In your dreams #flash fiction

In Your Dreams #flashfiction

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about something a character never dreamed would happen. The situation can be fortuitous, funny, or disappointing. Go where the prompt leads!

When I began my blogging journey in 2013, I never dreamed that I would:

  • continue writing two or more posts a week for more than seven years
  • participate in weekly flash fiction prompts at the Carrot Ranch year after year
  • meet so many fascinating people from nearly every continent with varied backgrounds and interests
  • make so many wonderful friends in the blogosphere whose encouragement and support is constant (thank you)
  • become addicted to the conversations that occur on my blog and theirs
  • enter into a rodeo contest, a writing one at that, and receive honourable mentions for my efforts.

(99 words)

The 2020 rodeo is over now, the winners have been announced and prizes been distributed. All submissions (except for the TUFF contest) and winning entries for all contests are available to read at the Carrot Ranch on the Rodeo Contests page.

Scroll below my response to this week’s prompt for my rodeo submissions.

Dreams Fulfilled

She dreamed she could control the weather, but never believed she could. Until she did.

She wished it would rain.

 ‘It always rains in spring,’ they scoffed.

‘From a blue sky?’

‘Sometimes,’ they said.

She wished the rain would stop.

‘Showers never last long,’ they said.

‘I love rain,’ another said. ‘Can you make it rain forever?’

She wished.

Rain fell, first gently, then in torrents. It rained for months, overfilling rivers and washing villages away.

They begged her to make it stop.

‘I can’t,’ she said. ‘I must have dreamed three wishes. I never dreamed this would happen.’

My participation in the 2020 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Rodeo

I write and rodeo

I entered three of the weekly challenges and was a judge in the fourth. I also entered the TUFF contest that was held over four weeks.

Here is a brief description of each contest and my entry. I hope you enjoy them.

#1 Folk Tales and Fables — Kerry E.B. Black asked participants to write an original folk tale or fable with a western feel in 99 words.

My entry (earned an honourable mention):

Snow White and the Seven Gunslingers

The huntsman made the all-too-common mistake of revealing everything before enacting the deed. Snow White kicked him in the shins and escaped into the forest.

Exhausted, she chanced upon a cottage. It appeared abandoned so she went inside and soon fell asleep on one of the seven beds. She was startled awake by a septet of menacing heavily-armed gunslingers.

When she explained her predicament, the gunslingers were outraged. “He’s a bad one, and she’s the worst. Stay here. We’re onto it.”

She heard them say as they rode out of sight, “Hi Ho! We’ve got a job to do.”

#2 Double Ennead Syllabic Poetry — Colleen M. Chesebro asked participants to write in a new 99-syllable poetic form she created for Carrot Ranch.

My entry:

Pain — Inside and Out

Hoofs pound across the roof

Hunting a way in

The pillow muffles but still they thump so loud

Relentless drenching rains

Over all around

Hoofs pound inside my head

Brutal throbbing pains

Lightning lasers pierce my eyes I cry dry tears

The torture does not cease

Blinding like a rage

Hoofs pound inside my chest

Warning it will burst

While my clammy skin pours sweat in waterfalls

Pain grips my heart and shreds

What remains of me

#3 Git Along and Start Writin’ — Marsha Ingrao asked participants to write a 3-act story based on a western song in 99 words.

I was a judge, hence no entry.

#4 Wanted Alive — Sam “Goldie” Kirk asked participants to write a 99 word story in response to a wanted poster and the words ‘Reach for it, mister!’

My entry (earned an honourable mention):

Squirreled Candy

“Reach for it, mister, and you’re dead!”

Henry meant it. He hadn’t squirreled his penny candy away to let others help themselves to it. Every night, more disappeared. He’d wanted to catch the culprits alive and receive restitution, but they’d become too greedy.

His wanted posters hadn’t helped. A stake-out was the only way.

Night after night he tried to stay awake, but every night he failed and every morning, more candy had disappeared … until now.

The startled intruder dropped the candy jar and disappeared into the darkness.

“I’ll get you next time!” Henry fired after the squirrel.

4-week TUFF Love contest —  Carrot Ranch’s lead buckaroo Charli Mills asked participants to revise an original western romance through a 99-59-9-99 word process with each step requiring a different craft twist. Since the contest required all parts to be submitted, only the winning entry is published on the site.

My entry:

Spaghetti Western

TUFF Part 1: Original 99-word draft

Fortune teller said love’d arrive on a stage coach, but she’d given up waitin’, watchin’ and hopin’ years ago. The only thing ever arrived was trouble, and most of them in a skirt. She’d done alright for herself, runnin’ the only eatin’ house in town, servin’ up meals to ‘spectable folks, not them gunslingers and their sportin’ women types. She’d only had trouble once – addin’ a new dish to the menu and servin’ it up unannounced-like. Customers weren’t none too pleased when she served ‘em worms. “’tain’t worms,” she said. “It’s spaghetti. We’re in a spaghetti western, ain’t we?”

TUFF Part 2: 59-word Story with Original POV

Always independent that one, tough inside an’ out. Never needed no man, she said. No man ever good enough, as like. Spent her time ‘sperimentin’ and servin’ up grub in her eatin’ house. Never liked no trouble. One night trouble found ‘er. She served up some Eyetalian dish — spaghetti. Everyone spat it out, thought she was feedin’ ‘em worms.

TUFF Part 2: 59-word Story with Different POV

The fortune teller said love would arrive on a stage coach. I watched every coach for ten years. Not one eligible candidate stepped down — only gunslingers and floosies. Then one day, this elegant gentleman arrived. I thought I’d impress him with a new Italian recipe. He spat it everywhere. ‘Worms,’ he said. Like he’d never heard of spaghetti westerns.

TUFF Part 3: Three 9-word Taglines for Your Story

  1. Stage coach fails to deliver fortune’s promise of love.
  2. Serving meals no substitute for a helping of love.
  3. Italian spaghetti rejected. Spray deems it unsuitable for westerners.

TUFF Part 4: Final Revised 99-word Story with Prop

“I see love,” the fortune teller crooned, “arriving on a stage coach.”

She cut words from a travel brochure and pasted them above the door: “Amore. Prendere per la gola”. For years she waited, but no eligible men arrived — only gunslingers and floosies.

One day, an elegant gentleman with an exquisite companion stepped from the coach. Hearing they were siblings, she hoped an exotic dish might impress. Unfortunately, he accused her of serving worms. However, she was besotted. As they held each other close, she sighed, “I never expected to find love in a spaghetti western dish like you.”

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

61 thoughts on “In Your Dreams #flashfiction

  1. Erica/Erika

    Hi Norah, I am catching up on my reading (dealing with a flood in our house) and I just came from Marsha’s blog. I whole-heartedly agree with her introduction about you.❤️ I glanced over these entries and I bookmarked to reread. Congratulations on everything. You are inspirational!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you so much, Erica. It’s a pleasure sharing conversations with you in the blogosphere. I appreciate your kind words, and Marsha’s. I’m sorry to hear about your flooding and hope it is not causing too much inconvenience and is repaired soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marsha

    Reblogged this on Marsha Ingrao – Always Write and commented:
    One of the most encouraging and supportive bloggers in the universe shares in 99 words what she never dreamed blogging would do for her. She wrote the words right out from under me. I couldn’t have said it better in 99,000 words. She also shared all her entries in the Rodeo Contest. So much fun. Enjoy reading Norah Colvin.


  3. Pingback: I Never Dreamed « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

  4. Charli Mills

    Good showing in the Rodeo, this year, Norah! TUFF was extra tough but I loved your spaghetti western twist. I never dreamed you would show up at the Ranch on the day I wished for writers to play in my imaginary sandbox. You were an answer to a wish. Maybe you need Ranch Angel wings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks, Charli. I’ve loved being a part of Carrot Ranch since the beginning. I don’t think I’m ready for angel wings yet. That time is coming all too soon. 🤣


  5. Gloria

    You’re a more active blogger than I am Norah, however I never dreamed I’d still be doing it this long. It’s a busy game when life has to happen too so congrats Norah. I agree that the blogosphere is a truly supportive place to be. It’s why I keep it up really…for the encouragement.
    Love your flash! I gasped at the end but then I laughed because it’s a nice little twist!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hugh W. Roberts

    Well done, Norah. I’m impressed that you entered all of them except, of course, the one you were a judge in. And I agree with what you said about what you never dreamed would happen when you started blogging in 2013. I’m so pleased you’re still a part of the world of blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norah Post author

      I’m pleased you enjoyed them, Kate.
      I’m sure the Tweed residents are pleased it’s stopped raining, for now anyway. I hope the flood waters recede quickly and haven’t caused too much damage.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Marsha

    You are so talented, Norah. I love all your stories especially the last one. Your achievements are many, and I love your list. I want to reblog this for Thursday. Tomorrow is Cathy Cade’s Story Chat Short Story. I think you will love it. Wednesday is #Writer’s Quotes Wednesday. The topic is Winter, and I’m really excited about it. I hope you’ll have time to play along. We need to talk soon. I’m missing you! I want to hear all about your projects.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for all your kind words and encouragement, Marsha. Appreciated. I’m not sure I’ll be able to play along this time. I’m trying to play catch-up at the moment and am still behind the starting line – but some time. I love seeing all your projects. You’re on full steam – digital, that is. 🙂


      1. Marsha

        You are so welcome. No worries about playing along right now. I get it! My social life is 100% digital right now, and I’m a social person. Have you written, or can you recommend any children’s books on bullying or low self-esteem?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Norah Post author

          I haven’t written any, but there are plenty about. What age group are you looking for? Picture books, junior or middle grade fiction?
          Patricia Tilton is also a good source of recommendations. Do you follow her?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Marsha

            I don’t know her. What’s her blog? One of my commenters on the last story chat, Out of Character, suggested it would be good for kids to read it. I thought it might be good to provide a list of anti-bullying and self-esteem books for parents and grandparents.

            Liked by 1 person


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