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.

October 14, 2021

If you are quiet, you can hear the whispers.

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.

Family Garden II by Duane L Herrmann

Reckendorf Friedhof is different from American cemeteries I know. Here, each family owns the plot and one person is buried per grave in most cases. That is not so there. There, the grave is rented for a period of twenty years. Anyone can be buried in that grave who you allow in the twenty years. If rent is not paid, someone else can rent the grave. All inhabitants of the grave are listed on the stone. Bodies decay naturally. Remaining bones can be moved to the bonehouse, at the side of the cemetery. Such cemeteries do not need expansion.


Un Cuarto Con Vista by JulesPaige

All that was left of the ‘vanity,’ Great Aunt Something
Or Other left her – No real value, just took up space
Left to collect dust in the corner of the room
The Dust Bunnies claimed it for their own and multiplied
As did her stress for trying to figure out what to do with it

Looking in the mirror, she saw her Great Aunt’s face
The lips kept moving without making any sound
So she sat on the cushion stool, stared, waiting
then hearing the faint whisper of music
She saw the lovers waltzing at the Grand Ball


A Reunion by Paula Moyer

Jean had been coming to family graveside services at Memorial since she was nine. The first was her father’s mother. Now, sixty years later, she just couldn’t remember the coordinates for them all. She stared at the sea of monuments. Nothing.

So at the cemetery office, she handed her list to the receptionist, who gulped. Both sets of grandparents, her parents, four uncles, two aunts, and now four cousins.

“All?” A stern look over her glasses.


Disapproving silence.

“I’m from out of town. I forget each time.”

Many look-ups.

“Having a family reunion. They should all be there.”


Whispers in the Cemetery by Jane Aguiar

One summer at midnight, I went to the church compound to steal tender coconuts. I was stealing tender coconuts, filling a jute bag, and taking a sip of beer. Suddenly, I heard someone whispering in the cemetery. With the jute bag, ran towards the cemetery. Someone was whispering, “One for me, one for you.” I dropped the jute bag right there and drove straight home.

The next day, I informed my friends that there was a ghost in the cemetery and realized that it was not the ghost but they were Louis and Dominic distributing the stolen cashew seeds.


Whispers by Charli Mills

Jane swung, pumping her legs to gain height. The wooden swing her father hung grew in the red oak her great-grandfather planted as a teenager. Jane never knew Romeo Tonti, an immigrant, but when she reached high enough she heard him whisper through the rustle of leaves. Jane learned the family recipe for spaghetti – use fresh rosemary – and how to splice a crab apple into a honeycrisp tree – for pollination, nipotina. Her mother proclaimed to the other soccer moms that her daughter was a cooking and gardening prodigy. He father would smile and wink. He heard the whispers, too.


Comfort Cooking by Liz Husebye Hartmann

Bok choy and thin-sliced carrots, a bit past their freshness date, sizzled in the pan. She sniffed the aromas of sesame oil, lime, and Moroccan baked tofu. The sharp scent of sliced onion softened, long layers relaxing, rolling and shining over her cooking spoon.

Red pepper and slivered greens for sharpness and color, to be added at the very end. Peanuts in a bowl.

To her left, a tall pan of jasmine rice steamed, rattling for attention. She adjusted the temperature and resettled its lid.

“What’s missing?” she whispered.

Memory whispered back, “Lemon Pepper, just a dash. And me.”


Windy Night by Michael Fishman

Bux raised his head and sniffed. He jumped off the bed, let out a quiet huff and padded out of the bedroom.

Carl grabbed the remote and paused the DVR. He leaned over and whispered into Jean’s ear.

“And you tell me this because?” she said.

“Well, forewarned is forearmed, and I think it’s—”

Jean’s face wrinkled. “Oh, Carl, what is wrong with you?”

“I think it was dinner.”

“My cooking doesn’t do that to anyone!” Jean said as she pulled the covers over her head.

Carl thought he heard a laugh but he wouldn’t bet on it.


The Aging Wind by Bill Engleson

I hear the wind whistle through the trees,
a soft and gentle whoosh through the air
venturing down my spine to my knees,
blossoming in the late evening glare.

I find myself drifting into twilight,
floating as the breezes vacillate,
twisting here and there in the darkened night,
ready to accept my coming fate.

Here in the shadows of my timeline,
ancestors whisper their each and every name,
who was begat from whom, where I align,
each step along my genealogical frame.

And though there are limits to my rhyme,
All I am seeking is solace in my time.


Whispers Remain by Rebecca Glaessner

People come out changed, or not at all, says the whispers.

Called me in ta’ fix a drone. Remembered thinkin’ their workers looked mindless, till one leaned in, showed me circuitry boosts I never could’a imagined.

Wondered, why me?

Then they hired me full time, ta learn their subatomics, an’ I keep gettin’ a sense there’s more, ‘sif regular scientists hit a wall they won’t never figure.

Them that disappear, there’s papers says they wanted to. I got my own papers now, says my skills are needed off-world.

But I’m stayin’.

Human scientists need help takin’ that wall down.


Whispers by Norah Colvin

She watched from the side, longing to join in, fearing being ignored. Or worse, banished. Determined to beat her shyness, she’d shuffle one step forward, then the old insecurities would immobilise her, reminding her she didn’t belong. One foot forward. Stop. Another foot forward. Stop. She was almost there when the game paused, and they looked directly at her. She froze. They feigned whispers hidden behind hands. She didn’t need to guess. She ran and hid behind a tree, wishing for invisibility. “I’ll never belong!” Soon one face appeared, then others. “Please come and play with us,” they chorused.


Aloysius Saves the Day by Nancy Brady

Aloysius heard the whispers of his people. He didn’t eavesdrop on their conversations, but his hearing had become more acute since his adventure in the fountain.

His hearing was augmented by violets, which clung to his fur that fateful day. Months later, Aloysius still could hear the slightest sound any of his family made.

Lily, the youngest child, decided to run away from home because she was mad at her parents. Lily packed underwear in her backpack, walked to the corner, and cried.

Aloysius came to Lily’s rescue, sitting with her, comforting her, purring, and finally leading her home.


Whispers by Frank James

Kelli and Mary gossiped about George going home for cheating.

“The bell girls,” Mrs. Ugholtz shooed them to class.

At lunch, they chatted whispering in ears. Mrs. Ugholtz said exiting, “No need for secrets.”

They finished skulking to the bathroom.

Mary exclaimed, “Ugholtz. What about Richard?”

“In Juvie,” Kelli chirped.

Mary replied, “Barbie did Buff’s homework because of football.”

Kelli whispered, “I heard it.”

Toilet flushed. Mrs. Ugholtz stepped out, “George’s mother’s ill. Richard toured university. Barbie inspected Buff’s homework. Seven demerits!”

The girls cried.

Mrs. Ugholtz scowled, “Those who spread rumors speak louder of themselves than the scuttlebutt.”


The Breaking of Trust by Christy Gard

She danced and twirled around him liking and hating the dance at the same time. It wasn’t an everyday occurrence, but an occurrence that happened enough to create shame, guilt, emotions that were not hers to own. She tried speaking to others. To talk about the pain ripping at her soul. She tried to yell, to cry in desperation with gleaming razors and blood-soaked palms. But others turned away told her it was a lie, too much, to bear, to it kept hidden the darkness. So, it turned into a whisper that floats on the wind of her soul.


Just Another Life by Richmond Road

A call to arms. Another land
Ideals I did not understand
Unknown soldier. Unknown truth
Ideals are not bullet proof
A fallen hero. Fallen son
Lost to what could not be won
An epitaph to bold and brave
Here etched in stone upon my grave
Words of praise, of noble fight
Not words that I would ever write
Don’t search these graves. Don’t ask the dead
Search within your souls instead
No heroes here. Please move along
Go back to where you come from
There is no honour, only fear
Death the only message here
I was a soldier, was a fool
Do you see honour? More fool you.


Whispers by FloridaBorne

God whispers, “No one dies.”

I ask, “Why was I given life?”

Love whispers, “This is an interlude.”

“Time’s twists and turns aren’t the journey?”

My eyes glisten and tears threaten to overcome my rational mind. Were anyone to know God speaks to me, I would surely be taken to an asylum.


The face staring at me is not happy.


“Your fiancé awaits.”

“I would rather die than marry that fat, old man!”

“It is that, or be disowned.”

In 1886, a rich woman of 15 learns she is nothing more than a slave to her station.


Battles by Reena Saxena

What I call a whisper is too loud for some
My breath blows away living beings
?I can’t hear below twenty decibels
my heart murmurs away all life?

My breath blows away living beings
I cannot contain my own power
?my heart murmurs away all life
?It makes its beats felt sometimes?

I cannot contain my own power
What I call a whisper is too loud for some
It makes its beats felt sometimes
I can’t hear below twenty decibels

I see you quivering, blabbering,
Blaming, shaming
Yet I don’t try, and I can’t
stoop low to match smallness


Whispers by Anita Dawes

Death closed its hand
Beneath the whispering autumn leaves
The old head stones tell of loved ones
I wonder, are some souls on fire?
Do they all lie at rest
Do they whisper of dancing under the sun?
Kissing under moonlight
Do they come back
Whispering in my brain
Of life beyond these cold stones
As yet, none have whispered
Of angels, golden harps or seeing Christ
Before you think me mad
I don’t hear disembodied voices all the time
There is one that stays with me
A female voice, telling me life goes on
Right there, beside you…


Eloise by Annette Rochelle Aben

Pilar shook as she clutched at her hoodie. It wasn’t the temperature it was the atmosphere. With every step she took in the October darkness, she thought she heard another faint voice.
Get out
This is my home
You are not welcome here
Her head moved like the beam of a lighthouse as she searched for a face. But there was no one in sight. Only dead trees and rocks,
She ran when another voice moaned.
I died here
It was a BIG mistake to visit the Halloween attraction on the grounds of a former mental hospital.


Tales Come True! by Simon

Stories of missing kids escalated over city for centuries. Words of Horrific murder, ruthless torture was still in the air.

Wells, didn’t care, young blood, sought adventure has visited, despite of all stories.

Palace wasn’t horrifying, delicious foods, erotic woman, proved the tales were fake.

Wells, decided to spread the word, wasn’t this discovery worth sharing to the world?

Wells, couldn’t open the door. Woman turned to ashes, delicious foods turned to worms.

Wells… whispered the palace, tingling skin, chills shivered up his spine.

Floor torn open, stone pellets tore his skin, his screams explained the tales, once again!


The Whisper by Joanne Fisher

I lay in the dark trying to sleep, when I heard a hissing. I looked to my left and thought I could faintly see two pale points of light, like two eyes watching me. I was completely frozen with fear.

“Hello.” whispered a voice.

“Who’s there?” I asked fearfully.

“Just go to sleep.” the voice whispered again, and the soft hissing began once more and got closer.

I lay there unable to move, as my eyelids got heavier and also now voiceless, knowing I might never wake up again, and there was nothing I could do. Everything went black.


I Told You I Was Ill by Doug Jacquier

The cracks appear in the plaster
and they start to match up with your mind,
because the foundations have slipped.

You ask not for whom the telephone bell tolls
because it never tolls for thee.

In the silence you can hear Death whispering
and your doctor says ‘take these’.

Your children, with their clever minds and dumb hearts,
are deaf to your rhythms and your reality
and suggest you take up yoga.

If only you knew one thing you were sure was true,
for now and for ever,
instead of watching the cracks spreading
in all of the plaster.


Seeking Peace by Sue Spitulnik

The two men sat on a strategically placed bench shaded by a majestic maple. Each leaned forward with their elbows on their knees, looking down or gazing up at a pink marble headstone, remembering. The older one wore a Vietnam Veteran ball cap. The younger one, an Afghanistan. His prosthetic legs shouted disabled veteran. They took turns talking, just above whispers. They could hear each other, but certainly, no one else would have been able to. Ending the conversation, the older touched the younger’s arm, “My daughter died doing what she wanted.” Michael cried, releasing unfounded but real guilt.


Free Will Choice by MyrnaMigala

Shhhh! Quiet, don’t say a word; listen now.
Be very still and with your mind; ask HIM!
Feel the calmness, the peace;
you can almost hear the whisper.
“Here I am.” It speaks. Give ear to the whisper.
The voice that says, “come!”
The battle begins, the distractions, our mind wanders, and we all know why; next, we hear that eerie, dark, sinister voice, shaky almost sing-song. We listen, we hear the call to our mind the word…M I N E!
Forgetting that peaceful moment, we wake and carry on with the voice that called us to them. MINE!


Forest Floor Magic by Donna Matthews

“I’m so bored!” Jack lamented.

“Oh, yeah?” I murmur back, lost in my thoughts, as I etch out my latest doodle idea.

“Listen to me!” He nearly shouts.

I look up, eyes unfocused on his distressed little face, taking in the slight pout of his bottom lip.

A wide-open day and he was bored!

“Grab your boots,” I declare.

Entering the hush of the woods, I feel him relax next to me. He kneels and explores pieces of the forest floor; pinecones, rocks, acorns, lichen. As he stuffs them in his pocket, I know they’ve whispered their ancient magic.


Voice Calling by Ann Edall-Robson

Craggy tips awakened by the sun. Visible after the wind pushes the blanket of unfriendly clouds away. Mother Nature confirming her beauty is for those who patiently wait in their search of the early morning sky. She continually baits ones visual appetite for more. 

Moments seem like hours before the simmering palette begins its play among the snow dusted rocks. A powerful vision emerges, eyes comprehend the massive loneliness before them.

And there is a voice calling. Wind moaning, whispering, baring the soul of the stoic rocky crevices. Telling tales of past sunrises relived in stories of the moment.


The Jetty by C. E. Ayr

The rock-built jetty is so peaceful in winter, just the lapping of the waves, the whispers of the wind.
It is different in summertime.
Although few sun-seekers venture out here from the beach, the sounds drift.
Children laughing or wailing, boys arguing over ball games, girls squealing in mock surprise, I hear everything.
Occasionally a youngster clambers out to explore, usually with Dad, sometimes with a friend.
And shrieks with excitement at the clusters of crabs, or voracious fish, that can be seen down crevices, feeding in unlikely places.
Then I smile to myself.
Because only I know why.


Seashore by Saiffun Hassam

I sit on that craggy rock near the seashore. I come to listen to sand dunes whisper stories of buried cities, of shipwrecks, of fishermen seeking shelter from stormy seas.

The rock seems like a sphinx, silent and hardhearted. It rumbles and I hear its memories of how the sun and wind and water have shaped the Earth.

Sea diatoms, seashells, sea fans, and sea urchins whisper news from across the oceans of oil spills, polluted waters, crumbling coral.
When glaciers melt, their whisperings build into wild and terrified screams as they are torn apart by a warming climate.


Dialects by D. Avery

My people are few in number. These English built over their bones, grew their crops in our fields.

Now these English at Patuxet have, for the first time, plenty of food and are sharing their harvest and the fowl they got with the Pokanokets, who roast deer and heat pottages. Both Bradford and Massasoit need me to interpret. Massasoit’s people number twice the English. All are fed and entertained. It is a good time for Massasoit and Bradford.

Wind whispers in the dry cornstalks. Red leaves rustle and drop. These sounds come to my ear in my own language.


Sardines by Hugh W. Roberts

Does a game of Sardines hold secrets Richard doesn’t want his husband to know anything about?

“I hope he doesn’t find us,”

“So do I,” whispered Richard. “We’re in big trouble if he does.”

“Why? What’ll he do?”

“God knows,” murmured Richard, “but it won’t be nice. Now, be quiet; I hear footsteps approaching.”

“Richard!” yelled Adrian as he entered the empty bedroom.

Creaking sounds from the wardrobe grabbed his attention.

“Oh no, I think he’s going to find us,” whispered Richard just before the two doors of the wardrobe opened. “Quickly, hide.”

“Richard! Found you. But who are you talking to?” challenged Adrian.

“Keep your eyes closed, and he won’t see us,” whispered Richard.


Pig In a Pond by D. Avery

“Why ya whisperin’ Kid?”
“Whisperin’ ‘cause I’m a pony.”
“You know, a little horse.”
“Jeez. Why’re ya hoarse, Kid?”
“Been hollerin’ fer my hoglet. Tryin’ ta git Curly ta come home.”
“She’s still hangin’ out with them beavers?”
“Yep. Swims in their pond, heps with their dam, even dives down an’ gits inta their lodge with ‘em.”
“Tell ya what hurts me most, Pal. I walked down there an’ she slapped the water with her tail ta warn the beavers I was there.”
“Thet little curly tail couldn’t a made much sound.”
“Jist a whisper. Still hurts.”


Whisperin’ Waters A Change by D. Avery

“Kid, mebbe hollerin’ ain’t the way ta git yer hoglet ta come ta ya.”
“S’pose Pal.”
“Look, Kid. Ya were always wantin’ this hog ta be yer fur-baby, even though she ain’t got fur; made her a pet but not much of a pig. Well mebbe she ‘dentifies more as a beaver.”
“Mebbe. Beavers is real smart, like her. But Pal… I cain’t say goodbye.”
“She’s right there in the pond.”
“But that tail slappin’…”
“Yer gonna have ta regain her trust Kid. Meet her where she’s at.”
“In the pond?”
“Respect her beaver-being.”
“I’ll be a beaver whisperer.”


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  1. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    This collection of whisper stories speaks volumes. GREAT JOB EVERYONE!!
    (oops… great job everyone)

    • Charli Mills

      Ha, ha! You can shout out the whispers! And THANKS for titling the collection!

  2. Sarah Brentyn

    Great collection of whispers. I particularly liked Whispers by FloridaBorne. That last line…
    Excellent prompt and I wanted to play but didn’t get to. Whispers feature in a bit of my writing anyway so this just prompted me to revisit (and possibly expand) those ones. Thanks!

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Sarah!

  3. Doug Jacquier

    What a talented bunch of hearse, house and haydy-hoo whisperers you are but those who whispered most tellingly in my shell-like ear were Jules, Jane, Charli, Liz, Michael and Reena.

    • Charli Mills

      Hady-hoo whispers! I do not know this but like its sound. Thanks, Doug!

      • Doug Jacquier

        It’s a variation on howdy. 🙂

  4. Charli Mills

    Thanks, Rebecca!


  1. Whispers Remain – Rebecca Glaessner Author - […] Submissions now closed. Read the full collection here. […]

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