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.
Squeaky Wheels by Sadje
The squeaky wheel alerted the neighborhood that Frank was there with his wares.
He would load anything he thought he could sell on his pull-cart and do a round of the area twice a day. He had rescued stuff from the dumpsters, things that were found discarded along the road, old toys, and sometimes a chair too.
He would just stand on the walkway, hoping to sell some things, and make enough money to buy food for himself. I’d usually go outside to check his wares.
Today, I found a stuffed Teddy and he got money for his dinner.
Silent Squeals of Joy for Falling Stars and Fairies by JulesPaige
Her head came up to their hips
They were leaving somewhere – it was evening
The adults babbled, words were way above her head
They missed the comet
But she remembered that falling stars
Needed wishes to keep them alive
OK maybe that was clapping for Tinker Bell
During that stage play with Mary Martin…
As Peter Pan…
There is a very dark, perhaps ancient side
To the boy who left the nursery
And headed into the garden…
But she didn’t know that until much later
And now she doesn’t remember the ‘wish’
But she remembers the squeakless comet…
Something Lost by Joanne Fisher
Amy was quickly sorting through a box of papers when she thought she heard something squeak. She pressed down, and sure enough, there was definitely something squeaky in there. She dug through the layers and pulled out the hand puppet that belonged to her daughter Stacey.
Stacey went everywhere with the hand puppet seemingly attached to her hand, squeaking all the time. Amy took it to her daughter’s room. At the doorway, she breathed deeply before opening the door. Her daughter’s room was pristine, with everything neatly arranged on shelves and surfaces. Amy hadn’t been in here since the funeral.
Long Silences by D. Avery
The red convertible sat quiet in the driveway, the top still up.
On the return trip home, he’d told stories from their shared past; sometimes ones she’d forgotten, some appended with an insight she hadn’t considered before. Talking wore him out so his narratives would be followed by long silences, though silence had its own percussions; his raspy inhalations punctuated by the squeaky pulse of the portable oxygen tank.
She hadn’t told any stories, didn’t talk over his whistling breathing, even though the sound grated on her.
Now she was surprised at how haunted she felt by its absence.
The Rule of New Food by Gary A. Wilson
“Eww – mom, what is -?”
“Austin; you’re nine now. Remember the rule about meals while visiting Aunt Clara?”
Sigh – “No complaints before an honest taste.”
“It’s all familiar stuff served differently. What do you see?”
“Um, mash potatoes, egg, onions, something leafy. “
“I see carrot chunks and um, bacon pieces, some kind of oil.”
“Butter; it was fried in butter. Does any of that sound bad?”
“Do I like cabbage?”
“Since you were five, yes.”
“Aunt Clara, what’s it called?”
“Bubble and Squeak dear boy.”
“Eww. Food shouldn’t squeak.”
“Just taste it will you please.”
The Squeaky Husband by Hugh W. Roberts
“Can you hear that squeaking sound?” Gemma asked her husband.
Peeking over his newspaper at his wife, Malcolm shook his head.
“You must be able to hear it! It’s coming from your direction.”
“I don’t hear anything, darling,” came the reply.
It wasn’t until Malcolm’s death that the squeaking stopped. But as his body began its journey into the ground, Gemma was convinced the squeaking was back.
“Where’s that squeaking noise coming from?” she asked the other mourners.
But nobody could help Gemma because only she could hear the squeaking because only Gemma knew where she was burying Malcolm.
Alarm System by Ann Edall-Robson
Leaving the barn, she stopped in its shadow, listening to the sounds of the coming night, but tonight there was more. Moving toward the house, her steps muffled by the grass beside the gravel path, she hoped the loudness of her beating heart wouldn’t give her away. Across the yard, the gate she always kept closed at the front of the house, was hanging open. She had meant to oil the hinges until she realized the squeaking noise they made had become her alarm system. The moving silhouette rounding the corner of the house confirmed she was not alone.
Busted by Greg Glazebrook
Doris lay in the dark. Something had jolted her from slumber. Its source, elusive in that waking haze. The pungent smell of booze was strong enough to induce drunkenness. There again, the squeaky hinge she’d asked Artie to oil.
A bolt of electricity radiated outwards to the tip of each tiny hair standing on end. Carter was asleep down there! She prodded Artie but the oaf might as well be dead. She bounded downstairs grabbing the kitchen broom en route.
Pushing through the door she was greeted by Carter half outside, her ass up, legs dangling from the ceiling-level window.
The Windmill (haibun) by Colleen M. Chesebro
as autumn flows into winter,
the squeak of the old metal windmill
vibrates in the wind—
The fierce winds howl across the Montana prairie. The brown grasses undulate like waves on a tumultuous sea. There’s a bite in the air. I shiver.
Today, I’m captivated by the wide expanse of winter-blue sky. Clouds hem the gathering storm to the north, a sure sign of the snow to come.
The wailing squeak of the old metal windmill reminds me of the wailing of the banshee back home in Ireland. I swallow my homesickness and make my way to the mines.
The Master’s Voice by Anne Goodwin
Although I had all his novels as audiobooks, I preferred to feel his words on the page. Literally, as my fingertips danced across the dots. So when he came to talk at the library, Rover and I went along.
From my front-row seat, I heard the clink of his water glass. Heard him inhale, ready to read. But the squeaky voice so startled me, Rover growled. Flustered, I asked the person next to me if this was really Hilary Mantel. I hadn’t realised my favourite author was a woman. I assumed only a man could produce such powerful prose.
Squeaky Little Alien Tale by Simon
Abandoned Squeaky Alien toy found by a Hippie, he closes his eyes and it communicated to him.
Lonely nights at dark
Dogs bite me and bark
Fell in basket for a smile
Lost in 2 days for a while
I tried, but lost, no tears to cry
just feelings inside a toy
Thought Larry is my bestie
Last seen Larry on west Field
Before he lost control
and hit the bank of petrol
You should take me before I tell you what he did to lose the control.
Ahhh!!! I see, You has tales to say. I got company….
Voting Intentions by Geoff Le Pard
This year Little Tittweaking’s election to the Parish Council was mired in scandal. Local bylaws required the decision to be through the ancient ritual of pork barrel politicking, which involved the returning officer standing on an ale cask and calling ‘Pigs For’ or ‘Porks Against’. Supporters and detractors made appropriate porcine sounds, the volumes were measured and the winner anointed with the first pint. Harmony ended when Italian fashionista, Cosmo Politan brought his pigs to add decibels to his candidature. Protestors demanded the returning officer hold a re-squeak, a campaign dubbed in the local press as ‘Stop the Squeal’.
Housesitting by Kerry E.B. Black
Nothing terrifies like an unexpected sound on a creepy night. Alone on a couch, housesitting one autumn evening, a bowl of buttered popcorn resting upon a lap wrapped in a sherpa-soft blanket, a classic horror film flickering on a television so ancient it requires an antenna.
Ears prick. A squeak of an overhead floorboard in an otherwise abandoned house. A groan emitted by the long-disused hinge of a door leading to a decaying basement Poe would admire. The sigh of the wind sneaking into a home believed secure, one betraying its sole inhabitant by seemingly allowing admittance to specters.
Squeak! by Nancy Brady
With temperatures getting colder, creatures of all sorts look for a warm place to live during the winter, and that includes field mice. Last winter, one appeared in our home. It must have entered the cellar through the fieldstone foundation of our old house.
One evening I heard our cat Regulus racing around the kitchen, his claws scrabbling on the kitchen floor. Wondering what he was up to, I checked on him; I heard some small squeaks, but I couldn’t figure out the cause until Regulus turned towards me. Hanging out of his mouth was the mouse’s wiggling tail.
Emma’s Got the Beat by Sue Spitlnik
After the Veterans’ Day luncheon at the No Thanks, the Band of Brothers found their favorite places, behind their instruments. They played different genres of patriotic songs while the crowd sang along. Little Emma was dancing by herself until she noticed a register near the end of the bar. She soon figured out she could make it squeak by stepping on a specific corner. Just about the time Lexi was going to make her stop Michael grinned and pointed to the toddler then changed the words in the song. “Listen, my granddaughter is squeaking in time to the music.”
In Remembrance by Margaret G. Hanna
The bedsprings squeaked as John tossed and turned. Tomorrow he was flying his first sortie. Tomorrow he was flying into danger.
He had always wanted to fly, that was why he had chosen the Air Force rather than the Army like his brother. He had trained for this day, and now it was here. Was he ready for the responsibility? Of bringing his Wellington back? Of bringing his crew back? Of the carnage he would leave behind?
Other bedsprings squeaked. John wasn’t the only one fretting about tomorrow. But tonight . . .
He closed his eyes and dreamt of prairie skies.
Squeaky Squawk Talk by Bill Engleson
“Caught ya!” and she flips the switch as I pull back my cookie-grabbing mitt.
“You’re pathetic,” she adds. “You know that door squeaks, which,” she pauses, then hammers home, “you should try and fix sometime before the end of the world.”
I want to say, “curses, foiled again”, but it would go over her head.
She never was into cartoons.
So I plant a diversionary seed. “It was watching that Manson movie. I got to wondering what crazy Squeaky Fromme was up to these days. Couldn’t sleep. Got the munchies.”
She shakes her head.
She’s not gonna bite.
Hollowness Personified by Reena Saxena
Hollowness became tangible in her person.
She sought entry into every household she was acquainted with at some level, and emerged excited, squeaking secrets to every person she met on the street. She felt gratified by inclusion, and boasted about it as ‘closeness’.
She was greeted by a wry smile or snarling glance, when she mouthed so-called ‘nuggets of wisdom’ on topics she knew nothing about.
I imagine her dissolving into nothingness, in solitary confinement. She will not find fuel for sustenance, without borrowing or stealing from others’ lives.
Her existence is a miracle, her physical form an illusion.
Squeaky Pip by Duane L Herrmann
“I squeak, you squeak, we all squeak for Pip Squeak!” Sajili sang and danced around the room.
