A Hygge Kind of Cozy

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at CarrotRanch.com. She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

January 5, 2017

hyggeHygge is Danish cultural phenomenon — that of getting cozy with candles, blankets a drink to warm the belly. The holidays are a natural time to invite moments of hygge because at its heart is getting through seasons like a Danish winter.

What other situations call for getting cozy? That’s what writers explored this week, stories to snuggle. So get comfy and prepare to read what comes of hygge in the hands of writers.

The following are based on December 29, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a cozy story.

And an interesting note: yes, stories are both cozy and cosy  because we are a literary community that embraces English (and writers) from around the globe with our variations of spelling. Each writer maintains country of origin spelling at Carrot Ranch.


Happy as a Possum in a Pouch by Norah Colvin

Warm and cosy in mother’s pouch, for months he did no more than suckle and sleep. Lulled by her gentle heartbeat and rhythmic breathing, he barely noticed as she scurried about at night; foraging for food, leaping from branch to branch, avoiding neighbourhood cats, sometimes scouring dogs’ bowls for leftovers, or accepting humans’ sweet titbits. For him, nothing else existed. Until … one night, a strange feeling stirred inside. He poked his whiskery nose outside. Sniff, sniff. The most delicious scent beckoned him out. Mother offered him something red. Zing! His senses ignited. Milk was forgotten, nightly foraging began.


Part and Parcel by Jules Paige

The rocking chair held me, I held him. In the dark, after he woke me screaming because of a nightmare, though
he did not wake. I soothed him until he became molded into my person once again. And then years later his
brother. A part of me that I thought I’d always have. And in memory do.

So when the grandchildren came along, each in their turn – in my arms, in the rocking chair – while they slept
from the exhaustion of play. I let them sleep, while I breathed in slowly, barely moving, enjoying what some
may call Hygge.


Flash Fiction by Sacha Black

I pulled the checked blanket over my shoulders and sunk into the sofa, a deep satisfied smile peeling across my lips. Mark walked into the room.
“What’s up love?” He said sitting next to me and tugging the blanket. I gripped it. Not ready to show him the treasure that lay in my hand.
A flake of ash rose up from the fire, drifted into the living room and landed on the paperwork.

It didn’t matter. We didn’t need the clinic any more.

I handed him the white stick with two pink lines, his smile matched mine.

“Happy Christmas.”


Living Well By Rambling On by Liz Husebye Hartmann

She flattened the canvas bag for a clearer view out the back windows, smoothing the thick blue rug that had graced the tiny apartments of uncounted siblings and cousins. Smiling, she pushed the car door closed, the fractious rabble dozing within the family home sleeping on.

Her car glided silently down the drive and two blocks more before she started the engine. Cranking down a window, she hung an elbow over the edge, drinking in the summer breeze and sunrise through her opening pores.

She’d left a note on the kitchen table. Finally, it was her turn to ramble.


By the Time I Reach Covington by Elliott Lyngreen


..why am i leaving this note? much as you won’t know why I left No one deserves this or probably noticed til now-

-when i’m crossing the Ohio, reaching Covington, where I may decide which direction will be mine.

But, since new year’s is a time for starting over; here is your chance.

Only one person believed me, but he believes in everything.

You may only believe that I went crazy. So I am leaving that with you, too.

Oh, not that bottle planned for celebrating today.. but here is the cork. Use it for Teddie’s sake.



Warmth by Jane Dougherty

He dodged round the corner to get out of the sleet. In the car park entrance was an air vent. Warm. His face fell. The spot was taken. Two lads raised their heads. He shrank back.

“Room for another,” one of the lads said and elbowed a big black dog. “Shove over, Prince, Bounty, getoutofit.”

He sank gratefully between the two dogs.

“Bounty just had pups so she’s a bit snarly.”

Bounty raised questioning eyes and the boy smiled at her. Bounty smiled back.

He sank into the friendly warmth and Bounty laid her head gently in his lap.


Cord Wood by Anthony Amore

He stumbled in from the wood pile dropping logs loudly, and fed the fire before insinuating himself under his wife’s blanket.

