The Weather Arrives 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.

September 1, 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 Box (Part I) by D. Avery

Red sat, legs swinging, staring at the box her mother had told her to leave alone.

Red once told her Grandma about overhearing her mother claim that red-headed children were difficult, impulsive. Grandma had clucked sympathetically and reassured Red that she was just a curious child, and curiosity was a sign of intelligence.

Red wanted to know what was in that box. Maybe it was from Grandma!

Red stood over the box and read. “Handle With Care… hmm.”

Red tugged until the lid sprang open with a woosh! Every sort of weather imaginable swirled out. What could go wrong?


The Box (Part II) by D. Avery

Red struggled to lower the lid again, but the wind and rain conspired against her efforts. Just as she was weakening, Grandma arrived and helped her close and latch the box, with all the weather back inside.

Red could only nod when her Grandma asked if she’d been curious. But then Red regained her courage and suggested that maybe they could extract just warm sunny weather, leaving the rest.

Grandma encouraged Red to think what might happen over time if there was only one kind of weather.

Grandma, while praying for balance and moderation, opened and emptied the box.


Weather’s Arrival by Duane L Herrmann

On the central steppes of the continent, where there are no barriers to wind, weather can change quickly. Wind can be still, or gale force. Change can arrive from either the Arctic or the Tropics during a day. Morning can have one pattern of weather and the afternoon, the opposite. Living here, farming, one learns to watch the sky and its clouds. Dark, dark clouds can roll over the sky in minutes. You learn to be ready to change plans, sometimes drastically, on a moment’s notice. Life is exciting and the sky is awesome and commanding! Come, you’ll see.


Storm Ciara by Sweeter Than Nothing

With a crack of lightning and a torrent of rain, my life as I knew it was over.

Storm Ciara charged in on a Sunday morning wild and uncontainable, it was terrifying, exhilarating.

But then, falling in love always is, isn’t it?

She knocked on my door dripping wet, the storm outside raged, she shivered but there was fire in her eyes.

I should have known then I was in trouble.

That weekend devastated me, I lost everything to the stormy sea.

I gained you.

Ciara my love, how aptly they named you.

It took everything, you gave everything.


Fall Cometh by Sadje

The raging bull, that summer is, has us all sweating and pleading for its swift departure. It stays here for most of the year, leaving a few months of cooler, more pleasant weather.

Fall, the lady with golden hair with tints of auburn and red. She is shy and hesitant to come and show her pretty face despite so many longing for her.

The delicate foliage announces her arrival, quietly and stealthily.

“Rejoice mortals for the heat has gone for a little while at least. Come out and enjoy the beautiful spectacle nature has created for you!”

She announces.


The Queen of Winter by Colleen Chesebro

I watched as the storm approached. The wind howled. Rain lashed the window, obscuring my view. Wait… is that an old woman standing under the trees? No one should be out in this wild storm.

I ran outside as a booming voice rang out. “I am the Cailleach Béara. I command the winds of winter to blow!” The woman raised her arms skyward.

I stopped, fear halting my progress. This was the Hag of Béara, a goddess who brought winter with her wherever she appeared. She turned into a corvid and flew off.

The Queen of Winter had arrived.


Fog 90 by Ann Edall-Robson

Looking out the window at the lazy snow flakes settling in the grass; at this time of year it might be snow or rain. Glancing at the calendar, she wasn’t surprised to see the moisture. A note written on today’s square told her precipitation was expected. Sure enough, the old ways her grandmother had ingrained in her held true once again. No need to listen to the radio, TV, or check an app to know if moisture should happen. Her weather report: record the foggy days, count out 90 days, make the note FOG90 in the appropriate calendar square.


Ruby, Our Ruby by JulesPaige

We called her a hurricane. So full of energy. Everytime she entered the room a friendly type of chaos would ensue. One day she would take us by the hand, lead us through the darkness of impending storms of disagreements of how and who should live where and when.

She came from us. We first whispered then shouted. Both amazed and proud. That smile from her lips that went across her face from ear to ear. Instinctively knowing that the future was her gift, all she had to do was engulf the present each and every single day.


Whether the Weather by Norah Colvin

Thunderous footsteps echoed down the hall, announcing her arrival.

“Look what the storm blew in.” One aunt grimaced, nodding towards the figure in the doorway.

“I’d say she brought the storm with her. As usual,” said another, noticing the flashing eyes and dark clouds encircling her wild red hair.

“Don’t worry,” said a third. “It’ll just be a storm in her E-cup.”

“Don’t you mean teacup?” asked Josie.

“No,” said the third, patting her chest. “Elsie’s always too big for her E-cup.”

The aunts laughed, but as Elsie stormed towards them, their laughter evaporated as quickly as a sunshower.


The Rain by Simon

She waits for the dark clouds in the sky.

As it comes closer, as the rain drops touches her cheek, before the rain, her tears comes harder than rain. While everyone jumps in joy, she let her all worries out in tears like the pounding rain.

She wants to talk, she needs a shoulder, she needs a hug, but all she has now is the rain. Like the dark cloud is destined for her, it hears her silent cries, it tastes her silent tears, and it rains harder as if the rain decides to last until she is fine.


It’s Wally the Weatherman by Dianne Borowski

Hi There! I’m Wally the Weatherman for WWSSIN in Massapoeka, Wisconsin. Better get your raincoats and umbrellas ready because it’s gonna be raining cats and dogs in the morning. A storm front is moving West over the Great Lakes.

Chance of precipitation is 99.9%.

And now a word from our sponsor, Andy’s Used Cars, located at Fifth and Grange. You can’t get a better used car anywhere else in town.

Now remember this, Wisconsinites, winter is on the way and “Cheese it’s cold here.”


The Seasons to Be Cheerful by Geoff Le Pard

When Little Tittweaking experienced unusual weather patterns, meteorologist and sex therapist Hildegard Downpour suggested these were caused by its tendency to enjoy microclimaxes. A study showed what began in a drizzle of expectations, as the isobars filled with punters tended to fade into short sharp bursts of what ifs, that gradually gave way to longer periods of sunny-side dispositions, though occasional depressions could bubble up unexpectedly. Bands of perhapses would presage spells of maybes with more intense pulses of regrets in the early evenings. Longer spells of disappointments might be followed by intemperate stormings out amidst blizzards of misgivings.


Warning by Reena Saxena

“But there’s no water anywhere around here”
I exclaim on seeing a ship anchored to the threshold of my front door.
Thankfully, it’s a dream.

“Trevor, will you stop watching news and help me in the kitchen?”
“The city is getting flooded. Didn’t you hear thunder last night?”
“I saw a ship…” I stop in my tracks to see water trickling inside from the main entrance.

No, I didn’t hear the thunder. But I heard a warning and ignored it.
The ship announced the arrival of water. It needs to sail.

And we need a safe place to move.


Stormy Dissonance by Michael Fishman

Monk’s soft piano was the perfect accompaniment to the slow chopping of the watercress to top the salad.

The rain started softly, barely noticeable over ‘Round Midnight. It picked up when they finally sat down to eat.

The thunder cracked. Half past dinner. Lightning.

Then several quiet minutes while they focused on the food.

“It’s very good.”

“Thank you.”

“A new recipe.”


The conversation was stale. Cold as hail. Windy words thin as the braciole, dry as the chianti. The air was electrified, ready to ignite into flame.

A long peal of thunder and a torrent of rain.


The Orphan by D. Avery

All they ever did was talk about the weather. Wet or dry, warm or cold; how severe was it going to be; how long would it last? No matter the weather at any given time, it wasn’t enough or it was too much. Querulous predictions and constant complaints was the language of this village.

I tried to get the white-haired couple that raised me to speak of other things. But on the matter of where I’d come from they were quiet as snow on a windless night.

I left, a rainbow my only map, the sky brightening before me.


The Final Breaths of Summer by Hugh W. Roberts

Amidst the flags, my town celebrated love, welcoming the weather’s arrival that marked the final breaths of summer. Hearts bloomed like the June flowers.

Couples, regardless of gender, held hands, their love as natural as the warm sun that had kissed their cheeks.

But, like people, the weather could be erratic.

A sudden storm darkened the sky, raining on the love. But as resilient as a rainbow after the rain, love persisted.

Together, we weather life’s disruptions, proving that love knows no bounds, no matter the storm. It always shines as brilliantly as the sun emerging from the clouds.


The Coming Storm by Sassy

He sat on the rocking chair on the front porch knowing that the storm would hit at some point but still he sat just rocking away. He knew he could have avoided it altogether by choosing to leave before impending doom came but still he sat rocking and going no where. For far too long, he’d been comfortable, complacent really, and unwilling to do anything to shore up his world or leave it behind. Perhaps there was some denial there as well, denial that the big storm would never happen, never actually hit him. Oh, how wrong he was.


Brownie’s New Nickname by Sue Spitulnik

When the door of The No Thanks opened, Scottie said, “Crap, here comes the weatherman.”

Mac asked, “How did Brownie become the weatherman?”

