Recovery 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.

January 18, 2024

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 Time Traveller’s Husband by Hugh W. Roberts

Hell was too hot for me, but the men were so hot!

“You don’t know how pleased I am to see you,” shouted my husband’s voice. “But how did you get here?”

“I have the same time machine as you, but, unlike you, I always read the instruction manuals first,” I smiled.

I watched as my husband gathered his belongings.

“What makes you think I’ve come here to recover you?” I asked.

“Well, who else would you be here for?” came his reply.

The look on my husband’s face was priceless as I escorted Satan to my time machine.


Recovering the Money (UK Post Office Scandal) by Anne Goodwin

They came to recover the money they claimed I’d stolen. They believed the computer more than they trusted me.

For months I’d barely slept, trying to trace the error. Unless I approved the accounts, I couldn’t open. If I didn’t open, this couldn’t be paid. So I borrowed from family and my few remaining friends. Yet still they pursued me to court.

Now that the world knows I’m innocent, I can recover my reputation. But they stole more than that from me. I want the thousands they bullied me into handing over. I want the Chief Executive’s bonus pay.


Recovered by Kerry E.B. Black

Panicked, she leapt from her office chair. It spun on without her, an endless loop without the charm of a carousel. She buried her hands in her hair, pulling until the resultant style could best be described as mad scientist on a bender. “No-no-no-no-no,” she moaned as the computer flickered, sputtered, and at last alighted on the blue screen of death.

She broke office protocol with her unseemly, agonized scream.

Co-workers gathered near her cubicle with sympathetic whispers and understanding eyes. All feared the blue screen of death.

I.T. patted her back. “Relax. Everything’s on the cloud.”



Kitchen Witches by Liz Husebye Hartmann

“Oh for Pete’s sake, Jory,” Andy groaned, watching the multi-colored candies spread across the kitchen floor. He sighed as the remaining pieces rattled and rolled under the refrigerator. The following silence?
Jory tittered and poked her chin with a forefinger. Tears pooled. “We still gotta make cookies for the bake sale. We promised.”
The oven clicked, reaching its requested temperature. Cookie dough glared, naked and disappointed, from its bowl on the countertop.
“That’s what we get for wrestling over M&Ms,” Andy rallied, “Search, rescue, and recovery! But only pick up the real candies, okay? This kitchen’s kinda dirty.”


Pain is Not a Crutch by Reena Saxena

Do those shafts of light heal, or just illuminate craters within?

Someone attempts to demean you with rebuke, hoping to induce guilt. It’s their strategy to escape demons. Blaming the other somehow relieves them of responsibility.

It takes those fleeting moments when you stand up to the other and say “I don’t care. I am me, and not what you expect me to be.”

Another shadow tried to overpower me, but I kill my shadows with the light of awareness.

Healing happens from within, when I allow it to happen and not use pain as a crutch for failure.


Recovery by Sadje

My first knee replacement surgery was hard, and the recovery was even harder. I had no idea of the pain I’d face or that the physiotherapy would be so hard.

The second one was easier as I was mentally prepared for all the hardships involved. Being prepared was the best defense against feeling helpless the way I felt the first time around.

People often ask me how I feel after getting both knees replaced and I tell them that this was the best decision I made regarding my mobility and overall health. Both surgeries have helped me feel better!


Recognize the Parallel by Sue Spitulnik

A girl in her late teens screams at her mother, “You mean I have to be in this cast for three months.”
“Who wrecked the car? Deal with it.”
“Is my car all right? I don’t remember.”
“No. It’s going to take months to get the parts to fix it.”
Two months later, the girl pouts. “This recovery is getting to me. I don’t know if I can do it.”
Her mother is sympathetic. “I know, honey. It’s wearing on me too. But I promise, on the other side, there is much catching up to look forward to.”


What’s Your Pace by Ruchira Khanna

“Congratulations! Your vitals are good, and you’ll be discharged from the hospital today,” announced the doctor as he reviewed the patient’s medical file. The caretaker was thrilled.

However, the patient seemed less than thrilled. Upon noticing his solemn expression, the doctor inquired, “Is everything alright? You don’t seem very happy.”

After taking a deep breath, the patient replied, “I’m relieved that I have recovered from my illness, but the thought of conforming to society’s demands makes me anxious.”

“Hmmm, you can choose the pace of your life. Your rhythm will determine the length of your recovery,” said the doctor.


Recovery Starts Now by Carole Warren

Driving to a family gathering, down a lonely mountain road,
Searching for joy, in her mental treasure box of holiday memories.
Drying ink on the divorce papers, suffocates her with sadness.
Dwelling on her gifts that she once enjoyed using, but
Abandoning those positive parts of her, just to survive.

Giggling boys, bounce in the backseat, full of Christmas joy,
Jolting her to reflect on the most valuable part of her.
Realizing, that what comes next is her choice,
Springing her to create a new mental treasure box,
Filling it with fresh memories including all of those she loves.


Recovery by Ann Edall-Robson

The key turns in the lock, alarm disengaged, morning routine starts for yet another chaotic day in the corporate world. Responsibilities added to more responsibility. Nothing short of every facet of the job, the business, piles up on the desk in front of you with the full expectation of being wonder woman, capable of accomplishing all. For what? There is no vested interest, no visible gratitude…No more! The steps to recovery are in place. A routine of quiet days that flow into moonlit nights with a dollop of shenanigans thrown in for good measure, patiently waits your arrival.


Finding Your Real Repurpose in Life by Geoff Le Pard

Little Tittweaking has been at the forefront of the recycling boom. Writers have formed collectives offering summer cooling and clothes drying services by reusing unloved first draughts; orthopaedic surgeries have run outdoor adventure trips and pirate-themed parties amongst their collection of old hip-wrecks; haberdashers have donated their unwanted offcuts that volunteer upholsterers use for re-covering alcoholics who are showing signs of wear. However one local charity has challenged this trend with a programme for groups of aimless youths who’ve found their members turning to recycling, enabling them to cut out the new social infection that’s been labelled ‘gang greening’.


