Take a walk through storyscapes and stars below the heavens.
Writers responded to the prompt, and what follows is a collection of perspectives in 99-word stories arranged like literary anthropology.
Those published at Carrot Ranch are The Congress of Rough Writers.
Walking Through the Galaxy by Joanne Fisher
Their spaceship had crashed. The survivors had activated an emergency beacon. Ta’an left the wreckage in search of nearby settlements.
When Ta’an got to a plain, she beheld a breathtaking vista. It was as though there were two galaxies before her: the Milky Way above, and it’s mirror opposite below; stars in the sky and stars in the sand. The surface was so reflective that as she walked onwards, it was as though she was walking among the stars. They surrounded her. Looking downwards she saw red lights swiftly approaching. She looked up: the rescue ship was above her.
Shelley by Connor Dickinson
Immortal sorcerer you wizard words on holy parchment.
I’m an inflated balloon, electrostatically charged.
Buoyant, seduced by my shadow-trickster: a sinking and drowning clown.
The prettiest words I would need.
Warped inside, wanting to honour you with pride.
Chewed-up by Devilish-diction. Reluctance, frustration, defeated. Capsized.
But your eternal-spirit rejuvenates my soul.
A revelation, ‘Don’t compete.’
‘Enjoy my odes and your writing journey.’
Millennia crush my bones to white ash.
Enchanted solar-winds carry my iridescence.
Let us share a Moon Fountain of lunar-sand.
Our pearl essence, caressing and cascading metres or miles-high in ballistic trajectories, timelessly.
Togetherness, stars in the sand.
Stars in the Sand by Sue Spitulnik
Sand and rocks, all the same color. Windy. The sand didn’t care whose clothing it sifted into; US troops in full battle gear, residents they were training, or the enemy they had trouble identifying.
Then came the explosion. Michael’s legs in a million pieces, splattered in every direction. His driver’s body torn apart. The identifiable parts gathered reverently to return home in a flag-covered casket.
The General visited the compound. His soldiers knew he would come. He had their respect. He cared about their well-being. His stars shone in the sun, the same color as the unforgiving relentless sand.
Idas and Marpessa by Anne Goodwin
Evenus insisted the man who married his daughter should first prove his worth. Challenged her suitors to a chariot race; a hundred losers’ heads graced his palace walls.
Idas loved Marpessa. She loved him. Yet, when Idas beat her father, Evenus set him ever more difficult tasks. Finding a needle in a haystack. A unicorn on a ranch.
Idas was a patient fellow, but he couldn’t waste another year searching for stars in sand.
Marpessa wept when he left her. But busied herself returning a thousand needles to her sewing box. Gathering a million stick-on stars from the beach.
Midnight Dream by Jane Aguiar
Midnight, all flat,
Everywhere is quiet.
The twinkling of the stars,
And the moon’s dim light!!
Far away where the horizon is seen,
The sky yearns to meet the ocean.
There, We met each other,
And the pain vanished!!
Slow gusts of wind sound,
Innumerable stars around.
Suddenly you hugged me,
And pulled me on the ground!!
You dragged me into arms,
I stared , through the window of my eyes.
You kissed and cuddled me,
And I gave a good response!!
Suddenly I woke up,
My dream was shattered.
But,I saw the stars
In the sand!!
The Kaleidoscope by Larry Trasciatti
I’ve wandered into a kaleidoscope
The rules aren’t the same here
As I walk on by
I often peel the clouds from
The blue noontime sky with friends
Shall we share a most breathtaking
Lunch of sweet tangerines and marmalade?
Do whatever you want as long
As you get home by midnight
Meet the deadline and you’ll
Always be so very happy
During the frequent truly fine moments
You can truly relish the sparkling
Of the Stars In the Sand
The kaleidoscope will tell no secrets
Let it be your daily adventure
A splendid time is guaranteed for all
Lake Michigan Midnight (Shore Lunes) by JulesPaige
too soon, the path will
to arrive coast side
I, imposter here
good trees; hide from day
the sky’s book
Black light at the ready to harvest rocks with iridescent spots. I will seek the stars in the sand as well as in the sky. Did the stars fall millions of years ago? I will create my own origin stories.
From this great lake with its north and south beaches… gifting up fossils, glass spears; marbles, lost china from sunken ships. Those can go to the day hunters. I’ll hoard Yooperlites!
A Change of Climate by Floridaborne
Sigrid had looked out her window at the steep fjords white with snow many times, and as many times she’d turned her gaze toward the wall mural of Florida she’d once loved.
She’d dreamed of the palm trees, sleeping in the empty hammock strung between them, and shining white beaches with tiny stars sparkling in the sand.
Her plane landed, a taxi carried her to a beachfront hotel with the promise of hammocks amid the palms. She fell asleep to the whisper of waves, awakening inside a Miami hospital.
“Third degree burns,” the doctor said.
Sigrid longed for home.
Stars in the Sand by Kerry E.B. Black
Lonely footprints in the sand marked her progress, footprints watered with her tears and the exuberant salt spray. She sniffed sadness with each step as she left her marital home.
The moon danced in the dark ocean’s waves and laughed at the woman’s consternation. This orb’s influence led the sea astray, pulling the waters along lunar whims. Likewise, it diverted the woman’s husband, enhancing his basest instincts. Like a madman, he romanced in moonlight with howls, dances, and gore.
In despair and fear, she fled, unaware with each resultant spray of her passage, she revealed stars in the sand.
Stars in the Sand by Doug Jacquier
Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott-Thomas, their characters besotted with each other, gaze at the stars in the desert heavens and glory in both their mass and their individuality. Suddenly the sky is more sand than stars and they realise they are about to be enveloped by a khamsin. They make it to their truck and spend the night pursuing their mutual obsession as the sand buries them. They have no fear or trepidation because the English are very patient. In the morning, they dig themselves out and their journey continues, because the sand cannot bury stars of any kind.
Stars in the Sand by Reena Saxena
“Join me to start a new initiative – social, creative or commercial”, I said. “It’s the closest friendship I can think of.”
They give me blank looks.
“You’re busy in a lockdown?” I hear amused remarks.
I stay away, not wanting to be a part of the idlers’ club.
I’m politely labelled unsocial, and treated as if I’m anti-social.
“You’re not counted in the close circle. Nobody likes you,” hisses my venomous mother.
Actually, nobody understands me. Is it fear or envy?
Some day, I’ll write my story with stars on the sands. I’m already visualising my Ted Talk.
Heavenly Body by Annette Rochelle Aben
She absent-mindedly heard the tide rush towards the shore but felt it touch her toes as though trying to get her attention. A million miles beyond the moon was where she was tonight. Could the water take her to that distant galaxy where she felt she belonged?
One step at a time, she followed the promise of the tide that had obviously been sent like a taxi hailed by her heart. As water swirled around her ankles, she closed her eyes and smiled. She walked until she was floating above her tears which glistened like stars in the sand.
Promised Waters by Rebecca Glaessner
Solar floodlights expose the beachfront like daylight. Crowds gathered there nightly to escape the endless heat, their music drowning the waves. I move on over slippery rock-pools and round the cliffs further up the coast.
Human sounds fall away as the cliffs lower to reveal a river mouth and marshy swampland, visible now beneath unburdened starlight, and rest upon a tree root.
They don’t have oceans on Mars, yet. That’s why they’re sending me.
Starlight glints off flecks of sand beneath my bare feet.
They say there’re stars in the sands of Mars.
Perhaps the waters will free them.
The Collector by Hugh W. Roberts
The Collector has an important message for the people of the planet Earth. Will they listen?
One hundred and twenty million years had passed since its last visit.
It didn’t like the feel of the granular material, but the stars that had fallen into what humans named ‘sand’ needed replenishing to keep the planet alive.
Picking up an item the waves washed ashore, the Collector studied it. It smelt and tasted good. For every one of these items it took away, it left a star.
As beaches around the planet shone, humans wondered where all the plastic in the seas had gone.
It would only be another twenty years before the Collector returned.
Aloysius on the Beach by Nancy Brady
Although the family, who believed they owned Aloysius, tried to keep him in their house and yard, he often wandered further afield.
One day he made his way down to the shore. The sunshine was shining brightly on Aloysius’s fur; the yellow beams created stars on the sand.
Like any normal feline (and Aloysius was anything but), the white cat reacted as most cats would, he pounced upon each and every star he saw. Aloysius vanquished them all, never looking back. Swishing his tail back and forth triumphantly, he padded back home, each footstep leaving behind another sand dollar.
Foraminifera by Simon Prathap D
It’s boring here, give my brain something to chew.
How about sand?
Sand? what is there about it? are these alive?
how these sands looks like?
Stars in these sands, are a living organism,
Living? are you kidding me?
Foraminifera, a single celled organism, found in open ocean, along the coasts and in estuaries, and they are ALIVE!
ALIVE! now I have hundreds of questions about it.
Good, now explore it and stay curious.
This is not fair
Now you got what you asked for, learn yourself, world is an amazing place to learn before you die.
The Sea by Saifun Hassam
He is an old fisherman. He knows the seasons. When the Cygnet is high overhead, he walks barefoot along the dark shores.
He listens to the surf, far out, coming ever closer. Phosphorescence creatures ride the waves, sliding down along the walls of waves. Momentarily the dark wet sand comes alive with brilliant greens and blues. Millions of tiny universes scintillate like stars in the sand. The stars dim. Another wave spills its surf on the sand. Instantly the stars light up. Fiery and fluorescent the stars ride back to the waters, lights bound up with their watery universe.
Stars in the Sand by D. Avery
Grandma says there are stars in the sand.
A lot of people think Grandma’s crazy.
I think it’s crazy that I have to go to school where all I learn is to keep quiet and avoid bullies.
Come on, Grandma says when I get home, Let’s go star gazing, and heads down to the beach, hours before sunset.
It’s not the right time, I say.
We can handle time she says, and we do. Wordless, we marvel at the glittering sand; we smooth it, sift it, lie in it.
You’re a star she says, and I know she’s right.
The Crooner by Bill Engleson
I was on a late-night stroll along the sea wall. The moon was half full, slipping through the shadows of trees along my way.
I was alone, the last person on earth.
A comforting imaginative thought.
As I rounded a corner, I saw him sitting on a bench, singing: “Don’t let the stars get in your eyes, don’t let the moon break your heart…”
Suddenly I was a child again, mimicking Perry on the Motorola, flubbing the lyrics: “don’t let the stars in the sand get in your eyes…”
Mother would correct me.
I’d try again.
Loved her laugh!
Stars in the Sand by Norah Colvin
Works of art, created from random pieces of this and that, were incomplete without a generous sprinkling of glitter. When stars were available, the children were in heaven. Though insignificant to others, the works held meaning for the artist, at least for a moment like a particle of glitter passing through a sandglass. Peta watched George painstakingly place his stars. She turned his paper around. “Stars don’t go in the sand, silly. They go in the sky.” George turned it back. “They’re starfish. Starfish go in the sand. Don’t you know anything?” “Oh,” said Peta. “They are beautiful starfish!”
Ode to the Sandman by Myrna Migala
One day in the home of a happy family, the tiny little boy asked his mommy! “Where was I before I was born?”
“Oh dear, you were the twinkle in daddy’s eye.”
“Yes! Like stars.”
“Wow!” He kept saying as he excitedly ran to tell all his friends.
After a few days had gone by, he woke up rubbing his eyes on one fine sunny morning and noticed some sleepy particles on his fingers.
“Mommy, mommy, look and see the sandman came last night to visit me.
“I do hope he put some stars in the sand.”
Stars in the Sand by Sarah Whiley
I’m the sidekick
Riding the tailcoats
Of those braver than I
To bare my teeth
And so I smile
Push me around?
You can for a while
I promise, I won’t mind
Instead I smile
My knuckles are white
I grit my teeth
Composure like armour
“Yes,” I smile
My soul awakens
She tries to get out
Shh. No one cares
Gently I push
Gently I prod
The cocoon opens wide
And I fly right out
I am bioluminescent
Projecting my stars in the sand
For all to see
Stars in the Sand by Anita Dawes
They told me that Egypt, the pyramids
Would be the holiday of a lifetime
Leaving the rain behind
Take off delayed
They forgot to load the luggage
Not a good start
We might have left the rain behind
The black cloud had followed us aboard
The hotel turned out nice, mood lifted
Next morning, with the tour guide
We made our way to the pyramids
Wow! They really are something
Somehow, I got separated from the tour
The sand dunes I found myself on
As beautiful as any painting
That’s when I found three lucky stars in the sand…
To the Stars by Duane L Herrmann
“To the Stars Through Difficulties” is my state motto, a constant reminder that nothing is attained easily and certainly not stars. My life can be defined by its difficulties: social isolation, emotionally crippling effects of abuse, intellectual struggles with dyslexia, ADHD, and the limitations of poverty. There were certainly no stars, nor sand, but dirt – yes.
We farmed the dirt.
Despite all that, I continued to try. Rooted in that dirt, I reached for the stars and now, after decades, have attained some success: being published around the world, in several languages, one I can read and even others.
White City Sand by Charli Mills
Copper miners’ families crowded the double-decker steamer. Wives and children sported tiny brass stars on collars and lapels. Solidarity for fair treatment twinkled across the open decks. An anonymous patron had provided the striking miners with an exclusive excursion to White City. Thirty-minutes east of closed mines, the summer-weary strikers and families anticipated their lucky day. Respite. The promised carousel, dance pavilion, and ham picnic came into view. Mine enforcers emerged. Hundreds. Clubs in fists. The boat docked. They say you can find stars in the sand where the working class were tricked and beaten into submission in 1909.
99 Carrot Stars by D. Avery
“Kid what’re ya doin’ lettin’ thet dang hog a yers root an’ dig ever’where?”
“If it’s okay fer Mause, it’s okay fer Curly. We’re lookin’ fer stars in the sand, Pal.”
“Thet ain’t sand, Kid, thet’s Shorty’s garden.”
“Close enough. Hey, another one! Good Curly.”
“Thet ain’t a star, Kid, thet’s jist a carrot.”
“Jist a carrot?! Carrots fer the people, Pal. Tell ya somethin’ else. The people that show up ta the ranch is all stars. Their stories shine! An’ while we ain’t got beach sand here, there’s plenty a folks with grit.”
“Reckon so, Kid, reckon so.”