Follow Your Dreams

Written by Charli Mills

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

March 29, 2018

Many have followed their dreams to Carrot Ranch. It’s an imaginary place for real people who bring with them a thousand different writing dreams. Each person has their own sack of stories sprinkled with star dust.

Readers will notice a new format, including carrots. As our Ranch grows, so does the collection of weekly flash fiction. The stories will be divided into parts of 20 (or less for the final part). It takes 10 minutes to read 20 flash fiction, according to the average reading time of 200 words per minute.  Each collection is artfully arranged, so look for connections or contrasts that might surprise you.

The following is based on the March 22, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the theme “follow your dreams.” Bonus points for throwing a badge into the tale.

PART I (10-minute read)

Badge of Courage by Ann Edall-Robson

 It takes courage to share your words with the world. Nothing is written in stone saying you have to go any further than letting family and friends read your work. But, let’s say you decide to throw caution to the wind. Climbing that hill to see what’s on the other side. Wouldn’t it be fun knowing there are places waiting for you that don’t judge your words? Places that welcome you, encouraging you in your journey to follow your dreams. Where you can wear your badge of courage with pride. Such a place exists. Welcome to the Carrot Ranch.



Follow Your Dreams by Lady Lee Manilla

sleep tight my poet
for in your dream world you go
colouring your sphere
whose fleeting tenure not break
with wild realm of reality
the kiss of the muse
and so inspiration comes
a slumbering thought
curdles long life in short time
pleasure, pain, faith, hope and love
I never believe in dreams
they were just for kids, they seem
like one of their childish games
but you came and I’m in flames
I’m still smiling with that beam
now I believe in daydreams
hoping you are my mainstream
my heart you have inflamed
dreams to be with you



The Daydreamer by Nicole Grant

At three Joy dreamed awake, sitting on her grandmother’s lap, listening to stories about brave little girls. She spent hours on Alpine cliffs with Heidi; in Mary’s secret garden; in Jo’s cozy New England cottage. When she grew older she learned to read, escaping home often. Some said she daydreamed too much. Her mother sometimes startled her home yelling, “Snap out of it!” She came back, but never stayed long. Joy would not relive the hopelessly fettered life that made her mother mad. She promised herself: to read, to forever follow her dreams, and to write her own story.



Follow Your Dream by Irene Waters

 “Granny what’d you do when you were younger?”

“Same as I do now Clive. I Follow my dreams. Like when I was a girl guide. I did all these badges. Cooking…”

“But Granny you can’t cook.”

“I know but I was following my dream. I did other badges too – hiking and astronomy, and first aid and sewing…”

“But Granny you don’t hike and I knows you don’t sew.”

“Oh but I was following my dream. Once I got my Queen’s Guide, the biggest badge of all, I could go after the next dream. Clive, you gotta follow your dream.”



Deferment by D. Avery

All schoolmates, they were drinking, again. Billy was talking again about how he was going to go out west, see the sights, settle down in California and grow grapes, run a vineyard.

“Jeezus, Billy, you still on that? You and Stevie- ‘We’re gonna have a vineyard, get rich farmin’ wine’-”

“Whatever happened to Stevie?”

The bartender, their former coach, laughed, showed them a bottle. “Look at the label.”

“I’ll be damned.”

“Shit.” Billy guzzled the rest of his beer, grunting as he stiffly got to his feet. “Gotta get back to the wife and kids.”

“See ya tomorrow, Billy.”



Follow Your Dreams by Kim Blades

Violet’s heart had turned to rubble and her thoughts dwelt on fear and loss. She had grown up

and stayed in streets filled with doubts and litter and had thus always been angry and bitter. Her son was different. He chose diligence and knowledge over greed and ignorance. He faced down the bullies and the corrupt and moved out of the sewers.

Now Violet’s two grandchildren have seen orchards and apple blossom. Skies unfurled blue every morning of their youth.

Like their grandmother, what they saw moulded them into what they are.

But they can now follow their dreams.



Moongazer by Juliet Nubel

Its silver beams had lit up his room in Wapakoneta for as long as he could remember.

First crossing his small wooden crib, they now wandered over the checkered quilt made especially for his new Big Boy bed.

He was intrigued by the sphere, struck by its capacity to change shape every single night.

He wouldn’t close his eyes until he had gazed at it long enough for the shadowy patterns to imprint themselves on his young, bright brain.

