A Story for “R” and the Font “Ralphie Brown” (#AtoZChallenge)

Ralphie Brown

■ ■ ■ New Format for A to Z Challenge Posts ■ ■ ■

I’m changing up my blog challenge approach today.

For the remainder of April, my Blogging from A to Z April Challenge posts will include: (1) the font/prompt info, (2) a brief story pitch inspired by the chosen font, and (3) any supplemental creative fodder (e.g., notes, character sketches, perspective lines, images) I chose to share.

Why the change?

Flash fiction requires a lot of thought and editing to do it well.  Though it was exciting to see how quickly I could come up with ideas and execute them, I am enjoying this process too much to short-change it. I’m also finding quite a few great ideas are springing up.  Therefore, I’m granting myself the freedom to follow my muse. Of course, I’ll continue to churn out daily drafts of flash stories. However, I will not post any further stories until they are final versions.

Finding my font of inspiration

I intend to continue this font/prompt/flash writing format as a regular part of my blog beyond April, though with less frequency after April. Stay tuned to see how this format will evolve…as well as the read the stories that make it to the “finals.”


Today’s flash is an experiment with historical fiction piece based in the 1920’s. I’ve adapted a bit of family history, combined it with information gleaned from a well-timed trip to my state’s historical museum, and wrote a story draft that relates the tale of Ralphie Brown, a young black southerner who must flee north to Michigan when a betrayal from a close friend endangers his life.

For Day 21, I chose the font Ralphie Brown by Emily Spadoni as my prompt for today’s flash fiction idea.

ralphie brown ralphie brown


 “Ralphie Brown” Inspiration and Notes

2017 © Anjela Curtis

ralphie Brown
Composite created in Photoshop by Anjela Curtis © 2017

Brief Synopsis

Ralphie Brown is a young Black-American writer eager to exchange the back-breaking work of the cotton fields for the opportunities afforded educated people of color. When he is falsely accused of winking at his former employer’s wife, he is forced to flee for his life to Michigan. Alone, with only the address of a second-cousin twice removed, Ralphie must learn to break the psychological chains of his past and adjust to a new way of life in the north.

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction
Count: 530 words (draft)

First Lines/Favorite Lines

“Ralphie Brown peered over his shoulder and then out at the road where landmarks flashed past at the speed of the bus that was saving his life.”

“He crafted his paper utopia with a godlike confidence until doubt’s demons burned his resolve and ransacked his manuscript.”

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