Red Convertible Collection

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.

September 7, 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.

Playtime by Kayla Morrill

Top open wide, a red convertible slows down and comes to a stop at the incredulous bumper to bumper line forming behind the pay station. It’s thirty cars deep and the sign estimates a thirty-minute wait before the red dirt covered, currently tan, convertible gets a wash. The cars begin to move quickly as the pay station lady allows more cars to cram into the car wash.

“Lacy, dinners ready!”… “Coming mom!”

Hands quickly drive the convertible into a bucket of browning water along with the rest of the Matchbox cars. Lacy content with her work goes to eat.


The Little Red Convertible by Norah Colvin

“Where to today?” asked Amy.

“Over the mountains, across the river, and through the far-away forest,” said Lucy.

“Be home in time for dinner,” said Mother.

“We will!”

The little red convertible chugged to the peak of the highest mountain where the children danced in clouds. It rolled through misty valleys and onto the plain where the children played hide-and-seek in patchwork fields. It trundled across the wooden bridge over the river that led to the forest where they fluttered with fairies and pranced with unicorns.
Rumbling bellies told them to head for home.

“Just in time,” said Mother.


The Red Convertible by Duane L Herrmann

We were in eighth grade and drew names for the Christmas gift exchange. I got the name of a neighbor girl who I’d been friends with since long before we started school. With her name she had written that she wanted a red Corvette convertible. I was stumped but managed to get her the car. She was overwhelmed. After decades of going our separate ways, we met again.

“The red convertible you gave me was the only one I ever had,” she remarked.

“Really?” I was amazed.

“Yes, that toy model I had to put together.”


The Toy Car by Hugh W. Roberts

I’d spent all my pocket money. Mum wouldn’t buy me the toy red convertible car, so I stole it after hearing somebody say the seller was blind.

That night, I woke to the roar of a car engine and was shocked to see the toy car I’d stolen now full-sized.

Behind the steering wheel was a figure I recognised with dark glasses, who was shaking a white cane.

My screams got drowned out by the constant sound of the car horn while full-beamed lights blinded my eyes. Now I’m deaf and blind.

I wish I hadn’t stolen the car.


Read, Converted by Anne Goodwin

It wasn’t her kind of holiday, but a beach resort with familiar food made sense for the kids. She tried speaking Spanish to the servers, but they returned the volley in scripted English and poured more wine. On an evening stroll they stumbled upon a bookstall and she couldn’t resist a classic Garcia Marquez, although he said they had come to relax. By the pool the next day, she wished she’d heeded his warning: she understood one word in ten. It wasn’t much clearer with Google translate. But she persisted and finished the novel as they arrived at Heathrow.


Two Ford Convertibles by Nancy Brady

Over my lifetime, I have owned all makes of cars: a Comet, Hondas, a Mitsubishi, and Toyotas, but none were convertibles, red or otherwise.

I have ridden in convertibles, the latest being John’s red Ford Mustang. John drove me home. My hair whipping around, the sun’s warmth, it was a brief, exciting ride.

At the other end of the spectrum, my first ride in an open-air vehicle was a Ford Model A, riding in the rumble seat, going out for ice cream. My next-door neighbor spent years restoring the car, and this was a gift one warm summer night.


Roadtrippin’ with The Beach Boys by Miss Judy

Hittin’ the road, the top down on my 60’s red Roadster “I get around…town to town.” No real place to go, no real time to get there.

Just me, Brian and the Boys, drivin’ fast as I can, radio blastin’ all our favorite songs, “I’m pickin’ up good vibrations.”

Got the wind in my hair, sun on my face, not a care in the world and “warmth of the sun within me tonight.”

Maybe we’ll head on down “Off the Florida Keys there’s a place called Kokomo.”

“We’ll have “Fun, Fun, Fun…” livin’ for today, no worries ‘bout tomorrow.


Red Rider by Bill Engleson

Thumb’s out, heavy as a stump, it seems, after a few minutes.
Super busy highway.
Damn muggy day.
I’m not looking my best. Been a while since that heyday.
Smile, buddy!
Show them pearlies.
You’d have to be nuts to stop on this highway horror show and pick me up.
Lots of crazy folks though.
My salvation, the loose screws of the world.
They love fellow travelers.
I’m gonna start fantasizing, I can feel it.
Hitchhikers’ hallucinations.
Had them countless times.
A sweet little blonde in a red MG.
Almost happened once.
Swear it did.
Even if it didn’t.


Oops, Sorry! by ladyleemanila

She knew she’d hit something. But what? She saw the shadow suddenly running in front of her red convertible. Her heart was racing, maybe it was just her imagination. Or the fog and the darkness setting in. Then her heart froze – a deer! Poor deer, she didn’t mean to hit it. Michael would be furious when he sees the damage to the car, again! Last time, Sheena nearly went to the lake when it skidded through the rain. They’ve also just replaced the tyres because she kept on driving it home even though the “tyres alarm” was blinking.