“Come on, honey. It’s time for bed. Stop looking at the moon now. You know you’ll never go there, Neil.”



Personal Pronouns by Anne Goodwin

The girls talked shoes and shopping, so I ran with the boys. Till they obsessed on cricket and football, and I walked alone. Why did girls paint their faces and fuss with their hair? Why did boys get drunk on swagger, beer and playful punches? Neither camp suited me.

“I’m changing my name to Alex, Chris or Charlie.”

Sis clocks my breasts, my knee-high boots, my beard. “Looks like that’s not all you’re changing.”

“I’m following my dream to shake off the shackles of gender.” Gonna get me a badge: I’m Sam and my pronouns are they and their.



Flash Fiction by Pete Fanning

Josefina ran home after school, her thoughts bouncing with her bookbag against her back. The whole class was abuzz. They were planning a field trip to go see the monuments in Washington.

Josefina knocked. She admired her new honor roll badge. Her mother opened the door.

“Mom, we’re going on—”

“Silencio! Your sisters are napping.”

Josefina whispered, but the excitement roared back as she broke the news. “I just need my social security number, and—”

Her mother took a sharp breath. He shoulders slumped. “No. I’m sorry.”

“Mom, what do you mean?”

Josefina’s sisters began to cry.



Dreams by Ritu Bhathal

I did it mum. I took your advice.

“Follow your dreams, love,” you’d say to me. “Don’t let anyone stop you. I’d hate for your life to mirror mine.”

Born at a time where a good Indian wife and mother was nothing but that, my mum had dreams of being a doctor. Instead she was married off early, and, well, no one was going to encourage their daughter in law to study more, or, God forbid, work.

As I stand here, with my degree in my hand, my only wish is that you were here to see it too…



Gotta’ Follow My Own Dreams by Susan Sleggs

Angry white caps filled the Puget Sound waterway I could see. The wind howled and rain was going sideways. The fury matched what I expected from my father when I told him I had decided to follow my own dream of becoming a pilot in the Air Force. Especially since he expected me to become a doctor like family tradition deemed. The storm also matched my own emotions how my decision would affect my mother. In no way did I want to hurt her but I felt she would understand and accept what was best for me. Sorry Mom.



The Pretend Sheriff of Butternut Island by Bill Engleson

That summer, gosh, it must have been ’81 or ’82, we were tossing back some brew on the deck of the Sparkling Water Tavern, looking out on the sea.

The sun was sizzling, slapping off the ocean like bright stones spinning.

Darius wandered in, gold Roy Rogers deputy sheriffs badge pinned to his red plaid shirt.

I suppose there was always a chance that crime would break out on Butternut.

“Streets quiet, Deputy?” some wise-ass weekender asked.

Darius held it together. “Long as folks respect the law,” he answered.

Wise-ass wanted to say more.

Thing was, he’d been bested.



Follow Your Dreams by Frank Hubeny

Scorn them with your thoughts. It’s safe. No one knows.

No one believes thoughts can kill. No one believes empaths exist. No one thinks they can know another’s hate. If their hearts break, it’s their own hearts’ failure. If they can no longer forgive, that’s better.

Janet’s dream guardians told her to follow them, “Smile. Sit tall. Take deep, slow breaths. Play your dream songs.”

Janet put on her headphones. She set the player to keep repeating the sacred love songs.

When the hate came, the empath and her dreams were ready. Until they fell, they mirrored love back.



Follow your Dreams by Judy Martin

The applause carried her right through the week. She recalled the cheeks flushed with pleasure, and eyes although bright with tears in some faces, shone with delight. Tears appeared in her own eyes now, bittersweet. She had followed her dreams and studied hard to become the dedicated nurse she aspired to be. Yet, she ached to fulfil another need. Playing with words had always been a favourite pastime, and the poem she had written to cheer up her cancer patients brought the house down. Laughter certainly is the best medicine!



Follow Your Dreams by Pensitivity

He heard them calling.

They invaded his waking thoughts, tormented him as he slept.

Follow us, follow us.

He didn’t understand, couldn’t fathom what he was supposed to do, where he was supposed to go.

Come to us, come to us.

He tried to question them, ask them how, when and why.

You will know, you will know.

Then he met her.

She too had heard the calling to follow.

He had been in her dreams, was her dream.

