Hygge 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.
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?’
‘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.