Bio-Enrichment

“Whatcha got in your lunch, Bi890?”

“Nothin.'”

“C’mon. got plain ol’ Wondermeat again. You can’t have anything worse than that.”

…*Sigh*

“Hey, humanoids! What’s for lunch?!”

Greets, Bi880. I’ve got Wondermeat again.”

“Too mortal, Bi896! My parental unit sent me One Smart Cookie!”

No way!

“So future!”

know. Pretty spaced, yeah? …So, whatch you got, 890?”

“He won’t say.”

“Why not?”

“I just don’ wanna.”

“We won’ tell.”

“Sures. C’mon, ‘noid.”

*Sigh* “Homemade chicken noodle soup again.”

“What?! No way!”

“What is that stuff?”

*Sigh*

“It’s okay, 890.”

“Yeah, ‘noid. -not all parental units know what’s good for ya.”

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A futuristic conversation about enrichment bio-engineered for Carrot Ranch‘s prompt:

January 10, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the idea of enrichment. Use many of its different manifestations or explore reasons why it matters to the character. Go where the prompt leads.

Respond by January 15, 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.

 

Photo Credit:
Sara Dubler

When the Stakes Are High

It wasn’t till the hungry flames were nearly at her hem that Briar’s thoughts turned to self-reflection. Before that point she was, quite naturally, declaring innocence whilst returning insults.

Her efforts were of no use. The fire rose higher, the smoke stung her lungs and eyes, the cackling jeers grew louder than the crackling logs. She could see her angry accusers through the wafting smoke lines.

“Witch! Witch! Witch!” they chanted.

These simple townsfolk had no brains. If she were a witch, wouldn’t she be gone? She sighed; coughed. She never should have left her staff under the bed.

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Bound and burned for Carrot Ranch‘s writing prompt.

Inspirational Plagiarism: a Dialogue

“I really want to write something.”

“So…”

“I know; I know. ‘So, write something.’ If only it were that easy.”

“It is. You just-”

“Just WRITE something. If it’s so easy, you do it.”

“I have.”

“Oh?”

“Yes.”

….

“What?”

“Where is it?”

“Where is what?”

“Whatever it is that you wrote. Supposedly. I mean, you said that-”

“Oh, that. Yes, well, it’s …thing is…”

“Well?”

“Computer crash last week.”

“Computer crash.”

“Yes. Tragic. I’d just finished up the 53rd chapter, too.”

“Fifty-three chapters?! Now I know you’re making this up.”

“Hmph. You’re just jealous because you can’t think of something to write.”

Neither can you!

“Of course I can. Didn’t you just hear that I wrote fifty-three chapters?”

“Says you.

And J.K. Rowling’s agent. He said they wanted me to send off what I had.”

What?!”

“Unfortunately, that e-mail also was lost in the crash.”

“Obviously….So, what were the fifty-plus chapters about? Hmmm?”

“Oh! Erm.. ah.. it was a fantasy novel.”

“Go on.”

“Well, I can’t give everything away.”

“Sure, sure. Just tell me the synopsis you sent to Rowling’s agent, then.”

“I’m sure you’re not really interes-”

“I am.”

“Well.. it was a sort of ..hmm… a mashup of classic story lines. …You know: a bit of boy-coming-of-age meets a girl-who-discovers-she’s-magic story…”

…..

“It’s true! Julieng –yes– Julieng is nearing adulthood and discovers a dragon egg buried beneath a red wall that …erm… Eil-ent -um- Eilent’s uncle built near her family’s cauldron on a pig farm and they must join forces to stop the ..evil …overlord who came back to life because of a ring.”

“A ring.”

“Uh-huh. And the ring was lost behind a false wall ..erm.. in an upstairs room about a hundred years ago that ..uh… Jules’-

“Julieng?”

“Yes -Juleng.. Julieng’s stepbrother’s half-sister’s cousin made with magic powder that takes them between worlds. …I had a bit about a lion -or maybe a witch. -Hmmm, maybe it was a wardrobe-”

“A wardrobe?”

