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Wheels Keep on Turning Collection

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.

Coal Miner’s Son by Frank James

“Keep the wheels turning, boys. We have a deadline to make,” Reb, foreman yelled at coal miners pushing squeaky metal carts to collection. Wyatt, eighteen, struggled with the largest one.

Reb throttled his eyes at him, “Your job relies on speed.” Wyatt stumbled.

“I took a chance on you, so man-up,” Reb growled. Wyatt stood, grunting to collection.

Elliot his father stopped Wyatt, “Family depends on you.” A cart broke free barreling toward Reb, and Wyatt rammed his cart in its path. Coal dumped everywhere, and Reb smirked. “I guess you can handle the job. Clean up the mess.”

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Up the Mississippi by Tessa Dean

Rodney anxiously waited his turn to go and see the paddleboat exhibit that was being shown at the river near him. At one point, those boats floated up the Mississippi and other places, and the paddles kept the wheels turning to propel the boats up or down the river.

Rodney struck up a conversation with one of the people around him, and he found out that there were still authentic paddleboats that you could actually ride on up and down the Mississippi River. The old boats carried people and animals up and down the Mississippi River over the years.

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The Wheels Keep Turning by Colleen M. Chesebro

The wheels of America’s evolution keep turning
everybody’s talking, but no one’s listening
all they want is to win the argument

Opinions over facts—lies deny truths
social media—the louder we talk
no one hears what the other says

Political and financial earthquakes
shake our democratic foundation
to the breaking point…

We’re headed for a breakdown
the wheel of time spins us into the darkness
unstable powers abound, time slows,
distorted reality, our new actuality

Will we find our collective turning point?
What if the desired results aren’t met?
From within the darkness…
can we find the light?

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Wheels of Time by Duane L Herrmann

There are anniversaries that mark centuries. Awareness of these, one gains understanding of one’s place is history. Members of the Bahá’í Faith recently marked two such anniversaries: the births of the Herald and Prophet-Founder of their faith. Though only two centuries ago (every religion has to begin some time), the changes in that time have been massive: steam power, flight through the air and space, the contracting of the globe to a single neighborhood, and today, with zoom, anyone is just a computer screen away. Two hundred years ago our everyday life would have been a fairy tale miracle.

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A World in Motions by Geoff Le Pard

Lazarus Pomegranate, High Factotum of Little Tittweaking’s science faculty launched his novelty invention prize to much fanfare. There were many entries seeking to meet the one requirement: to create a perpetual motion machine. Some went old school with spinning wheels and clicking clogs, some were more hi-tech, amalgamating the latest developments in antigravity Pilates and bifurcating voting patterns. The winner, which the judges considered best embodied Little Tittweaking’s motto – Life is like a sewer: what comes out depends on what goes in – continued to produce an endless stream of little turds despite everyone’s best efforts to turn it off.

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Halloween City Planner by Gary A. Wilson

So, my options range from fully-cancel to doing nothing. Both are too extreme, a straight jacket of safety or the risks of chaos running free.

We know that tales of razor blades and needles in candy were mostly urban myths, but are the current reports of fentanyl disguised as candy true or just more politically motivated media-hype?

Halloween is supposed to be playfully scary, not a modern Russian-roulette with candy.

A city-sanitized celebration would surely fail, but what if parents or schools hosted the parties with known safe-sourcing? Would and should other parents trust them?

Best call our attorney.

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Hallowe’en Wheelies by Bill Engleson

Gaylord Hawksbury struggled out of his grave on Monday night. It was the first Hallowe’en after his expiration. He preferred expiration to death. Death always seemed so final. Expiration was like a carton of milk…the date of expiration was flexible.

Gaylord appreciated flexibility.

In the graveyard, Lucas Wallenby, a smartass thirteen-year-old was grave-hopping.

Gaylord hovered above his tombstone and watched Lucas, a local skateboarder, wheel through the cemetery, clipping stones, flying high, fast and loose.

“Damn kids, these days,” he bellowed, shocking Lucas in the middle of a backside heelflip, causing Lucas to crash onto Governor Edgar Baxter’s headstone.

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The Wheel Keeps Turning by Sweeter Than Nothing

A life is taken, a life is given and so the cycle continues. 

Not many people would admit to liking being Death, but I do. I am not a gruesome monster here to feast on your flesh. I am here to help and guide confused and lost souls into a world far greater than this. 

The bad side of my job is gathering souls for recycling from the ether and bringing them to life. Sure the humans are ecstatic with their newborn but I know the suffering they will endure in life until I can guide them home again.

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Wheel Keeps Going by ladyleemanila

Fiery and fascinating is what I’m hoping
Claiming a masterpiece I could sing for hours
As I create something, interpretation is open
With stretched imagination, scene is flowing
Seek and I shall find rainbow powers
As the wheel keeps going, my pride’s glowing
Make or break, ours, yours or theirs
My closet is full of creation at the moment
Waiting for critique from my peers
Staying at home this is one way of coping
Creating something or doing some repairs
With clay in my hands and frog’s croaking
And in the afternoon, enjoy the rain showers
Fiery and fascinating

🥕🥕🥕

Spinning Our Wheels by Nancy Brady

The prompt is given; the wheels start spinning around in my brain. Ruminating for a day or two, I consider ideas. I discard one idea in favor of another. Finally, I begin to write, fleshing out the details, and then editing.

