Welcome to Carrot Ranch Literary Community where creative writers from around the world and across genres gather to write 99-word stories. A collection of prompted 99-word stories reads like literary anthropology. Diverse perspectives become part of a collaboration.

We welcome encouraging comments. You can follow writers who link their blogs or social media.

Those published at Carrot Ranch are The Congress of Rough Writers.

Cinderella of 2022 by Simon

The wish she made every night: to turn her skin white when she woke up.

Her mom inspired her with the advice to focus on her inner beauty.

Her inner confidence grew.

Her hard work surprised her two days after her birthday, “First Kenyan ever to win an Oscar for her supporting role in the movie 12 Years a Slave.”

She felt the world looking at her not for her skin color but for her hard work.

Lupita Nyong’o, a proud Oscar award winner who once was worried for her skin color, now being proud for who she is.

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Be Careful What You Wish For by Anne Goodwin

I made a wish for an extra pair of hands. With arms to hang them from, like the goddess Durga. I’d battle aggressors with one set while consoling a child with the other. I’d cook and type simultaneously. I’d play the piano while scratching an itch.

You could say I should have thought it through, but why, when I don’t believe in magic? I should’ve realised no shirt, jumper, jacket, could accommodate my new anatomy. That I couldn’t get comfortable in bed. The waiting list for amputations stretches to infinity. Be careful what you wish for, it could backfire.

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Surprises Happen by Frank James

“I wish life was different,” I mumbled laying in a hospital bed. I banged my prosthetic hand.

“I joined the Army to enhance life,” I eyed at my arm-tool.

A veteran’s officer invited me to an activity picnic.

“I don’t know,” I said, raising my prosthetic.

“Surprises happen,” he said. There, I played basketball with others like myself. We battled on half-court with modified rules.

“He’s my hero!” A one-armed boy cheered as I swished a basket.

I realized that my wish came true. Life changed in an unexpected way, making me stronger. I discerned my life has reason.

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Walking on Eggshells by Donna Matthews

There’s a racket in the kitchen…slamming, crashing, and expletives flying. Not making a sound, I peek out from the bedroom door. But, honestly, I just don’t have it in me to go out there today.

X is angry again, and I’m tired of walking on eggshells around them. I gently shut the door, sink to the floor with my head in my hands, and try to fight back the tears.

If only x could stop being so angry.

I know this is fantasy. I know I can only control my responses, but man, I wish it wasn’t this way.

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I Wanted to Write Stories by Duane L Herrmann

When I was a little boy, before I had siblings at age two, I had no one to play with except my mother. Often, she wanted to do other things, such as read the newspaper. I knew stories were in the words, so I wanted to make stories and be important too. With my mental disabilities, and her demands that I do her work, I was not able to write. When I finally overcame all that, she wasn’t interested in most of what I wrote, but other people around the world have been, so I have to be satisfied.

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Neighborhood Pub by Kerry E.B. Black

A dream’s a tool to envision a desired future. That’s what this is, a space to express myself, to banish negativity and embrace desires.

This glass, for example. Beneath these lights, I sip liquid amber from a crystal goblet. The round tables from Arthurian legends. We’re all equals here.

In wine, there’s truth. Alcohol loosens tongues, frees inhibitions. Here, people are their truest selves, unfiltered. I prefer honesty.

Once, someone I loved lied to me, betrayed sacred vows.

When I got my divorce settlement, I invested it in this place and named it after his favorite taunt. “Wicked Witch’s.”

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Michael’s Wedding Vows to Tessa by Sue Spitulnik

When you went off to college without me, I wished you hadn’t. Then you married and had children. I wished it were with me.
I traveled the world, serving with the United States Army, continuing to wish for you.
Our lives unexpectedly turned upside down. Within that year, we found ourselves back home. Wounded, frightened, mature.
I changed my wishes to prayers. I needed His help to heal, trust and feel useful.
Finally, here we are, standing with family, in front of friends, believing we are where we belong. I pledge to love you always, my beautiful, accepting friend.

Author’s Note: Michael is a fictional Army veteran who lost both legs in an IED explosion in Iraq. He wears two prosthetic legs, different types, for different occasions. Tessa is his high school sweetheart. The characters have been my focus for two years at the Ranch and the prompt, “I made a wish,” led me to believe I should continue writing their story.

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Make a Wish by Sam Kirk

In the field outside the hospital in which her mother is dying, Mary kneels down. ‘It would take a miracle,’ the doctor’s words ring in her ears.

The last time Mary searched for four-leaf clovers was when she was about ten. She probably wished for a certain boy to like her or a good grade on an upcoming test.

Today, her wish is much more important. Section by section, she searches until – having lost track of time – Mary manages to find what she was looking for. She pushes the other clovers away…

“Mary!” the doctor calls from behind her.

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I Wish Words Didn’t Exist by Leanne Lieu

Matt slammed his backpack on the kitchen table. “I HATE READING!” he shouted. “I WISH WORDS DIDN’T EXIST!” and stomped to his room.

He woke up the next morning feeling indifferent. Matt squeezed the toothpaste, feeling that something is different but shrugged it off. He went to the kitchen for breakfast, and thought the news on TV was different but shrugged it off. On the drive to school, he definitely noticed things were different.

“Where’s the ‘STOP’ on the stop sign?” Matt thought. “No street names? Nameless cars? Where’s ‘YIELD’?”

“The wish you made came true,” said the radio.

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Wish List by Irene Waters

“Have you got any last wishes?”

“No. Do you have any wishes?”

“Oodles. I wish we could be at peace. I wish the government would lead, not follow. I wish you weren’t sick. I wish we could travel overseas again. I wish we could travel in Australia. I wish……I’ve got lots of wishes. Come on. You must have something you wish for.”

“Nope. You know something if you live your life wishing for things and you don’t do those things then you are going to die with regrets. Me, I’m going to die fulfilled and happy.”

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The Wish I Made by Ellen Best

At five I wished on a candle stuck in a little soldier’s head, impaled in the icing of a Victoria sponge cake. My wish was sent out to the universe to be granted and promptly forgotten, … as spur of the moment wishes often are.

If I had to guess, I expect it was to be allowed to strip off the icing, to eat it first. If so, it would not have come true. Today, at 64 I send out daily gratitude affirmations. I thank the universe for the wonderful life I have now; and of course for saving my teeth.

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The Dangers Of Wish Making by Geoff Le Pard

Nervy Arrhythmia, Little Tittweaking’s blacksmith was commissioned to make a wish for the Reverend Dimpled Whitethigh to reward her contribution to village life, viz keeping her sermons were under twenty minutes.

It was a surprise to all that on the day the wish was presented, Nervy was to be found drowning his sorrows in the back bar of the Compost and Rot.

‘What’s wrong?’ the assembled multitudes asked. ‘This is a day to celebrate your amazing creation. It’s beautiful. And you can put on your mantelpiece.’

Nervy nodded. ‘Yes, but there’s one worry.’

‘Yes?’

‘What if it comes true?’

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The Wish Penny by Norah Colvin

Patsy was always wishing for something.
I wish I had a smaller nose.
— luxurious curls.
— a rainbow tutu.
And her wishes always came true. After all, she was a wish fairy.
As soon as one wish was fulfilled, she wished another.
I wish I had pearly white teeth.
— dainty feet.
— a diamond tiara.
I wish, I wish, I wish …
One day, Patsy found a shiny, round, brown object on the ground. She examined it, reading the word engraved, ‘Penny’.
I wish I was a Penny rather than a Patsy, she said; and rolled away silently in the dirt.

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Millions by Madeline Murphy

Harry’s wish was to become a millionaire playing Lotto. He carried many lucky charms and bought his numbers at 11:39 a.m. every day for luck. The focus on his wish was intense, and he ignored everything else. Mrs. Harry took the children and left.

A meteor shower was the perfect time for wishes. Harry lay on the grass wishing upon many shooting stars. “May I get hit with millions tonight!”

Suddenly, a Bugatti veered off the road and onto his lawn, killing Harry. Mrs. Harry sued, receiving millions. She cried, “Thank you, Harry! Wishes do come true!”

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The Magic Fish by D. Avery

The fisherman’s wife said not to come home without dinner.

“The fish I caught gave me three wishes to let it go.”

“I sure wish I had a beer.”

All of a sudden a bottle of beer appeared. He quaffed it. But one beer always made him desire more. Shrewdly he wished for a bucket of beer. A bucket appeared, full of beer. He quaffed it. Not too late and a little drunk, he realized the potential.

“I’ll shave the world! My last wish’s for’s world peaz.”

Instantly peas filled the bucket.

“Hope she gives peas a chance.”

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Sachertorte Star by E.A. Colquitt

Hyacinth posed with her latest, which had got an award. ‘Hey, Harriet,’ she said. ‘Don’t you wish you could win something like this?’

‘Wishing won’t get me there,’ I said. ‘It’s the doing that counts.’

So I did. I wasn’t bothered about winning. I only hoped it would be good enough to eat.

I left it to cool overnight. In the darkness, which so often births doubt, I grew restless. Walking outside to clear my head, the night sky sang out the old rhyme, reminding me…

…I wish I might…

…hard work is good, but success needs luck, too.

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Make A Wish by Hugh W. Roberts

“Clean up this mess, and put out the rubbish! I haven’t got all day.”

Looking at the single candle on the 80th birthday cake she’d made herself, Miriam made her wish before blowing out the candle. She watched her demanding daughter cut a slice of the cake and devour it. She wondered if arsenic had a taste.

When turning to look at herself in the antique mirror, Miriam’s wish revealed itself – a beautiful, slim, young woman ready to live life again. But this time without the burdensome daughter that craved her inheritance and cake more than her mother.

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They Come at Night by M. Jay Dixit

It’s a bitter winter night and he has to stay outside to guard the house. It’s been like this since a month, when the rumors began that the undead are among the living.

At first he thought it was a joke, but then the people began to disappear in cities. Rumors said that they took them all into the woods, where the undead lived.

He lays down the red cloth in front of the gate, puts some garlic on it and then checks his gun and silver bullets. He’s ready, now he just wishes for the night to end.

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Wishy-washy Fishing Advice by Doug Jacquier

I’m not swimming in riches, the nets I have cast in the sea have come back empty and, although the world is 70% water, it is not entirely an ocean and I haven’t noticed any cattle becoming kings or beggars riding horses. So it seems that the benefit of wishes according to Scottish folklore is misleading at best and downright wrong at worst. The wish I made recently was but one of many made across the globe that day and none of the aforementioned phenomena were reported in the media. Maybe I jinxed it by wishing it were true.

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My Wish by Joanne Fisher

“So what’s your wish?” the genie asked.

“Don’t I get three?” I asked.

“Sorry, we’ve downsized our wish department.”

“I wish for a billion dollars.”

“Are you sure?’ the genie asked smiling. I frowned and thought of the ways my wish could go wrong.

“Right, I wish for a billion Euro dollars that is legal tender and not fake money, also this money has to be legitimately mine, it can’t suddenly have been stolen from someone else.” I replied.

“Are you sure?” the genie asked again smiling.

“Yes, okay.” I confirmed, while wondering if I had got it right…

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Follow Thru? by JulesPaige

Jackson made a wish when he was a young boy. He wanted to know more about his absent father. He knew he had siblings that were older than he was. His mother didn’t offer any clues at all.

The siblings that remained when Jackson’s mother took the boy and left, feared for the worst. They believed his mother was the incarnate of the Wicked Witch of the West

Sixteen years after Jackson’s mother dragged him off in the dark of night – he got his wish. He was able to meet and live for a short time with his father.

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Boys and Their Toys by Nancy Brady

From the time Rob was old enough to ask Santa for what he wanted, his wish was for a train. Every year he wished for a train, and every year he was disappointed.

He would get sensible gifts like underwear and socks and some toy, but never his heart’s desire.

Years passed; the boy became a man. He no longer asked, but still wished for a train.

Finally, Rob bought a train for himself. It’s a British locomotive like his great grandfather drove in Scotland. It travels past a station, lake, forest, and a stone circle—his wish fulfilled.

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A Before and After Wish By Gary A. Wilson

“There you are, Kathleen. No — don’t say a word. Just rest and hear me out.

“Recall our chaotic romance at age 15 and my saying that you were a wish come true? How often you said, “You wished for this,” before leading us into some new havoc? You were audacious, wayward, irreverent, unpredictable — and our relationship — it became a meteorite burning bright but burning quickly out.

“Hang-gliders to alcohol — you wanted to do it all.

“I read of your overdose online, prayed for your family’s loss — and wished that my wife — was more like you.“

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Knowing by D. Avery

She hadn’t known death. Now she did. Death was the grey sadness veiling her mother’s face. It was the dark weight of her father’s slumped shoulders. It was the dense silence of the closed bedroom across the hall from her own. It was the accusations from her own eyes when she looked in the mirror.

Every night the star filled sky pricked bitter tears. She could not undo the one wish that had come true.

She didn’t remember the argument, only her words. “I wish you were dead!”

Death was turbid pond water dripping from her brother’s still body.

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If a Stone Could Talk by The Brown Orpheus

My dear sister, if a stone could talk, what would it say? Would it scream at those stepping on it without a moment’s pause, or shame them for leaving rubbish in their wake? If a stone could wish, what would it wish for? Would it want to grow legs so it could see the world from which it came? To walk amongst its brothers and sisters, to the tallest mountain, and deepest valley. Would the stone be happy then, would it feel accomplished, its purpose fulfilled? Or will I still be a stone, sitting here, talking to other stones?

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When You Wish by Michael Fishman

Wishes aren’t free. I’m not saying wishes don’t come true, only that we need to be prepared for the cost.

The night you left I sat on the green corduroy chair with the worn armrests. My head sunk into the familiar hollow made from years reading and watching television. I watched the dust motes twirling in the light from the 7-Eleven shining through the window. I thought of you and me.

I wished and bargained. The wish I made was for you to return.

No, wishes aren’t free. I learned that after my wish came true and you did.

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To Forgive? by Saifun Hassam

Cora recalled the day her grandma Karen passed away. She wished for Karen’s courage, will, and inner fire to meet life’s challenges. Leslie, Cora’s mother, abandoned the toddler to pursue her modeling career. Karen loved Cora, raising her as her own daughter. There was never a letter or call from Leslie as Cora grew up.

Karen shared stories and photos of Leslie with Cora. Karen felt Cora’s hurt, resentment, deeply. But she did not wish to shut Leslie out of Cora’s life.

A year after Karen’s death, Leslie wrote to Cora, pleading to see her. Could she forgive Leslie?

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Mother Loaf by Liz Husebye Hartman

Well, at least he’s happy.

I wasn’t expecting a visit from my teenaged, road-working son, but here he is, leaning into a half-eaten, torn-into loaf of walnut-wheat bread, butter disappearing quickly. His bent arms are long enough to eclipse the entire side of my kitchen table, effectively blocking me out. Yes, of course I fed my kid. You always feed your kid. They never completely grow up, not in your eyes.

But I wish I’d made a second loaf, because there’s nothing left for me. Instead, I bring him a tall glass of milk.

It’s all worth the visit.

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I Wish I Could by Myrna Migala

“I wish I knew “How To.”

“How to what?” said the voice of a friend.

“How to anything; I can’t do anything expertly well.”

“I can’t draw, paint, or even write a little poem.”

“I wish I could be a famous author; I will settle for a not famous author.”

“I wish I wasn’t such a scoffer.”

“If only I had a daughter, I would sit her down and draw her.”

The friend’s voice became very loud; “see, your wish came true, you’re making poems just by speaking, you are an author, you just didn’t know it.”

“I am?”

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Wishes Do Come True by Sadje

She got married straight out of college and didn’t get a chance to go abroad for her post-graduation as she had always wanted. Then her baby arrived and becoming a mother made life too hectic and busy.

But when she saw her old classmates posting on Facebook about going to high-ranking universities for further education, she also wished she had the chance.

Then her life took a sudden turn. She was again single and returned to school for getting another degree. This path led to her going to a prestigious university, and passing with honors.

She got her wish!

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The Wish I Made by Colleen M. Chesebro

“It was the silliest thing I could have done, Debs, but I did it anyway. Usually, the more I wish for something, the more out of grasp it becomes,” said Ashe. “I never thought my wish would come true.”

“It can’t be that bad,” Debs answered. “You’re so down to earth. What could you have wished for that would upset you so much?”

Ashe blushed crimson as she turned. “This…” she answered. “Look.”

Debs lifted Ashe’s hair out of the way. She gawked at the two delicate wings sprouting from the center of her friend’s back. “Can you fly?”

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These Wishers Ride Hosses by D. Avery

“Hmmph. Changes. One thing ain’t changed is Pal’s whinin bout me whinin. Well I’m jist gonna ride solo fer this one, ain’t ready ta git back with that bossy yahoo. Were still on hiatus, an Pal’s still ridin a high horse.

It sure was nice havin that time away. Away from Pal, away from our writer. I did miss Shorty an the other ranch hans, but it was good ta fill my well if’n ya know what I mean.”

“Kin lead Kid ta the well, cain’t make Kid think!”

“Pal! Wish ya’d jist leave me be fer a change.”

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“Ya might wanna rethink thet wish Kid.”

“Why?”

“Look’t where ya are, Kid.”

“Oh. Uh. It’s a little spooky. Where am I Pal?”

“Ya done harumffed yersef ta the deep end a the Ranch.”

“It’s wooded, with mushrooms an moss.”

“Yep, an they’s hidden springs an caves. There be mystical magical critters in these parts. It’s a place where spoken wishes kin come true.”

“S’pose this is where all them uni-corns hang out.”

“Reckon so. Jist think careful on what ya wish fer Kid.”

“I wish we was back storytellin at Carrot Ranch, 99 words at a time.”

*POOF!*

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“Whoa… Pal, we’re back at the Ranch.”

“In fron a Shorty’s chuck wagon. Kid, member when ya was always wishin fer Shorty ta serve up bacon?”

“That was afore Curly. Was wishin fer a dog, ended up with a hog, an now I’m sworn off a bacon.”

“Thet’s quite a sacrifice Kid.”

“You’ve sacrificed too Pal. Used ta wish I’d go away. Then t’day ya followed me ta the deep ends a the Ranch ta keep me from harm.”

“I wish ya’d keep outta trouble Kid.”

“Ya don’t neither. Ya need me.”

“S’pose. Yer the problem in my story.”

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Thank you to all our writers who contributed to this week’s collection!


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