a Little Dream

There’s a cacophony in my head.
And it won’t go away.
I’ve tried sleeping pills
But there’s no guarantee.

I drop some helium
To cull the birds
Coz the tweets are endless
A faithless dirge

And so I’m held
Too painfully aware.
Is it possible to hope?
Do I dare to care?

This fustian pair
Between my ears
See that decisions are made
for me in arrears

Wishes are portable
This I do know
Thoughts are transferable
Wherever I go.

So while there is still
a slit; a gleam
I have to believe I can
Dream a little dream

By Sarah ©2021

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Tale Weaver – 12.8.21 and Wordle #253; as well as, Carrot Ranch, August 12: Flash Fiction Challenge

Other, Poetry by Sarah

Doorway

I dream of escape
Escape from in here
Here is my nightmare
Nightmare and fear

Spiralling down
Down to the black
Black prefers dark
Dark doesn’t talk back

It’s been a long time
Time has stood still
Still in my mind
Mind been through hell

But now dawn is rising
Rising to light
Light from a doorway
Doorway in sight

I cross the threshold
threshold anew
anew expectations
Expectations of you

Please hold my hand
hand trembling, I go
Go through the opening
Opening so slow

Guide me with love
Love me carefully
Carefully we’ll weave
Weave a journey

By Sarah ©2021

Photo by Filip Kominik via Unsplash

Carrot Ranch, August 5: Flash Fiction

Stories by Sarah

Meltdown

It’s all a blur – once the meltdown begins. That familiar sinking feeling, consumes me again.

My face blanches as I realise what I’ve done. It’s too late now though. It’s happened.
“What were you thinking?” my beleaguered mind screams.
“That’s the problem… she wasn’t,” replies my subconscious, smirking, “Always the way, once she gets a few drinks in her.”

My head spins as I scrabble to assemble jigsaw pieces of the previous night.
But it’s no use.
There’s nothing there.
Time hosts invisible memories.

Sick to my stomach, all I can do now is ask, “Who else knows?


By Sarah ©2021

52337A90-D29E-41D5-911C-25F359F3F9BAPhoto by Nsey Benajah on Unsplash

Carrot Ranch, July 15: Flash Fiction

Stories by Sarah

Unicorn Serial in Three Acts (99 words each part)

Act I

She had known this was inevitable. Lying down, she submitted to her fate, took a deep breath, and swallowed hard. Fearfully closing her eyes, she waited. It wasn’t long before the torture began. The unicorn was really going to punish her. First of all, it flicked at her skin with its coarse tail. Contemptuously, teasing her. Circling her. Feigning as though to charge, but merely brushing past. She winced with each whip of the tail, sharp as razor blades, indeed drawing small droplets of blood with each stroke. It finally stopped, but she knew it was far from over.

Act II

She braced herself for more. Without warning, roughshod hooves began to stomp over her. The delicate skin of her back soon became pressed with their crescent moon shape. Tender and sore, she was continually trampled. Taking deep shuddering breaths, she tried not to scream although tears had begun trickling down her cheeks long ago. She swiped at them viciously, loathe for anyone to see her submit to the pain. Four muscled legs danced over her. The flank of the beast was shiny with sweat and clearly defined veins popped from within. Its body was a strong and magnificent construction.

Act III

I’ve never see a unicorn in the flesh before, she thought deliriously. The pain had now reached blinding heights. Sharp, searing agony consumed her being. When at last, she thought she could bear it no more, she heard (or imagined) a voice say, “I’m nearly done”. With that, the unicorn’s ivory horn speared her. She gasped as she came face to to face with the mythical animal. A bright light came into focus. “Am I dead?” she asked. The tattooist rolled his eyes at the melodramatic customer in front of him. It’s always the ones who want bloody unicorns! he thought.

Stories by Sarah

Light of Ages

Our small crew of lighthouse keepers, landed in the spring, on the station off the coast of Isle Royale. We stayed for the entirety of the shipping season; due to leave in the fall. But the remoteness and inaccessibility of the light, made provisioning risky; burdensome for those ashore. In the end, we got down to a single can of tomatoes.

You find out man’s true nature under such conditions. One has to survive, and there are ways to dispose of the bodies, out here on the rock.

A light for the ages, brought out darkness in our souls.

By Sarah ©2020

Image credit: Copper Country Historical Images
Stories by Sarah

Aftermath

My feet crunched on the blackened ground. Even the rocks had not been spared. So intense was the heat from the bushfire, they too had been singed.

All around me was devastation.

Twisted sheets of metal were all that was left of the house. I bent down and touched the ground where our mailbox once stood, my fingers trailing through the ash.

I trudged the perimeter fence and noted with irony, the eucalypts still standing.

Charred.
Naked.
But still standing.

Then, I saw a tiny patch of green – the tree already beginning to regenerate itself!

We too would rebuild.

By Sarah ©2019

Carrot Ranch, May 16: Flash Fiction Challenge, Prompt – In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that goes in search of trees. It can be one particular tree, a grove, woods, or forest. What makes the tree worth seeking? Go where the prompt leads!

Stories by Sarah

Typo

The neon glow enveloped the city built by and for corporations.

It was late and Sandra sat alone in the cavernous office. Pounding the keyboard furiously she tried to finish the never-ending paperwork her boss delighted in giving her.

Bastard, she thought. He actually enjoyed the power, dictating when she could leave and knowing it was her weekend with her daughter.

Her email pinged.

She despaired as she saw yet another assignment.

Gazing out at the city lights, Sandra contemplated her reply. His eminence wouldn’t like it, but life was too short.

Smiling, she typed two words.

“I quit”.

By Sarah ©2019

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday: March 29, 2019; and also, Carrot Ranch, March 28: Flash Fiction Challenge. Prompt – In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that uses the word eminence. It’s a rich word full of different meanings. Explore how it sounds or how you might play with it. Go where the prompt leads!

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Impervious

This life is such a mix.

One moment we’re wont to sing,

And in the next, we recoil –

feeling the sting.

Our spirits push and pull

Clouds over the moon.

Leaving us to bask in the chill.

None of us, are impervious

To this alchemy.

Add a pinch of salt

And a dash of pepper.

The final brew is unknown.

Thinking we must swallow it alone,

Is a tipping point of despair.

Until I feel another’s hand

reach out and hold me in the balance.

My heart did swell, when

Thick in the quagmire,

I found you.

Always you.

By Sarah ©2019

Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt #98 – Impervious and also, The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 396

Stories by Sarah

Waterfall

The staccato rhythm on the roof became a dull roar.

It was really coming down and the children’s focus had wandered from their work to the window.

“It’s just a little rain, we’ve all seen it before,” I redirected, whilst simultaneously reaching for the bucket for the roof’s long-standing leak.

Honestly, I thought, how hard was it for the school to fix this issue?

I watched with horror and awe, as it soon overflowed and the roof began to bow.

With a crash, the roof caved in and I witnessed my first ever indoor waterfall… right in my classroom!

By Sarah ©2019

Carrot Ranch, March 21: Flash Fiction Challenge, Prompt – In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a bucket of water. What is the condition of the water and what is the bucket for? Drop deep into the well and draw from where the prompt leads!

Scribblings by Sarah

Three Spirits

The djembe is West Africa’s best known instrument. This goblet-shaped drum is traditionally carved from a single piece of African hardwood and topped with animal skin. Its name is derived from “Dje” (gather) and “be” (everyone).

It is said, each drum contains three spirits – that of the tree, the animal whose skin is played, and the carver who chiseled and shaped the wood.

The djembe is a vessel for these spirits to come through. The sound is past, present and future; that which is not in us until it comes into consciousness through our hands and into the world.

By Sarah ©2019

My beautiful Ghanan 13” djembe

My beautiful Ghanan 13” djembe

The inside of my djembe chiseled out by hand

Carrot Ranch, March 14: Flash Fiction Challenge. Prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a chisel. Use chisel as a noun or a verb. Think about what might be chiseled, who is chiseling. Be the chisel. Go where the prompt leads!

Stories by Sarah

Tight Arse

He hobbled into the hospital, chuckling at the special deal sign as he walked past.

He had been called a “tight-arse” his whole life – never one to miss a bargain or save a penny.

And his assisted euthanasia would be no different – he intended to die as he lived.

By Sarah ©2019

photo by Artem Bali via Unsplash

Only 100 Words, Three Line Tales – Week 163

Stories by Sarah

Little One

The shadow of the moon danced on the lake. A light breeze whispered gently through the tress and the air was filled with a symphony of insects, clamoring to be heard.

Lucy trod carefully in the filtered light, glancing behind her guiltily. Her mum and dad would be furious but since the trap hadn’t killed it, Lucy figured it was a sign.

Kneeling at the fence line of their property, she reached into her pocket and tenderly scooped out the mouse.

With a grateful “chit” of thanks, it promptly ran into the darkness.

“Take care little one,” she whispered.

By Sarah ©2019

Carrot Ranch, March 7, 2019. Prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a mouse. It can be real, imagined, electronic or whiskered.

and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Unique Personality, 9 March 2019

Stories by Sarah

Folded

It’d been a long day.

Kihei, Maui had deceptively more on offer than I’d thought. I sat my weary self down, noting the lazy colonnades made by benches and umbrellas. Even they had had it – pulled in and folded down for the evening.

I sat swirling my cocktail, hoping it would ease my aching muscles. The sun dipped below the tree line, drawing long shadows on the ground and I’m almost tempted to ask a passing cyclist if I can hitch a ride. The thought of walking up the hill, is overwhelming.

So I ordered another drink instead…

By Sarah ©2019

Carrot Ranch, Flash Fiction: January 17

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes colonnades. It can be natural, architectural, or a metaphor. Take a stroll and go where the prompt leads.

Stories by Sarah

Vortex

I watched the swirling vortex of the rip, as it curled back out to sea. Sucking. Drawing every inch of sand and water it could drag with it. Me included.

I took a deep breath and struggled against it. Lashing out futilely with my arms and legs. Then I heard my nanna’s words echo in my mind. Go with it and swim back in once you’re out.

I quelled the rising panic, and closed my eyes. I lay flat on my back, bobbing like a cork as I floated, and let it carry me out to sea…

By Sarah ©2018

Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt, #73 – Vortex

Stories by Sarah

Parade of Nations

Dressed in their finest, sleek grey suits, they glide along effortlessly. A graceful, yet determined southbound march. Playing follow the leader, they duck and weave around each other. Occasionally pausing to wave to those watching.

The parade is a long one, traipsing half the length of the globe.

Suddenly, with a mighty push, a mother leaps majestically from her position in the parade, and lands with a triumphant splash. Her newborn baby calf copies her in tandem, delighting those viewing from the shore. It’s learning. Every September, the kings of the sea, make their parade of nations to feast.

By Sarah ©2018

Author’s Note: Each September we holiday at Scott’s Head in NSW and enjoy the Humpback whales’ annual migration south for the summer. These were snapped and filmed just yesterday…

Carrot Ranch, September 20: Flash Fiction Challenge, Task – In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a parade of nations. It can be literal, or it can be a phrase that you use to describe a situation. Explore what it could be. Go where the prompt leads.

Stories by Sarah

Retreat

I’d been away for work at a beautiful spot, facilitating a retreat for carers. The aim – respite and pampering, for three days.

I’d worked hard to ensure they’d had everything they needed, and could truly unwind from the demands of looking after the person they cared for.

I opened up a package that had arrived for me in the mail that day.

I held a flat rock with a detailed image of the mountain landscape where we’d been.

“Thank you” the card read, “I’ve found the inspiration to paint again”.

What an epic workplace, I thought, choking back tears.

By Sarah ©2018

Carrot Ranch, September 6: Flash Fiction Challenge, Task – In 99 words (no more, no less) write about an epic workplace. It can be real or imagined. Go where the prompt leads.

Stories by Sarah

It’s A Boy!

I twisted.

I urged.

Yet still, the cap wouldn’t budge.

I felt so frustrated. This liquid was yearning for release for human consumption and to be enjoyed.

It was a perfect summer’s day for a beer.

Not ready to concede defeat, I kept on trying. The effort began to hurt my hands.

Damn this thing, I thought.

Then suddenly, I felt it. A helpful force; working with me from the other side. Oh joy of joys, the cap began to move!

Finally it was released, and cool liquid amber gushed through the bottle neck.

“It’s a boy!” I smiled.

By Sarah ©2018

Carrot Ranch, August 30: Flash Fiction Challenge. Task: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a bottleneck. You can be literal or use the term to describe congestion. Go where the prompt leads.

Stories by Sarah

Good Neighbour

What miscreant has been here? I wondered, inspecting the damage to the fence.

I was not at all, properly attired, and looked about, seeing if there was anyone who could assist.

Nope. It was just me.

I considered my freshly polished shoes, crisply starched white pants, and my lace detailed silk shirt, and huffed.

I did not need this today, not one bit, I cursed.

Part of me was tempted, to just walk by, pretend I had never seen it. But I couldn’t abandon my responsibilities.

As they say, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

So I got to work.

 

By Sarah ©2018

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Photo Challenge #221; Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Same Same But Different, 14 July 2018, Synonyms for check, dress, hand, snake, drop highlighted in bold; and also, Carrot Ranch, July 12: Flash Fiction Challenge, July 12, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a broken fence. You can mend it, leave it, or explain its place in a story. Go where the prompt leads.

Scribblings by Sarah

Zephyr

The saying “Change is in the air” is paradoxical really. One can’t see the air around us. Does this mean we can’t see change when it comes our way? We see the effects of the wind; but never the wind itself. Does it even really exist?

Sometimes the best change, is that of which we are unaware. It moves around us slowly, morphing and shaping things to the will of the universe. If you believe in that sort of thing. Which I do.

And so, I hope things will change. Like a zephyr, I move on. It’s time to move on.

By Sarah ©2018

Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt, #62 – Zephyr

Stories by Sarah

Bobbie Jo

Bobbie Jo wouldn’t know class if it crawled into her knockoff Prada and went home with her. 

Mandy shook her perfectly poised platinum bob and made a “tsk” sound. She would have to speak to someone about the lax staff, letting someone of that caliber into the country club. Anyone who lacks such decorum should hardly be allowed past the front door step!

I mean, really! she thought, haughtily. What next?

She turned, picked up her real Prada and stormed elegantly out of the venue. After all, she had a plane to catch.

————————

She arrived at the airport, and directed her driver to the private hangars. She was looking forward to travelling on her own jet, and not having to deal with the nuisance of other passengers.

I mean, really! she thought, haughtily, When one had a financial position such as she, why not?

She primly collected her overnight bag and business suit, resting on its hanger in a sleek protective bag, and handed them to the steward.

Her stiletto heels clinked on the metal steps as she climbed into the small, but perfectly formed Learjet.

She clipped her seatbelt loosely around her hips, sighed contentedly and leaned back in her seat. Mandy pressed the service button. She deserved a champagne.

The steward brought her a delicate glass of Moët and Chandon. She took a sip and analysed the fine little bubbles, softly popping as they reached the top of the chilled glass. She realised the steward was still standing there.

I mean, really! she thought haughtily. Wanting a tip already?

“Uh, ma’am?” the steward began, nervously. “Um..well..”

“Yes?” she probed, becoming irritated.

“Well, ma’am, I just need to let you know, there’s been a slight change in the plans for our flight.”

Mandy sat straight up in her seat.

“What? What change?” she snapped. She could not be late for this meeting!

The steward continued, “Our regular pilot, Captain Blake, has fallen ill, so I’ve been advised to let you know, there will be a replacement filling in for him.”

“Oh, fine. No problem,” Mandy said, relieved. Why was this idiot even bothering her with such details? she wondered. I mean, really! She didn’t need to know such trivial matters.

“Anyway, Captain Beaumont just wanted me to let you know,” the steward continued, before wandering off down the aisle.

Beaumont? Captain Beaumont? Mandy thought hard. Why was that name so familiar?

As the pieces fell into place, Mandy was horrified as Captain Bobbie Jo Beaumont, entered the cabin, waggling her fingers at her, and giving her a knowing grin…

By Sarah ©2018

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday: July 6th, 2018 and Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Double Take, 7 July 2018. Words: hangar/hanger and lax/lacks

Stories by Sarah

Full

I placed my knife and fork together gently on the plate, and wiped my mouth with the fine linen napkin. I leant back in the chair and sighed a deep, contented breath.

