Immature Collection

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

August 12, 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.

First Time by Ann Edall-Robson

Mom says this is something I have to do. I don’t see why, she’s doing an awesome job bringing us food while we check out the landscape from our home up here in the tree branches. But, oh no, nothing doing, today’s the day she just screeched from over my head. It’s easy for her, she’s been doing it for years. Of course, my sister did as she was told and is now showing off flapping her wings out there over the valley. I told mom I’d try it for sure tomorrow. She said no way. Well, here goes!


Maturing by Sue Spitulnik

Apricots, bananas, cantaloupe, kiwi, nectarines, peaches, pears, pineapple, plantains, plums, and tomatoes are fruits you can pick while they are immature then leave on the counter to mature.

Immature birds and animals are entertaining to watch and easy to love on sight. Adversely, a mature German Shepherd or Lion can be frightening to meet.

When it comes to an immature person, it takes direction from their elders and peers, intelligence, and life experience before they mature. It’s possible for a human to be mature in some categories and still remain a kid in others. And some never grow up.


Grow Up or Not….. It’s a Choice by Sadje

Diminutive — means that it needs to grow more

It may be taken as immature, incomplete

But some small things are the ideal size, even when tiny

A bonsai for example is the perfect size

A minute tree, complete in every detail

Reared with years of effort, tons of love

Presume- we shouldn’t that all things small

Have to grow bigger to reach their full potential

A few things and people are already complete

Coming as they are in little packages

Wisdom doesn’t need to be encased In large containers to be pertinent

Beauty is equally pleasing in tiniest creations


Immature Autumn by Colleen M. Chesebro

In the pagan calendar, August is the first month of autumn. Immature as the season may be, we celebrate the first Celtic harvest festival of Lughnasadh, or Lammas. This is a time of endings and beginnings, as crops come to fruition and the actual work of the harvest begins.

Ancient Celts made a sacrifice to the god of the grain by cutting the last sheaf of wheat or barley, which represented the god’s life force given back to the earth for the next year’s successful crops.

August’s first full moon—
young ducks learn how to fly
predators mark time


On Becoming by D. Avery

In the comments for this challenge, Charli suggested to Norah that “immaturity is simply a dose of ‘not yet’. I like that. A necessary yet vulnerable stage should not be a derogatory term. Aren’t all stages of life developmental, times of learning and becoming as we grow and mature? Each individual’s milestones and launches come in different ways and times. Each stage and age has “not yets”. Right now, I’m thinking each of us is a nesting doll, our young and old selves all contained, part of our package.

Is the butterfly superior to the caterpillar? Both are fledglings.


Immaturity by Bill Engleson

In the mirror, the one I usually prefer not to gaze into, the one that always seems to see more of everything, things more pronounced, more revealing…of me, the mirror that can’t keep confidences, that wants to expose facets of me that are unsettling.

That’s part of it. I choose the word unsettling because it has a gleam of innocent vacillation. Even as I try to confess occasionally lesser behaviours, I equivocate.

I don’t mind equivocating.

Most times.

We all have secret lives.

Writers especially, I think.

We writers need our immature selves.

Immaturity can be a writing aid.


He’s So Immature by Norah Colvin

How immature is he?

He’s so immature he wears a superman cape whenever we leave the house.

He plays hopscotch on the paving stones and zig-zags between the lunchtime crowd.

He declines the lift then immediately pushes the button and thinks it’s hilarious when the door opens again. No one else is amused.

He rolls lollipops down the aisle and interrupts everyone, saying, ‘Scuse me. Scuse me.’

He explodes packets of crisps during quiet times in the movies.

He farts loudly in public and laughs even louder, uncontrollably. He’s so immature.

That’s for sure. How old is he?



Immature by Sweeter Than Nothing

“Did you see that poster?”

Gerry whispered to his wife with a suppressed giggle.

“Stop embarrassing me, this is serious.”

“I know, I know… But it’s got lady bits on it!”

“We’re in a fertility clinic, what do you expect?”

“That one has a boob on it.”

“It’s about breastfeeding!”

Gerry looked down, trying very hard not to laugh out loud.

“Mrs Cox?” The receptionist called out.

That was the last straw for Gerry, he burst out laughing so hard tears ran down his cheeks.

“I’m so sorry,” his wife mumbled, growing red.

“He’s too immature,” said Mrs Cox.


Trouble by Kerry E.B. Black

Maya’s mother massaged the bridge of her nose, eyes closed, breathing slow and steady. Tears streamed down Maya’s plump cheeks and dripped to her school hoodie. If it were her dad picking her up at the principal’s office instead of her mom, the yelling would have already begun, before the school door closed. Mom, however, kept composure as she escorted her. After she’d buckled up in the car, Maya’s tears turned audible.

She hiccuped, “I’m sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking.”

Her mother pulled Maya into a hug. “Young people make mistakes. That’s how we all learn.”


Too Much Too Young by Anne Goodwin

At four, he could change his sister’s nappies and drag his mother out of bed in time for work. At eight, he’d yet to grasp his ABCs but was an expert reader of his stepfather’s moods. At twelve, in foster care, he fought off his sister’s abuser and went hungry so she could eat. Of course he was branded a liar, a troublemaker, difficult to place. At sixteen, he was a regular in the court room, until the judge decreed enough was enough. She had no choice but to send him to prison. The teenager was selfish, irresponsible, immature.


Flying In the Face of Immaturity by D. Avery

“Aidan! It’s so good to see you again. Your Master’s degree?”

“Yes. I finally settled on sociology. I’ll be working in mental health services.”

“Your parents must be so proud of you.”

“Mrs. K, remember how I used to go on? My plans changing every week?”

“Every day! But I loved it. I always knew you’d end up doing something great.”

“You believed in me. But my parents just rolled their eyes. Told me to grow up, stop dreaming.”

Mrs. K clucked sympathetically at her former student. “Give them time. They’ll learn. You’re a good teacher, Aidan.”

“You too.”


Immature by Reena Saxena

Shark Tank episodes often leave me wondering about the value placed on potential. Well, we can’t always insist on proven track records. Newbies need to be given a chance. But the intent is not always so noble. It’s about taking control at a point, when the other party is raw and open to accepting your ways in pursuit of success. Immature is what can be molded or likely to take a different route. Immature is unpredictable. Immature is flagellated by experience, as the seniors strive to prove their might and right. Immature can change the world, if allowed to.


Ways to Get Divorced by Simon

I despise your existence. (smirks)
That’s harsh Lisa.
Take it or die. I least care.
But mom’s advice will workout, stop being angry on me.
WHAT? Eating a new born umblical cord will help me conceive? Are you insane?
Be mature, we need a baby or society will doubt my masculinity, your fertility.
Cut the crap. Your penis and balls is not enough to prove the society that you are a man? You and your immature thoughts. Grow up and find someone else to prove you are MAN. Now GET OUT!
But Lisa.. (door shuts)
Immature moron… Lisa said.


Timing Matters by Ruchira Khana

“I think we should take the south route,” Aisha stated confidently.

Mala interjected, “But there’s always traffic at this time. Let’s take the inner roads instead; it’ll be faster.”

“I understand, but traffic helps me practice patience.”

“That’s good, but I want to be on time for work. Can you exercise your patience when driving alone?”

“Don’t worry; I’ll ensure we arrive on time.”

Mala scoffed, “How? Does your car have wings?”

Despite Mala’s remark, Aisha was resolute and selected the south route on her GPS.

‘Why did I agree to carpool with such an immature co-worker?’ thought Mala.


Naïve Taker by K.F. Hartless

Lisa wound her hand around Matthew’s throat. His cough was worsening despite the pills and the breathing treatments.

“Try your best to keep breathing,” she said.

“I’ve been doing that all day.” His smile had a bluish tinge.

Lisa tightened her grip. The boy didn’t have much time. After a few seconds, her lungs filled with fluid, and the boy’s ballooned open.

When a cough seized her, she went to the sink to spit out a wobbly yellow phlegm. She was a naïve taker, though. Her powers were immature. She could take the cough, but not the underlying Pertussis.


Is Age Just a Number? by Billie D. Johnston

Rosin, 16, on a Saturday, stepped out the front door on the way to work.

