Carrot Ranch Literary Community: February 6: Story Challenge in 99-words #99WordStories

Image by Silvia from Pixabay 

February 6, 2023, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story as a love letter to nature. You could reach back to more pastoral times of writing or enter into the future. Who is writing the letter — an ant or an aunt? Is it a lifetime of love or eons? 

So long since last you were here.

The memory of warm summer days

grow dim as our patience thins.

brave new shoots compete with bitter frosts.

cruelly bitten for their haste

their dreams are on hold, ours yet to be born.

Mother Nature sleeps

Her time will come when the warmth.

Of the sun reaches down into the soil

Visions of rainbow hues

Hold back the silver ice.

Its days are numbered.

Packets of seeds promise the moon.

My fingers itch to ready the pots.

And dream of glory’s fragrance

Days of sunshine fill our days.

With sweet expectation…


The Lady Shadow… #ShortStory #Fiction #CarrotRanchLiteraryCommunity

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

January 16, 2023, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a lady shadow. Who is this person and why do they lurk in the shadows. What is the tone and setting for your story? Go where the prompt leads!

Carrot Ranch Literary Community #PoetryChallenge

February 21: Story Challenge in 99-words

February 21, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase, “I’d rather be…” You fill in what comes next. What would a character(s) rather be doing and why?

I am

I am what I am
I make no excuses
Nor do I make changes
Yet there are days
when I feel like a non-entity
Grey, faded, invisible
to the world outside
These are my duvet days
When I wonder, 
Can I give my mind a do over?
Introduce new thoughts
Not so easy, 
the old grey matter is stubborn
It runs on automatic
pre-determined thoughts
Habits, like chewing your nails
Hard to break
These days, I imagine
So many kinds of me
None seem to fit
In the end
I would rather be…
Right where I am…


Carrot Ranch Literary Community ~ Whispers

October 7, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes whispers. It can be beautiful or creepy and any genre. Where are the whispers, who are they from, and what do they say if they say anything at all.


Death closed its hand
Beneath the whispering autumn leaves
The old head stones tell of loved ones
I wonder, are some souls on fire?
Do they all lie at rest
Do they whisper of dancing under the sun?
Kissing under moonlight
Do they come back
Whispering in my brain
Of life beyond these cold stones
As yet, none have whispered 
Of angels, golden harps or seeing Christ
Before you think me mad
I don’t hear disembodied voices all the time
There is one that stays with me
A female voice, telling me life goes on
Right there, beside you…

© Anita Dawes 2021

#Flash Fiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community ~ #Poetry

October 1: Flash Fiction Challenge

October 1, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that happens on the dusty trail. It can take place anywhere. Who is your character, where are they going, and why? Bonus points if they meet up with Kid and Pal from D. Avery’s Ranch Yarns and Saddle Up Saloon (they hit the trail so TUFF could take over the saloon).

We cannot see the wind
Only the lifting of leaves
The swaying of grass
As it passes
We cannot hear the wind
Only the echo
It leaves behind
The dark curtain of dust
It sweeps from the ground
All but swallows
The four horsemen
Riding from the Starbuck Ranch
Out to recover a few stray cattle
Before the savannah winds
Cover the small town of Starbuck
With a dark blanket from hell
Ask my mother
When she tries clearing it up
The air around her turns dusty blue
The four riders return
Spitting blue dust…
Cattle safe and sound

©anitadawes 2020

#FlashFiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch…


Not sure how this will work, for Charli Mills from Carrot Ranch Literary Community is having a spot of bother this week. From being snowed in the worst blizzard/snowstorm in history to a complete computer meltdown, we have no link to the Carrot Ranch site.

Charli is struggling to keep going via phone, so massive support for this brave lady please!



Charli’s back yard!



Snowed In…

I have been searching for something

anything to fill the void in my life.

Here I am in a traffic jam, trying to get home

Soft snow falling, and within an hour

I am buried in a tin igloo.

I have water, biscuits left over from lunch.

There is a strange kind of silence.

Maybe it is the whiteness all around me

the sound of my own blood in my head.

How long before I am found?

Five hours to think about my life

Now I am sitting with a hot cup of tea

given by a smiling stranger…



#FlashFiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community: Mashed Potatoes #FlashFiction

This weeks 99 word challenge prompt is Mashed Potatoes…





Mashed Potatoes

When I read these words this morning, I was taken back to my childhood, reading the Dandy comic. Desperate Dan with his huge plate of mashed potato with two large sausages sticking out, looking like a bull had landed there.

I have to tell you that no one does mash like Jaye does! The minute she begins peeling the spuds, I swear my kids pick up some strange signal. They come knocking from all over Hampshire, just popping in, big smiles on their faces. They know there’s mash on the go and they say it is just a coincidence…


“Flash Fiction 99 word Challenge for the Carrot Ranch Literary Community

This weeks prompt is a Broken Fence…




Late one night after having a skin full, dad drove through Mrs Mack’s front garden. Breaking the fence was bad enough, but he took out her favourite roses too.

Dad said he was sorry, that he would fix the fence first thing.

Mum brought roses, but there was no answer when she knocked on the door. She left the roses on the step but watched to see if her friend would take them in.

They died where mum left them.

After a week, mum told us that some fences cannot be mended. That she had lost her best friend…

Flash Fiction 99 word challenge for the Carrot Ranch Literary Community

This weeks prompt is Sketch…




Looking for something to inspire me, I took a walk through our local flea market and fell in love with a half-finished sketch of a young woman lying on a grave.

I was about to ask how much, when a man standing beside me, said ‘It’s sad but lovely, isn’t it?’

My heart jumped so hard I thought I would join the woman at the graveside.

I turned to see who had spoken, but there was no one standing beside me.

The price was just £40 because it was unfinished work.

Holding it, I could see my grandmother’s signature…

We love doing these, even though keeping to the 99 word rule is a bit of a challenge!

#Flash Fiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community


(99 words, no more, no less)

I am your ghost, your past. I walk before you on thorny pathways so you shall not walk the path of sorrow.  You shall not see the things I have.

You are ten years old now, so blow out your candles and let loose those balloons with all their wishes attached.

I have received them now; your wishes made from your past come true, they have come to pass. Soon I shall re-join you when adult paths you reach, until then, I collect every balloon and every wish you make.

I wait in shadows until we are one again …

© 2018 Anita Dawes