Dark-Eyed Collection

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.

April 28, 2023

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.

The Junco’s Enchanting Eyes by The Inkwell

The junco perched on a branch, its dark eyes glistening in the sunlight. It watched as the world below bustled with activity, a stark contrast to its peaceful haven in the trees. It wasn’t the junco’s small size or dull feathers that caught the attention of the passerby, but its eyes – a deep, rich shade of brown that seemed to glow with warmth and life. They were eyes that held stories, wisdom, and a quiet understanding of the world around them. And for a moment, the passerby stopped and admired the beauty of the junco’s simple yet stunning eyes.

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The Black Eye Warning by Sue Spitulnik

Emma Blossom patted Rainbow on her head, then on the butt, a little too hard. The cat thumped her tail and gave the child a black stare. Emma ran to the kitchen, tugged on Tessa’s pants, “Gramma, Rainbow’s eyes turned black.”
Tessa looked at Emma. “Rainbow’s eyes turn black when she’s excited or angry. What were you doing?”

“Just pettin’ her.”

“Were you being rough?”

“Noooo.”

“Let’s go see.” Emma repeated her movements, too young to falsify.

Rainbow lifted her head, eyes turning black. She jumped off the couch and ran.

“Emma, Rainbow likes pets, not smacks.”

“OK, Gramma.”

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First Day by Kerry E.B. Black

Jody dressed her dark-eyed beauty in her favorite princess dress. Ruby slippers sparkled at her feet. The little girl twirled, a ballerina superhero ready to rescue kittens-in-need.

Jody anticipated new friendships for her gal. “Have a great first day.”

At camp’s end, Jody waited in the pickup lane. Children rushed to their parents, but her girl slumped. The petals of her skirts drooped, and her lowered eyes pointed toward a telling pout. The child slammed her car door and buckled in.

“They said I was too ugly to be a princess.”

Jody gazed into the child’s teary eyes, uncomprehending.

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Black-eyed Susan by Anne Goodwin

Helping her grandmother with the altar flowers, Susie saw a vision of her future. From that day onwards, she wore the colours of rudbeckia hirta: custard yellow and dark brown. Her mother envisaged her as a florist in the shopping mall. Her dad hoped she’d be a horticulturist in the glasshouse at Kew. Or perhaps she’d be an apiarist, the bees loved her scent.

In her teens, Susie turned weirder. Sleeping and eating in the garden, however foul the weather. Indoors, she kept her feet in a basin of water. Her destiny to morph into her namesake: a flower.

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How I Like It by Gloria McBreen

Some call me a hermit. Others say I’m odd. They don’t want to know me and that’s how I like it.

I look at myself in the mirror. My grey bob hairstyle, almost invisible in comparison to the long dark locks it once was. My eyes like pools of coffee with no need for makeup around them.

Before I embraced this simple life, I lit up the big screens and adorned the pages of glamour magazines. I unwittingly paid for every friend I had. I was owned.

I’m not their dark-eyed beauty anymore and that’s how I like it.

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Noir Eyes by Bill Engleson

I’d been hired to follow her.
Her picture didn’t do her justice.
Thing was, my client didn’t give a hoot about justice.
He wanted revenge.
“Don’t look her in eyes, Peeper,” he’d warned. “Follow her, see where she goes, who she sees, what’s she’s about. And for God’s sake, don’t stare into those cavernous eyes. You’ll be lost forever.”
I spent two days and nights on her tail.
She was a busy gal.
Hard-working Realtor by day; Vixen by night.
I had to get closer.
All the warnings in the world meant nothing.
I could feel the dark descend.

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Purely Cosmetic by Geoff Le Pard

May Kover was Little Tittweaking’s go-to authority for the latest in fashion, influencing and youth culture. She dispensed her wisdom via her social media outlets and Godcasts (she was above a mere pod, which she thought made her sound fat or sea-based) and few ever saw her. Those that did worried about her appearance, those dark eyes. Was she the victim of abuse, did she have some mineral deficiency, was this the result of sleep deprivation, working too hard. The truth was, as with most things in Little Tittweaking more prosaic; she was just shit with the mascara brush.

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Rabbit by D. Avery

I try not to tense up in my stillness. I wait, listening, controlling my breath so it doesn’t give me away.

Hunting’s about taking everything in, about knowing what to look for, and where. The winter hare, crouched perfectly still, disappears into the snow, invisible but for its shiny black eyes that watch the muzzle rise. At night, the racoon makes its escape into the tree branches, but its eyes, red in the searching light, provide a target.

I stay hidden, perfectly still. I listen to the hunter taking everything in, searching for me. My eyes are shut tight.

