Blankets 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.

October 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.

Get Your Furnace Checked by Liz Husebye Hartmann

(A VERY serious acrostic!)

Bundled in yards of heavy cloth and batting, the only signs of life are a red nose and beady eye.
Lamplight softens the tragic scene, but the furnace is out.
Add to that, a window broke, and rain and bitter night pulse inward.
Now flat, now horizontal, rain turns sleet to snow, and feeble attempts to block the window with cardboard failed miserably.
Kettle calls a shrill alarm, and quilt unrolls to free its occupants, cat first, then human.
Even so, a thermos of tea won’t see us through to daylight.
This is surely our final moment alive: Farewell!

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Missing Her Laugh by Mario Milizia

I brought an old checked-comforter downstairs to drop off at a donation center. I went to move it later and it was gone.

I started looking around when I heard the girls laughing in the family room.

I watched as Emma and her friend Sarah, who was sleeping over, snuggled under the blanket, heads propped against pillows, watching television.

I remember when my younger sister and I did the same. Or when we tried to hide from Mom and Dad, under the blanket, but giggled too loud.

We haven’t talked for years. I miss that.

Is it too late?

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Chronic Condition by Anne Goodwin

It lurks like an angry cloud, muting all colours, frosting the air. Life dragging on beneath it, she fails to notice that it blocks the sun.

Some days it’s a comfort blanket, a pardon, like a parental note excusing her from games. She cuddles up to its duvet softness and opens her book.

Sometimes she shrinks it to a single thread, blocks it from her mind. Forgets her pills, appointments, diet, not caring if she’ll crash.

Blanket or blank it? Neither works. Somewhere, there’s a garden lush with flowers and weeds. She’ll find it eventually. In her own way.

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In Passing by Charli Mills

A homeless man camps in the woods along my commute. He has no tent. Piles of stuffed garbage bags form an unsightly plasticized nest. What does he keep bagged? Where he found two wagons – the sort gardeners use – I can only wonder. Throughout summer, he’s moved his wagon train of bags weekly, keeping proximity to the tourist toilets. The leaves and temperature begin to drop. Soon, state workers will close the wayside. I’m so relieved knowing winter will remove his open camp from my view that I don’t stop to ask if he has the comfort of a blanket.

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The Legacy by Dianne Borowski

Her hands ached from arthritis but she continued to weave the multicolored blanket. She wanted to capture the land she so lovingly cared for over the last forty years.

The child would be called Beatrice. She would live here amid the beauty and solitude of this wondrous place during her formative years. She knew she would not live to speak with her only grandchild about the land and all its creatures so she decided to create a blanket which would speak for her when she no longer could speak. This would be her gift, her legacy for generations to come.

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Security Blanket by Kerry E. B. Black

Libby cocooned in her Blankie, snuggled beside her mother as they watched the Charlie Brown Halloween Special. She especially enjoyed Linus who loved his blanket as much as Libby loved her own. She wondered if Linus’s blue blanket had wrapped him when he was a baby, like her blanket had done. She imagined he’d lost a family member, too, and found comfort within the fabric folds. When so ensconced, the blanket’s hug comforted and protected almost as well as Mom, but unlike Mom, Blankie never left her alone, never needed to work to earn money since its Daddy left.

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Metamorphoses (Part I) by D. Avery

Hope sat on the porch cloaked in her blanket, watching the cosmos bend as the rain hammered down. Sighing, she went inside. After eating her breakfast in the tent she’d pitched, she removed her draped blanket from the chair backs and wrapped it close around her.

“You going to stay in that blanket all day, Hope?”

“I’m a caterpillar.” Hope wriggled around the kitchen. Finally, she curled up, still. “I’m a chrysalis.”

Her daddy put his farm magazine down, her mother turned away from her cooking, and together they watched as the butterfly emerged, the blanket cocoon now beautiful wings.

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Metamorphoses (Part II) by D. Avery

The butterfly flexed its wings carefully before flitting around searching for nectar.

After feeding on switchel the butterfly metamorphosed once again, into a little girl. Hope sat on her folded blanket with her crayons and tablet, drawing flowers beaming under sunny skies.

“It’s been raining forever,” she said.