He found a grounded fledgling thinking he had time. He returned it to its nest.

He walked to the library.

He thought, “today, I tell her at lunch.”

They usually ate lunch together.

At work Mary said, “Lunch?”

“Yes,” said Rosin.

At lunch, he said, “Mary. I love you. Date me.”

“I’m flattered,” said Mary. “love you too, but I’m thirty.”

Rosin gasped, “but why not?”

“You’re only a child.”

Rosin jumped saying, “hell no! Lunch is over.”

She held her head and sighed.


Immature by ladyleemanila

so immature, I knew he would be trouble

from the moment we met like a trap

I was out of breath in a light frap

rising and falling in a bubble

nothing left but bricks and rubble

forgetting the promise he made, that chap

so immature, I knew he would be trouble

from the moment we met like a trap

got no choice, he makes me chuckle

he beckons me and I’m there in a snap

with his charming smile and blue cap

we kiss and I feel his little stubble

so immature, I knew he would be trouble


Trying To Join The Grownups by Geoff Le Pard

Mandy Tory determined to win Little Tittweaking’s council elections with a new political party. Joining her were no-nonsense spokesperson, Del Ecate and the French escapologist, Inez Capable whose skills had dug many politicians out of their self-created holes. The nascent party didn’t survive its first meeting. Del refused to vote, asserting he was allergic to ticks; Inez rejected a cross alternate, suggesting alignment with Eton Mess, new owner of Twatting, Little Tittweaking’s social media platform. Mandy, trying to encourage a show of hands, merely triggered a stampede of those who assumed it reflected a collective need for the restrooms.


Still Being Barbie by Dianne Borowski

Dang woman! You are pathetic and too skinny. How’d we ever get a looker like Ginger?

Ginger was born beautiful. She was Ma’s seventh. Six of us was boys. Pa, he was a mean, nasty, well you know what.

Poor Ma.

Everyone loved Ginger. She was an angel. Smart, I mean real smart too. Ma said Ginger could go to college and get some fancy job someday.

Pa, he always treated Ma poorly. Ginger said Ma was stupid for sticking around. Well, Pa ended up in jail. Ginger quit school. She still spends her days playing Barbie. So who’s stupid? Huh?


Eating Lesson by Duane L Herrmann

I looked up from eating and noticed my father’s shirt was clean, no food on his face, nor the table around him. How did he do that? When I ate, it was obvious: all over my face, my clothes, my plate and the table around me. It was difficult to get the spoon into my mouth! I had to use both hands: one for the spoon, upright if possible, the other to aim it, often failing. But, I was hungry, so I persevered. Eventually, I was able to eat and stay as clean as my father – and he died.


“Unfledged” Harry by JulesPaige

Harry watched as the white fence he was painting became sun-kissed by the progressing day. He probably looked pretty silly in a borrowed Hawaiian shirt taking time away from a wise feather pen that provided its own ink, mirrors that projected more than just reflections and some new friends who had a menagerie of animals at their place that was called the Saddle up Saloon. He’d remembered that he had come from some sort of formal dance where he had to wear a tux. But he wanted to escape dancing with the immature debutantes. Would he ever grow up?

The other question Harry also thought of was, would he ever get home. In the Saloon he was writing a story about a Victorian woman in a photo he’d found in a box where the feather Pen had been tape to the back. The thought had briefly occurred to him that maybe he was being written. But that couldn’t be – he was real wasn’t he? Harry carefully set the paintbrush down on the paint can and walked back to the Poetree. He sat on the ground and leaned his back comfortably on the bark. Time for a nap.

The last thing Harry thought of was either immature, cautious or perhaps frightening; If he slept would it be the sleep of Rip Van Winkle? Would twenty minutes end up being twenty years? Would his immature peach fuzz face sprout full fledged whiskers? Would he be more of a man when he woke up? The sun kissed his face through the leaves of the poetry and he could no longer keep his eyes open. He barely remembered that Curly, no longer an immature piglet, snuggled up to him. For some odd reason that connection made him feel comfortably safe.


Party’s Over by D. Avery

“Kid, our writer’s back! Git over ta the Saloon afore she checks on it. There’s been a penguin hangin out there.”