Meanwhile, in our cellar, Rob plays with his British locomotives, their wheels running around and around the English countryside. Starting at the station, the engine and its cars filled with coal pass the forest filled with deer, the lake, frothy with waves, and the stone circle. The locomotive continues on returning to the station once again to refuel.

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The Wheels of the Limo by Norah Colvin

“The wheels of the bus go —. No, wait. The wheels of the limo go round and round, round and round —”
“Why’d ya stop?”
“I didn’t stop. We’re stuck.”
“But the wheels are turning.”
“Must be something underneath. Okay. Everybody out.”
Teddy, Ollie, Ellie, Monkey and Bunny piled out. They watched as Amy hoisted the little red convertible for Lucy to check underneath.
“There’s a rock,” said Lucy. She reached under, withdrew the culprit, and hurled it into the shrubs.
“All aboard!” she called.
The passengers settled back in, and everyone sang, “The wheels of the limo …”

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Rollin Fer Norah Colvin by A. Kid

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’
Ain’t no fear a-showin
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’
Get that pen a-flowin
Raw lit!

Keep rollin’, rollin’, rollin’
Get them ideas growin
Let them stories keep unfoldin
Raw lit!

Through work and play and life-stuff
keep on writin, hang tough
Buildin a story bit by bit.
then comes more revision
choosin words fer their precision
Cuz only 99 words will fit.

Write ‘em down, cross ’em out
Cross ’em out, write ’em down
Write ‘em down, cross ’em out
Raw lit

Keep writin’, writin’, writin’
Though yer muse is fightin
No need ta be frightened
Raw lit!

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Spin-A-Thon by Reena Saxena

steel your resolve, the wheel keeps spinning
race against fears, step up acceleration
swear love forever, or revenge in indignation
Challenge destiny, the wheel keeps spinning

race against fears, step up acceleration
conquer the world as you know it
Challenge destiny, the wheel keeps spinning
you know not where it leads, but keep running

conquer the world as you know it
steel your resolve, the wheel keeps spinning
you know not where it leads, but keep running
swear love forever, or revenge in indignation

I call it Time, you may choose another name
It’s the universe, everything is spinning

🥕🥕🥕

Non-stop Thinking by Sadje

The wheels turn in my mind as it thinks unceasingly. Take a pause or a break, I advise it sagaciously but often to no avail.
Only when I am deeply engrossed in another activity that my brain stops this incessant cycle of thinking. Sometimes I tire of this and try to divert it to more relaxing activities, but it likes to spin like rat on a treadmill all the time.
What’s wrong with thinking, you question!
Nothing at all, if it doesn’t go around in circles and keeps on creating questions and answers to problems that don’t yet exist!

🥕🥕🥕

Our Minds in Constant Motion by JulesPaige

Similar to cogs, the brain’s synapses are like wheels that have perpetual motion. Even in sleep there are visions recounted or bringing forth clues to resolve issues.

That ‘darned’ testing company was quick to process the test, quick to send the results to health care providers and quick to send an unjust bill. But not so quick to send results to the person who would have liked to know the outcome sooner than later. The CEO’s going to have their engine running after receiving the letter the customer churned out because of all the wheels not lining up right.

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Stuck in the Revolving Door by Anne Goodwin

When the vestibule is clear of people, Matty enters the space and nudges the metal bar. The compartment advances, and she with it, the brush-rimmed verticals making a satisfying shush. When open-air supplants curved walls, she stops and stands before the outside world. Five steps would take her to the rose bed but, although her nose would welcome a sniff of perfume, her feet refuse to leave the building unaccompanied. Another day, perhaps. Back through the revolving doors to the foyer. Back to the ward. Back to the empty life of the long-stay patient. Back to what she knows.

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Wheel of Freedom by Simon

The wheel keeps turning.

Yep, can see that, I wonder why?

Because that beggar turns on that wheel.

I see. How many wheels have you been turning on lately?

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Is that a question?

No.

I see.

I see a beggar turning a wheel.

Shut up! And get back to your Job every one!

The Jailer yelled at prisoners staring at the beggar somewhere far from the prison.

What’s happening? The jailer continues staring.

The beggar puts a fire on the wheel and the wheel came towards the Jail faster.

A big blast, and all the prisoners walked away free!

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Onset of Night by Chel Owens

The sky wasn’t as bright this evening.
She puttered around, feigning finding things she had forgotten she was looking for.
Ah well; it would all come to rights or she’d do without.

The stars seemed dimmer tonight.
She settled in the rocking chair, having given up on pretense. Only the cat saw, anyway.
No matter; likely, she’d get to it or it would get to her.