Their ideas intertwined and enhanced each individual thought.

They recognised their destiny as each other, and together became their dream.



Man of My Dreams by Susan Zutautas

Looking across the bar that night, I saw him. The man of my dreams. He was tall, gorgeous, and he was looking at me. I just had to find a way to meet him, but I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it.

He was with a bunch of people and left the group to go to the washroom. It hit me, I’d go talk to one of his friends.

I introduced myself and asked, hey is your friend single and can you introduce him to me?

That was 32 years ago, and we’re still happily married today.



Dreams by CalmKate

Terry had met his match, Louise was everything he wanted in a partner but she had never been sailing. Would she support his dream to build a boat and sail the high seas.

She was wobbly on the hired catamaran but could see his passion so agreed to spending their savings and spare time building the boat of his dreams. Frankly she thought he would tire of the task and they could soon settle to an ordinary life.

Two children later they’d sailed to Barbados and had lived on board for a year collecting a badge in every port.



Conception by Sarah Whiley

It had been the perfect honeymoon. We enjoyed endless days swimming, relaxing and drinking cocktails. Barry announced that on our last morning, my dream of diving the reef, would finally be actualised. We were going scuba diving!


I plunged into the water, closely following the directions from our devastatingly gorgeous instructor. I became lost in the magic of the world underwater when I suddenly found myself alone and my tank empty.

Barry and the instructor were gone!

As I succumbed to the lack of oxygen, my puce coloured face realised the fiction on which our marriage was truly conceived.



Blind Love by Anurag Bhakhshi

She’d fallen for him, hook, line and sinker.

She faintly remembered her mother’s warning about mixing with the wrong sort, but she’d been dreaming of his alluring, bewitching beauty ever since she’d set eyes on him, and if you don’t follow your dreams, are you even alive?

Unable to resist his magnetic pull any longer, she rushed to become one with him.

And as soon as her lips touched his, she felt a fierce tug….as the hook sank into her mouth, and the fisherman quickly reeled her in, along with the crayfish that he was using as bait.



Eleanor by Matthew Copping

I lowered the binoculars. A sip of coffee did nothing to wash down the taste of my failed past, nor did it dissolve the knuckle-like mass growing in my stomach.

Eleanor Strand. . .

The name had meant nothing, uttered from the brown suede chair in my Brooklyn office; just another unfaithful spouse of the rich and famous. The customary exchange of yellow envelope and stale cigarette smoke on hand had followed.

Married name. It seemed obvious now as the thought whirled through my head. Follow your dreams, I thought bitterly and settled in to spy on my ex-fiance.


PART II (10-minute read)

Follow Your Dreams (Cat Edition) by FloridaBorne

Once upon a time there was a rather bright cat with a rather dull brother.

One day, Mr. Bright announced, “I hate city living!”

Vowing to follow his dreams, he began an epic journey, until he detected the pitter-patter of cat feet behind him.

“Go home!” he meowed at Mr. Dull.

“Where’s home?”

Mr. Bright shuddered at a wind growing colder as night drew near.  “I don’t know.”

“MeeeeRrrrAAARRRRRRR,” Mr. Dull shouted.

A kind human heard his cries. Now they live in a mansion, have a cat door, and wear badges on their collars.

Sometimes loud triumphs over brilliance.



Following the Dream by Molly Stevens

Ron’s head pounded and his hands trembled recalling last night’s combative email exchange. He knew the client and manufacturer would need someone to blame and he was a convenient target.

He crept out of the house without disturbing his wife and boys, leaving two hours before morning chaos erupted.

He tailgated the gray Kia, distracted by attempts to read the vanity license plate.

Brake lights. The crunch of metal. And a close-up view.


The badge was at eye level when he opened his window.

“Where are you going in such a hurry, mister?”

“Just following the dream, officer.”



Inconceivable Dream by Miriam Hurdle

“I had the same dream twice, Eric.”

“What dream was that?”

“I was flapping my arms flying higher and higher.”

“Some people fly in their dreams.”

“Well, Gorge, last night IN my dream I woke up, talking about my first dream with my sis.”

“That was your second level of inconceivable, deepest desire in your subconsciousness. What do you want to do when you grow up?”

“I don’t know.”

“Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and breathe out slowly. What do you feel you want to do?”

“A pilot.”

“Follow your dream. You’ll see breadcrumbs along the road.”



One Day, Many Days by Lisa Rey

Michael stood in the middle of the grounds of Dublin Castle. Around him there was a sea of rainbow flags, gay couples kissing and allies smiling. The date was May 22nd 2015 and though Michael had never been in a relationship, today ensured that he could follow his dream of marrying in his country and having his marriage recognised someday. As a young gay man, he never thought it was possible. He just imagined the closest he’d come to marriages and all that jam was as his straight brother’s Best Man. But today, that changed and it was wonderful.



Honourable Discharge by Christina Coster

She observed the monarchy presenting her boy the Victoria Cross.  Corporal Trigg-Ashworth had served 12 years: 3 months: 4 tours. He had seen things only dreamed up in the darkest of nightmares; regrettably had done worse.  He stood to attention as the bronze emblem was pinned to the right of his uniform.

He’d trailed in his father’s footprints; he would have been proud. Honourably discharged, it was time for her son to now follow his own dreams. Keeping head held high, walking stick in hand, he’d earned his badge of honour; for valour, for country, for both of them.



Lotta at 22 by Liz Husebye Hartmann

Lotta Du Charms relished the feel of canvas around her legs, leather and horseflesh between her thighs.

She’d spent her orphaned youth working in Lula’s saloon. When she’d traded her downstairs housekeeping badge for a “bed-making” badge upstairs, it was under Lula’s protection and loving ear. Her choices were respected, any door opened never permanently closed.

Lula was wise that way.

Lotta’d left after midnight, Goddess Moon hanging full-bellied in the Oklahoma sky. Her purse was heavy, her shotgun loaded, knife glinting in her boot.

“Onward, Artemis,” Lotta whispered to her horse. They set off to the next horizon.



Her Dream’s Edge by Kay Kingsley

She followed this dream to the edge, one she never thought existed and couldn’t comprehend, like the vastness of the cosmos, and yet after such a long journey of total transformation, she stands at its precipice.

Every end is a beginning and the sadness of perpetual change walks silently beside her, nudging her towards the cliffs edge. Comforted by its inevitability yet frustrated at her lack of choice, she approaches with fatigued enthusiasm.

Is this the beginning of greatness or the end of the best of her, a moment she will forever chase like a dream fading at dawn?



Following Dreams by Chelsea Owens

I wake after little sleep. Only hours ago, I walked the lonely aisles populated by night dwellers. “You look how I feel,” the cashier had said, voicing my thoughts before I’d worked out how to speak.

Today’s my child’s birthday. Mentally, I list what needs completion: cleaning, baking, decorating, dinner, church, children.

Husband stretches and wraps an arm around me. “I’ve got to go,” he coos. “Choir rehearsal this morning.” Surprised, I check my calendar.

Someone has posted a quote about making life what you will. Follow your dreams.

I rise groggily from the bed. A busy day awaits.



Living the Dream by Paula Moyer

Sam was baffled. With his scientific brain, it made no sense that doulas didn’t do cervical exams. The code phrase: “We don’t go downtown.”

“But why not?” he pressed on. “How do you know it’s time?”

Jean was stumped. Finally, her words came.

“My whole being is locked in with the mom,” Jean said. “That room is the world. I know in my bones when to head to the hospital, the birth center, when to call the midwife. It’s time to push because I’m pushing.”

So Jean professed her calling, her dream.

“This is what I was made for.”



To Be Proud of Yourself by Heather Gonzalez

“Follow your dreams…”

The voice on tv seemed to be talking directly to Tim. He really needed a reason to keep going.

“Even you can be whatever you want. You just have to believe in yourself. Stop wasting your time waiting. Get up and seize the day.”

This woke up something inside of him. He ran to the closet that still held some of his ex-wife’s clothes. He put on a dress and high heels. Then he put on his grandmother’s brooch and wore it like a badge of honor. For the first time, he felt whole and complete.



Follow Your Dreams by Deborah Lee

Jane jerks awake, the dream still strong. She’s scraped her fingertips against the rough concrete floor before she remembers there is no lamp. No bed, no matching nightstand, no electricity at all. Just her sleeping bag on the cold floor of the abandoned house she squats in.

The dream had felt so real. Safe in her bed. Her roses outside the window. Her house.

Follow your dreams, they said; it makes life rich. Except when you end up losing it all. She’d moved here with such high hopes. Now she knows that sometimes what’s over the horizon should stay there.



