January 9: Story Challenge in 99-words

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.

January 10, 2023

The wind swings overhead electric cables, casting shadows across the white snow. The movement catches my attention until I finally see the first rabbit appear. Like shadows, four more bunnies hop down Roberts Street. Mause and I are buried beneath the Blanket of Joy on the couch and she sleeps through the emerging rabbits.

To my embarrassment, I genuinely forgot yesterday was Sunday, the day reserved for writing a challenge post. Monday dawned with an important client meeting to prepare for, a veteran snafu, an unexpected call from a fellow prof regarding classes that start next week, and a movie out with a Warrior Sister.

Now, Mause is sleeping alone on the couch and I’m feeling like one of my students cramming to finish an essay.

The veteran snafu involved license plates. As a caregiver, I had to first understand the upheaval a notice in the mail created. Once we were understanding the issue, I armed Todd with the proper paperwork and sent him to the local state office. One mission accomplished.

The movie could have been one I shared with you with an eye for film writing. Alas, my friend and I both forgot the movie theater was closed on Mondays. We went to Applebees instead (nothing to write home about there). Coming home late, I crossed paths with the rabbits.

I wonder where they sleep and what feels like a Blanket of Joy to them? I know they nibble raspberry canes. A burrow must be nearby and I suspect my neighbor’s old carriage house. In the morning, I will likely see their distinct prints in the fresh dusting of snow.

Snow. Don’t get me started. It’s been an icy winter and the snow is greasy. During the blizzard a few weeks back, the snow blew so hard that our garage collected drifts. Mause was the only one in our household who found the mid-blizzard snow-shoveling fun. She barked with excitement, the sound carried by the wind. My friend told me tonight they got 50 inches of snow in that storm. It’s fizzled since then; the snow.

We are left to ponder the lives of rabbits.

January 9, 2023, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes rabbits. Is it a family? A strange planet? Some crazy bunny person’s pets? Who are they and what are they doing? Go where the prompt leads!

  1. Submit by January 14, 2022. Please use the form below if you want to be published in the weekly collection. The Collection publishes on the Wednesday following the next Challenge. Stories must be 99 words. Rules & Guidelines.
  2. Writers retain all copyrights to any stories published at Carrot Ranch.
  3. A website or social media presence is not required to submit. A blog or social media link will be included in the title of any story submitted with one.
  4. Please include your byline with your title on one line. Example: Little Calves by Charli Mills. Your byline can be different from your name.
  5. Please include the hashtag #99WordStories when sharing either the Challenge or Collection posts on social media.

Submissions are now closed. Find our latest challenge to enter.

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26 Comments

  1. Norah

    Sounds like you got trapped in a bit of a rabbit hole and lost a day, Charli. Might be just what you needed. Sometimes it takes such an event to help us realise that we place too much importance on our ‘usuallies’. I hope you find calm in the bunny footprints patterned snow as I try to figure out which of my ‘usuallies’ are worth persuing.

  2. keerti

    It was white this Christmas and weather was splendid. Hence they had stepped out to enjoy it.

    The pack is back mama. I thought the weather would keep them at bay, said the youngest .

    Look what I found, said the oldest, scurrying over to a corner of the meadow.

    The parents watched their children as carefully as the watched the pack. The snow did it’s job to camouflage. The pack of wolves would not see the family of rabbits.

    Thank god for white.

  3. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    ??????CR

    “Heehee. Hey Miss Shorty.”
    “Hey Miss Shorty. Teehee.”
    “Helga and Hess! Still camping around the Ranch?”
    “Yes. Miss Shorty, guess what?”
    “We saw a hairy man!”
    “Sasquatch!”
    “Yes! Wearing a Stormy Kromer hat and overalls.”
    “Like a big hairy Elmer Fudd.”
    “Oh. That was just Ernie.”
    “He was setting rabbit snares.”
    “But he won’t catch any.”
    “Because we took them down. Heehee.”
    “And left the strings in heart shapes on the snow.”
    “With his carrot bait inside.”
    “Like an arrow. Teehee.”
    “Have you seen Kid and Pal?”
    “Yes. They’re still at the Saloon.”
    “They’ve gone down a rabbit hole.”