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A Dark Eyed Situation, Where Only Shadows Kept My Secrets by Diana Coombes

I’m not sure why I had gone down this path. Some would say it was foolish. I did not agree because revenge was best served with a serving of sugar. The kitchen, busy, nobody noticed me step inside, grab the knife, and stand behind him. He thought his power was enough to keep him safe. Not today Stan.

Your dark heart won’t save you now.

Perhaps you have friends in high places, but I have surprise on my side.

‘David, this will be the last voice you will hear.’

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Dark Eyes by Joanne Fisher

All I remember is dark eyes. There was a knock at my door. The next day I awoke on the lounge floor, weak and sensitive to the light. I crawled to my bed and collapsed, falling into a black dream. When I awoke again, it was dark outside. I sat up slowly. My neck hurt on my right side. Standing up, the room spun around, but I managed to get to the kitchen where I gulped down water. Then there was another knock at my door and I couldn’t stop myself from opening it. Again, there were dark eyes.

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Dark-Eyed Junco by Charli Mills

Max stumbled along Cloverland Road. Drunk, most guessed. Pothole season, locals joked. Max hobbled on her best days; an unhealed combat injury kept her marching between the American Legion and a dead uncle’s cabin two miles out of town. But the locals also had a point – hard to walk a straight line on any Keweenaw road after spring break up. Max overlooked a missing divot of pavement and landed face down in a ditch brimming with last year’s dead weeds, snowmelt and road sand. That’s where she found the dark-eyed junco with a broken wing. A life to save.

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Black Eyes On Him by Duane L Herrmann

The black eyes were staring at him. Wherever he looked, there were those eyes: unblinking, staring. He closed his own eyes, hoping they would go away. When he opened them, they were still there, still staring. Not a sound, just those eyes staring. Won’t they go away, he pleaded in his mind. The black eyes still stared. He wanted to be away, but the eyes held him, still staring, unblinking. How much longer could he take this? Would they ever go away? Then he noticed the words on the display of packages: “Wiggley Eyes.” He broke away, and left.

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Fragility and Tenacity by Reena Saxena

Happy and Aria fight like cats and dogs. The bone of contention can well be a bone – wooden or a treat, or it can be a squeaky toy. Do I need to say they are both tiny furballs with cute tails and dark eyes?

Happy is down with a stomach infection, and Aria refuses to eat. She massages his stomach gently with her tongue. He appears to enjoy the love and care being showered on him.

The fragility and tenacity of sibling bonds leave me perplexed.

I hear puppy barking sounds … they are fighting again. Long Live Love!

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His Dark Eyes by Sweeter Than Nothing

I jump, the butter knife I’m holding falls to the floor with a clatter, smearing bright red jam all over the beige tiles.

Knocking at the door sounded again, throwing my heart into my throat. Small knocks, sharp and frantic.

“Please, I just want my mummy” a pleading tone that tugs on my heartstrings despite my brain knowing better.

Looking through the peephole I see him there, dark-haired, pale-skinned, he must be freezing… Then he looks at me with those pitch-black eyes and evil grin.

It’s not him, it can’t be him, he’s dead.

That doesn’t stop the knocking.

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Dear Jocelyn by ladyleemanilla

That was a shock when we saw that post. We know you are suffering from this dark-eyed situation, spiritually, we are with you. You are always in our thoughts and prayers. We didn’t see each other after High School but we were glad that after all those years, we’ve connected through social media. I, myself, was happy that I saw you and spoke to you. My mother was also glad that you’ve visited her.

Don’t forget, you’re being loved and of course, will be missed when you’re gone. We’re your friends and we’d be with you until the end.

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Rides for the Dark Eyed by Kerry E.B. Black

I’ve heard of them, the dark-eyed children who haunt the lonely. Their legend sees them stalking the unwary, knocking in the wee hours for an admission certain to damn the host. They converge in abandoned parking lots, crowds of corpse-pale skin and lamenting voices, begging for rides to hellish destinations.

Urban legends. Residual superstition or bastardized mythology repurposed for the modern age. Certainly nothing for a rational person to fear.

Yet here I cower, slumped in my driver’s seat, doors locked, hairs goose-fleshed attention. The parking lot offers scanty illumination, but I see with unnatural clarity their beseeching, dark-eyed stares.

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Fear by C. E. Ayr

The eyes, dark and deep-set, stare down at me through a vast forest of facial hair.
He is enormous, the biggest person I’ve ever seen, his clothes are filthy rags, and his stench unbearable.
I’m twelve years old, small, skinny, terrified.
And lost in these woods.
He grunts something I don’t understand, then scoops me up in one arm.
I scream, kick and claw at his face.
He averts his head and strides through the trees.
He stops abruptly, drops me on my feet.
I’m amazed to see my village lights, and turn to say thanks.
He’s already gone.