Karma  by Colleen M. Chesebro

Shadows patterned the tree-lined road into the boneyard. I stood at the entrance, confused at how I’d arrived there.

The last thing I remembered was holding a gun. I shook my head. My memories had vanished like smoke in the wind. A cold lump twisted in my gut.

I paused when I heard a car approach. A red convertible turned into the driveway entrance and stopped. From the radio, Polka music blared, hurting my ears.

Breaking news abruptly interrupted the song. “The Ridgeway killer is dead.”

The door swung open. “Get in,” Satan purred. “I’m your ride to damnation.”


Red Convertible by Ann Edall-Robson

The baseball cap was locked in place over her auburn ponytail. Cheeky aviator sunglasses settled snugly on her nose, and a flashy wild rag knotted at her neck, flying and snapping behind her in the wind.

Sunset’s lofty clouds added to the evening cruise to visit her biggest supporters, her grandparents. Encouraging her to build the business from her years of dreaming and planning, they helped her to buy this version of a red convertible. She lovingly patted the dash of her red bi-plane crop duster before dipping to the left, moving into position to buzz their ranch.


Reunited by Charli Mills

Sylvia blew past the parked vehicle on a lonely stretch of Hwy 50. Flashing lights spun in her rearview mirror. She hadn’t meant to drive so far outside Las Vegas but with an open highway and a fast car, what else was a bored starlet to do? She lived life in the fast-lane. Movie locations, premiers, body-sculpting, interviews, empty dates, and false friends. She slowed the convertible and time stood still. She knew him. The Sheriff. They graduated Eureka High together, sharing the stage and dreams. She left. He stayed. Neither removed their sunglasses. He smiled. “Can I drive?”


Top Down Management by Doug Jacquier

She wore the dress she knew he liked, the one with the cleavage that promised the Grand Canyon but only exposed a small but perfectly formed ravine. She slipped on the high heels that had cost her a month’s wages and required the poise of a ballerina to cross a room without breaking an ankle. (She knew every woman there would watch like a hawk.) Then she tightly pinned her flowing auburn waves to the back of her head, slipped on the cap and finally the platinum blonde wig. She knew how much he’d always wanted a red convertible.


Dating Scene by Jenny Logan

“Hey, Janey, how d’your date go?”

“So so.”


“We had a lovely ride in his red convertible.”


“Just not my thing, though. He told me all about his flying lessons.”


“Again—heroic hobbies? Nah. Plus, he’s got two kids. I’m too young for all that.”

“You sound fairly definite.”

“I am. He’s a cosmetic surgeon. He said, ‘So, if you ever want anything doing’. The cheek of him! I don’t need tweaking. I’m alright as I am.”

“Good for you. So, you’re throwing this one back?”

“Yeah. He’s not for me.”

“Can I get his number?”


Transformative Insight by JulesPaige

I thought I’d get to ride in his red convertible, see touristy places on my vacation. My host picked me up from the airport in a rental, the spiffy vehicle was in the shop. He’d chosen not to take any time off work that week either. No sightseeing!

While he went to work Monday I took a walk. Almost to the Santa Monica State Beach pier, hours on the sand there (then back), filling my lonely day. He’d the nerve not to believe me! I saw plenty of red, silently fuming. Converted my rage to action, and left him.


Feet of Clay, Buttocks of Delight by Geoff Le Pard

When the church’s highly regarded musical director, Don Quaydraws was caught in flagrante and on camera, Little Tittweaking’s previously enraptured citizens were devastated. The local paper reported the shock of watching Don display his mastery of the portable organ while using his delicate fingering to bring the second violin to a syncopated climax inside his red convertible. ‘There is no doubt,’ intoned the leader, ‘that watching those highly-strung buttocks appear and disappear out of the roof like two beige bellows during All Things Bright and Beautiful has been what many consider to be the director’s first bum note.’


The Red Convertible by Joanne Fisher

Once the divorce happened I let her keep virtually everything. She could have the house and all the things in it as far as I was concerned. It was mostly hers anyway. My lawyer thought I was crazy letting her get way too much. They said I was going to regret it, but the truth was I was happy, as I got the red convertible. The only thing I actually wanted.

When all was settled, I got in my convertible and drove off leaving everything behind me. I drove on until I found some place new to begin again.


Dreams by Reena Saxena

A question marked Urgent perplexes me. A millennial wants advice if he should opt for a car loan and invest his money in mutual funds to earn higher returns. It takes tough questions and hard calculations to make him see sense. I question his assumptions of the future.

The session leaves me with more questions than answers. Owning that red convertible is an obsession with him. All other goals for the future are blurred.