The sky outside looked darker.
She turned her head, and rocked to the rhythm of purring.
She’d see; the sun would come out tomorrow.

Night fell on incomplete dreams.
Worlds shifted. She slept.

🥕🥕🥕

Pursuing the Dream by Margaret G. Hanna

I could read his mind.
Every afternoon he brought home the paper. Every evening, he read it. Always the same section – “Farms for Sale.”
He was looking for a farm. His farm. The farm he’d always dreamed of owning. The farm he’d left England to find. The farm he was saving every hard-earned penny for.
I could almost see the wheels spinning as he read. This one’s too expensive. This one’s too far away. This one’s got poor land.
He never stopped searching.
He found it, eventually. We moved there, raised our family there, lived out our lives there.

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The Harvest by Joanne Fisher

“The wheels keep turning, the seasons keep circling” Cindy said to herself. Another year had passed and again she watched the combine harvester move through the south field harvesting their corn. It had been a bumper crop this year, something she felt grateful for. The income from the harvest is what kept them going for the rest of the year, despite Jess’s many side projects…

“We should think about buying a new tractor.” Jess suggested.

“What? You mean you’re finally sick of trying to fix our broken one?” Cindy asked.

“A girl has to admit defeat, eventually.” Jess replied.

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And The Wheels Keep Turning by Miss Judy

Frank and Anne, best friends since grade school, graduated and got married, the wheels of life turning.
They were ecstatic when Anne gave birth to a baby girl. Then the baby died, the wheels of life turning.
Devastated and angry, they fought, Frank drank. Transcending into an abyss, a nervous breakdown sent Anne to “The Home,” Frank drank, the wheels of life turning.

Two years since Frank crawled back from the abyss, alcohol free. Anne, still at “The Home,” is a recluse, the wheels of life turning.

For better or worse, wherever our lives transcend, the wheels keep turning.

🥕🥕🥕

Steady on the Wheel by Kerry E.B. Black

The weather cools, we celebrate another successful harvest, and we experience the seasonal wheel turn. Some call this a metaphor, but we dwellers of Vex Hollow know. As the earth wheels through the cosmos, and we with it, hapless holders-on at the mercy of the whims of nature, we recognize our tentative and fleeting existence.

Call us superstitious, but we acknowledge old ways. There’s a spirit within each simple seed. We give thanks for the gifts, because we’re beholden to fickle fate and are but one poor harvest from starvation.

So give thanks for staying steady on the wheel.

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Not All Wheels Turn Easily by Charli Mills

Once upon a time, I had to turn the flywheel on your truck, the old Red Rooster. A tooth was missing, and the flywheel wouldn’t turn the engine. I’d have to face blizzards, smack the hood hard to release the catch, brush the snow from the bumper, perch over the engine with a socket-wrench and manually turn the flywheel. I’d think, one day, life won’t be so damned hard. Twenty-five years later and you have a tooth missing in your brain wheel. Life’s never gonna be easy, I realize. Why didn’t I take time to enjoy the falling snow?

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Resolution Revolution (Part I) by D. Avery

Some a ya might know from Kid’s comments back at the challenge thet Kid got all cranky bout storyin an decided ta take a break at Ernie’s. Thing is, sometimes a story jist hits ya, outta nowhere.
See, Ernie was up the hill workin on a sustainable energy machine made from empty casks from his previous ennerprises. Was Curly, Kid’s pet hoglet, thet kep it turnin. All it took was a carrot on a stick an gears an axels an sech. When Curly heard Kid down below, she rocked that cask off the rails and rolled write over Kid.

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Resolution Revolution (Part II) by D. Avery

Kid was splayed out, arms an legs like spokes. Curly was squealin, Ernie was stutterin an sputterin, wonderin an prayin Kid would be all right. Kid was dead quiet didn’t utter a word fer the longest time.
Later Kid would recall it felt like spinnin, spiralin down inta a dark cave, would recall havin an epiphany a sorts. Yep, folks, the story thet hit Kid was the rebirth type. Kid got up newly resolved ta takin the wheel when it come ta story prompts, ta takin charge an steerin the storyin afore gittin flattened by a unplanned plotless tale.

🥕🥕🥕

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


14 Comments

  1. Not all wheels turn easily, Ms. Mills, but this collection spins with creativity, wisdom, and emotion. Another great gathering of 99-word stories!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Another great week where everyone got their wheels ‘a turnin! 😀 👏🏻

    Liked by 2 people

  3. […] sure to go to Carrot Ranch to read the complete “Wheels keep On Turning” collection from last week and the “Bones” collection from the week before that. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] The collection of stories made in response to the previous prompt Wheels Keep on Turning, including mine, can be read at the Carrot […]

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Norah says:

    I’ve only read one so far, but I will come back and read others, I promise, when I’m not so tired. I had to read A. Kid’s version of Rawhide. How brilliant. That’s what we do for sure – write em down and cross em out. Thanks A. Kid. Keep writin’, writin’, writin’, Raw lit!

    Liked by 1 person

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