Of Dreams and Nightmares by Norah Colvin

Marnie snuck into the back row. The ceremony was underway. “Follow your dream” and “What is your dream?” were displayed on the large screen above the stage. As each graduating student took the microphone to share their dreams for the future, images of past achievements were projected onto the screen. Marnie should have been there too: but what could she share? Who would listen or even care? Only Miss R. Marnie craned her neck for a farewell glimpse, then left as quietly as she had entered. Once she had escaped her nightmare, perhaps then she could begin to dream.



Render by D. Avery

“It’s too tight”, Marlie complained as her mother hurriedly strapped her into her car seat. Today she’d made her mother late because she’d been absorbed watching a moth ensnared in a spider web, hopelessly struggling, its wings rendered useless.

Craft time was underway when Marlie arrived. Though unsure what the others were making she quickly got herself some sticks and yarn too. Her thoughts swam in the colorful weave of her careful work.

“Nice Dream Catcher, Marlie. It looks just like a colorful spider web.”

Marlie paused, then loosened the yarn, undid each wrap and weave, dismantling her creation.



Royal Bengal Tigress by Neel Anil Panicker

At a time when kids her age where scratching their heads and biting their nails trying to solve simple additions and subtractions, Sheena Bora had moved onto asking probing questions on higher order trigonometry and suggesting ‘out of the box’ answers to complex albegriac equations that stumped her teachers including her father, an acclaimed Professor of Mathematics, no less.

It was another matter that with the onset of puberty, her interests spilled over and soon, aided by an increased hormonal overdrive, she found herself spending equal time nourishing both her mind and body.

It came as no surprise when her top cat status helped her in bagging a prized seat at Cambridge and by the time she moved onto to greener pastures she had a panting bunch of heaving, panting, salivating Lotharios.



Valuable Vagary by JulesPaige

Do writers lean towards mendacity? Lunging with vocabulary, imagining everyone will fill in the gaps, while they blush in the shadows at their cleverness? Do writers call the unattainable goals they follow dreams? And yet some dreams do come true. Words end up in print. Others spy through internet glasses and peak at the peacock preening. It really isn’t that way is it? Fiction isn’t fact, though there might be some threads of truth. And even a peacock needs to eat, and showing off does get some attention. Writers are people too. Please show em some love, won’t you?



Follow Your Dreams by Michael Grogan

From an early age, he started drawing things. He showed a liking for patterns.

As he grew, he played more and more with line and form.

When his schooling was over, he had decided to become an artist.

He worked on his craft, he was invited to exhibit his work. He found a market, a worldwide one.

He discovered his choice of colour, his blue and white.

Today he follows his dream, lives off his art when he doesn’t need to borrow from his dad.

Soon he will travel the world, firstly to Singapore to display his beautiful work.

It’s not exactly a badge but a sample of his work.



The Dream Rock by Colleen Chesebro

Abby followed her dream to the edge of a field filled with thorny weeds that twisted like ivy. Dead animals lay scattered, their bloated carcasses rotting beneath the blistering sun. An apocalyptic scent of death hung in the air. A boulder filled with glittery quartz striations moved closer.

“This is our world without the bees,” said the rock. “The effects of climate change ravage the earth, disrupting the growth patterns. Animals die because their forage can’t mature without pollination.”

Abby swallowed the hard knot of truth. “What can I do?”

“You must save the bees.”



 Dream Stalker by odysseyofhappiness

“Follow your dreamsss……that’s what he doesss” it rasped.

“…Who?” I queried, a chill running down my spine.

“The Dreamstalker…..he hunts in dreamsss…”

“Never heard of him……. anyway… I must be onward” I said, trying to sound determined but instead letting more than a small quiver into my voice.

“YOU CANNOT HIDE FROM THE DREAMSTALKER!” The thing roared in anger and warning.

I swallowed dryly. “What happens if he gets in your dreams?”

A frighteningly cruel smile curled across its repulsive face. “thisss….. is my favorite part”.

Terrified, I asked “what is?”

“The part where I wake you”…



Why You Should Always Just Follow Your Dreams by Hugh Roberts

“Follow your dreams,” they told me. “Follow your dreams, and you’ll always experience something amazing.”

“But where do dreams go?” I asked. “Nobody ever finds a dream, do they?”

“Follow your dreams and experience something amazing,” came the reply.

