Tag Archives: #99WordStories

Broken Arm #99WordStories

Broken Arm

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a broken arm. What happened? Is there a cause and effect because of the broken arm? Was the injury faked? Why? Go where the prompt leads!

I’m pleased to say that I’ve never had a broken bone. I hope that continues to be true for the rest of my days. Breaks can become more frequent as we age. So far as I know, neither parent had a broken arm, though my brother did when he was five (a big boy fell on him) and my daughter did when she was eleven (an accident at gymnastics caused by a younger child). So, with no personal experience, I’ve stayed with Amy and Lucy and their imaginative play. It’s wet outside, so they’re playing indoors – no red convertible this time.

Teddy’s Broken Arm

The waiting room was crowded. As usual, Doctor Amy was running late.

Nurse Lucy looked at the list. “Teddy!” she called.

Teddy was hugging his arm, trying to stifle tears.

“What appears to be the problem?” asked Doctor Amy, looking over her glasses.

“I think my arm’s broken.”

“Nurse Lucy, we need an x-ray,” said Doctor Amy.

The x-ray agreed with Teddy. Doctor and nurse plastered his arm with plasticene and tied it in a handkerchief sling.

“Lunch time,” said Mum. “Oh, what’s wrong with Teddy?”

“He’s got a broken arm,” said Amy.

“Just a fake one,” said Lucy.

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

Balloons on the Bumper #99WordStories

Balloons on the Bumper

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about balloons on a bumper. Is it a spectacle, an occasion, an eccentricity? Why are the balloons there? Who is involved? Go where the prompt leads!

The prompt reminded me of an occasion just over twenty years ago, when my sister, niece and I attended a ‘hen’s party’ (terrible term) for my future sister in-law. My niece collected a bunch of helium-filled balloons to take home. She couldn’t squeeze them all into the car, and I drove home with one balloon sailing above us and my sister and niece both in hysterics all the way. Needless to say, they’d both had a few drinks to help the merriment. When we got home, my daughter and nephew, both early teens, decided to inhale the helium, and the hilarity began all over again.

Anyway, I decided to revisit Amy and Lucy and their little red convertible from a few prompts ago. I hope you like it.

Balloons on the Bumper

“Where to today?” asked Amy.

“A party,” said Lucy, tying balloons to the bumper of their little red convertible.

“Whose party?”

“Teddy’s. He’s getting married.”

“I didn’t know he had a girlfriend.”

“He doesn’t. He has a unicorn-friend. Mother said I can marry anyone I want. So, Teddy can too.”

“Right. Which way?”

“Over the mountains, across the river, and through the far-away forest.”

“Be home for dinner,” said Mother.

“We will!”

The balloons sailed above the little red car. At the party, the children fluttered with fairies and pranced with unicorns as Teddy and Ollie shared their vows.

Thank you blog post

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

As floppy as puppy ears

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that uses the idea or phrase, “floppy as puppy ears.” You can be explicit or implicit with your response. What is floppy and why? It doesn’t have to be about dogs at all. Go where the prompt leads!

I’m always pleased that Charli says to ‘Go where the prompt leads!’ because that’s just where I go. It’s especially important to me this week as I have a few other distractions and thought I wouldn’t have time to respond, especially when I don’t know anything about puppy’s ears, let alone floppy ones. Anyway, it made me think of other comparisons, and that’s where I went — some familiar, some silly, some fun, and some special. I hope.

My other distractions will be keeping me away from your blogs for a while, but I’ll be back as soon as I can. See you then!

As floppy as puppy ears

As floppy as puppy ears

As cute as a button

As happy as Larry

As cranky as a hippopotamus

As ripe as a banana

As silly as a sausage on a stick

As weird as a walrus (but don’t tell it I said so)

As tall as a giraffe

As small as a flea

As funny as a giggle

As rude as a fart

As crazy as a top hat on a donkey

As scary as the dark unknown

As awesome as a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis

As amazing as children’s imaginations

And, as wonderful …

As you!

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

Memorial #99wordstories

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story behind a memorial. Is it a structure, plaque, or something else? What does it seek to remind those who view it? Go where the prompt leads!

Charli’s prompt was in honour of Memorial Day commemorated in the United States on 30th May.

In Australia, we have two main days for remembrance — ANZAC Day on 25th April (which we share with New Zealand), and Remembrance Day on 11th November (which we share with many other countries).

Every evening, The Ode is recited at many RSL (Returned and Services League) Clubs around Australia. The Ode is the fourth stanza of the poem “For The Fallen” by Laurence Binyon (1869-1943). 

At times such as these, I always think of my family members, especially my father, who fought in the Second World War. This is my response. I hope you like it. It is a #99wordstory but it is truth (as I know it), not #flashfiction.

Memorial

As a child, he lived at Yuleba, a tiny town in south-western Queensland. His father was a boundary rider on the fence bordering New South Wales, keeping rabbits out of Queensland. A peaceful if difficult life. Aged 20, he enlisted. His overseas service included the battle at Milne Bay, a turning point of the war. Upon their return, servicemen were told to forget. Memories and nightmares disagreed, but it was years before he could talk, let alone write, about his experiences. After his death, his words were engraved on a memorial in his home town, never to be forgotten.

These are the words on the memorial, a brief extract from a longer poem Ode to the Old Digger by RJ (John) Irwin.

You’ve seen him marching with his mates all in sombre mood;

For they march to pay homage, and remember fallen mates

But, they also remember the horrors of their fates

and they pray to God their sons will never have to face

 a similar situation for there’s never any winners only death.

Aah! But did you see him in his glory, as he stood among the dead

and he wondered why it had to be;

…So look upon him gently for he is not to blame

 For he only fought that all peoples may be free.

So let us honour him, and give him his just due

For he is only man, just like me and you;

But he was called upon to make a stand

against an inhuman ideology, too horrible for minds to grasp

and all he asks for now, is a chance to live in peace.

Thank you blog post

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Note: The collection of stories made in response to the previous prompt Well’s Gone Dry, including mine, can be read at the Carrot Ranch.

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.

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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 —’

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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.