  4. Hugh W. Roberts

    How nice that you have rabbits in your garden, Charli. However, I hate to think about what they’ll do to any future fruit and vegetables you might grow unless you protect the plants. However, those bunnies need to eat, especially when there is so much snow on the ground.

    I heard about your terrible weather on the news. It looks like it stopped the plans of many over the holiday period. And you’re not alone in wondering what day of the week it is. During the last few weeks of December and the first few of January, all the days mingle and merge together in my life.
    Have a good week.

  5. jeffdheal

    First Time trying 99 Word Story Challenge, Had a lot of fun trying to nail the word count and have a some what of an interesting story. great idea. Loved the Challenge.

    • Kerry E.B. Black

      Welcome! And glad you gave the challenge a try!

      • jeffdheal

        Had a blast, looking forward to the next Challenge!

    • Liz H

      Uffda!

      • ceayr

        Say what? I don’t know if that’s Swahili, Klingon or an acronym! Or maybe txtspk?

      • Liz H

        Naw, just Minnesotan-Norwegian. Try saying it when you’ve just witnessed a car crash, or pushed back from the table after a huge dinner, or tried to get up from a slightly low-to-the-ground chair that you’ve been sitting in for a wee bit too long. You’ll get the feel and some of its variations.

      • ceayr

        Minnesotan-Norwegian! That was my next guess!

      • Liz H

        And again, Uffda is a fitting response here!

  6. suespitulnik

    I love the line “cramming like a student finishing an essay.” I think we all know that feeling regardless of our age. I enjoy seeing bunnies any time of year. In my neighborhood, it’s either bunnies or fox. Never the two at the same time.
    I’m glad you were able to help Todd with the DMV paperwork. That kind of mail can set anyone off. Enjoy the rest of your week off.

  7. pedometergeek

    I wondered what happened, Charli. Glad you got everything under control. It’s easy to lose track of time especially this time of year. Personally, I’m all for hibernating, but obviously the rabbits don’t feel the same way. I was surprised by your description of “greasy snow” and would love to know exactly what you mean since I have never heard the term before. Maybe I am the only one. ~nan

    • suespitulnik

      Hi Nan,
      Greasy snow is when it seems like it’s oily, and cars slide easier than when the snow is fluffy and light. Actually, it’s when there is a lot of water content.

      • pedometergeek

        Hi Sue,
        Thanks for telling me know. I appreciate it even though I still don’t get it.

        Is greasy snow like black ice? Snow that’s started to melt on the road, but then it freezes and you can’t really see it until you start sliding? Or is it more like slush, very wet and slippery? ~nan

      • suespitulnik

        More like slush.

      • pedometergeek

        Aha. Slush makes sense.

  8. Nicole Horlings

    We have a lot of wild rabbits around our house. They have burrows among the group of evergreens that serve as a wind barrier at the side of our property. We watch them nibbling on dandelions, or see where their tracks go in the snow. This past week I was gaming on the PS4 in the rec room in the basement and one hopped up to the basement window and watched me for a bit before hopping off – just before a cardinal came over to see what the rabbit was looking at.

    That sure was quite the storm – hit us with some force over here in southern Ontario too. I had friends who were completely snowed in and unable to go to work, or get home from work – I was thankful that I didn’t have to work that day. We lost our power for a while. And then in the candlelit evening I turned the experience into a poem.

    • Liz H

      SMH. Lol!!

  9. Jules

    Charli,

    I’ve got rabbits in my neighborhood. Though when it is cold we don’t see them as often. I think I’ve got some that like to hang around the bases of my bird feeders – they like to hid in the ivy that grows by the bases of the pines.

    Oh… I didn’t see the add the link in the submission last week.
    My title is the link… (I guess we are allowed to do that again…? So we still are not posting the whole story here? I did submit this with a link this week.)

    Inspirational Bonding?

  10. Elizabeth

    This prompt brought me back to forgotten memories.

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