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The Eyes, The Soul, The Darkness by Meredith Caine (aka Sabrena Clem)

I can’t cry anymore. I have already been sobbing for hours. The constant wiping of my tears laid way to dark circles under my eyes. Maybe this is from the lack of sleep. I have laid awake every night since we heard the news. I don’t understand why that child has to live without his mother. That’s what is keeping me up at night. An innocent little boy now fated to growing up with dark circles under his own eyes from crying, every time he needs his mom. His pure soul, too little to have been tainted by tragedy.

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Enchanting Eyes by Sadje

The calf was wobbly on her feet, its dark eyes staring at me curiously. What a treat it was to meet a calf that was born just a few hours ago.

This was when we visited the village where my grandparents lived. In cities, you don’t see cows or any farm animals. When we heard that there was a new baby cow, we all ran towards the enclosure to meet her.

A new life, a source of wonder and joy for everyone. We called her “Lallie” meaning red in Urdu. She grew up to be a very impressive cow.

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Mirror, Mirror by Hugh W. Roberts

As a child, I was always captivated by the abandoned house on the hill.

Driven by curiosity, I entered and found a room with a cracked mirror. It caught my reflection, but my eyes were pitch black, devoid of colour.

My heart pounded as I stumbled back and left.

Since then, I’ve been different. My mind has taken on dark themes, and nightmares plague me.

Desperate to find my old self, I returned to the house. When I looked at my reflection in the mirror, I saw my old self screaming to get out.

I’d never left that house.

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Wise Eyes by JulesPaige

lids heavy
dark eyes observant
old servant

The Genving did not want to appear threatening, so she took off some of her finery and wore a more simple frock. It was most probable her bearing and speech might still frighten the old servant sitting at the table. Tea and cakes were ordered to be set upon the table before she arrived. As the Matriarch walked into the kitchen, her eyes locked onto the old woman’s eyes and there was a hint of recognition, but she could not recall from where. Perhaps in the market, had she sold cut lilies?

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Undecided by Kerry E.B. Black

The bride’s bouquet perfumed the room, intoxication in pearly-white petals. Her gown glistened frothing waves, an ocean of bridal exuberance. A blue garter ringed her leg. A lucky penny slid in her slipper. An antique diamond glistened on her finger. Every detail of the wedding, from the extensive guest list to the caviar and champagne before dinner, promised a spectacular event. Still, tears sparkled like comets in her midnight eyes, ready to streak across her flushed cheeks. She gulped air, her heart an irregular percussion of her anxiety. She rested against her mother. “I’m doing the right thing, right?”

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Dark Eye On Pal (Part I) by D. Avery

“Frankie.”

“Pal.”

“Yer still mad I called ya a lady, Frankie? Jeez.”

“That. An how ya fin’ly chased Kid off with yer snarlin ornery ways.”

“Thet ain’t how it happened, Frankie. Kid jist wanted ta see the world, show some independence. Cain’t stan in the way a someone’s got their mind made up. If’n I did, Kid’d always blame me fer everthin, would always wunder what’s out there. Kid’ll come back after a bit.”

“I’m thinkin yer not so sure as ya say. Yer eyes is darker’n a racoon’s. You ain’t slept, have ya?”

“It’s dark days without Kid.”

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Dark Eye On Pal (Part II) by D. Avery

“Dang Pal, ya look like Alice Cooper imitatin Clint Eastwood. Why’nt ya go try an rest.”

“Cain’t Frankie. I cain’t sleep an asides, come ta find out, Kid actchally did chores around here an now I’m havin ta do ‘em. An havin ta admit I cain’t sling shit like thet Kid.”

“Yep, it’s a good thing the prompt didn’t go the d’rection perdicted, Kid’d be down in the dumps fer missin it. But Pal, take heart. Yer right, Kid’ll be back.”

“How kin ya be so sure, Frankie?”

“Cuz I read yer postcard. Kid’s restin up.”

“Where?”

“Blossom Hill.”

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Dark Eye On Pal (Part III) by D. Avery

“Blossom Hill? Sure ya didn’t dream thet up, Frankie?”

“Someone did, an Kid does say somethin bout Dreamtime.”

“Gimme thet dang postcard already.

“Kid’s with the Poet Lariat! An some old pothead? They’re in Pen’s woods, jist fer a spell.”

“This whole postcard reads like fiction, Pal.”

“Fan fiction even. But Kid an Curly’s safe an headed home. I’ll rest easier now.”

“Me too, Pal. Did ya read where Kid got two black eyes? Was lyin unner a apple tree.”

“Well, thet meets the prompt. Frankie, how much kin this postcard hold, anyhow?”

“99 words, Pal. More or less.”

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

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1 Comment

  1. Sadje

    A lovely, varied collection! Thanks for the sharing

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