September 24, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about snacking. It can feature crunchy snacks or creamy one. Who is snacking on what and why? How can you make this a story? Go where the prompt leads!
When I caught my mother snacking She told me in her sweet mum voice The one she uses when she wants to be believed “It’s rude not to eat the beautiful snacks When so many people have gone to so much trouble to get them made. They must earn their living It’s our duty to try them out I love the Farmstand Ranch chips best They’re always fresh They have the best crunch With every bite.” How could I argue with that? I didn’t want to be the one Putting folk out of work So I joined mum snacking…
September 17, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story of mice. It can feature any variety of the little critters in any situation. Are the the character or the inciting incident? Use any genre, including BOTS (based on a true story).
Milo, a little grey mouse With the heart of a giant He could stare down the largest cat And get away unscathed he would be sent out For the most timid of his clan His days were long and slow He wanted more. Dressed in his best suit Knapsack on his back He was off to the cries of “Don’t go Who will hunt for us, we’ll starve!” “I will teach Jacko before I go I must seek my fortune. If Mickey can make it big In Hollywood, Then so can I I will take Hollywood by storm someday…”
September 10, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes something heard on the radio. It can be from any station or era. What is heard? A song, announcement, ad? Think of how radio connects people and places.
I remember falling in love with a song After hearing it coming from my mum’s little Dansette radio Indian Reservation Years later I bought it on vinyl Played it until it became paper-thin The neighbours banging on the wall Begging me to play something different It’s strange how one song Heard on a tiny radio Can colour your life To me the world suddenly became wonky, off-kilter. Why do people think they can take what doesn’t belong to them Changing Nations with their greed Indian Reservation remains one of my favourite songs to this day Played often…
August 13, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a first flight. It can be anything or anyone that flies. What is significant about the first? Go where the prompt leads!
As we grow older We tend care a little more About the young ones Children, animals, it doesn’t matter If they’re young We acquire a mothering apron Fussing over their first steps Eager that they don’t fall A fall may put them off trying God helps us when it comes to their first steps to foraging for themselves Mother mode goes into overdrive Unfortunately, we cannot keep the door closed to the grown-up world Wanting to, can’t make it so You can only hope and pray That you did a good job Trust that you have And let go…
August 6, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about molten lava. It can be real-time, such as a volcanic event or the result of one in the geologic timeline. Or, think about making the prompt into a metaphor of heat. What is so hot? Go where the prompt leads!
The sudden hot blast as you take hot cross buns from the oven Balmy temperatures that drive most people to the nearest beach Looking at the sun through dark glasses Reminding yourself it’s a ball of molten lava Boiling seas of golden fantasies Hot pavements, melting tarmac Car tyres in danger of melting (It has been known) Desert sands, hot springs Shooting geysers you cannot bathe in Only admire the height it reaches A falling star so hot It melts sand into glass The only heat I appreciate Is between cool cotton sheets Should I be telling you this?
July 30, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that uses the phrase “her crowning glory.” (Thanks to Anne Goodwin for the prompt idea.) It can be in the traditional sense of a woman’s hair or applied to any idea of a best attribute. What happens if you play with the meaning or gender? Go where the prompt leads!
She stands on the edge of decision Beneath the pale silver crescent Her earthly form chosen Dark mane flowing Magic cannot be contained Her crowning glory, the spiral horn Long sought after by man One such as hers Said to be held by Merlin The magician, to raise Camelot She must risk going back in time When magic held no mystery, it just was To find a mate, to keep magic between the worlds As it had been from the beginning Will she risk losing her magic At the hands of some eager Wannabe wizard Or find her mate?
July 16, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that expresses the phrase, “scream inside your heart.” Who is involved and why is the scream contained? Go where the prompt leads!
A scream is something that starts deep inside However, there are times when I believe It comes from far away, another galaxy Waiting to tear itself free Something primal, that starts the day you are born Other times from joy or pain Stub your toe, see how hard it is to stop the anger and pain from screaming its way out Once that sound is free, it continues out into the universe, ripples on water We never get to know what damage it may cause as it travels away from us. When the pain stops, do we really care?
July 9, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes that answers the question, who is Monreal Dorb. You can imagine the life of this fictitious person in any era or circumstance. Is there cause and effect at play? Go where the prompt leads!
Sparrow, a twelve-year-old urchin living under an abandoned railway arch. The one thing you remember about Sparrow Is his midnight blue eyes They look right through you. You feel him searching for your inner most thoughts Living on his wits, finding odd jobs to get by He’ll clean your shoes, run errands. One errand to the library almost cost him his life When he ran into the street, white as the ghost he just met narrowly missing a hansom cab, horses flaring. Clutching the book, he read the title “Have you met Monreal Dorb, the library ghost?”
July 2, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes the word blossom. You can use the word as a noun or a verb, or even as a name. How does it fit into your story? Go where the prompt leads!
It’s surprising how much we take for granted Stepping over a plant growing between the cracks in the pavement Tiny purple flowers, a weed I think it’s beautiful It managed to blossom when no one wanted it to. I have one that grew in my back yard On top of the wall I dug it out carefully Put it in a pot It’s growing into something I have yet to discover. I am not a natural gardener This thing struggling on my concrete wall Spoke to me So there you have it It now sits with Jaye’s bonsai trees…
99 words, no more, no less. It’s a simple constraint, an easy-to-master literary art form, and a powerful writing tool for creatives and entrepreneurs. Writers calibrate the usefulness and beauty of 99-words through weekly flash fiction challenges.
The sight of spring flowers pushing me back to the sixties Where we believed in liquid bliss Not the bottle kind It’s something in the air It washes over you. Dark days drop away Days when we wore flowers in our hair Music, smiles on people’s faces Especially on the faces of my grandchildren When I speak about the old days, strange clothes, like the bell bottom jeans, the mini skirt. Nowadays, I walk home washed over With good vibrations From the smile of a stranger who offers to carry my shopping bags I look for tomorrow…