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.
Henry Could See the Light by Colleen M. Chesebro
Henry the cat, lived at the nursing home for over two years. He was a typical tabby cat, adored by the patients.
The first thing I noticed about him was his connection to those who would soon pass. The cat had the uncanny ability to see the light in people. Somehow, he noticed the shadows of death gathering, as if their life-light dimmed in intensity.
The next thing I noticed was that Henry stayed with his patient, offering comfort with a cuddle and a purr, keeping vigil at their bedside.
Today, Henry curled up beside me. I felt peace.
Gran’s Inside Light by Norah Colvin
Jamie squeezed his hands and clenched his knees, as if that might still his churning belly and stop his heavy heart from falling. Like recycled paper, his thoughts were all mushed up. They said Gran was sick. She mightn’t get better. What did that even mean? Gloom dragged his face into a frown.
“You can see her now,” said Mum. Jamie looked up, questioning. Mum simply nodded. Jamie tentative step-by-stepped, hopeful, fearful, step-by-step.
“Gran?” he whispered. Dull eyes flickered. This isn’t Gran. Gran’s eyes sparkled.
Jamie trembled. “Where’s Gran’s inside light?” Mum hugged him. “In you and everywhere now.”
A Shining Light by Sadje
It’s easy to see the light in an innocent heart of a child. They are pure, uncorrupted by worldly desires and ambitions. I am always attracted by their sweet smiles, their naughty and mischievous looks, and their total faith in those who they trust and love unconditionally.
My oldest grandson is almost 13 now. He should be more worldly-wise now, but he has this naivety that’s so endearing. He trusts everyone, often to be hurt when they betray him. He is everyone’s well-wisher and sometimes is snubbed because of his well-meaning advice. But his light keeps on shining bright.
Bringing Light and Joy by Nancy Brady
My first child, a son, was perfect, making me a mom. The best advice I got was from my obstetrician. When asked, he said, “You feed him, you change him, you hold him, and you love him.”
In those first few weeks, when unsure, that’s what I did; it worked. My child became the light of my life. He brought joy and laughter, and my nickname for him said it best.
He and his wife recently had their first child, a son. Does he have the same insecurities as I?
will my son call his son
Someone Sees Your Light by Gary A. Wilson
“Oscar? You’re upset. What’s wrong son?”
“The boys at school again. They said that I’m DS-broken. I don’t feel broken, but I want to be normal.”
“I’m sorry. Do these boys trash-talk others?”
“Yes, they do it to Shelly who’s black and Curtis because of his wheelchair, but neither of them need special help with fractions. Maybe I am broken.”
“Nah – they’re just jerks. They mock for fun and ignore the loving and hard-working side of someone, which reminds me, Mazie’s mom called to thank you for helping her with multiplication tables. Sounds like proof that you’re not broken.”
I See the Light in You by Christine Bialczak
Billy walked sullenly, head hung low.
He hadn’t meant to look so stupid in front of his friends.
How could a book report turn into a horror show within minutes?
Dennis was how!
Billy didn’t know they were reading the same book and he certainly didn’t know that his abridged version was not only the easier version but it kept some of the best details out! Sharon ran up to Billy as he walked along.
“I thought your report was better! You enjoyed reading and it showed! I see the light in you when you talk, more than Dennis!”
An Encounter by D. Avery
She searched her reflection in the bathroom mirror, looked deep into her own eyes. She didn’t like what she saw. Still…
‘Aanii,’ the old woman had said. ‘I see the light in you.’ What a strange way to greet someone, someone you don’t even know.
“I don’t see it,” she said to her reflection, her sad dark eyes staring back at her. But she couldn’t forget the twinkle in the old woman’s soft gaze.
She had seen a light in her.
That was something.
She put the pills back in the vial, put the vial back in the cabinet.
You Glowed by Duane L Herrmann
I was sitting in a room with chairs in a circle, only about half of them filled. A person came in who none of us had seen before. He looked around, then sat down beside me. We became friends. Later, I asked him, why did he choose to sit beside me.
“Because you glowed.”
Me? I’m not a light bulb. I wasn’t even having a good day. Two publishers had canceled three book contracts, an editor sent a scathing response to a manuscript, and my private retreat space had been visually invaded. I was miserable. Yet, I glowed???
The Light Long Lost Down Time’s Tunnel by Bill Engleson
I so wanted it to be that way, to see the light shining in you. How beautiful that would be. There would only be the glow of the other, not the inferno of mistrust, of envy, but, rather, a human brilliance.
I did want that.
We sat at your table once, devoured your offerings, and radiated communal friendship, me, with her, you with her.
There was a bond.
A link between.
That evening often reappears.
I cannot speak for you.
Our tongues do not intersect these days.
For me, however, I will feast on that.
Him Indoors by ladyleemanila
by the light of the moon
you and me in trance
in your arms I swoon
after all the dance
you and me in trance
as we rock with the boat
after all the dance
together we’re afloat
as we rock with the boat
ring in hand you kneeled
together we’re afloat
tears in eyes I yield
ring in hand you kneeled
the moon as our witness
tears in eyes I yield
grateful for life’s sweetness
fly me to the moon
harvest moon like a dream
together we dance
feeling the chills in our bones
gorgeous night with you
The Hunger Game by Hugh W. Roberts
It was the light in her eyes that lit up my life.
As she gently dragged her long fingernail over my adam’s apple to the hair on my chest, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I’d undone the buttons for temptation, and it worked.
I wasn’t shocked when she hissed, as the light in her fed our desires. I gasped when she revealed two fanged teeth behind the bright red lips of her closed mouth, even though I knew what to expect.
She never saw the wooden stake I was holding.
Now I could feast.
Killers are People Too by Anne Goodwin
Matilda’s mother would have been shocked to learn she was sharing a room with a murderess. But Matilda’s mother never had the chance to discover that killers are people too. Although Doris seemed surly on the surface, Matilda sensed the loving spark within. When they’d shared their stories, they’d bring light to their dismal cell. They needn’t rush: they’d have months, years, to compare motives, weapons, plans. Once Matilda had taught Doris her letters, even her mother would struggle to tell them apart. They’d both broken the fifth commandment. Despite their incarceration, they’d both found freedom in their crime.
The Night Visitor by Joanne Fisher
I woke up in the middle of the night with my neck sore on my right side. Opening my eyes, I saw there was a dark figure standing over me.
“You again? Why are you always feeding on me?” I asked.
“Because I can see the light in you.” The vampire whispered in answer, which was an unexpected response.
“I thought you vampires were creatures of darkness.” I stated.
“Yes we are, but we are still always craving for the light.” The vampire explained leaning over again. I felt her cold breath on my neck as I drifted off.
Unreachable by Charli Mills
Unwilling to medicate, you say profit-seeking pharmaceutical bullshit billionaires invented diabetes. I have no healthcare schedule to follow. There’s nothing you will consider. The optometrist leans in, showing scans of your damaged eyes. “Sight goes quickly. What about your shooting matches?” He knows you are unwilling to accept a disease you don’t believe is real. You listen. My hope surges until you say your blood sugars only appear high because they changed the test again. TBIs alter cognition, mood, and, apparently, the endocrine system. No matter how much your brain changes, I can still see the light in you.
I See the Light in You by Jenny Logan
In my experience, focusing on people’s better sides can go one of two ways. It can lead to them living out the version of themselves one chooses to see and speak over their lives, or it can result in one being exploited.
Talking to a friend recently, we both concluded we prefer to avoid becoming cynical and we will keep trusting our acquaintances, hoping for the best and accepting any negative consequences as “things we cannot control”.
Maybe the light in others—even at their worst—is to serve as a test of our commitment to press on regardless.
Aanii by MarlaPaige
You speak of your video games and how you want to share that with me, even though you know I have never enjoyed the activity. I watch as you morph from the stoic adult that I know into an excited child; words cascading from your mouth, tumbling over each other in the space between us, vying to be the first to reach my ears. The smile snaking across your face is huge and sprawling, your eyes shining with the light of pure joy; silently watching, I see the real you. I smile and nod – for you, I will try.
A Love Story by Margaret G. Hanna
It was love at first sight.