Waiting for Recovery by Joanne Fisher

“Marooned again huh?” Said the voice on my radio.

“Yes, I need to be picked up.” I told them.

“Recovery will be in a few hours. Stay where you are.”

“It’s not like I have anywhere to go.” I replied.

“Next time we’ll send a real pilot.”


“At least you keep our emergency teams busy.”

“Do I pay extra for the sarcasm?” I asked.

“No, it’s all part of the service. You should know that by now.”

“I’m just unlucky. It has nothing to do with my piloting skills.”

“If only you had some piloting skills.” They replied.


Recover Me by Sweeter Than Nothing

Daylight dwindles and with it my hope, no one will be able to find me out here, lost and alone in the dark- why did I have to try the new trail today of all days?

Dew turns to frost, I think of the fall I survived, of the drop yet still to go beneath my precarious position. When I first awoke I thought how lucky I was to still be alive. A quick death would have been luckier. I slide myself closer to the ledge, urging myself to leap but then I hear the helicopter.

Recovery is here.


Restoration by JulesPaige

a shadow
of her former self
rolls forward

Recovery from Cruise Crud seems very slow, but appears steady. Breathing is easier, coughing diminished, and throat less sore. Today is new, a present gift for the taking even as cold clouds cover the sky. She thinks that one could get lost in that vast sense of space that will not allow the golden sun to shine through. Eating healthy is a priority, with what is left in the panty and what was stocked in the chest freezer from almost two weeks ago.

she shivers
fever runs its course
shadow lifts


Recovery by Etol Bagam

Cesar has been sick for many years. His lungs are weak, so are his kidneys.
Often, he gets an infection, and goes to the hospital. Some stays are short, some are long… He knows how scared his wife is of losing him, so he fights to always come back home to her.
She gets ill too. They both go to the hospital.
She perishes in a couple of days, while he is still fighting to get well.
He goes back to an empty house.
A new infection strikes, but he is done fighting. This time he does not recover.


Recovery by Keerti

Winter gloom has set it. Not just outside, but in my mind. Age they say, makes remembering harder but I don’t give up. I persevere. I try to reach the hidden crevices in my mind just like I am trying to revive my orchid. After 2 months of effort , today I see a small bud. I cannot help but smile for hope is in the air . The clouds suddenly shift and sun shine hits my mind … you and me .. me and you. Turtles! I maybe 70, but could have won “Name that tune” last night!


A Song of Recovery by Bill Engleson

I’ve made a discovery,
something old I never knew –
a life lived in recovery,
is a life long overdue.

Darkness falls into twilight.
Shadows dance upon the wall.
I’ve moved into the daylight,
and heed recoveries call.

I’ll share these words of wisdom
throughout this fine land,
sing their praise, bang the drum,
perhaps even form a band.

You can feel the spirit mending
in everything you do,
that your garden needs tending
to become a better you.

I’ve made a discovery,
something old I never knew,
that a life lived in recovery,
is a life long overdue.


No Account Kid ‘n Curly by D. Avery

“Recovery? This’s an easy one.”

“Whut Kid, no whinin?”

“I do recovery ever night Pal. Ya ever sleep with a pig?”

“Druther not say.”

“Dang Curly hogs the blankets, I’m always havin ta yank em back, recover m’self.”

“Mebbe thet hog a yers should sleep in the barn, Kid.”

“That’s cold, Pal. She’s still my little hoglet.”

“Yer little hoglet’s causin some big problems fer the bunkhouse Kid. We’ve had ta refinish the floor twice, replace the door frame, an rebuild your bunk. How’re we gonna recover the costs?”

“Ya mean how we gonna pay, Pal?”


“Pay Pal?”


Admitting It by D. Avery

“What d’ya mean Kid’s got a drinkin problem?”

“Meanin, Shorty, even with a straw, Kid dribbles an drools. Cuz a thet swollen lip.”

“Why’s Kid got a swollen lip, Pal?”

“We was cleanin pie pans.”

“Uh-huh. And?”

“Started playin frisbee. Kid took a pie tin ta the face.”


“An we was playin outside in the cold. The pie tin stuck ta Kid’s lip.”

“Oh. But you got it off with water?”

“Wish I’d ‘membered thet, but no, I jist give it a rip.”


“Kid sure looks pouty. But the lip’ll heal. Eventchally.”

“One day at a time.”


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

You May Also Like…

To Leave a Leak Collection

To Leave a Leak Collection

Welcome to Carrot Ranch Literary Community where creative writers from around the world and across genres gather to...

This Is Awkward Collection

This Is Awkward Collection

Welcome to Carrot Ranch Literary Community where creative writers from around the world and across genres gather to...


  1. Liz H-H

    Sometimes funny, sometimes touching, and a little bit of we’re gonna grin & bear it. Nice collection to cure whatever ails you! Good job, colleagues!!

  2. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    (I always want to say what Liz said.)
    What can I say? I love this collection! Well done everyone!
    Hopefully I recover soon from a dry spell.

  3. Jules

    It would be so nice if recovery continued forward… at the moment in our house, we’ve taken a step back. Recovery seems so darn slow. But with all the positives I’ve read about – I’m still thinking I’m lucky. So – Thanks for a pleasant way to spend my ‘indoor’ time today.



  1. Recovery Collection – Mom With a Blog - […] Recovery Collection […]
  2. #99Word Stories; Red | ShiftnShake - […] out the Recovery collection at Carrot Ranch for some fantastic flash fiction and […]

Discover more from Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading