The Sunshine Kid (99 Words – Flash Fiction)

If you want to participate, here is the link: https://carrotranch.com/2018/08/03/august-2-flash-fiction-challenge/

I emerged at dawn to a silence only those who have known solitude in the forrest long for. The sweet dampness of the morning burned the smell of warming Redwoods into my memory as I sat quietly by the fire perking coffee I drank from a tin cup.

The smoke rose into the forrest’s canopy as the fire pit crackled and popped and as peace settled in the sun broke free cascading a kaleidoscope of light all around and from our yellow tent emerged my favorite person of all, my sunshine kid, beaming a smile from ear to ear.

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Magic (99 Words – Flash Fiction)

If you want to participate, here is the link: https://carrotranch.com/2018/07/05/july-5-flash-fiction-challenge/

Her mother’s button box was beautiful and long with a brown paisley silk cover. The clasp was small and silver, perfect for her young fingers, the interior a soft satin pink, a suitable home for magic buttons.

And they were to her, at least. For hours she crouched on the floor beneath her mother’s sewing machine ordering them from big to small, shiny to matte, translucent to black.

It wasn’t until she was older that she realized maybe it wasn’t the buttons that were magic but the uninterrupted time she spent in her mother’s presence.

How she missed her.

Sketches of Love (99 Words – Flash Fiction)

If you want to participate, here is the link: http://carrotranch.com/2018/06/28/june-28-flash-fiction-challenge/

Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain played in the background as I poured us another glass of Barolo. With a charismatic smile he turned dinner into an art form.

All the burners were going, the fan on full blast, steam from the pots flushed his cheeks, his stripped apron danced along with him.

As he danced the moment slowed softening its edges along with the lighting and I was aware that this was an ordinary moment I would cherish forever. The next time someone would ask when was it that I knew I loved him, this moment would be it.

Grace

He greeted the old man with a nod when he sat close to him in the pew. They greeted each other often in church, nearly every week for years now, although for one reason or another they had never exchanged more than a kind greeting and a warm smile.

The church was quiet this time when they greeted one another. They sat arms length away, close enough for men to sit comfortably near one another, together in their own space.

The priest gave a sermon about death and we all sat in attention. We were all aware that the old man had lost his wife several months ago and as I sat behind the two men I watched the old man gently lean towards the middle aged man who, in turn, scooted over to comfort him in his grief as the old man lay his head on the middle aged mans shoulder. I was surprised to see this gesture, the closeness, but the gentleness of hearts in this church never surprised me. So I said silent prayers for the two men, the old man for his loss, the middle aged man for the strength to comfort, and we continued to to listen to the word of God, in our own worlds, together.

Had I been listening a bit harder I might have heard the exhale of the old man followed by the deep breath of the man comforting him. If we had seen them from the front I am certain I would have seen the old man slowly close his eyes indefinitely while the middle aged mans eyes widened in surprise. We hadn’t yet recognize the true beauty of the moment, the moment the old man let go of his life, the moment his soul gracefully headed home to join his wife, in a church filled with love, as the last word from a sermon about death echoed into silence, and perhaps in the old mans ears eternally.

The man sat still with the old man in silence. The small congregation, unaware it was now one member less, exited the church when the sermon ended, the hum of agreement of how powerful the sermon was quieted as they left.

But no one was more aware of the sermons poignancy than the man who remained behind sitting with the old man. Perhaps the priest had just recognized the moment and moved closer to pray with the men or perhaps he was aware of the old mans passing as it happened, but he sat beside the middle aged man and I watched from the back of the church, somewhat hidden from view, as they locked eyes and lowered their heads in prayer.

And the three men sat together and I saw the beauty of life, of love, of loss, of patience and support all blossom like the most beautiful flower that ever grew in the garden of life. And as the three sat with grace, like the father, the son and the Holy Spirit, the church bells rang through time.

Hope (99 Words – Flash Fiction)

If you want to participate, here is the link: http://carrotranch.com/2018/06/22/june-21-flash-fiction-challenge/

“Not all is lost” he says in a protective, loving voice.

She shakes her head, trapped in an internal conversation between good and bad, like refereeing a match between reality and remaining positive. She chuckles at the absurdity.

What he means to say is ‘All hope is not lost’. You can lose everything but it’s only hope that rescues the lost, only hope brings you back, only hope paves the way through the darkness ahead.

The irony of her name is not lost on her. You have to lose it to find it but she’s been Hope all along.

Love’s Bouquet (99 Words – Flash Fiction)

If you want to participate, here is the link: http://carrotranch.com/2018/06/15/june-14-flash-fiction-challenge/

She sat on the hot green grass watching him run circles around her with the boundless energy only a two year old possessed.

As an adult we age by the decade but children grow by the day, each blink like the slide from life’s projector, a snapshot of growth. From coo’ing to smiling, from standing and walking to talking, it’s endless discovery ignited.

Her warm daydream is interrupted by a loud “Here, momma!” and his small fingers extend a bunch of tiny, squished, grass flowers. Her heart nearly explodes with pure happiness. Love never picked a more beautiful bouquet.

Man Glisten (99 words – Flash Fiction)

If you want to participate, here is the link: https://carrotranch.com/2018/06/08/june-7-flash-fiction-challenge/

“What makes you feel good?” she asked him. “I don’t know. Sports? Or maybe working on my car.” He paused, thinking harder about this question than he anticipated.

She smiled a soft, playful smile. He was the kindest person she ever met.

“You know I love you, right?”

Now he was the one smiling, a smile colored with a bit of blush.

Embarrassed, he stroked his chin exposing hidden beard glitter that sparkled in the sun.

Only the strongest men play dress up with their 6 year old daughter and his man glisten is an endearing badge of honor.