“Seems so, Hope. Keep making your pictures, remind us what the sun looked like.”

As she searched for a lavender crayon it happened.

They stepped out onto the porch. The western sky was the color of cosmos.

Hope lay on her petalled blanket, a sleepy bee buzzing with plans for tomorrow.

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A Cloud of Butterflies by Norah Colvin

“I’m gunna dig all the way through the world and come out in China,” said Nathan.
“I’m going to the moon,” said Mandy.
“You can’t get to the moon this way.”
“Can too!”
“The moon’s in space, silly.”
“So?”
Nathan sighed. “Let’s just dig.”
“It’s really deep,” said Mandy in a little while. “We can stand in it now.”
“Yeah!” said Nathan. He continued digging. “I hope it doesn’t rain. Tell that cloud to go away.”
Mandy shook her fist. “Go away cloud!” Then she said, “It’s not a cloud. It’s butterflies!”
“Wow!” said Nathan. “A cloud of butterflies!”

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The Cat Blanket by Judy Dykstra-Brown

The kitties were all girlcatting it around outside when I lay down on the sofa, but when I woke up after a 3-hour unplanned nap, they were covering about all of me. I had been listening to a book on my Kindle when I fell asleep, but I suddenly realized it had a camera on it, so then and there, I learned how to use my Kindle to take these photos and how to send them to my computer, all while lying under a cozy cat blanket! I love it that I’m just the bottom cat in the pile.

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In Hiding by Joanne Fisher

“You’ve got to get out of bed eventually. You can’t hide under those blankets for ever.” Sylvia told her flatmate.

“I’m never leaving this bed ever again.” Tori replied defiantly.

“Everyone gets dumped. I know you really loved her, but you’ll get over it, I promise.” Sylvia stated.

“The world is a hurtful place. It’s better to hide from it.”

Yes the world can be hurtful.” Sylvia agreed. “But we all have to face it eventually.” Sylvia knew Tori would eventually resurface when she needed to talk. Until then, Sylvia thought it would be best to leave her be.

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Forlorn by Michael Fishman

I’m lying in the closet now. It’s dark. I’m not uncomfortable so don’t feel sad. I’m ok. I guess.

I miss Bobby, he was my friend. He’d take me everywhere, hold me and tell me everything. Then one night Mommy came to check on us and found me atop the dresser and Bobby alone. She said, “Are you ok, sweetie?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Don’t you want your cuddle blanket, baby?”

“Mommy! I’m not a baby anymore.”

It was that fast.

Bobby has new friends now. I hear them play sometimes and I’m happy for him. But I really do miss him.

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Quilts of Valor Presented (Part I) by Sue Spitulnik

Quilts of Valor Presented by Sue Spitulnik

During the Irish dance practice, held each Saturday at the No Thanks, that Tessa had asked the band members to stay half an hour later; two ladies came in the back door with five full shopping bags. Family members of the band also arrived, along with the local newspaper photographer.
When the dancers were finished, the two ladies from the Quilts of Valor organization presented a red, white, and blue quilt to each band member in honor of their service. Many individual, family, and group photos were taken after escaping tears were swiped from the men’s eyes, including Mac’s.

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Quilts of Valor Presented (Part II) by Sue Spitulnik

Tessa had helped make the quilts in the local Quilts of Valor sewing group. She was proud of her work and the people who gave their time to make them. During the presentation, she heard a friend call the quilt a blanket. She moved toward the person and said, “Actually, it’s a quilt.”
“What’s the difference?”
“It has three layers, a top, a filler, and a backing, which are then covered with patterned stitching to hold the three layers together. A blanket only has one layer. But they accomplish the same thing, keeping one warm and cozy when used.”

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The Cat Blanket by Judy Dykstra-Brown

The kitties were all girlcatting it around outside when I lay down on the sofa, but when I woke up after a 3-hour unplanned nap, they were covering about all of me. I had been listening to a book on my Kindle when I fell asleep, but I suddenly realized it had a camera on it, so then and there, I learned how to use my Kindle to take these photos and how to send them to my computer, all while lying under a cozy cat blanket! I love it that I’m just the bottom cat in the pile.

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My Grandmother’s Quilt by Hugh W. Roberts

A chilling breeze whispered through the creaking timbers as night descended upon the cabin I found myself in.

Shivering, I reached for my grandmother’s old quilt draped across the armchair. As the tattered blanket settled around me, it seemed to come alive. Shadows danced on its faded patchwork, taking sinister forms.

Goosebumps prickled my skin as I watched in horror. Then, a spectral hand emerged, beckoning me into its ghostly embrace.

My screams echoed through the cabin, but the blanket absorbed them.

From that night, the cabin was empty, except for the eerie blanket, waiting for its next victim.

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The Missing Piece by D. Avery

She and her bankie— inseparable. Even as an adult (hard to think of one’s child as an adult!) she slept with her bankie. As a child she took it everywhere. In first grade, she acquiesced and let us cut a square from bankie that she could carry more discreetly. In high school mini-bankie was in her backpack, was kneaded during exams.
Now I carry a square from her bankie. It doesn’t bring me comfort, only memories. Her mini-bankie lingers in a plastic evidence bag. The remains of her big bankie are tucked in with her in that awful coffin.

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Blankets Cold and Warm by Sweeter Than Nothing

Shuddering breath plumed in the chilly air from a crouched figure in a snow blanketed forest. Adrenaline kept her warm, even as the cold bit at her fingers. Sarah held her breath as she heard a crunch in the snow.

Silence.

She eased from her hiding place- SPLAT! A snowball hit her hard.

“Ugh, you’re so dead, I never wanted to play anyway.” Sarah snapped at her sniggering boyfriend.

“I’m sorry, come snuggle with me, I’ll warm you back up again.” he said suggestively, gesturing to the firelit cabin behind them, pulling a warm plaid blanket from the porch.

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The Beginning Blanket by Melissa

Before being married I dug deep into my creativity bank to craft a favorite blanket that has remained a constant source of comfort throughout the years. I pieced it together using a variety of scrap fabrics that I loved. This project was a labor of love, and one that I am particularly fond of. It has accompanied me through life’s highs and lows, reminding me of the importance of simplicity and the value of handmade items. Even after all these years, I still treasure this blanket, knowing that it represents both my youth and the beginning of my marriage.

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Picnic Blanket by Di aka Pensitivity101

Family picnics were always popular, be it a get together for someone’s birthday or just an excuse to get out into the fresh air to pick wild fruit for Dad’s wine and have a picnic.

It wasn’t just the family that had fun though, especially playing scrabble with wrapped sweets thrown for the kids to catch.

At the end, the blanket was a game.

The kids loved being tossed in it.

But then, so did the dog.

He would happily climb aboard when everyone was finished and wait patiently for two people to grab the corners and toss him.

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Where’s My Blankie by Sadje

My youngest daughter loved her blanket. She would carry it with her everywhere! This little girl is very much like her. She would be sucking her thumb and holding her blankie, ready to go to sleepy land.

When she turned two, she would take the blanket with her everywhere, even when we went out. The favorite blanket was getting frayed at the edges and in summer, it was torture even seeing her hold the blanket.

One day, the blanket disappeared. There were tears and sleepless nights. But finally, she got used to being without it! Phew!

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Blanket Delight by Duane L Herrmann

I loved that blanket. It was bright yellow with a strip of pink around the edge. It was soft and fuzzy but thin and light as air. There was a clothes line above my bed in the attic room. Standing on my bed I managed to push the blanket over the closeline and make a tent over my bed. The tent kept the wasps from walking on my face at nights. I could sleep easier. I also used the blanket to make a pretend wall to play house with my little sister. My mother gave that delightful blanket away.

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Miss You by Simon

The nights are still cold.
You are not here to keep me warm.
Missing talking with you at bed.
Your irreplaceable evening snacks.
Days I pretended to study; you knew it.
The days you cried and sick; I regret I was not there for you.
Your advice every evening to not to wear your dress.
The scar I gave you all running away.
I should not come back as a girl.
I was expecting acceptance, not hatred.
But thanks for the blanket, at least I have this.
The memories it triggers me,
Is all that I left. Miss you!

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Norah’s Stars by Chel Owens

“See these stars, Norah? They are our friends of long ago, watching over us and giving us light.” Grandmother stroked her only grandchild’s soft hair as they lay, together. The night was still, with only crickets to hear their talk.

Norah rocked them with her small foot. The antique chair creaked.

“No, Gamma.”

Grandmother laughed. “No? Why not?” She could almost see Norah’s face scrunch up with the effort to explain.

“No, not fends. Ganket.”

“Blanket?”

The soft head shifted in a nod. “Yes. Ganket.”

They continued to rock in silence, watching the blanket of friends shimmer above them.

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Love Coverlets by JulesPaige

Years ago I was given a gift certificate for a goat yarn store, for cat sitting. I used it to buy the wool odds and ends of blues, greens and some the color of ginger sky. When I found out that my niece was pregnant with twins – I knew what I was going to use the yarn for. I crocheted two toddler blankets. After all, babies outgrow baby stuff too quickly. I made the blankets similar yet slightly different. One is edged in the ‘reds’ and the other in the ‘blues’. Eventually they will be used and perhaps loved?

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Security Blanket by writerravenclaw

Alessandra loved her mum’s blanket. Patches of a past she couldn’t forget. Each colourful addition was like a happy memory in time. There was a red and white check, which resided on her own mama’s tablecloth. An old dress, she wore when she performed at school, all their baby blankets, and her dad’s red parachute beret were only part of its elaborate history.

It gave her comfort when she couldn’t sleep at night; chemotherapy taking its toll in the silent recesses of her thoughts. It was here she was loved and kept safe from the dangers lurking in nightmares.

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Narcissist by Reena Saxena

She appears to be in love with her words as she utters them. Maybe, it’s the glorious images those words conjure in her mind – her pristine superiority, pictures of herself and her loved ones ruling the world with an opinionated hand.

It’s no joke, but a narcissist mind at work. I’m a criminal because I see through the hollowness of her embellished language. It’s not the way the world sees her, but why should she care?

She thinks I envy her, and rightly so – for being cocooned in a blanket of imagination, never looking at life in the eye.

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Safe And Sound by Geoff Le Pard

When Bea Ten-Up, the Dutch sleep guru was found strangled by her own sheets in Little Tittweaking, there was only one conclusion: it confirmed another outbreak of valence violence. Residents flocked to Bea Careful’s Safe Bedding emporia, clearing the shelves of: spring-loaded security blankets that expelled all potential attackers; quick-release sheets for claustrophobic sleepers that never self-tucked; and genetically modified pillows that self-perforated if ever inclined to suffocate their owner. The only disappointment was the duck down duvet, with surveys revealing users’ disappointment that, while warm and comforting, when in defender mode, its main safety feature required continual squatting.

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Clandestine by ladyleemanilla

It was a clandestine affair and they agreed to meet on one of the private reserves for wildlife habitat. There was an unused shed which they could spend an afternoon of passion. They entered the shed but there was an unnerving atmosphere to it. It was dark and humid. She was frightened and hesitated to enter. Then, they stepped on something. She shouted. It was a body wrapped in a blanket. Someone must have left it there. They called the police and told them about the body. Since this meeting was to be furtive, they made their separate ways.

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Faces of A Blanket by Meredith Caine

If you give a homeless man a blanket, he will cherish it forever. A baby blanket gift for the soul that is coming, a handmade treasure just for swaddling. A soft touch of color, folded neatly over the chair, a family heirloom that tells its own story. A blanket can bring comfort to all who will accept it, don’t hog it in bed or the spouse might not like you. A blanket is meant for all those big and those small, it shares of its warmth selflessly with all. Cut apart it can make more for generations to adore.

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The Deer Man by Bill Engleson

I don’t recognize the truck as it heads down my driveway.
I follow.
There’s plenty of room for both of us to park.
The other driver emerges.
I recognize him immediately.
The Deer Man.
And then I see it.
A small deer.
Carrion flies swirling.
We, my partner, and I watch as he flattens out a plastic blanket in the back of his truck.
He scrutinizes the corpse, announces, “Maybe a year old.”
He picks it up in his bare octogenarian hands, lowers the carcass gently onto the blanket.
“Food for eagles,” he says, nods goodbye, and drives away.

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Cold Comfort (Part I) by D. Avery

“Kid! Where’s my beddin? Hey! Is thet a pig in a blanket?”

“Fall’s in the air, Pal. Curly’s chilly. Was gonna jist borrow a blanket, then figgered, if ya’d give a blanket, ya’d give a sheet.”

“I didn’t give nuthin! Jeez, Kid!”

“Chillax, Pal, it’s temporary. Got a down comforter on order fer Curly. An a wool coat.”

“Hope it don’t cause ya any anxiety like thet faux fur coat ya had.”

“No, I feel good about wool. The original fleece!”

“Well ya ain’t fleecin me outta my beddin, Kid. We’re switchin bunks.”

“That’s cold, Pal.”

“Snuggle yer hoglet.”

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Cold Comfort (Part II) by D. Avery

“Pal? Ever’thin okay here in the bunkhouse? Might a heard some hollerin.”

“Jist had a little trouble settlin in fer the night, Shorty. All set now.”

“What’s that bundle, Pal? Looks like sausage links.”

“Thet’d be Kid an Curly. Seem ta be havin some troubles sharin thet beddin. Started out side by side, then one’d roll one way, one the other, each grippin the blankets. I’d say Curly’s winnin. Kid’s got turned aroun, s’gittin squeezed out the other end like toothpaste.”

“Oooh, hey, Shorty. Oof. Ya know, I’m prompted ta ask ya somethin.”

“What’s that?”

“Got a extra blanket?”

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Cold Comfort (Part III) by D. Avery

“How’d ya sleep, Kid?”

“Fine, once Shorty brought extra blankets. Dang Curly’s a bed hog. Pal, why’s ever’one linin up outside?”

“Reckon they’re here fer pig-in-a-blanket, Kid. They’re hungry.”

“What? They’re gonna eat Curly?”

“Naw, we’ll set em straight. It’s jist thet pig-in-a-blanket is a tasty treat fer folks.”

“What is it, zactly?”

“D’pens where yer from, Kid. Kin be anythin from bacon wrapped oysters or sausage ta lil hotdogs wrapped in pastry.”

“Frankly, Pal, Curly an me’re ‘gainst sech foods.”

“Well, folks’s hungry Kid. Better fix em somethin.”

“Pancakes, wrapped aroun maple roasted carrots. Real comfort food!”

“Sweet.”

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

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10 Comments

  1. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    I finally crawl out from under my blankets and what do I see? Wonderful blanket stories! Warm, cozy, and creative blankets! Picking up a thread from Sue and others, I’d say these are more than blankets; when they are all together here they are a colorful patchwork quilt.

    • Charli Mills

      Welcome back from the other side of the blanket! This is indeed a larger patchwork quilt, a literary version of a sewing bee.

  2. Colleen M. Chesebro

    I totally missed this one! ???? Great stories everyone. I enjoyed.

    • Charli Mills

      Oh, you didn’t miss it, Colleen. I did! I had started the Blanket Collection before the Art Walk, *thought* I finished it, realized I made an error with the Blade of Grass Challenge submission date, accepted the error as cushion time to go to Wisconsin, came back from Wisconsin to discover I had TWO Collections to post and this was the first of two. As the vehicle GPS says when I miss that turn in Rhinelander (every trip out of the Keweenaw), “recalculating…” Yes! Great stories!

  3. Liz H-H

    Great collection of blankets, but comforting & disturbing. Just what we need to usher in the change in seasons!

    • Charli Mills

      Oh, yes, transitional tales to cover us as we step across the line of changing seasons.

  4. Sue Spitulnik

    Blankets. Most of them are warm and comforting. The blanket of cats had me smiling, and the blankets that used to cover somesone left me sad. My house is full of quilts, and maybe a few blankets.
    Thanks for sharing your creatvity everyone. I look forward to hearing from my friends each week. Welcome to the new contributors. Hope you hang around a while.

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you for blanketing us in warmth and acceptance, Sue! This was a cozy read.

  5. Charli Mills

    Thanks for sharing the Collection!

  6. Charli Mills

    Thanks for sharing!

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