“I’m not squeaking!” Objected Pip in her high, shrill voice.
“Oh, but you are,” assured her father gravely. “We always know when you’re happy.”
“Your voice gets higher and higher,” her mother calmly added.
“Oh.” Pip said as her voice dropt.
“Come here,” her father reached out his big hairy arms to hug her.
Pip gratefully lunged into his welcome embrace, sniffling.
“It’s alright,” his deep voice rumbled around her.
Daddy’s arms felt SO good.
Bedtime Antics by Kayla Morrill
“Have you ever realized how annoying a squeaky door can be?”
“Well yeah, hasn’t everyone come to that conclusion?”
“What about a squeaky chair?”
“Yes, even more annoying.”
“What about a squeaky floorboard when trying to walk along the floor at night?”
“Worse than a squeaky person?”
“People don’t squeak.”
“Eee ooh eee ooh eee ooh eee….”
“Alright stop,” I interjected, “I suppose the worst thing is your squeaky questions.”
“Questions are squeaky?”
I rolled my eyes, realizing she wasn’t going to stop. Little sisters never do.
“Goodnight, squeak tight,” I replied.
She giggled, eyes closing.
Squeaking Hello! by Tessa Dean
Rex, the hamster, ran on the wheel in his cage, happily squeaking away to whoever would listen to him. He was not the only thing squeaking as I needed to find some oil to try and oil the hamster wheel before it drove the whole family and me crazy.
After finding the oil, I gave Rex some treats so he would get off his exercise wheel, then I oiled it well, so it no longer squeaked. Rex finished his treats and then jumped back on the exercise wheel and began happily running and squeaking to anyone willing to listen.
Last Word (Part I) by D. Avery
“Pal, did ya hear that?”
“A creakin soun.”
“A creak or a screech?”
“More of a cheep.”
“But not a squeal?”
“No, like I said it was more of a cheep.”
“Oh, or maybe a peep.”
“So ya heard it?”
“No, Kid, I didn’t hear nuthin.”
“Thought I did. A cheep, or mebbe a peep.”
“Probly jist where them branches rub on the Poet Tree.”
“Look, Pal, now there’s a glowin light out there.”
“Now yer squealin, Kid. But yep, I see it. Hear whut souns like chatterin squirrels too. Why, it’s—”
“Helga an Hess!”
Last Word (Part II) by D. Avery
“Helga. Hess. Hullo. Welcome back ta Carrot Ranch.”
“Heehee. Thanks Pal. Hey, Kid.”
“What brings ya back this way?”
“Heehee. We’re here ta tend ta high-pitched whines.”
“Ya mean Kid?”
“Heehee. No, not Kid. We’re tinkers, here ta grease any wheels or movin metal bits that screech, scrape or squeal.”
“Heehee. We’ll put the spin back in yer spurs.”
“The gates will swing great. Heehee.”
“Heehee. No twinges in the hinges.”
“We’ll even put a shine on yer shovel, Kid.”
“Shift, thanks, Helga. Hess. Would ya ruther stay in the bunkhouse?”
“No thanks. We’re squeaking in anuther camping adventure.”
Reblogged this on NEW BLOG HERE >> https:/BOOKS.ESLARN-NET.DE.
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Thanks for sharing, Michael. Not sure the link is working?
These are all wonderful contributions. Thanks for sharing! Best wishes, Michael
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The squeaks varied far and wide. Thanks!
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Phew! I found this a difficult prompt, and so I am especially impressed with these stories (and poems). Thank you Charli, for prompting and presenting these 99-word stories! I love reading them together here, but I also like to read them again at people’s sites as I get some backstory and insight from other’s comments. See you soon!
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Squeaking usually isn’t a pleasant sound, but these responses are also very visual, I could see Frank and his cart; the look of surprise on Anne’s narrator’s face; the look of despair of Joanne’s character; Emma smiling as she discovers the musical register; Nan’s cat that swallowed the mouse; and Reena’s subject “squeaking secrets”. Kayla Morrill’s sisters might enjoy camping with Helga and Hess, they’re still out there somewhere, giggling away. Leave it to Bill to get in a movie and a twist on the prompt. Speaking of twists, well played, Hugh, Simon, Geoff. Both Tessa’s and Duane’s were very auditory for me, how little kids go up in pitch when excited, and hamsters, well if you’ve heard one, you know what she’s talking about. Kerry and Ann scare us with what goes squeak in the night, sometimes imagined, sometimes real. In Greg’s tale, all’s well in the end, sort of. Gary, I had to google it, but yep, it’s a thing.
Margaret, Colleen, and Jules served up poignant pieces. Everyone, well done!
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The collection is always an inspiration to me and a secondary challenge of arrangement. Good point about visiting blogs for backstory. If writers without blogs want to, they can also share backstories in the comments.
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Come for the prompt, stay for the chomp?
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[…] Take a look at last week’s 99-word stories from writers around the globe in the Squeeky Collection. […]
[…] The collection of stories made in response to the previous prompt Something Squeaky, excluding mine because I didn’t get it done in time, can be read at the Carrot […]