Wood warms you three times – he had read so – when you split it, when you stack it and when you burn it.

“Good god,” his daughter complained, “It’s too hot in here!” The dog snored at the hearth.

“It’s not hot,” his wife said as their daughter tossed her socks, “It’s cozy.”

With cold leaving his body he felt, as if for the first time, true comfort. “And,” he thought, settling in, “it warms you a fourth time.”


Hot & Cozy by Joe Owens

Sophie tossed everything in her arms on a nearby chair as she drug herself in the door. Closing another case was exciting, but also so draining. All she wanted was to fill up her claw foot tub with hot water and soak until all her cares were wiped from her mind. She knew the soak would not erase every bit of stress but it would help quite a lot.

She lit six candles in the room after starting the water, then slowly disrobed and eased into the steaming water. She could feel the tension ebb away as she settled.


The Art of Being Cozy by Florida Borne

As a woman of French-Canadian and Irish heritage, you’d think, “Ah! She must be genetically hardwired for cold weather.”
I’m as cozy in cold weather as a coconut palm on an iceberg. Where those genes were hiding, no one knows.
Forget snuggling next to a warm puppy in front of a fireplace, peacefully watching the snow drifting in front of a window. It’s presently 42F, I’m wearing fleece PJ’s and wrapped in a blanket. If it gets any colder, I’m dusting off the snowsuit.
Cozy is a fan in the window when the weather is 90F with 70% humidity.


Yay, the Party Has Been Cancelled! by Anne Goodwin

“You’re still welcome to come over, but I wouldn’t advise it. The roads are treacherous around here.”
Fog shrouds the window; inside, disappointment burns. Home alone on New Year’s Eve! Ah, well, I could use the time to write that article, scrub the kitchen floor.
In fluffy slippers, jogging pants and the blouse I ironed for the party, I dance between cooker and fridge. I pour a glass of Prosecco; a soup made of leftovers bubbles on the stove. Rolls crisping in the oven, the final challenge looms. Which book to snuggle up to, which chocolates to eat first?


Cozy, At Last by Luccia Gray

‘We’re waiting for you, Sheba.’

‘I’ve got a terrible cold.’ I coughed loudly.

‘Troy’s here. Says he’s sorry.’

‘Battery’s dead,’ I said before switching off my phone.

I returned to my comfy sofa, blazing fireplace, glass of wine, Casablanca on TV, tissues. Misery.

My best friend walked in using the spare key.

‘Any more wine?’

‘Help yourself.’

‘Bought you a Christmas present.’

‘It’s 2nd January.’

‘Better late than never.’

I unwrapped a copy of Far From the Madding Crowd.

‘This is cozy. Can I join you?’

I cuddled up. ‘I missed you, Gabriel.’

‘Glad to hear that, at last.’


Nothing Said by Rowena Curtin

“You two look cosy,” Jess smiled, almost spilling champagne over her best friend and her ex-lover. They weren’t holding hands. Yet, she could sense that unmistakable sizzle. Almost convulsing, Jess said nothing. She kept her love life private.

Ouch! That Summer with Will stung like a bee. He’d seen straight through her with those damned blue eyes. Didn’t even need his lens.

That’s why she ran. By then, there was no turning back.

She was too broken.

The two people she loved the most and knew the best. Yet, she kept zipped.

She couldn’t tell him about their son.


Night Battle (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills

Danni sloshed her Prosecco the night they set off the M-80s.

Before the first explosion echoed through the river canyon, Ike rose from his sportsman’s chair. He set down his glass, poised for battle. He’d later say this was why he disliked bonfires — he needed night vision. Danni’s desire for marshmallows and warmth wouldn’t persuade Ike to risk night blindness. Her idea of cozy-camping never meshed with his need to stand guard between life and death.

He slipped into the dark. Danni almost felt sorry for the jerks about to get the fire-in-the-hole lecture from a former Army Ranger.


Welcome Home by Sarah Brentyn

“Long day at work?” She brushed some snow off his coat.

He reached for her pinky, lifting it to his lips and kissing her hand. “It was,” he looked past her to the fireplace, “interesting.”

“As always,” she laughed.