She was standing in the middle of the flower patch, hair in disarray, dirt on her nose, waving a pair of nasty shears and scolding me for cussing out the horse. I saw a fire in her eyes — determination, stubbornness — and I knew immediately she was the one. We married three months later. She stood by side through thick and thin, through good times and bad.
Forty years later, I sit here, you lying in the hospital bed, I holding your hand, watching that light fade from your eyes. My heart breaks.
Gerties’ Gifted Power (Spot On? With Shadorma) by JulesPaige
The islands’ gardens
Full of life
Full of light
I seek the shore where the clouds
Ooze smiles like toothpaste
Each garden, some protected by trees, others with ponds that allow you to walk to the middle or those near the sea waving pampas grasses. I enjoy company and other times I wish to be alone – arms in a sun salutation. I believe each of my husbands shines a different spectrum of healing light my way. Giving me strength to pursue my dreams of teaching all my girls, that the love light shining within can brighten anyone’s day.
Constant Light Within by Ann Edall-Robson
The trail leads to a barely visible path of light-heartedness. The morning’s glow shimmers across the frosted grass. Not one step is the same no matter how many times a footprint is left. Silently the surroundings speak loud to those who listen, observing the cherished stroll to gather one’s thoughts, harbouring them within the soul. Nature’s signs are all around, while the land seeps into the heart, its aroma lingers, and the grounding is victorious beyond normal thoughts. Those who get it, get it, the connection is their constant light for all to see where ever they travel.
Divine Design by Greg Glazebrook
I’d arranged some free time to take a quiet hike along the Grand River. It was a beautiful day, overcast but bursting with shades of fall in the crisp afternoon air. I stepped from the trail to examine a fallen tree, gnarled and weathered shades of sun-bleached gray concealing a punch of colour nestled within. Red, orange and yellow waves of an inner light radiating outwards across a monochromatic backdrop. I ponder the moments when each broke free from captivity, falling on the autumn wind before congregating in this nook. A series of seemingly random acts so divinely orchestrated.
It’s All Part of the Spectrum by Geoff Le Pard
Trudy, Maddy and Deepti, the three Grace sisters are the much loved owners of Little Tittweaking’s Rainbow Emporium where, for a small fortune anyone can acquire a weather event of their choice. Since the pandemic, however, the dearth of silver linings has seen business drop because it’s said the bespoke clouds no longer glow with the necessary internal hope. The use of flaming sambucas stopped after the sambucas complained and currently hopes rest on utilising the inexhaustible supplies of hot air that emanate from the local MP’s surgery, if a way can be found to filter out the hypocrisy.
Final Moments by Reena Saxena
It’s almost dawn, and embers in the fireplace glow in the dark. Spent fuel lends its last bits of energy to the world.
I guess you know that the doctors have given up. Else, what could make you tell me all those stories, as if you are rewriting the truth? Tell me … when we’ve always been on opposite sides of the fence?
No, in this case it is erasing falsehood to reveal the truth. It sounds like a dying confession, but actually speaks of bygone eras with tainted history.
I see the light in you replacing darkness within.
A Light Shines Behind Sad Eyes by Miss Judy
She appears a mere child, sitting on the sidewalk, a mass of matted hair hanging over sad tired eyes. A sign sits propped in her lap. I drop coins in her cup. Meekly she says, “thank you.”
I ask, “Can I buy you breakfast?”
Skeptical but hungry, “Yes, please.”
Over breakfast she tells me her story. It is sad but typical. A broken home, alcoholic mother, abusive father, she was abandoned.
I tell her about myself. We are kindred spirits. We are comfortable together. I tell her, “I see a light in you. Let me help.” Her eyes sparkle.
Food Fer Thought by D. Avery
“Kid, has yer flashlight problem worked itsef out yet?”
“Told Shorty bout it?”
“Well, I did.”
“Dang ya Pal!”
“Shouldn’t keep Shorty in the dark. Anyways, she’s thinkin mebbe she kin hep lighten yer load. So ta speak.”
“Whut kin Shorty do?”
“She’s cookin up some a her famous buckaroo chili, thet’s whut. An she’s got Pepe’s makin some beans.”
“How’s that gonna hep?”
“Might pervide the motivation ta do whut’s gotta git done, if ya know what I mean. Put a little fire inside, mebbe there’ll be light at the end a the tunnel.”