“I call him that because he always has a smile on his face, just like a forecaster, but you don’t know if his temperament will be sunny, cloudy, or close to a tornado.”

Mac started chuckling and tried to escape to his office.

Brownie noticed Mac’s attempted departure and shouted, “What, I’m not good enough for a hello today?” His smile never changed, but he sounded angry.

Mac turned, “Howdy, you old grump.”

Everyone laughed together.


Unintentioned Art by Kerry E.B. Black

Her friends “ooh’ed” and “ahh’ed,” touching Selene’s freshly clipped and dyed hair. “It’s called peacock,” she explained as they fanned the feathery style from nearly purple to a copper, with blue surrounding all.

They grouped together, a knot of feminine fun strolling the outdoor art festival. While they admired the art, thunderclouds rumbled. “Hope it passes,” Selene expressed, but alas, the clouds disgorged. Rain trickled through Selene’s hair, pulled pigments, and ran in staining, blue rivulets.

The girls sought shelter. There, they pointed. “Selene, your dye bled.” “You look like a pictish warrior!” “No, she’s a work of art.”


Unexpected Weather by Ruchira

“Mom, it’s raining stones outside, and I have bruises all over,” Jules exclaimed as she entered the house, holding her head and examining her arms.

Curious, her Mom asked, “Raining stones? In sunny California?” She quickly looked out the window and saw a hailstorm.

The wind was forcefully throwing ice balls, creating a sound similar to throwing stones when they hit the ground.

“Oh my, I never thought I’d see this kind of weather on our side of the country. And to think I pay high taxes for sunny days! This must be due to Global Warming,” she fumed.


Airy Rain by woundedcat

I wake up, and I can’t even hear the rain. Although the rain in this area comes down in varying degrees and intensities, it vanishes as soon as it appears. The clouds move quickly overhead along with the showers they bring with them. This might force me to take a pause in my day, but it barely interrupts my planned activities. The sun behaves like the clouds’ companion, appearing in tandem with the rain, or follows it soon after to dry up the mess that’s left. The day ends as it starts, just to repeat itself the following dawn.


Unsure by Mario Milizia

When the rain began, it made our dreams possible. Last year, the drought killed our crops and bank account.
When the rain came down harder, we danced in it, jumping, and splashing in newly formed puddles.
But the rain didn’t stop.

The welcome rain became streams running down neat rows of corn. The streams washed away soil, exposing our crops to failure again. The skies darkened. Tornadoes were on the way.

We grabbed blankets, and ran for the storm cellar, as the barn roof ripped away.
Jackie, shivering next to me, asked, “Can we afford to rebuild?
We prayed.


Late Arrivals by D. Avery

Heads bent, they approached her house, looked over their shoulders before knocking tentatively on her door. Cold rain whipped them while they waited.

She stood impassively in the doorway, did not greet them.

Finally, one among them spoke. “Please. Please, Mother Nature. Stop this intolerable weather.”

“It’s destroying everything,” another said. “Not just our buildings; the very land is being swept to sea.”

“Or burning up,” said another. “Droughts and wildfires.”

“Help us. Get the weather back under control!”

Mother Nature shook her head sadly. “You humans unleashed forces that put Weather beyond my powers.” She shut the door.


Red Rain by Joanne Fisher

“We need to get inside quickly!” One of our group said in alarm.

I looked up and saw the black clouds coming in. They were swirling chaotically and approaching fast. We ran to the shelter and got indoors just as the rain started falling. I looked out at the rain. The red rain. Slowly the world turned to crimson.

We were trapped here until it stopped. If you went out in it, you would get covered in burns that would heal slowly.

I stood there, looking out, wishing the world would go back to how it used to be.


Bass Note by Liz Husebye Hartmann

Shuffle ‘cross the kitchen, sharp drop to hardwood chair.
Looks like no break, no midnight magic to slake my thirst.
Skin crackles painful, radiates heat.
How long has it been?

Sun sets, no ease with darkness.
Deep pull on southern bourbon.
Radio crackles resistance, then clears.
Stand, sway, bare feet brush worn oak planking.
A call to communion.

Bass note rattles foundation.
Wind cuts straight through screen doors, front to back.
Rooftop patter twists to muscular hiss.
Skin rises to meet the rain.
Step out into the yard, embrace the skyborne lover.
Cat looks on with green gimlet eyes


Flame-out by Bill Engleson

She sidles up to me at the corner. I’m waiting for the light to change. Suddenly, there is this fleshy flounder slinking into the back of me, tilting like we’re in a crushed tandem bike and itching to be merged.

I glance back, see the massive swirl of crazy red hair, draped all around her, down to the ground of her, feel the heat of her, hand-on-the-stove-top-element heat of her, burning my matter, the depth of me, frozen in fire, waiting for the light, that damn light that stays red, burns into my eyes.

And then the sun explodes.


Blowin In the Wind by D. Avery

“S’matter Kid? Why’re ya stormin aroun?”

“Shorty sure dreamed up another tough challenge prompt.”

“Jist do yer best, Kid. Don’t matter weather or not ya come up with a story.”

“Har-har, Pal. Punny. My mind is too foggy fer this.”

“Yer thinkin’ll clear, you’ll be right as rain in time fer the collection. Shift, Kid, it’s weather. It always arrives, one way or anuther. An you know how it often goes, doesn’t rain but it pours. Ya might git flooded with ideas.”

“Might suffer from drought too.”

“Might blow us away with yer weather yarn.”

“Hope I do, Pal.”


Kid turned ta the Poet Tree by D. Avery

a natchral weather channel
tuned ta the sun, each leaf a solar panel

Noticed if the leaves turn tipsy
an branches b’gin ta sway
wind storm’s aheadin our way

But thet tree is deeply rooted
thrives on rain an melted snow
yep, takes all kindsa weather
ta make the Poet Tree grow

Kid climbed thet tree
an Kid’s fog begun ta lift
looked aroun, an counted all the gifts

Fer on the Ranch the sun always shines
‘cept when ya need shade or rain
Kid vowed, then an there, ta never more complain.


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

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  1. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Thunderous claps for the arrival of this collection! It’s a perfect storm, the stories flow so well together. Thank you Charli for conducting this orchestra of flash.
    (PS, sorry Charli, not really, about heisting your Red & Grandma characters from last week; you can have them back now)

    • Charli Mills

      Did I oops? My mind is often like the weather… But I hear your thunderous claps and see all the flashes of brilliance!

      • Charli Mills

        Oh! See, mind like the weather — I thought you meant something else. Let me redirect. Within the collective unconscious is interconnected art and there can be no such thing as a creative heist. It’s why we riff and feel inspired and find inspiration. I know you are human and not AI. AI has to learn and mimic our human expression; humans can gather and play in a vast space beyond the reach of AI. Good riff on Red.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Good redirect. No, no artificial intelligence here, because what fun is that? Thanks for sharing this beautiful sand box.

      • Charli Mills

        Ha — nothing artificial. Typos, omissions, and oopses are all human here.

  2. Colleen M. Chesebro

    What a fabulous collection! Bravo to everyone!

    • Charli Mills

      This one blew in with gusto!

      • Colleen M. Chesebro

        Weather is such a great prompt!

  3. lesleyscoble

    Wow! What a wonderful anthology! I can’t wait to read them all. ??
    Is there a collective noun for writers?

    • Charli Mills

      What a great question to answer collectively! A pad of writers? A crew of word wranglers? Ranchers of wide open mind spaces?

      • lesleyscoble

        ????…or a wad of writers? ????

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        A 99 word response:

        Carrot Ranch writers— word wrangling Ranchers
        high stepping 99-word flash Chancers
        What one word contains our diversity?
        Maybe we are a university

        A company, coven, complex, a clutch?
        those words don’t convey enough
        about the sum of these parts
        this thrum beat assembly of heart

        A group, a troupe, a scoop?
        Maybe we are a loop
        like a circle of friends
        no beginning or end

        We take up the rope as we can
        many threads, many hands
        passing our stories around
        where creativity abounds

        In writing, we can’t go wrong
        here our words stand strong
        every one’s story belongs.

      • Charli Mills

        That’s perfect — a pad of writers!

      • Charli Mills

        And, of course, a perfect typo…a wad of writers!

      • Charli Mills

        What a scoop on a response, D.!

  4. woundedcat

    Loved the variety in this week’s collection!

    • Charli Mills

      Like the weather!

      • woundedcat

        Lol- so true!

      • Charli Mills


  5. Jules

    Location, location, location… to weather the whether – local and abroad.
    Round these part we’re getting some Dog-days of summer. Looking forward to a bit of a cool down, but for those who have had too much one way or another, may you get the help you need to rebuild.

    • Charli Mills

      Enjoy the dog-days, Jules.


  1. The Weather Arrives Collection – Mom With a Blog - […] The Weather Arrives Collection […]
  2. #99Word Stories; Southwest Pumpkins | ShiftnShake - […] sure to go to Carrot Ranch to read the complete “Weather Arrives” collection and the “Festa” […]

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