“Or, maybe it was a vanishing cabinet. I can’t exactly remember because that was back at the start of the book, see, and I was to the part where they …ah found Queen Guinevere with one of the knights..”

That’s it.”

“That’s what? Hey -where ya going?”

“To write.”

“I thought you didn’t have anything to write …”

“I didn’t, but a recent conversation inspired me.”

“Oh?”

“Yep. I just hope the publisher doesn’t think it’s too tame of an idea…”

“Well… you know what Abraham Lincoln said.”

“No, what?”

There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope…

“Smart man, that Lincoln.”

“Yup. Like me.”

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Fractured Fairy Tales That Lost

A long time ago, in a place right here where I’m typing on my laptop, the mystical land of Carrot Ranch advertised a contest to write Fractured Fairy Tales and I submitted some stories.

I didn’t win (bit of a sore issue; don’t ask), but did go a little overboard coming up with ideas. In short, I had a blast. The rules were stuff about word limit (99 words), something about fracturing a fairy tale, and another bit about including food.

Here were my entries:

Cinderella

Prince Charming sat, morose.

“Sir?!” His paige approached. “Your Highness requested we search for the girl -”

Lady, Stebbs.”

“…Lady… and to report if we found anything…”

The prince looked up. Hope peeked from a drawn, pale face. “Well?”

*Ahem* “We scoured the dance floor…”

“Yes?!”

“Erm. Nothing.”

The light in Charming’s eyes dimmed slightly.

“But,” Stebbs continued, “Then we searched the landing.”

“And?!”

“We-e-e-ell, actually, nothing as well.”

*Sigh*

“But,” the paige said, “Then we went to the staircase.”

Prince Charming steeled himself. “And?”

His paige proudly extracted an object from his waistcoat. “The lady left behind …an apple core!”

Author’s note: this seems to come out at 100 words, which may be due to my changing the last three words from ‘a hair’ to ‘an apple core’ to ensure that food was mentioned as part of following rules. Whoops.

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Snow White

“Erg damatha gloric zah!”

Bubbling light danced in the old hag’s rheumy, bloodshot eyes. Carefully, she lowered the basket to the cauldron’s surface.

“Erg damatha gloric zoon!”

The potion within foamed and rose; drenching basket, fruit, and tips of long, black fingernails. She lifted all free, frowning at what remained of her nails. Then, Aldetha saw the produce.

“Eeeergha!” she screeched, startling her talking crow out of sleep.

“Cerraw!” he shouted, flapping. “Whaaat?!”

“My spellll!” Aldetha lamented.

Her crow looked at the dripping basket.

She sniffed. “They’re ruined!”

“Well,” he considered, “Maybe you shouldn’t have tried to poison watermelon.”

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Perhaps I ought to have titled these. The site of losers entries has all of mine as ‘Untitled.’ Double whoops.

The Three Little Pigs

Once upon a time, there were three little pigs. Like all pigs, they spent their days lounging in mud and eating table scraps from the bushy-bearded farmer.

One day, the pigs’ mother told them they’d have to go out into the world. “And whatever you do,” she warned, “Watch out for the big, bad wolf.”

The pigs agreed, though felt sore at being put out and away from the mud. Accordingly, each decided to build himself his own pit.

Before any could acquire straw, sticks, or brick; however, Farmer Wolf slaughtered them all and sold the meat at market.

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Bacon sure is tasty.

Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel -both greedy tikes-
Set out to find more food.
They’d bread; yes, and water, but thought to try
To get cake and eat it, too.

“Look, Gretel,” said Hansel,
“I see a house, all sugar and gingerbread.”
His sister, a-rumbled, thought that sounded swell.
Said she, “Let’s go right ahead.”

But, alas for the pair
Who ne’er thought in sense,
A witch saw them circling
And licking her fence.

The morsels drew nearer; Witch smiled, she sighed;
She plotted and recipe’d.
But, Gretel, with roof piece and Hansel with pane, cried,
“Ugh! It’s all gluten free!”

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Gotta love a terrible poem, right?

