A Pause in the Rush to Keep Up

Photo of a cupped hand holding dirt, and the fingers are forming the shape of a heart.

An earthy story based on Carrot Ranch’s April 22 Flash Fiction Challenge, which is:

April 22, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about earthing. Put a character’s hands, feet or body and soul into the earth. Who needs recharging? What happens between the interaction? Go where the prompt leads!


A Pause in the Rush to Keep Up
by Dave Williams

News said it was popular and she thought Why not? so she went to a creek trail and normally she would’ve felt happy inside the weekend crowd but not now so she went Monday (work was slow) and the walk was quieter, a pause from pre-Covid trend-flitting: coffee shops wine bars brunch cafes fusion restaurants new movies.

Seeing someone else do it inspired her to sit on a stone amid the creek, eyes closed. Listen. Water birds wind.

Her own idea: remove shoes and socks, barefoot in the creek. Feel. Chilly water smooth pebbles. Life underneath trends.


copyright © 2021 Dave Williams

Photo of two feet in a creek, with rocks around.
by Dids/Pexels

Little Steps Back

Photo of dandelion puff with the wind blowing seeds from it

The new Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge is about generosity:

April 15, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that seeds generosity. Who is generous and why? Think of generosity as planting a future outcome. Go where the prompt leads!


Little Steps Back
by Dave Williams

Charles apologized, muttered “I thought I was ready,” took his coffee cup, left the table. Startling Scott. Yet he snagged sense, followed Charles from the cafe, joined him strolling the sidewalk. Scott said, “We clicked online, let’s not leave it like this.” Charles said, “I warned you.” Charles’s message on the dating website: long relationship ended, time passed, he was taking little steps back. Scott, pointing to the park a block away, said, “Let’s sit. You need a friend more than a boyfriend. I’ll listen when you’re ready to talk.” Charles gave a little smile as they kept walking.


copyright © 2021 Dave Williams

Deadly Garden

Photo of snowy terrain, with the opening of a cave on a rocky hillside.

Today I’m trying out the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge, and this week’s prompt is:

April 8, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that “rethinks the hero.” Define the hero, comparing or contrasting to the classic definition. Break the mold. What happens to the hero in the cave? Is it epic or everyday? Is there resistance or acceptance? Go where the prompt leads!

I found the word-count limitation to be a neat challenge, since I typically don’t write stories with a ceiling of the number of words. It’s a tricky exercise to tell the story that’s in your head to a specific number.


Deadly Garden
by Dave Williams

Discovery of treasure! Purples, blues, yellows! Like reaching a monochromatic street’s end to find Times Square.

The backyard garden rewarded Zuberstan’s long flight from the hive. Inebriated with joy, Zuberstan didn’t sense the golden retriever running — until the dog nearly reached the bee.

The beast’s jaws opened. The cave’s drooling maw ended with the darkness of death. Hot breath enveloped Zuberstan. He zipped backward. The jaws shut. Then flight from the dog’s reach.

Zuberstan gasped, headed back toward the hive. A group would return. Some bees would distract the dog, buzz its head, while other bees feasted on nectar.


copyright © 2021 Dave Williams

by Dustin Humes/Unsplash