“Thet penguin, name a Hairy, took up with Curly an Curly convinced Hairy ta roll in the mud.”

“So? Curly’s all growed up now, not my responsibility. Anyways, who minds a little mud?”

“Curly got this Hairy fella inta a LOT of mud. Then all them quills thet was around ended up stickin ta him. Looks like a fledgling mudhen. Tellin ya, this won’t fly with our writer.”

“Alright, Pal, I’ll take em both fer a swim.”


Cleanup Time by D. Avery

So Kid went ta the Saddle Up Saloon ta see whut was goin on. Curly an this Hairy penguin (turns out a fella named Harry who had showed up in a tuxedo) were covered in mud, jist wallowin unnerneath the Poet Tree. Kid incouraged em both ta swim in the crick til they come clean.

An Harry did come clean. Admitted he was homesick, despite havin a high time ennertainin folks at the Saddle Up. But how ta git home from here? Them quills is pin feathers, don’t work fer flight. Till Kid changed the i to a e.


Imagin Thet by D. Avery

Pen feathers kin take ya anywhere, anytime. An by now ya know ol Harry kin take off with quill power. Yep, Harry was now ready ta take off. Had arrived in a cummerbund an tails then molted an transformed. Yep, Harry was ready ta fly, was feelin strong an wise after time unner the Poet Tree at the Saddle Up. An mebbe it was all a dream. No matter if it was. But fictional characters matter, Harry reminded us all a the.

So thank ya Harry.

“Pal! A feather!”

“Safe journey, Harry, ta thet magical place ya call home.”


All Write Now by D. Avery

“Well, Kid, we got things all write afore thet writer a ours comes buttin back in. Got the Saddle Up cleaned up, got Harry on his way… yep, nuthin ta see here.”

“Reckon we did prove we write ourselves afterall. I know she gets the byline, but reckon we could be thinkin on the prompt.”

“Thet byline, thet’s jist Shorty throwin her a bone. Let er gnaw on it. So, what’re ya thinkin, Kid?”

“Thinkin them first three is a might sketchy as far as answerin the prompt. You got any ideas bout someone who’s immature, Pal?”

“Hmmf. Mebbe.”


All Write Now An Agin by D. Avery

“Serially, Kid? It’s purty obvious where this prompt could lead.”

“What’re ya sayin, Pal?”

“Write bout yersef, Kid. A greenhorn thet’s always gittin inta awkward situations.”

“I was atchally thinkin it could be bout you.”

“Me? I weren’t never immature. Told ya many times, I jist am, always been here at the Ranch, fully formed.”

“Yeah, but ya sure git yer feathers ruffled some easy. Was hopin mebbe ya might transform, grow inta less of a grump.”



“Was hopin you’d leave the nest.”

“I did Pal, member? Learned the Ranch is home an I’m home ta roost.”


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

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  1. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    What a wonderful collection. Great job everyone! You flew!
    Good to be among these writers who stepped up and took flight with what I found to be a challenging prompt. (Even though an immature cedar waxwing literally showed up at my front door soon after the prompt came out)

    • Charli Mills

      How cool to witness an immature waxwing up close! This is indeed a collection that takes flight. Thanks, D.!

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Hi! I enjoyed your response. Be sure and check out the current challenge (August 15) and submit in the form there to be included in the next round up.

  2. Colleen M. Chesebro

    What an excellent group of stories! I love the creativity and where the prompt takes us all in different directions. How cool we all come home to Carrot Ranch!

    • Charli Mills

      I love that sentiment, Colleen — coming home to Carrot Ranch!

  3. Jules

    A bunch of mature reads…about immaturity. Whoa, Stop, Back-up. Some of ’em had good lessons. Reckin’ if some of us are mature enough to understand. It takes some maturity to write straight and narrow about a willy-nilly wily prompt like immaturity!

  4. Sue Spitulnik

    Great stories, as I have come to expect. Thank you all.
    A special thank you to Harry for keeping the saloon busy while Kid and Pal were without pen feathers.

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for keeping the campfire burning at the Ranch, Sue!

      • Sue Spitulnik

        A privilege for me!


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