I visualize him driving into the metaverse in his dream car. It’s a world out there I can’t fathom, with my feet on slippery sands.


Don’t You Touch My Car! by Sadje

When Alfred realized his dream of owning a red convertible, he became very stingy and possessive about anyone touching or using his precious car.

He even demanded that anyone admiring it should wear cotton gloves before laying a hand on its glossy surface.

Cynthia, his girlfriend got so fed up with his concern for his car, more than her, that she refused to set foot in it. He was shunned by his friends for the same reason.

The result of this over-obsessive attitude was that he became a loner who spent most of his time alone with his car.


Convertible (Part I) by D. Avery

“This is not how I thought it would be.” He looked at the bloodstained towel, pressed it back to his nose. “Used to think I’d get myself a red convertible for old age. Maybe die in that.”

“I always thought I’d kill you well before we got to old age.” She exchanged his crimson towel for a clean one. “You’ve got to pinch it more and talk less if you want the bleeding to stop.”

“It’s slowing down. Finally.” He smiled. “Not dead yet.”

She kissed the top of his head then fixed his oxygen tube. “No. Not yet.”


Convertible (Part II) by D. Avery

While he napped, she cleaned up after the latest nose bleed. She put laundry going, filled the portable oxygen tanks, and organized his medications. As she started to prepare dinner, she heard him clicking rapidly through the TV channels and begin his complaints of boredom. She tossed the dishrag into the sink.

“So let’s buy that red convertible,” she said, facing him. “Go touring.”

“What? Now?”

“Can you think of a better time?”

“You’ll have to drive.”



He smiled in the passenger’s seat. “Not dead yet.”

She preferred yellow, but was willing to compromise while their journey continued.


That Car by Jenny Williams

The car was parked across the road from the cafe. It called out to my soul. The liquid red paint job screamed fast, the open top, freedom. I knew I had to have it.
Over an hour, I lingered at my sidewalk table checking the street, looking for the owner and formulating a plan. 2 minutes is all I need to hot wire the car and drive away.

Tools in hand and totally focused, I crossed the road.

Stupid bus blindsided me. Intense pain as my pelvis shattered. Dreams of that car vanished as the crowd gathered around me.


Red is Definitely My Color by Tina Stewart Brakebill

I was never a “convertible person.” Hot in the summer. Cold in the winter. Buggy. Windy. Nope. Not for me.

But … I had to admit, I looked good. Red was definitely my color.

A horn blasted and I shifted my gaze to the truck also reflected in the store window. Resisting the urge to flip them off, I meekly waved. They roared past me, blasting exhaust.

As that rumble faded, the sound from the trunk grew louder. Time to get back to the task at hand.

I indulged in one last look. Yes. Red definitely was my color.


Throttled by Nicole Horlings

It was the thrill of the wind blowing through her hair, the sun caressing her face, and the power controlled by her hands and feet that drove her to taking the red convertible out for a spin a second time. A route formed of twisting bends and sloping hills only added to the joy ride.

The bright red paint, and her exposed face when the top was down… She should have realized the risk she was taking. It didn’t take long for the police to find her.

If only she had waited until her employer was again on vacation.


The Magic of Red by Sue Spitulnik

Each time Tessa visited her daughter she saw more red: glass art pieces, cookware, vases, flowers, candles, pillows, and even candy. “Lexi, what’s up with the red?”

“Remember that vacation when Adam and I rented a red convertible? We believe Emma was made in that car. Under the stars. You Know.”

“I get it.”

“We’ve been trying so our kids aren’t too far apart but no luck, so Adam thought maybe some red would make the magic happen.”

“Are you practicing magic in the family area?”

“No, our sheets and towels are red too.”

Tessa rolled her eyes. “Oh.”


Into My Sunset by Gary A. Wilson

Only 3:58am. Why am I awake? It’s still two hours before the alarm won’t go off, but I’ll get out of bed anyway.

Gloria will ask what I’m doing today and all I’ve got are quick yard chores, a clock battery to replace and six bills to pay. I could review the ads in my email but there won’t be anything of substance.

Damn but I miss thinking!

I thought our empty nest was a shock, but retirement leaving me with nothing significant will take me out before any virus.

Perhaps it is finally time for that red convertible.


Hats Off by D. Avery

“Phew! Was so busy back in the comments a this challenge post, a-heppin Shorty git back ta HQ, almost fergot bout the act’chal challenge. D’ya got anythin fer ‘Red Convertible’ Kid?”

“Shorty traded me that sorrel hoss fer that oversized felt hat, so that’ll have ta do.”

“Speakin a red convertibles, I see Mikhail Gorbachev has passed.”

“May he rest.”

“Thet seems so long ago, when he was leader a the Soviet Union. Bringin walls down. Glasnost.”

“Ain’t no dis-putin his impact. But fer ev’ry action there’s a re-action.”

“Ain’t no dis-putin thet, Kid. Best hang onta yer hat.”


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

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  1. joanne the geek

    Another great collection of stories.

    • Charli Mills

      A lot of drive time in this collection, Joanne!

  2. Jules

    This week I’ve read all the posts here. I’ve also read some at blogs…
    I really enjoyed the creativity of those taking the car out of the equation!

    And there were some mysteries too… like knocking in the car boot – having fun in retirement hit home too. Thanks everyone!!

    • Charli Mills

      I enjoyed the surprise of the non-car versions, too Jules. An adventure all the way around.

      • Jules


  3. Colleen Chesebro: WordCraftPoetry

    What an amazing bunch of stories!! The red convertible had everyone fired up this week! Bravo! ???? ??

  4. Doug Jacquier

    Well, aren’t you all a fine bunch of red-heads revving your imaginary throttles on a road to anywhere but here. I was like a bug on your windscreens as you delivered these fast-paced fantasies.

    Kayla – a delightful imagining (or re-imagining) of the world of a child)
    Norah – Echoes of the Magic Faraway Tree
    Anne – ‘She tried speaking Spanish to the servers, but they returned the volley in scripted English and poured more wine.’ Said like a true traveler.
    Miss Judy – Till Daddy took the T-bird away ????
    Bill – ‘Almost happened once. Swear it did. Even if it didn’t.’
    Ann – Sneekily drawing us into a red crop-duster
    Charli – ‘empty dates, and false friends’
    Jenny – One woman’s trash is another’s treasure. ????
    D – Exquisite unrolling of a tale that I hope is ongoing.
    Sue – Lexi’s missing the magic ingredient of the stars, methinks.

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for being a bug on the windscreen, absorbing all you can with the stories in the collection, Doug. Your story promises the action to follow.

  5. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    The queen curator is in top form this week! Loved the lead outs, Kayla, Norah and Duane, with their tots, toys and twists.
    More twisted of course when we get to Hugh’s and Anne’s read convertible was right up her alley.
    Nancy and Miss Judy take us down memory lane. Bill does too. Or does he? Bill, that’s so good I’d give you a ride, but I think you’d be disappointed. Better a ride in my truck perhaps than in Ladyleemanila’s ill fated convertible. And certainly better than getting in Colleen’s featured convertible!
    Another Ann, another direction for where this prompt might lead. (Thought of you today Ann as the biplanes flew overhead.)
    Charli, my fast-lane friend, so happy for your character to realize she has a true friend still.
    Doug, that’s quite a scene, ravine and all. Back to verisimilitude though… I can’t believe he’s worth all this trouble. I guess it might be for the secondary character in Jenny’s story, (which made me chuckle).
    Jules, that ended up being a power walk!
    Oh, Geoff. Such a cheeky tale.
    Joanne’s is another power walk, converting pain into positive.
    Reena, I think I know this kid. Some dreams should be deferred, until affordable. And even then there could be problems, as Sadje illustrates.
    More twisted tales! Jenny shows us that crime does not pay, even before a crime has been committed. Tina shows us that sometimes people get away with crimes. Nicole reminds us nope, not always if you’re not careful.
    Sue, I have told you how I’ve enjoyed getting to know more of your characters and to know them better. And now maybe I know too much.
    Gary, have your narrator read this collection for ideas (and pitfalls) regarding the purchase of a red convertible. We’re all in this together!
    I have just now read this collection and yep, we did it again! Thanks Charli!

  6. pedometergeek

    I must admit I have not gotten through all of the stories yet, but I will. They are always worth reading, and I am constantly impressed by the imagination and variety of the stories of all the Word Wranglers. Unfortunately, I got pulled into work earlier than expected (I work part-time irregularly) and put in too much time there when I’d rather have spent time here. I’ll get them read this weekend. Briefly looking at the comments here (I don’t want to have all the surprises spoiled before I get the opportunity to discover them for myself), I know I am in for a treat. ~nan

  7. Ann Edall-Robson

    Week after week, it amazes me the stories that are churned out from Charli’s prompts. Thankful to be able to come and read them at my leisure. Thank you all for your stories. Thank you Charli for compiling the stories for us.

  8. Norah

    Another wonderful collection with superb comments from both Doug and D. following.
    Doug, I enjoyed your story with its car-less (not careless) convertible – clever. It gave me a smile. Anne’s also car-less, and Ann’s. It is interesting to see where this prompt drove writers to this week. Thanks everyone for a great read. I read all and commented on blogs where I could find the posts. Thank you, Charli. Your story made me smile too. I think they’re in for a fast ride. I hope they see no more flashing lights in the rearview mirror. Have a great week.

  9. suespitulnik

    I had to read some of these out loud to my husband, for the twists, chuckles, and no cars included. Thank you everyone for sharing your “babies.”


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

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