Tag Archives: #99WordStories

Mum Selfie #99WordStories

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a mom selfie — a story that creates an image of a mom. No one mom looks alike or fits a maternal mold. Who is she? Go where the prompt leads!

Mothering

She paused in the shopping mall, one arm cradling her week-old infant, the other hand her breast as she gently positioned it enabling the infant to suckle. So engrossed was she in her newborn that the world of passing shoppers and nearby café chatter was non-existent. Her face radiated love, peace and joy, the child’s adoration, contentment and bliss. Serenity. I smiled as I passed, captivated in the moment, drawn into the circle of life and love, both envying and admiring her confidence and lack of inhibition in a situation won for her by generations of mothers before her.

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Note: The collection of stories made in response to the previous prompt Extraction, including mine, can be read at the Carrot Ranch.

Up and Away #99WordStories

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase, “up and away.” You can imagine a story from the photo of hot air balloons, a flying superhero, a natural wonder, or any other direction your inspiration goes. Go where the prompt leads!

This is my response. I hope you enjoy it.

Up and Away

April placed a coin onto his palm.

“What will I make for you?”

“A magic balloon, please.”

He scanned her face, searched deep within her eyes, read her every wish.

“A magic balloon,” he said, selecting a dark blue.

He stretched it this way and that, then blew. As the balloon filled, the blue lightened and brightened. It shed sparkles that glistened in the sunlight. He knotted the end, held it out, then twisted and twirled and pulled it into a star.

He wound the ribbon around April’s wrist. “Up and away!” he whispered, as April was whisked aloft.

Thank you blog post

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Note: The collection of stories made in response to the previous prompt Never Ending can be read at the Carrot Ranch here. Sadly, I didn’t get to join in with that prompt due to a (brief and mild) tussle with covid.

Water Falls #99WordStories

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writes to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase, water falls. Where is the water coming from? How does it shape a story? Who does it involve? Go where the prompt leads!

Any creative ideas for incorporating ‘water falls’ into a story dried up and I was left with this piece very much a BOTS (based on a true story) about a weather event that occurred along the east coast of Australia earlier this year. It was devastating for many, and many still suffering the aftereffects are homeless.

Water Falls

The water fell, gently at first then obstinately, in unrelenting torrents, like uncontainable tears from a sky in mourning. A ‘rain bomb’, they said, a ‘one in one hundred years event’. It swelled the rivers and flooded the lands mercilessly, taking lives and homes and destroying livelihoods. Water from dams filled beyond capacity cascaded over spillways, intensifying the deluge. A supercharged natural event not experienced before, never expected again. When the sky opened just a few years later, crying those same mournful tears of loss and destruction, surely the denials would cease.  As indisputable that water falls, they didn’t.

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Note: The collection of stories made in response to the previous prompt Baby Ducks Ate My Lunch, including mine,can be read at the Carrot Ranch here.

Baby Ducks Ate My Lunch #99WordStories

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to explain “baby ducks ate my lunch.” How did that happen? Who is the protagonist? Where did the baby ducks come from? Go where the prompt leads!

My first thought was of the oft-quoted excuse for failing to complete homework: the dog ate my homework, but I decided to go with a more plausible situation with excited children feeding ducks at the park. I hope you enjoy it.

Baby Ducks Ate My Lunch

A wail fractured the picture-perfect ‘Freedom Day’, the first outing since lockdown began aeons ago.

Father’s mind wandered like the lonely cloud contrasted against the vivid sky, contemplating nothing—no lessons, no video calls, no demands for something to eat or do. Mother absentmindedly stroked his hair as she inhaled the freshness of the sunshine and the scent of nearby gardenias. The children entertained themselves—what luxury—feeding ducks with days-old bread.

The wail amplified, like an approaching train, finally demanding Father’s and Mother’s attention. “What’s wrong?”

“Baby ducks ate my lunch,” wailed the younger. The older one shrugged.

Thank you blog post

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

Note: The collection of stories made in response to the previous prompt Disappearance, including mine,can be read at the Carrot Ranch here.

The Grass is Greener #99WordStories

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write about the farm life. Where is the farm and who are the farmers? What are they farming and why? How is the farm life? Go where the prompt leads!

Mum and Dad were both country people and for the first six years of my life, I lived on a farm. It was a small crops farm. Dad grew beans, cabbages, pineapples, and I’m not sure what else. We had chickens. Of that, I am sure. When I went to collect the eggs one day, there was a red-bellied black snake curled up around the eggs. I ran to get Mum who came running back with a rake. By the time she got there, the snake was gone. Thankfully.

This is me (20 mths) and my sister (4½) in front of the pineapple crop. © Norah Colvin

Mum and Dad also tried to keep a cow for milking but without success. One cow knocked down the fence; another climbed under; and a third jumped over. They gave up on keeping cows after that. (I’ve written about those cows twice before: here and here.)

Not long after that, Dad sold the farm and we moved to suburban life by the beach. My siblings and I spent long days in the water, on the sand or climbing the red cliffs after which the area got its name. The school holidays dragged with nothing much to do, even if there were plenty of books to read, which was my favourite thing to do. So, an invitation to holiday with cousins on a property (cattle and sheep station) in the country was a joy. Interestingly, my cousins loved their holidays at the beach. My responses to Charli’s prompt are based on those thoughts but are definitely not true to life. Not my life and not back then. Regardless, I hope you enjoy.

The Grass is Greener I

Holidays with her cousins on the farm were the best. Days stretched from dawn to dusk with unbounded fun the cousins called chores: milking cows, feeding chickens, collecting eggs, riding horses and, sometimes, zooming around paddocks on quad bikes to muster sheep. Her cousins were never told what to do. They’d decide. ‘C’mon, we’ll milk the cows,’ they’d say. Or ‘On your bike. Let’s muster some sheep.’ So many fun things to do. At home, Annabelle’s chores dragged. The more she procrastinated, the longer they took. The days were interminable. ‘I wish there was something to do,’ she’d say.

The Grass is Greener II

Holidays with cousin Annabelle in the city were the best with something different to do every single day: watching movies at the cinema, slurping milkshakes in the mall, bowling balls at ten pins, splashing in the council pool. The stores were stocked with treasures they’d never imagined and deciding how to expand the value of their hard-earned saved-up dollars was challenging. One day a bus trip, the next a ferry ride on the river, zooming along streets on motorised scooters or joining a Segway tour; they couldn’t decide which was more fun. Anything sure beat their day-long country chores.

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I’d rather be … #99WordStories

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writes to 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? How can you use the phrase as a literary device? Go where the prompt leads!

This is my response. I hope you like it.

I’d rather be …

‘I’d rather be dead!’

She ran into the street in a downpour of tears, yanking at the sweater as if it crawled with monsters.

‘Don’t worry. She’ll be back,’ said Dad.

‘I only suggested —’

‘I know. But teenagers like to choose what they wear.’

‘She always did. Even a toddler — so dramatic.’

‘Like someone I know. Would you have worn your mother’s old sweater at her age?’

‘I did and was grateful for it.’

‘You were poor. We can afford to buy her a sweater.’

‘There’s nothing wrong with hand-me-downs.’

‘But The Bay City Rollers? Really?’

‘Well —’

Thank you blog post

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Note: The collection of stories made in response to the previous prompt Zippers can be read at the Carrot Ranch here.

Anxiety — First Day Jitters #99WordStories

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes anxiety. Who has anxiety or what is the source? Is there conflict? How can you use anxiety to further a story? Go where the prompt leads!

Anxiety is probably familiar to most of us at some stage of our lives — starting a new job, public speaking, waiting for a medical diagnosis. We all feel it in lesser or greater degrees. Even children feel it. It’s not uncommon for children to feel some anxiety when starting a new school. But children aren’t the only ones. Parents may feel some anxiety about how their children will fare. It may or may not surprise you, that teachers feel it too. Having spent most of my life in schools as either student or teacher, where else could I go with this prompt?

First Day Jitters

“I feel sick.”

“My tummy feels all jumbly.”

“My head hurts.”

“I don’t want to go.”

“You’ll be okay once you’re there. Everyone feels the same on their first day at a new school.’

“But what if they don’t like me?”

“They will. Come on. You’ll feel better when you’re up.”

“But what if I mess up?”

“You won’t. Close your eyes. Take some deep breaths. Relax. You can do this.”

Everyone was already seated when he entered the room. They smiled. “Good morning, Mr Clarke.”

He smiled back. “Good morning, children.”

She was right. He could do this.

Thank you blog post

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

Note: The collection of stories made in response to the previous prompt The ’49ers can be read at the Carrot Ranch here.