As I exhaled, I felt uncomfortable pressure – my pants, digging into my rotund belly. I furtively glanced around the restaurant, sure that no one was watching, reached down and popped open the top button.

Out of nowhere, I heard a voice.

“Everything ok ma’am?” a waitress asked, as she cleared my empty plate. She looked pointedly at my stomach.

“Oh, yes,” I laughed, embarrassed, “Just full!”

By Sarah ©2018

Carrot Ranch, July 5: Flash Fiction Challenge

July 5, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes buttons. You can use the word plural or singular in different expressions, or focus on how buttons relate to a story. Go where the prompt leads.

Stories by Sarah

The Flower

It was the same sketch every time.

A stem.

Two leaves.

Scribbly petals.

All culminating to form a rudimentary flower.

For as long as I could remember, this was the “bored” doodle that I defaulted to.

I briefly wondered why.

I sighed a barely contained, deep exhalation, attempting to communicate the need for a break.

Why was it, that teacher professional development, all about the importance of engagement and best practice, used the exact opposite to inform its audience?

I looked up, hopeful, as the presenter paused.

Disappointingly, she promptly launched into the next diatribe.

Time for another flower…

By Sarah ©2018

Carrot Ranch, June 28: Flash Fiction Challenge

June 28, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that is a sketch or about a sketch. It can be “A Sketch of a Romance” or “The Sketch of Aunt Tillie.” Go where the prompt leads you to scribble.

Stories by Sarah

Not All Is Lost

The strangers with her on the rooftop paused in unison. Too scared to move, she realised she was holding her breath.

A single shot echoed off the bricks, shattering clay at her feet.

The shooter had found them.

She couldn’t believe this was happening. This was her high school, not the six o’clock news!

She felt something wet and realised she had peed her pants. She watched the yellow trickle out until two black boots stopped it short.

She squeezed her eyes shut and waited.

The click of an empty chamber told her, not all was lost after all.

By Sarah ©2018

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday and Carrot Ranch, June 21: Flash Fiction Challenge

June 21, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about “not all is lost.” It can include recovery from disaster, an unexpected insight after a fall, or however the phrase moves you. Go where the prompt leads.

Stories by Sarah

Death By Roses (99 word version)

For this week’s challenge, I have re-worked one of my most popular short stories (and also one of my personal favourites) “Death By Roses.”  You can visit the original post here. Hope you enjoy them both!

Death by Roses. What kind of a perfume name was that?!

She selected it from the rows of delicate bottles standing behind glass doors; hoping her sister would like the present.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Ooooooh! Death by Roses!!! How did you know?”

“Just a hunch! Glad you like it.”

Her sister squirted and sprayed herself liberally, before spraying the bouquet over everyone.

Feeling pleased, she didn’t notice at first.

Then her mother screamed, “I thought you’d grown out of your anaphylaxis!”

She faded to black, thinking, “Death by Roses”…

By Sarah ©2018

Carrot Ranch, June 14: Flash Fiction

June 14, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a bouquet. You can explore the meaning of the word or gather a bunch of flowers. Go where the prompt leads.

Stories by Sarah

Buck

The video footage was grainy, but Taylor recognized them easily. 

That was definitely a male, and a female, collecting her mail. She furrowed her brows, trying to make sense of it all.

She had known something was up. She hadn’t received any mail for weeks now. Which was unusual. I mean, there were always bills! she thought.

So her friend Jess had suggested she set up a trail camera. It was easy enough.

The first bit of footage she’d reviewed, had captured a wayward moose. That in itself was an interesting theory. She’d imagined it, carrying her post away and reading it in the comfort of, well, wherever it was mooses (or was it meese?) live.

But this. This was something else altogether. She strained her eyes, confirming the identifying features she knew so well.

The moussed hair was a dead giveaway. Nathan was never one to leave his vanity behind. What Taylor couldn’t understand was why his new girlfriend was part of it. She didn’t even know her!

Or at least, that’s what she thought.

The footage continued and the girlfriend turned around. Giving Taylor no doubt, as to who it was.

Jess wiggled her fingers and gave the camera a cheeky smile.

Taylor was furious! Jess had mentioned she had started a new business on eBay. She’d just never clarified what. Taylor looked at the packaging of the trail camera, and the final pieces fell into place.