“As always, my dear.”

She led him to the fire where she had set a blanket and two glasses of wine.

Curling up in the warmth, he placed his head on her lap. “Perfect,” he murmured.

Stroking his hair, she thought about their love, how easy it all was, how they never discussed the fact her husband was a hitman.


Home Fires by Pensitivity

Stamping our feet to dislodge the snow from our shoes, we let ourselves in through the conservatory where we removed our outdoor clothes.

First stop was the kitchen to put the kettle on, then rummage around in the cupboard for goodies.

The log fire in the lounge was burning merrily in the hearth, casting a rosy glow throughout.

I loved that room with its warm wooden half panelling and uncluttered walls, so homely and welcoming.

What better on a chilly day than to curl up in front of the fire with mugs of steaming hot chocolate and fruit cake?


Fireside Chat by Geoff Le Pard

‘This is nice.’ Mary put down the tray of tea things and smiled at Sarah her cousin, nursing her baby. ‘Penny, can you put your phone away please?’

Penny scowled at her mother.

Sarah snorted. ‘Remember when your dad sent us upstairs because we wouldn’t making a din?’

‘We dismantled the beds and made a den.’

She looked at Penny. ‘I think your grandpa might have liked your phone. Keeps you quiet.’ She patted the seat next to her and Penny moved across. ‘But he mostly liked a good conversation on a cosy afternoon. So who’s your latest boyfriend?’


Aesthetic Semantics (Jane Doe Flash Fiction) by Deborah Lee

Jane grunts, shifts a stack of binders, edges an old printer inches the other way, gaining barely enough to wedge her backpack by her feet. She whomps her head on the underside of the desk, curses. “Who keeps all this crap!”

And straightens to see her new boss. Great.

A thin, lipstick-y smile. “We’re cozy around here.”

Jane’s mind flashes to her library study nest, that couch in the back corner with a hot tea. Or her basement, her mat and sleeping bag, lantern and book, warm dog.

“Cozy’s one word for it,” she says, rubbing her head.


Cosy Yet? By Michael

With the winter wind doing its icy best I huddled, shivering under the blanket she had given me. I had come from the south where it was summer and hot and you needed little in the way of clothing. Here I couldn’t find enough layers to put on. Sensing my discomfort, she came towards me with a steaming cup of hot chocolate, snuggled in against me and wrapped her arm inside mine. As I sipped the warm brew I could feel it warming my insides. She’d rested her head against my shoulder asking me if I was cosy yet.


Homecoming (from Rock Creek) by Charli Mills

Mary swept the hard-packed earthen floor. “Cobb, put my rocker by the hearth.”

“And the trunks, Wife?”

“Porch.” Her skirts flared as if she was dancing across a southern plantation ballroom. Children darted in and out the door, stew simmered on the hearth and Mary unpacked. She hung fresh calico curtains and made beds. By dark, tallow candles and stew in wooden bowls ended the day. It smelled like home. After three months of camping out of a creaking wagon, Mary felt a renewal of hope in her heart.

“Mary! Cobb! The new boys in the barn. They’re sick.”


Playing Hooky by Roger Shipp

“Probably over 100.” Mom held her hand against my beaded forehead.

“When I called, Doc said that if we kept up the cold compresses the fever’d break.”

“We’ll give it till morning.”

I snuggled a wee bit further under Grandma’s wonky star quilt.
Mom sat down near me. “What else can I get for you, Nicholas?”

“Some hot chocolate, please.” I eked out.

“Grand,” Mother said.

“With those tiny marshmallows,” finishing my request.

“Right away.” And Mom was gone.

“Too close, Bethany.” Nicolas said to his older sister. “Better take the hot water bottle. Mom almost sat on it!”


Coziness Danish Style by Jeanine Lebsack

She was chilled to the bone when she put her key in the lock. Her hand was shaking so badly she nearly dropped it. Finally she was inside and desperate for warmth. Hurriedly she got out of her coat and winter boots placing them carefully in the closet. Even though she was frozen to the core her OCD behaviours reared their impertinent head. The fire crackled and outside the wind roared against the window pane. She was safe, warm, and cozy sipping her tea she let out a sigh- hygge. She heard the laughter of her late Danish Grandma.