Livelihood

No passersby knew why he sat, in the sun, staring at nothing. A few threw coins or insults. One threw lunch, which he ate, staring as he chewed.

Night fell to all but the wall before him; the whiteness of antique, virgin brick burned into his mind. He paused to start a silent soundtrack. Nodding along to *bom!-bom!-bom!* he opened equally invisible paints.

Pain sprayed black in a wild arc, then red for beating love, then blue for days without the red; then green, grey, purple, orange –

Till, breathless, he stood staring at his soul upon the wall; satisfied.

For me, with the prompt provided by Carrot Ranch Literary Community.

The Black Hole Beyond

Ethereal stardust touched her; tickling, licking, tempting her forward. A thousand thousand glittering steps pulsed the way.

She stepped. And stepped.

One hesitant footfall at a time led her past an eternal tunnel of cosmic shimmering, but also to the edge of inevitable, gaping nothing. Here, there was no stardust, no glitter, no shimmer. Not even a chill, poetic wind whipped against her hesitant spirit, paused on the edge of infinity.

With no eyes to close, no throat to swallow, no resolve to strengthen; she stepped over the edge…

Looking back only once, at the discarded Earth-body far behind.

 

Based on the prompt from The Carrot Ranch Literary Community.

Patchwork

They called it trash, and it was. Humanity’s selfishness was strewn about the world; molding, stinking, soaking in.

“Don’t bother,” they said.

“Save yourself.”

“Self…”

Amongst the walls of yelling filth she closed her ears, strained her eyes.

There! A flutter of love beneath that greed.

There! Some tattered trust nearly blown away.

And there! Hardly a scrap of deepest hope, wedged between bigotry and vice.

Tiptoeing past an open pit of malice and an oozing patch of some sort of thoughtlessness, she made it home. Inside the stained and leaning walls, against the howling narcissistic winds-

She sewed.

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Quilted for Carrot Ranch’s Weekly Prompt.

The Apple Pie from the Same Tree

Ann’s mother was special when it came to food. She could scan a printed page, retrieve a container from the cupboard, and *poof* add to the mixing bowl. Later, the family would eat freshly-baked casserole or chocolate-crusted cake.

And that is why Ann thought she might be magic, too. Surely, by the same means, Ann could create with a pinch of this or dash of that.

After Ann’s first attempt, only her father would taste it.

“Ah. Mashed potatoes?” he asked.

Ann nodded, trying not to feel sick as he stirred her mix of potato, milk, and runny eggs.

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Based on the author’s actual experience, and
Stirred together for the Carrot Ranch Literary Community.

Track Memory

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Anticipation clung to my twitching legs. A girl nearby hopped; I copied. Another stretched, as did I.

We pretended to ignore the waiting barriers. We’d glance to the nearest, flit to the next and next and next, then end at the finish line.

Too soon, I heard, “Runners, take your mark.”

“Se-e-e-e-et!”

*POP!*

Out of the blocks, I ran to the first hurdle.

Fell.

And sat and crumpled and cried.

Then, felt an arm about my shoulders. Heard a repeated lullaby of encouragement from a onetime friend.

“You won,” she reminded, “By not hesitating.

“And, tomorrow, you’ll run again.”

 

Written for Carrot Ranch Literary Society’s #2 Contest: Memoir.

Vance’s First Party

Little Vance hid behind his mother’s cape.

“What’s wrong, Vance?” his teacher asked. She kneeled, scratched at an ear, and peered at him.

Vance shivered.

“I think he’s shy,” his mother said. “This is his first Halloween party.”

“Owooooh!” the teacher howled. “Perfectly understandable.”  Rising, she said, “Why don’t you pick a scary story from the cauldron, and we’ll read it.”

Vance shuffled forward. He removed a favorite.

“Ah! Attack of the Garlic! Excellent.” Pawing it open, she began reading.

A mummy, ghoul, and another vampire joined Vance on the rug. Maybe this party wouldn’t be so bad, after all.

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Written, tested, tasted for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie Contest.