Smorgasbord Short Stories – Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – Beggars Can’t be Choosers? by Sally Cronin


This week Charli Mills of carrot ranch flash fiction challenge set us the task of writing 99 words no more, no less using ‘Beggars Can’t be Choosers’ as a prompt…

Image Pixabay.com

Beggars Can’t be Choosers? by Sally Cronin

The memo announced the chairman would be evaluating managers for a senior position. Everyone set out to impress

Outside, tucked into a doorway, an old man huddled, a dog by his side. Most staff ignored him. But every day one particular individual would place several coins into his hand, smile and pat the dog before entering the building.

On Friday an elegant man stood in front of the eager staff and announced the manager who would be promoted. Delighted a young woman stepped forward and looked into his familiar face…

He smiled warmly ‘Who says beggars can’t be choosers’.

©sally cronin

If you would like to participate in this week’s flash fiction.. here is the link: https://carrotranch.com/2019/04/11/april-11-flash-fiction-challenge/

Thanks for dropping by… Sally.

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Smorgasbord Short Stories – Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – Fire by Sally Cronin


This week the prompt for the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge is Fire…and Charli Mills also shares the performance of a spectacular group of dancers who set the venue alight with their performance. Definitely worth heading over to read and see the photographs.

Fire by Sally Cronin

The firelight flickered across the walls of the cave and the healer stared into the flames.

Fire was a precious gift that had been passed down by their ancestors, but for some it brought a great burden. Those with healing skills saw visions within the heart of the burning mass.

It would not happen in her lifetime, but as the healer sat transfixed by the prophetic images, tears rolled down her wrinkled face. Her time was nearly over, but she hoped, that in the future, one of her descendants would be strong enough to put out the coming conflagration.

©sally Cronin

I hope you have enjoyed my bit of dark flash fiction….and if you would like to participate then please head over: https://carrotranch.com/2019/04/04/april-4-flash-fiction-challenge/

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – Your Eminence by Sally Cronin


This week for the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills The prompt is the word ‘Eminence’ in all its glory… In the post Charli also brings us up close and personal with a monster from the basement…. with eight legs that move it rapidly across your path. On one occasion almost to the point of embarrassment. Well worth heading over to enjoy that and also photographs of the melt around that part of Lake Superior.

In the meantime.. here is my submission for the challenge.

Image Pixabay.com

Your Eminence by Sally Cronin

As I pass him on my way to the village, I remember to say ‘Good morning your eminence’. To ignore him is to invite untold misfortune. Wise ones tell of signs of impending death if he is seen close to your window. And should that be open to the spring air, thefts of gold and silver. I laugh at the warnings, for I am young and carefree, but ancient beliefs stir in my blood, for lone magpies bring sorrow. So I pay him respect, wishing him a mate for life, to bring joy to those who see them together.
©Sally Cronin

If you would like to participate in this week’s challenge here is the link again...https://carrotranch.com/2019/03/28/march-28-flash-fiction-challenge/

I hope you have enjoyed this piece of flash and your feedback is always welcome.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – Following Elephants by Sally Cronin


This week the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills offers us the prompt of a ‘bucket of water’.  This week Charli shares a road trip she took to find out more about a community that has a deep respect for water.

Here is my effort…

Following Elephants by Sally Cronin

Image Pixabay.com

The young boy raised the heavy tin bucket full of dusty liquid onto the rolled up shirt on his head. Both hands steadied the precious cargo as he watched the herd of elephants moving slowly off into the sunset. He had followed them all day from his village across the parched earth, knowing they were creatures capable of finding the most hidden of watering holes. They had led them to this ancient secret spring; a life-giving find for his village. He turned and retraced his steps homeward, cloaked in the dangerous predator filled dusk. Today his family would drink.

©Sally Cronin

If you would like to participate in this weeks Challenge here is the link again https://carrotranch.com/2019/03/21/march-21-flash-fiction-challenge/

I hope you have enjoyed… thanks for dropping in Sally.

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – The Dancer by Sally Cronin


This week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills involves a chisel…as a noun or a verb… you will also enjoy Charli’s description of the thaw that is occurring on her finger (or thumb) that reaches out in to Lake Superior.. It sounds monumental especially scraping off the heavy snow on the roofs before they collapse!!

Anyway… here is my efforts this week…

The Dancer

His chiseled good looks and toned body set the dance floor alight as he twirled one girl after another around to the music. But he was performing for one particular beauty, sat in a booth with her friends in the corner. Finally, having discarded his latest partner to return desolate to her table alone, he sauntered over to his quarry.

‘Wanna dance babe?’

Without replying, the stunning blonde stood and brushed passed him. She gathered all the girls he had danced with before, and led them onto the floor, where they boogied for the rest of the night together.

©Sally Cronin

If you would like to participate in this week’s challenge here is the link again: https://carrotranch.com/2019/03/14/march-14-flash-fiction-challenge/

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – Buried in the Snow by Sally Cronin


Charli Mills has had a frustrating week, with snow storms combined with technology issues. You can read about her adventures this week in her update.

As there have been so many issues, Charli will not be doing the Flash Fiction compilation this week, but has given us a prompt anyway, appropriate considering the circumstances.

Buried in the Snow

The elderly farmer and his dog stood at the base of the hillside and searched the snow covered slope for signs of the flock. His grandson, swaddled against the biting cold, reached out to tug on the old man’s sleeve.

‘Granddad, how are we going to find the sheep, they must all be buried under those drifts?’ The boy looked close to tears.

‘Just wait, lad, just wait.’ He patted the boys head.

Just then a dark shape moved amongst the white mounds and the farmer smiled.

‘That’s why you always have a black sheep in your flock boy.’

©sally cronin

Find out more about the Flash Fiction Challenge.. it is great fun: Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills

 

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Carrot Flash Fiction Challenge – Together Forever by Sally Cronin


Here is my response to this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills

February 14, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about valentines. It can be Valentine’s Day, the exchange, love for another, romance, or friendship. Have a heart and go where the prompt leads!

Respond by February 19, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form Rules & Guidelines.

He heard the footsteps of the nurse receding into the distance. She had been in to check on his wife who lay sleeping, her breath shallow and laboured. On the bedside cabinet was a red rose, a replica of the one he had given his love every Valentine’s Day for over fifty years.

He leaned over to take her frail hand in his, and her eyelids fluttered. A faint smile creased her dry lips and a sigh escaped; his long wait was over. Unseen and hand in hand, they slipped passed the nurses’ station into the night, together forever.

©sally cronin 2019

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed….and will participate in the challenge yourself: https://carrotranch.com/2019/02/14/february-14-flash-fiction-challenge/

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge – The Recycling Centre by Sally Cronin


Some flash fiction in response to this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills

February 7, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a sign. It can be a posted sign, a universal sign, a wonder. Go where the prompt leads.

Respond by February 12, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form: Rules & Guidelines.

The Recycling Centre.

Having followed the signs to the centre, she stood in line. It was almost time to relinquish the baggage she dragged behind her. It contained items representing her life, the good, bad and ugly. Admittedly there had been much love and laughter mixed with the heartache. However, the invitation to recycle unwanted items offered a new start.

Holding out the suitcase to the man she hesitated. ‘Can I remove some things?’

‘Sorry ’, he smiled kindly. ‘It’s all or nothing.’

Loading the bag into the car, it seemed lighter than when she arrived, despite choosing to keep it all.

©Sally Cronin 2019

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed….and will participate in the challenge yourself: https://carrotranch.com/2019/02/07/february-7-flash-fiction-challenge

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Bloggers Bash Nominations, Winter Warmers, Arizona, Spring Bulbs and all that Jazz


Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed on Smorgasbord this week.

We are actually enjoying some sunshine despite very cold temperatures and we are hoping it is a sign spring is on its way. I know for many of you in the UK and USA, this has been a very tough couple of weeks with snow and storms, so hopefully you too will have a more settled week ahead.

It is hard to ignore the turmoil going on in the world, especially as the press is having a field day with fake news, assumptions, predictions, fear-mongering, pot-stirring and allegations. There may be a reason that we as yet have not been invaded by an alien species. I suggest that they have popped in from time to time, to the excitement of the UFO buffs, and exited rapidly when they see what they might be getting into.

The actions of those in power are completely at odds with the promises made in their wonderful election speeches, and at the very least they should be prosecuted for false advertising and misrepresentation.

Meanwhile, in the real world, all we can do is keep doing what we are doing and try to stay as positive as possible.

If all else fails………..

My thanks to my regular contributors who continue to spread a positive message and to your for dropping in and liking, commenting and sharing..

And on that note……

I was very honoured to be nominated for the Best Book Blog award, and my thanks to those who put my name forward. Voting begins at the end of March and you still have time to nominate your favourite bloggers in the new categories. The links are in the post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-bloggers-bash-awards-2019-nomination-best-book-blog/

This week William Price King shares the life and music of legend Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-jazz-charlie-bird-parker-saxaphone/

Paul Andruss with some suggestions to bring colour to your garden with early spring bulbs.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-rewind-light-up-your-life-with-brilliant-bulbs-part-1-early-spring-bulbs/

Carol Taylor shares some recipes that are easy to prepare and that will warm the cockles of your heart…..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-winter-warmers-stews-and-casseroles/

Debby Gies is still on vacation in Mexico and busily creating future travel posts about this fantastic vacation spot, but in the meantime, she gives us a guided tour of Jerome, Arizona which is a preserved copper mining town that generated billions for investors.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-jerome-arizona-mining-town-with-d-g-kaye/

Joy Lennick shares two poems that bridge the end of winter and the start of spring.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-poetry-spring-by-joy-lennick/

Welcome to the blog for the first time to romance author Laura M. Baird who shares her love of country, music and tattoos, as well as one of the craziest and most detailed dream

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-romance-author-laura-m-baird/

I am now participating in is Diana Peach’s monthly speculative fiction challenges and this month she had a delightful photo prompt. My story is called ‘The 1812 Overture”

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-short-stories-diana-wallace-peach-februarys-speculative-fiction-prompt-the-1812-overture-by-sally-cronin/

Another of my weekly challenges is the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/03/smorgasbord-short-story-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-sea-mist-by-sally-cronin/

It is that time of the week when I get my syllables in lines in response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 122.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/smorgasbord-poetry-colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-122-poets-choice-etheree-metamorphosis-by-sally-cronin/

It is February 1986 and we are preparing for my birthday and I get a new car.

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1986-birthday-party-and-new-car/

Relationships – So far I have covered respect, recognition, relations in Previous Chapters, which leads me very conveniently into relationships. In this first part, I am looking at the socialisation of children before and during school that form the basis of their relationship skills in the wider world.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-relationships-in-a-modern-world-part-one-childhood-by-sally-cronin/

Author Updates and reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-bette-a-stevens-fiona-tarr-and-jan-sikes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-miriam-hurdle-linda-g-hill-and-mark-d-giglio/

Every year, 4.2million people die worldwide within 30 days of surgery. This is a staggering 1.23million more deaths than HIV, TB and malaria combined makes up 7.7% of all fatalities – with only heart disease and stroke killing more. You can make a difference to this statistic by preparing for elective surgeries in the weeks before the operation.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-health-column-new-statistics-on-surgery-recovery-that-are-shocking-and-preparing-for-an-operation/

The next chapter in my rollercoaster weight gain and loss history, with a pattern emerging that linked a number of physical events in my life, antibiotics, candida albicans and stress together.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-morbid-obesity-a-physical-rollercoaster-anti-biotics-candida-hormones-yo-yo-dieting/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-some-funnies-and-things-kids-say/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-3/

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have an amazing week……

Smorgasbord Short Story – Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – Sea Mist by Sally Cronin


Another weekly challenge that I am enjoying very much is the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills

This week the prompt was ‘Sea Mist’.

January 31, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about sea mist. How does it create an environment for a story? It can set the stage or take the stage. Go where the prompt leads.

Respond by February 5, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form. Rules & Guidelines.

Here is my response…

After tea and some shared biscuits, the little dog’s mistress sent him down to the quayside to wait for the return of his master. This late January day had been overcast and strangely still, with sea mist rolling in during the late afternoon. The boats were overdue, and wives anxiously peered out of their windows towards the shrouded harbour. The terrier’s ears pricked at a slight sound, nose lifting into the damp air. Whimpering he shot to his feet with quivering tail and one front paw lifted. A voice echoed in the fog “It’s okay Patch boy, I’m home”.

©Sally Cronin

I hope you will head over and participate in the challenge too: https://carrotranch.com/2019/02/01/january-31-flash-fiction-challenge