Seems eBayer cash4jess81, would do anything to make a buck!

By Sarah ©2018

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday – June 8th, 2018 and Saturday Mix – Double Take, 9 June 2018

Stories by Sarah

Forget-Me-Not

I lit the candle, marking five years since our loss.

A single tear rolled down my cheek, which I indulged with just a little self-pity. Thinking again, of what might have been.

It never got any easier. And to make it worse, this year, my husband had totally forgotten.

I was hurt. He knew how hard this day was.

I heard the key turn in the lock and quickly wiped my eyes. I turned, and was greeted by a beautiful bouquet of forget-me-nots.

More beautiful, was the glisten in my husband’s eyes, as he pulled me into his arms.

By Sarah ©2018

Carrot Ranch, June 7: Flash Fiction

June 7, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about man glisten. It was a fun term coined by two men with glitter in their beards. What more could it embrace? Look to the unexpected and embrace a playful approach. Go where the prompt leads

Stories by Sarah

Warrior Women

I gripped my hands tightly around the wooden blade, sucking in deep breaths, to fill my lungs with the oxygen I knew would be required for the battle ahead.

We’ve trained hard for this! We have this,” I told myself.

Adrenalin began pumping as I waited for the signal. I glanced at the girl next to me who was also breathing heavily. She gave me a quick wink.

Suddenly, I heard the calls we’d been waiting for…

“Down and ready.”
“Are you ready?”
“Attention.”

Paddles sliced the water as the siren blared.

We were warrior women, in our dragonboat.

By Sarah ©2018

Author’s Note: Dedicated to all my friends at Bravehearts On The Murray Dragonboat Club. I was privileged to paddle with this club from 2010 – 2013. More than just warriors on the water, they are a competitive dragon boat club, with a rich history, providing friendship and support for those who have had a cancer diagnosis.

Also, a victory video from when I paddled with the Cowboys in Melbourne (yes, I’m in it)…

Carrot Ranch, May 31: Flash Fiction

May 31, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about warrior women. It can be myth or everyday mothers and wives. Go where the prompt leads.

Stories by Sarah

Property Value

Amy pressed the “Sold” banner across the For Sale sign. She thought about the commission she was making and smiled. She had really upsold this one, completely overstating the value. Suckers, she thought.

She put her hands on her hips, stood back and surveyed the property one more time. As she turned to leave, she noticed smoke billowing from the back of the house. An orange glow flickered.

Shoot! Amy cursed, frantically grabbing for her phone.

Although the fire department responded quickly, by the time they’d arrived, the house had gone up in smoke…and Amy’s commission along with it!

By Sarah ©2018

img_3639
Image credit Paulbr75 via Pixabay

Prompt: Carrot Ranch, Flash Fiction Challenge – May 17, 2018. Task: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about property values. Perhaps its a home, business or pencil museum. What makes them go up or down? Go where the prompt leads.

Stories by Sarah

Brolga’s Dance

Monogamous. Bonded for life. Couples are known by synchronous, trumpeting calls. The female initiates, standing with wings folded and beak pointed skyward. The male mirrors, but with wings flared. The performance begins.

One bird picks up some grass, tosses it into the air, and catches it in its bill. The bird then jumps into the air with outstretched wings, bows, struts, and bobs its head up and down.

First, the brolgas dance for their mate; then dance in pairs. Finally, they dance together as a whole group.

I observe them through my binoculars, amazed; thinking, “The charisma of cranes”.

By Sarah ©2018

Watch the dance here:

Find out more about brolgas here:

 

Author’s note: The brolga is a common, gregarious wetland bird species of tropical and south-eastern Australia and New Guinea. It is also known as the “Australian Crane”. It is a tall, upright bird with a small head, long beak, slender neck and long legs. The plumage is mainly grey, with black wing tips, and it has an orange-red band of colour on its head. Brolgas are well known for their ritualised, intricate mating dances.

Prompt: Carrot Ranch, Flash Fiction – May 10, 2018. Task – In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story defining “the charisma of cranes.” For centuries, cranes have inspired art and philosophy. You can write a crane story or create something new out of the phrase. Go where the prompt leads.