Try as I might, I was unable to catch or stop following my dreams. A few weeks ago, I almost caught one, but it slipped through my fingers and got away from me. Then, last night, I caught a lovely dream I’d been having about badges, marshmallows and Easter bunnies.

“Got you!” were my final words.

I never woke up.



[netherworld] by Deb Whittam

As the cat strutted along the rooftop he followed close in its wake for while the other was quick and sure footed, gliding across the rooftop with an expertise which bespoke of years of experience, he was not.

He had followed this rooftop acrobat out of curiosity, but the high wire was not his home; he craved the warmth of his cot and his teddy bear.

As if sensing his thoughts the cat sat down, considered him in silence before it said, “Time to wake up sleepy head … I have mice to chase.”

His eyelids fluttered then opened.



PART III (5-minute read)

Deep Thinking by Patrick M. O’Connor

“What do you want to do when you grow up?” she said.

He shrugged and continued eating his cereal without looking up.

“You can’t just sit around complaining about what you don’t have.”

He stopped mid shovel and looked up at her. Then, shrugging again, he went back to his feeding frenzy.

He knew she was right. He needed to follow his dreams if he was going to make something of himself.

“I can’t do this anymore! Get work that you’re passionate about or I’m leaving. Damn it! Your 40 years old.”

He stopped again and said, “You’re right.”



Breakfast in America by Sherri Matthews

Paula shuffled over to the counter. ‘How d’ya want yer eggs honey, easy over, sunny side up?’

‘Scrambled and a side of pancakes, and make it snappy, will ya?’

Paula sniffed as she poured his coffee. ‘Kinda grumpy today ain’t yer?’

Detective Johnny Johnson lit a Marlboro and sighed. ‘Sorry Paula, some broad got me on the run, that’s all…’

‘Aww…and I there thought I was yer broad…you know, the one of yer dreams.’

Johnny smiled, the first time in days. ‘Yeah, you’re my broad…’

I closed my book and dreamed of waking up to pancakes and maple syrup.



Following My Dreams by Michael Fishman

Follow your dreams she tells me.

That Nadine, she always knows what someone else should be doing: I should mow the lawn; the Bishop’s shouldn’t stay up so late; the Porter’s should get a new car; the Schulte’s should put their daughter on a diet; I should get a haircut.

Yes, she has a way, Nadine.

I finally took her advice and filed for divorce. Now I live quietly by myself in a small apartment and right now I’m going to roll over and pull the covers up and take some of her oft-offered advice and follow my dreams.



Tea, Biscuits, and Trolls by Wallie & Friend

“Why are we doing this?”

Pommie ignored her husband, pinning cobwebs across the door of their cave.

Griddur sneezed. “But Pommie,” he pleaded, “you know I’m allergic to dust.”

She paused and gave him a sympathetic pat. “It’s only for today,” she said. “Will you help me scatter the bones?”

Her husband groaned. “Do we have to?”

“That young knight is coming tomorrow and he’s expecting a haunted cave, not two elderly trolls. I’d like to help him. He looked so excited.”

“But what if he hurts us?”

“That,” said Pommie, “is what the tea and biscuits are for.”



The Key Holder’s Quest by Jan Malique

She dreamed worlds into being, each word unlocking door after door, and offering new vistas to her bedazzled eyes.

Her heart unfolded its wings, stirring the breath of the Eastern Wind, petitioning it to carry her heartfelt desires to the outermost regions of the world.

The Key Holder’s hands gently touched the covers of this most special book. She infused it with love and magic of the deepest kind. It was to be a manual for all aspiring dream weavers.

For to truly live is to follow your dreams. Such a simple truth but so hard to live by.



Reach  for a Dream by Robbie Cheadle

Karen looked at her daughter sitting on the deck of the large passenger liner.  She looked so sweet in her lacy dress and matching sun bonnet.  The sudden death of her husband from a massive coronary had been a terrible shock. She had been left to raise this tiny dependent on her own. Her sister, Sandra, who lived in faraway South Africa, had offered to have them live with her.  Sandra would look after her daughter during the day while she worked. It was an opportunity. She could reach for her dream of a better life for them both.



Art of Following Dreams by PTSD Gal

‘She’ll NEVER make money as an artist! It’s a hobby, not a career that can sustain her! Plus I’m not wasting the money for her to just lose interest!’ My mother yelled at my father after I asked to join an art class. ‘You can be anything you want in this life. If you want to draw and paint then I’ll go and get what you need. You have real talent Jo. I believe in you,’ my dad gave me a hug and walked away. Years later I’m now a graphic artist, painter, writer because my father supported me.



Follow Your Dreams by Rugby 843

Follow your dreams they said. Go west young man they said. Step out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid, you’re young and strong!

All good advice I thought. I was excited and anxious to begin my journey, fulfill my expectations. I left school, my boring job, the comfort of living at home with my parents.

I sold my car to buy a bus ticket to California. I packed my duffle bag with the bare necessities. I kept my headphones and cell phone, sold the rest. I boarded the bus with hopeful thoughts, and fell asleep listening to “California Dreamin”.



Follow Your Dreams by Geoff Le Pard

‘Do you dream, Logan?’

‘Everyone dreams, Morgan. It’s the brain processing stuff.’

‘Clearing out the crap?’

‘If you like.’

‘Like the bowels?’

‘Not exactly.’

‘I only ask because I was asked today if I wanted to follow my dreams.’


‘I’m not sure I want to.’


‘Take my cousin Killick. His dream involved a dwarf and fourteen bananas.’

‘Why fourteen?’

‘He had a Snow White fixation.’

‘Moving on, following you dreams is meant to be a positive.’

‘So’s having a good crap.’

‘There you go. No one said every pot of gold was full of chocolate.’

‘Very deep.’



Badgered by D. Avery

“Kid, I kin hear yer dang harrumphin’ halfway ta the corral.”

“I ain’t goin’ ta the corral, not via no dang Face Book.”

“Well, don’t then, use the contact form. Look, Kid, I bunk with ya, so I kin smell ya don’t like change, but this here’s good. The Ranch is growin’, Kid, Shorty’s dreams are growin’. Ain’t that some change ya kin pocket?”

“Well, if’n it helps Shorty. T’ain’t much of a chore, really.”

“Many ranch hands make light work. Maybe ya kin even git a badge.”

“Git deputized? I ain’t inta badges.”

“Ya sure do badger me.”




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  1. Ritu

    SO many fantastic flashes inspired by dreams, and YOU Charli!!!

    • Charli Mills

      We inspire one another! 🙂 <3

      • Ritu


  2. Annecdotist

    Great move to chunk the flashes, Charli. So many but all worth a read.

    • Charli Mills

      20 at a time is a good chunk to read and easier to arrange!

  3. ladyleemanila

    Reblogged this on ladyleemanila and commented:
    follow your dreams round-up 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Lady Lee!

  4. Juliet

    Fab collection again. All we gotta do is dream, dream, dream…????

    • Charli Mills

      Sing it, Juliet! Fab, indeed!

  5. Shallow Reflections

    I like the way you arranged them in chunks, Charli. I read through part one, and today is a workday for me so I’ll be back later to finish the rest. Well done and so many great takes on the prompt.

    • Charli Mills

      I’m glad that idea worked! 😀 It’s easier for me to arrange, and yet I thought about how the sections connect, too. Fun reads!

  6. Ann Edall-Robson

    Wonderful collections of following dreams, Charli. The new format is kinder to the brain. It allows for a leisurely read and no worries about missing any story or having to remember where one left off.

    • Charli Mills

      That’s exactly what I hoped to accomplish! And that’s also why I want a collection bucket separate from all the comments and links at the Ranch. I started losing my place, too. Now, once everyone adjusts to the form, I can respond to comments without worrying about my collecting chores.

  7. susansleggs

    The new format is great. Hope it made it easier for you. So many different types of dreams, real, imagined and achieved. And one dream for everyone, seeing their thoughts in print. What a great place to grow.

    • Charli Mills

      Ha! Well, FB made it difficult, and all the cross-posting was a bit chaotic, but the forms worked great. So this week, I’m anticipating the collection bucket will allow more ease. And I think that is so important — to see our words in print, gathered in concert with other words. It’s rewarding all around.

  8. robbiesinspiration

    Each week I find it fascinating to read so many different ideas for one prompt word.

    • Charli Mills

      I greatly enjoy the endless turns of creativity each week!

  9. Charli Mills

    Thanks for sharing!


  1. Follow Your Dreams – The Militant Negro™ - […] Source: Follow Your Dreams […]

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