#Flash Fiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community #Poetry

Carrot Ranch Challenge

April 11, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the phrase “beggars can’t be choosers.” You can play with the words, alter them or interpret them without using the phrase. Give it any slant you want — show what it means or add to its  meaning. Go where the prompt leads!


And this is our contribution…


Years ago when I wore second- hand clothes

Worn out shoes

Sleeping in a room with no heat

Blankets as thin as rice paper

I made my way long ago,

I am happy

Some I know are still searching

Most days, he sits at the corner of Waitrose

Playing his clarinet

I hear the coins drop into his open case

At his feet as I pass

Today, I would give him a choice

Between a sandwich and  coffee or a two- pound scratch card

I walked home eating the sandwich

Without waiting. I hoped he made the right choice.


#99 word Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community #Poetry

April 4: Flash Fiction Challenge




Prometheus stole fire to give to mankind.

For this the great Titan was punished by Zeus

tied to a rock so an eagle would eat his liver

which would heal overnight

to be eaten again the next day.

Until a hero comes. Hercules to the rescue.

I have thought of Prometheus as my hero

his punishment did not fit the crime.

Now he is mostly forgotten,

we sit on the beach, toast our marshmallows

the fire taken for granted.

Fire can take a forest, leaving burnt ash

yet it will grow again like Prometheus liver,

magic in the flame…


Flash Fiction 99 Word Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community




My school was buzzing today, the nuns were all running around like deranged penguins. We were to receive a special throat blessing from the Bishop and were to address him as Your Eminence if spoken to.

The blessing involved two large candles joined in the shape of a V.

Sister Margaret held my hair away from the flame as the candles were placed around my throat and I have never suffered from a sore throat since.

Not bad going for 72 years.

I have wondered whether it was the blessing or just good luck

It still puzzles me today…


#Flash Fiction 99 Word Challenge forThe Carrot Ranch Literary Community #Poetry




My Bucket

Sacred water, the giver of life

we do everything with it

bathe, clean windows, wash cars

Leave a bowl out for the birds

Christen our new borns

As children, we splash in it

laughing and screaming getting soaking wet

We go boating on a summer afternoon

hand held over the side

Gentle water slipping through our fingers

Hidden trails of water beneath our feet

The Hindu God of Oceans, Varuna

Salty water, secret life below

Water is calm and violent

we cannot do without it

It sustains all life, take time

to bless the magic that falls on us…


#Flash Fiction 99 Word Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community


Carrot Ranch Challenge


The Attic

Clearing out the attic

I found Grandads chisels

carefully wrapped in cloth.

He is no longer with us

But I remember him telling me

Always look after your tools.

He was the same with all his tools

Paintbrushes must be thoroughly cleaned.

Unwrapping the cloth, five chisels

as good as the day he bought them

Rosewood handles, each blade sharp

as the last time he held them.

I could feel him beside me

nudging me to find the wooden train set

he made for my twelfth birthday.

I found so much more, I rediscovered

My grandfather, his lost wisdom…


#FlashFiction 99 Word Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community

March 7: Flash Fiction Challenge

Carrot Ranch Challenge


Wrong Mouse

Our cat Merlin loves to bring us gifts

I wish he would leave the mice outside

I told him the other day, it was the wrong kind

Jaye needs a new mouse for the computer

Of course, he didn’t take any notice of me

He loves to catch butterflies in his mouth

He lets them go unharmed

Maybe he likes the flavour of them

I have no clue, as I don’t speak cat too well.

After buying a new mouse, Merlin stopped

 bringing his gifts for a while

was he trying to tell Jaye that

her mouse needed replacing?


99 Word #FlasheFiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Carrot Ranch Challenge




Vanishing Floppies

Life has a way of twisting around

like a stick of barley sugar

The cosmos handed me one that day

a while ago Jaye decided

to retrieve our floppies with a reader

She saved four out of twelve of my books

We took the remaining ones to our local shop

The boys there are brilliant, they saved five now

All on new shiny discs

So I only lost three of my books

Even so, I was devastated

They’re gone forever, to some floppy heaven

Thank God, Jaye now uses USB’s

and backs everything up

Technology, what can you say?


#99 word Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community…

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!






First Love

I touched her hand for the first time today

my fourteen-year-old heart sank into my boots

as she flinched away

A look of pain on her face

as if I had burned her with a hot iron

The Valentine card left on her desk

I later noticed it in the class bin

torn in half

I wondered if she was the kind

that didn’t believe in love

Later that day, my heart was doubly wounded

when I watched her kissing a girl.

They thought they were hidden by the tall trees

my love for her would never be returned…


#FlashFiction 99 word Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community #Poetry





Yesterday I visited our Farmer’s Market

where I noticed an old man wearing a sign

Beware! God is around every corner!

So from now on, I am going to walk a straight line

I have no wish to bump into God.

I’m sure he’s looking for me.

Probably has a tin full of sins with my name on.

The worst one I can think of is using His name in vain

“Oh God.”  comes out of my mouth at least a dozen times a day.

I’m not saying it’s easy to keep on a straight path.

Corners are everywhere…


99 word Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community #Poetry






Two weeks holidaying on top of the cliffs, overlooking the sea and ragged rocks of Cornwall.  Sea mist rolling in, invisible hands unfurling a white carpet across the bay between the cliffs either side. Nature’s magic moment.

This morning, the mist cleared quickly, there between the sky and the edge of the sea sat an island that didn’t belong there.

How can the mist have carried an island into view like something from Gulliver’s Travels?

No, wait. I believe I am looking at Avalon, the island where Arthur was carried by the blind ferryman to heal, while Merlin watched…