Tea Cozy by Kerry E. B. Black

Grandma made it from scraps, a perfect patchwork of recycled bits of material sewn to cover the teapot she brought with her from England. She steeped the leaves while I sliced cucumbers thin enough to read newsprint through for our sandwiches.

As I poured Darjeeling one winter morning, she asked me to take it as a symbol of our time together. I searched her expression and found only resolve.

She died before our next luncheon.

I have it now, her tea cozy, an inheritance after her passing, and its homey addition to my tea table adds her familiar comfort.


Cozy Heart by Kate Spencer

Jane’s eyes brimmed with tears. She studied her palsied mother, reclining peacefully in the easy chair, staring into space. It was as if Jane wasn’t even there.

“Hi Mom,” she said reaching into her tote bag. “I brought you someone to keep you company while I’m not here.”

Jane gently placed a golden stuffed puppy on her mother’s lap and waited.

Little by little her mom began to caress the toy and eventually held it very close.

“Cozy heart,” her mom whispered. Jane gasped, recognizing the phrase her mother softly breathed each time she’d hugged her as a child.


You May Also Like…

To Leave a Leak Collection

To Leave a Leak Collection

Welcome to Carrot Ranch Literary Community where creative writers from around the world and across genres gather to...

This Is Awkward Collection

This Is Awkward Collection

Welcome to Carrot Ranch Literary Community where creative writers from around the world and across genres gather to...


    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, for sharing!

  1. Sacha Black

    I just heard about this craze! LOVE It. Will have to get my snuggle on it’s freezing over here.

    Here’s a little one from me:

    I pulled the checked blanket over my shoulders and sunk into the sofa, a deep satisfied smile peeling across my lips. Mark walked into the room.
    “What’s up love?” He said sitting next to me and tugging the blanket. I gripped it. Not ready to show him the treasure that lay in my hand.
    A flake of ash rose up from the fire, drifted into the living room and landed on the paperwork.
    It didn’t matter. We didn’t need the clinic any more.

    I handed him the white stick with two pink lines, his smile matched mine.
    “Happy Christmas.”

    • Charli Mills

      Hi Sacha! Freezing weather invites hygge. Fun to hear its an actual movement in the UK. I think the article referenced a book recently published on your side of the pond. I think the US needs to hygge and settle down! Love your flash! The cozy moment of sharing an intimate surprise. Good to see you at the ranch!

      • Sacha Black

        Yeah I just saw the book in the supermarket! Sorry it was late, but hey, I did something, that’s better than nothing ???? I wrote that waiting for a doctors app! Will try and do a few more this year 🙂

      • Charli Mills

        Write where you can! I added your flash and delivered a late 52-word one in return, also late. 😀

    • Sherri

      Love your flash Sacha!

  2. floridaborne

    Thanks for highlighting each entry. I’m in the process of checking out the ones I didn’t see before.

    I just started the new year off by hosting a prompt and I’m considering changing the idea of highlighting the one I liked best and highlighting them all.

    Do you have any suggestions? Any sage advice about hosting prompts that you’ve learned along the way?

    • Charli Mills

      That’s great! Think about your intent. Originally, my intent was to connect with a community of literary writers because I missed that after writing led me down the path of marketing. Carrot Ranch has evolved with me as I shifted from writing brand content for business clients to writing fiction about western women. Initially the prompt was an invitation for writers to play with me in my sandbox. It still is. It’s about engaging in a fun and supportive way and I try to keep it quick for the writers with the message that it’s okay to come and go. It further evolved into a literary arts community and I began to give recognition to those whose material I was interested in working with (the anthologies). That’s where we are now, on the cusp of publishing our first one beneath a platform of education — that what we produce and how we produce it is a vital part of the writing process. Prompts and constraints become tools. Collectively, the activity gives my sandbox authentic engagement. This is the community component of building a platform and it’s synergistic for providing a broader platform for all the writers who write here.

      You might have different ideas and intentions. It’s good to be flexible because you’ll discover that it grows. Logistically, think about your time. Some people use prompts more like a blog hop. If you commit to compiling the responses, you’ll need a holding pen. I use Carrot Ranch’s Facebook page. It gives each story broader audience, but logistically it formats each post! That’s important for when I place each story in the collection. Word Press can get wonky when you cut and past from across the WWW. FB gives me formatting that WP accepts. You can use Word or Scrivener, too.

      For me, the value in highlighting them all is the magic of a collective project. We might respond individually, and each one stands alone, but together it becomes a powerful voice. I love raw literature for its potential so highlighting all the responses is a labor of love for me. What we produce becomes like a jam session for writers. And I think those who gather here benefit.

      Thanks for asking!

      • Norah

        Great response, Charli. I particularly enjoyed your description of raw literature.

      • floridaborne

        Thanks for being so helpful, and so willing to share your knowledge.

        I like the idea of highlighting all of the responses and will probably do that starting in February.

        As for my reasons for doing a prompt, you hit the target: “Initially the prompt was an invitation for writers to play with me in my sandbox. It still is.”

      • Sherri

        What Norah said and yes, we do benefit greatly Charli…thank you!!!

    • Charli Mills

      Let me know when you start!

      • floridaborne

        The first one was last Thursday. I’ll send the post out again as a reminder for people to try their hand at it. 🙂

  3. Norah

    I really enjoyed reading the compilation, Charli. There were just a few I’d missed from the prompt post. But I read the compilation with new eyes now that I know you put so much thought into how you arrange the stories. Thank you for opening with mine. A cute little critter is a good place to start (if I do say so myself), and I notice that no one else took the critter path. I enjoyed following the threads through the patterns you wove. Thank you. 🙂

    • Sherri

      Loved your flash Norah. I’m sorry I haven’t been over to your blog since after Christmas, I’m not back to blogging properly yet for various reasons, but I can catch up with you here at the Ranch. A great central station – or should I say sandbox! – created by Charli where we can meet up and chat 🙂

      • Norah

        No apology necessary. I’ve been a tad distracted myself. It’s always fun to meet up at the Carrot Ranch. We have a wonderful host! 🙂

      • Sherri

        Yes we do! 🙂

      • Charli Mills

        Happy to see you both in the sandbox! <3

      • Sherri

        Love coming out to play here! 🙂 <3

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you for noticing the weave! I try to challenge myself to find unexpected patterns. The one I start with is meant to draw readers into the theme; it’s both a hook and an anchor. The last one is also an anchor and the last say on the the theme. Then I look for runs that either compare or contrast the theme. For example, the last four in this series: Roger Ship begins the connection by mentioning “Grandma’s wonky star quilt,” then Jeanine Lebsack feels connected to her Danish Grandmother,” and next Kerry Black writes about a sewn tea cozy passed down from a grandmother. Then that last flash becomes more poignant as a final thread of memory an aging woman has with the happy connection that came in the stories before. This is why I love the compilation part of this challenge because it becomes a community piece of literary art. The diversity is amazing, the perspectives expansive and the collective says something as a whole. This is where we see the result of raw literature having greater meaning.

      • Norah

        While I saw some threads, I see that you wove far more into the pattern than I saw at first glance. Thank you for helping me see beyond the obvious. I can probably speak for most of us when I say that your efforts to weave magic with our words are mighty, and much appreciated.

  4. Sherri

    Wonderful compilation Charli. I look forward to joining in again very soon! 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you, Sherri! You know you can saddle up any time, and it’s equally okay to stay out to pasture on your own projects and priorities, too! <3

      • Sherri

        Thank you Charli 🙂 <3

  5. jsackmom

    I’m so happy to be included in this very talented group at the ranch. Thank you so much for having me Charli. ????

    • Charli Mills

      It’s a delight to have you at the ranch, Jeanine! If you look at my comment to Norah above, you’ll see how your piece fit into the compilation. The final compilation is truly a work of literary art that wouldn’t be possible with a series by one person. So I greatly appreciate everyone who joins in! 🙂

      • jsackmom

        Oh Charli that gave me goosebumps! When I use the term raw literature I’ll be quoting you! ????

Discover more from Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading