What Freedom Feels Like Collection

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.

June 30, 2022

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.

A Taste of Freedom by Sadje

Freedom is a gift that only the people who don’t have it, value. Those who have experienced the usurping of their rights appreciate freedom fully.

If you ask a woman how free she is?

She’ll tell you that her choices are limited by the men of the society.

Ask a person of color about freedom and they’ll tell you their limitations.

For the poor people, the concept of freedom is totally wrapped.

Some people are born free with the freedom to choose what and who they want to be in life. They don’t realize how precious this gift is.


In Sight by D. Avery

Freedom is first brave steps

finding one’s bearings

following a star blazed path— sight in darkness.

Freedom is the light

you’ll never lose your way.


Freedom is essential

feeding your spirit

it satisfies your needs and you do not want

Freedom is bold faith

you’ll always have enough.


Freedom is rock solid

sure-footed comfort

of knowing you are loved without conditions.

Freedom is the love

you receive and you give.


Scribbles by Simon

I am feeling bored to boredom

Do humans have freedom?

Neighbour Nick serves to a Dom

He said- it’s his fetish! I was like, Damn!

Always found him wearing pink bottom

Asked why? he said he is bottom.

I don’t get it, he is so irksome.

I am going back to kingdom

Clash of clans, where is Golem?

Lately I am feeling very lonesome

Am I being nettlesome?

Can you believe the price of petroleum?

Momma said to study a program,

Now she began to sound like Saddam

Can I write anything? Seldom

Yes, but, Human has no freedom!


Freedom and the Parable of the Ass by Doug Jacquier

Gluteus Maximus considered himself a benevolent dictator, one who had only the interests of the people at heart. At least the people that mattered to him, namely the ones who considered him a benevolent dictator, one needed in such difficult times, and the ones who averted their gaze when anything contrary to that view occurred and said nothing. Those who did not avert their gaze or said inconvenient things had their tongues stilled and their sight taken, little by little, until one day they woke up voiceless in the land of the blind, where the one-eyed man was king.


Freedom from the Body by Ruchira Khanna

Mohan was lying with tears trickling down his cheeks. His body was screeching in pain; the malignant growth had penetrated his bones, thus making it unbearable. He wanted to go places and reach new avenues, but destiny had other plans. “It’s just a matter of time,” the docs said. The family was stroking his legs with the hope of giving him some relief. After coming to terms with the present, he tipped the hospital attendants and spoke words of wisdom to his children. He finally breathed his last with a smile as he got freedom from the diseased body.


Freedom by Reena Saxena

“She’ll never admit she’s wrong. I wonder if it’s an ego problem or a genetic one….”

The sounds pass through her ears, but do not pierce consciousness. The judges and the judged are both in their mind. She is unaffected by opinions.

She is not exactly floating in air, but feels light. 

The moment of acceptance that they’ll never have a good opinion about her, sets her free. She’ll not try to impress.

Freedom is knowing that each person is at a different stage of evolution, and it’s not her job to pull them up or push them down.


Free by Bill Engleson

I wonder what it must be like to be restrained. Caught! Trapped! By chains! Chains of convention! Of sorrow! I resist taking account of my own restraints. For a moment. Would I recognize them? Do I? One immediately comes to mind. The convention of wearing clothes. In public. It is one to which I heartily subscribe. Whether it is my own hard-earned modesty inculcated by how I was raised, how the world was for me, or fear, I do not know. I step out on my porch. ‘Tis a sunny morn. “Hello, neighbor,” I say. He averts his eyes.


It’s Just a Bigger Cage by Anne Goodwin

It was over a month since she’d sat behind the wheel. Would her limbs remember what to do? She’d never associated driving with freedom, except as the means to find more beautiful places to walk.

Yet it felt good to join the procession of traffic, of people fit enough to go to work. In the car, she could move as fast as they could, although she might not be travelling as far.

On her previous journey down this road, her ailment was a mystery. Now she mourns the health she’s lost as she collects a new pack of pills.


Disappeared 26 by Liz Husebye Hartmann

That final set of runes he’d carved over the plaque was a long shot, at best. He’d pleased the three weird sisters — their pause their tell – but his freedom would not go unpunished. But what was he now?

He walked through walls and deep waters, making his way to the Speakeasy, feeling small sorrow for those drowned in his escape.

He continued, finding himself atop the cliffs and outside the robber-baron’s manor. A party was in full swing. He thought to join, to charm the lissome women in the lamplight.

They looked through the Scotsman, mere shadow now.


Finding Relief By JulesPaige

Full of teen angst, we seek freedom. We want to put distance from those causing us stress. Yet what most sticks in my mind are the words in a song by Janice Joplin; “…Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…”

Returning to the place of discomfort because of not being prepared is a horrific sense of failure. But sometimes when there is no place left, that’s where we can end up. We end up fighting with ourselves. Looking for that elusive freedom that brings peace. When we finally do find true peace, there is welcome relief.


After Twenty Years by Padmini Krishnan

Savio savoured the dessert, his mouth watering for more. He hesitated. A uniformed man walked around; his head held high. At any point, Savio feared his food would be snatched away and he would be ordered back to his cell. Hurriedly, he devoured the second cup of ice-cream, an unexpected treat. It was his favourite, though he did not remember the name of the flavour.

Somebody cleared their voice, ‘’Sir, would you like anything else?’’

Savio looked at the smiling face and shook his head. He leaned back, relaxed. He need not fear uniformed men anymore; he was free.


Planting Ideas by D. Avery

Hope planted the little flags where her dad directed, starting with his grandfather who’d served in WWI and ending with his ancestors who had fought in the Revolution.

“And now a parade!”

“That’s right Hope, the Bicentennial Parade. Celebrating two hundred years of freedom.”

“Did your ancestors fight for freedom Mommy?”

“Always, Hope.” She paused to look down the tree-shaded slope to where a small marker stood just outside the cemetery fence. “But we lost.”

“Everyone’s free in America, Mommy.”

A feather drifted silently down from a towering maple. Picking it up, she wondered at the power of myths.


The Two Faces of Freedom by Hugh W. Roberts

Freedom had been escaping her prison cell.

Freedom was feeling the cool rain on her face having been shut away for nearly 25 years.

Freedom was feeling the grass on her bare feet.

Freedom led her to the safety of the light ahead in the darkness that closed in on her.



She had enjoyed freedom for the last 25 years. She was free to do whatever she wanted, see whoever she wanted, and go wherever she wanted.

But for nearly an hour, freedom was no longer hers until she shot dead the running figure coming towards her.


Free to Go by Michael Fishman

I said I’d help him move.

“Meet me at 2:00?” he asked. “Helen’ll be at work.”

He had little: A few boxes. Some pictures, clothes, records. An old Magnavox all-in-one stereo with a cracked dustcover. No furniture, television, kitchen stuff.

I wasn’t sure why he needed me.

We dropped everything off at his new apartment.

“You wanna celebrate freedom with a beer?”


I started to reply, but he cut me off. Told me he just wanted to be alone. Said he was free to do that.

I went home, showered, changed, and met Helen for dinner at 7:00.


A Difficult Dead End by Gary A. Wilson

It’s hard, getting this far and hitting a dead end.

We invested a lot you and I and we reached some summits.

We both gave more than we ever expected but looking back, so much of it made no difference.

We don’t know how to forgive or fix but only how to finish.

I’m ashamed that our home is not big enough to hide from each other.

The papers are on the table. Sign and give them to Monica. She agreed to be our go-between.

The only freedom I can see for us now – is life without the other.


What is Freedom? Duane L Herrmann

Freedom does not mean irresponsibility. Irresponsibility generates chaos and chaos is not helpful or healthy for anyone. Too often “freedom” is taken to mean license to be irresponsible to or for others. If someone had not been responsible for you as a child, you would not exist to be free to be responsible. Freedom needs responsibility. Responsibility, likewise, does not mean repression. No adult should have control over any other adult unless the other is obviously unable to care for themselves, even then there should be more responsibility than control. Respect for others is a foundational responsibility of freedom.


Where My Heart Sings by Ann Edall-Robson

Gray asphalt determined to keep me on track, wandering aimlessly towards upward spiralling concrete that obliterates lofty clouds and blue sky, suffocating life. Yet, hope glimpses an escape route, and what is to come when chains of repetition are unshackled, giving permission to ignore the freeways and skyscrapers. Carefree moments lying on the grass watching the night sky dance in the moon’s glow. Awakening each day, to drive the rutted, gravel road to the intersection of I Don’t Give A Damn and This Is Freedom. Where roads wander aimlessly, taking me nowhere and everywhere, to where my heart sings. 


We’re Free! by Norah Colvin

Help! Save us!

What’s wrong?

Can’t you see? We’re sinking. It’s quicksand! Help!

I’ll save you! I’ll pull you out!


Okay. Stay right there! I’ll get a rope.

Jane, Jane. Quick, Give me your rope. The boys are sinking in quicksand. We have to get them out — before it’s too late.

I’ll come too.

Where are you going?

We have to save the boys! They’re sinking! It’s quicksand!

Quicksand? I’ll help too.

Quick! Grab the rope! Now, everyone, on the count of three, one, two, three, pu-ull! Pu-ull! Pu-ull!

Made it! You saved us! We’re free! Thank you.


Free as a Bunny by Kerry E.B. Black

Rayne huddled under the swingset with a bunny. Its rapid heartbeat outstripped her own. She buried her nose in the fluffy fur and wished to stay safely curled up with it, secure in some snug warren, far from her troubles. As though her thoughts summoned them, her troubles – or persecutors – found her. They ran to inflict their latest torments. Fearing for the delicate bunny, she pushed it into the tall grasses beyond the play area. As their words wrapped like a noose and their hands clamped tight as a jailor’s, Rayne was glad the rabbit at least was free.


Wishing Yourself Free by Geoff Le Pard

Save a Sprite, get a wish; it was Little Tittweaking lore. For many it meant freedom; for Norman Nocoff, not so much. Norman played a set at the Compost and Rot. He allowed the foot high piano-player to join him. A visiting pig castrater, sipping dubonnet gawped. ‘Who’s he?’ He couldn’t explain, not again. Norman was broken; why had the sprite been partly deaf? Norman was young, only thinking of girls. Slipping his wish away, he returned to the horrible moment his wish had been granted, and he had opened his hand to find a twelve inch pianist.


When the Walls Come Down (Part I) by D. Avery

“Hey Kid. Looks like ya got yersef free a thet too-tall pigpen ya made by stackin stones.”

“Jist asked fer a ladder, Pal. Though it were a stretch fer her, Shorty hepped. Which is more’n I kin say fer you.”

“I was injoyin bein free a you while you was stuck there in yer pen. Anyway, yer free now, jist in time fer the freedom prompt. How’s thet feel?”

“Ain’t never felt nuthin but free here at the Ranch, Pal; free ta jist go where the prompt leads… free ta x’periment with writin… heck even the carrots are free!”


When the Walls Come Down (Part II) by D. Avery

“Won’t be no carrots if’n ya don’t do something bout that free-rangin free-loadin carrot-eatin hog a yers, Kid. Git thet animal penned up!”

“Won’t neither, Pal. Curly’s gonna keep roamin free roun Carrot Ranch. But look what I done. I lowered the walls ta that pen, but they’s still high ‘nough ta keep Curly out. Planted the carrots inside there where they’ll be safe. An I used the extra rocks from the extra-tall walls ta make a labyrinth.”


“So folks kin do a walkin meditation.”

“Won’t they git lost?”

“Nope. They’ll git centered an free their minds.”



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

You May Also Like…

To Leave a Leak Collection

To Leave a Leak Collection

Welcome to Carrot Ranch Literary Community where creative writers from around the world and across genres gather to...

This Is Awkward Collection

This Is Awkward Collection

Welcome to Carrot Ranch Literary Community where creative writers from around the world and across genres gather to...


  1. pedometergeek

    Great collection this week…such a free exchange of story ideas. After reading them, I realized mine might have fit within the parameters. Alas…but i did post it on my site with hopes other people will find their way back to Carrot Ranch.

  2. Doug Jacquier

    Congrats to all for snapping the elastic on their nanna knickers and their Y-fronts to free their … er… freedom. Open kimono kudos to:
    Simon – I’m feeling bored to boredom (and channeling Subterranean Homesick Blues)
    Reena – The moment of acceptance that they’ll never have a good opinion about her, sets her free.
    Liz – but his freedom would not go unpunished
    D – A feather drifted silently down from a towering maple. Picking it up, she wondered at the power of myths.
    Michael – What a cad you are (but clever).
    Geoff – Fantasising (as always) and reliving a golden oldie

  3. OIKOS™- Art, Books & more

    I cannot decide which one could be better. Every single poem shows another important aspect of freedom. That’s great! Thanks for all your efforts to be part of this challenge! Best wishes, Michael

  4. Liz H

    This was a really fun, often thoughtful set of flash this week. Kudos to you all, and may we contemplate freedom and justice as the U.S. dubiously celebrates its independence this weekend. Sigh.

  5. Ann Edall-Robson

    As always, a wonderful selection of stories. Great work everyone.


  1. The Swarm #99WordStories | Norah Colvin - […] The collection of stories made in response to the previous prompt Freedom, including mine, can be read at the…
  2. #99Word Stories; For a day | ShiftnShake - […] sure to go to Carrot Ranch to read the complete “Freedom” collection from last week. And there’s always the…

Discover more from Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading