Wrecking Weather 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.

January 25, 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.

Storm Raiders by Margaret G. Hanna

“Grandad, tell us ‘bout the storm raiders”

“Nasty men, lurkin’ ‘bout the Cornish coast durin’ storms, waves fit to break a ship apart, a-watchin’ for their prey. Ships loaded with goods for sellin’ on to folks. They lit fires to lure ships in. Captain’s a-thinkin’ it were safe harbour and sail straight onto the rocks.”

Grandad waggled his eyebrows.

“One night, their prey were a Navy ship, filled with Royal Marines. They survived and set the storm raiders a-runnin’. Some scarpered but t’others were hung or transported.”

Grandad shook his head. “T’weren’t the end though. There were allus others.”

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Wrecking Weather by Charli Mills

KitKat closed the horse barn. Wild winds sired snow-devils across the barrens of her yard. Wrecking weather. She texted the group, advising them to be alert to CB chatter. High winds plus low temperatures equaled black ice across I-80. She fired up the wrecker her dad once owned before throat cancer took him. She’d have to keep it in 4WD, and occasionally winch a disabled vehicle out of the snow for appearances. Mostly, she and the gang would rob abandoned semis after the drivers and highway patrol took cover. No one suspected what she kept covered in the barn.

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Weren’t Their Fortunes by Kerry E.B. Black

Rain filled streams which washed out the roadways along the rural route where Janice hosted a fundraiser. All the moneyed people, arrayed in fine, glistening gowns and tailored suits, tut-tutted. “There’s nothing to do but wait it out,” they supposed. Their hostess opened additional bottles and asked the quartet to play louder than the storm.

Young Bartholomew recognized the opportunity. If none of the guests could leave, their houses sat empty. Unprotected. He sent texts to his more adventurous friends with addresses and instructions. They donned hip boots and slickers, braved the elements, and sought what weren’t their fortunes.

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Some People’s Muses Are Fair Weather Friends by D. Avery

The intrepid writer took pen in hand. To be precise, a blue Bic Cristal ballpoint pen. Pen in hand, the intrepid writer looked across the immense 8 and a half by eleven-inch expanse of blank page. Ninety-three and a half square inches. Of blank page. Blank and dry. A desert. Deserted. Devoid.

The intrepid writer tested the Bic Cristal ballpoint pen on the blank page, producing a small curlicue. The curlicue suddenly spiraled into a blue tornado, consuming all blank white space in its path! Then blue Bic rain pelted the page! Flash flood!

Response to the prompt wrecked.

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Fodder by Reena Saxena

Water boils in search of meat to become a broth.

The journalist’s imagination becomes an itch. Will he find a story to metamorphose into an article? The girl walking alone on a desolate street, the vendor hawking fake goods, the couple recording a Reel in the hope of going viral – do they know someone is stalking them to find a story, on a dark, stormy night?

It might sting his gradually evaporating conscience. But the engagement of the story and an appreciative glance from his boss will compensate for it.

Nobody reaches the peak without becoming fodder for stories.

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Thunder by Etol Bagam

Silas and Maeve looking at the window.

“Look Maeve, a cloud dragon! It’s giant and fierce!”

“Oh cool! And look there, there’s another one over there.”

Wind is picking up.

“Wow!…. They’re getting closer to each other! Do you think they’re friends, or enemies?”

“Enemies for sure! Look, that first one seems to be frowning and opening his mouth.”

“Oooh. Will he breath fire on the other? I wanna see it!”

Booom! Crash! Thunder strikes.

Wind picks up even further. The clouds become flat and shapeless. All but one, from where the thunder comes.

First dragon wins the battle!

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Snow Covered Roads by Sue Spitulnik

The woman with three sons made the white knuckle drive to the ski resort. “I wish your hobby didn’t take us out in wrecker weather.”

“Mom, we always make it to the slopes with no problem. If you’d relax, it wouldn’t seem so difficult a drive. You knew the first time Dad brought us this might be a thing.”

“I remember. You don’t have to remind me.”

“Besides, you’ve never experienced the serenity when the snow falls while you command the hill. You really need to try it with us.”

“Thanks all the same. I’ll wait in the lodge.”

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Highway Ice Safety by Duane L Herrman

Long ago and far away (away from Kansas anyway) I was driving in a borrowed car from Flint to Ann Arbor, Michigan. The highway was a solid sheet of ice. I had driven often on ice. I didn’t like it, but I did it. Suddenly, a huge car passed me at a terrifying speed. With Texas plates and long cow horns on the hood. I prayed he would hit no one when he went off, and the sooner the better. Just then, in front of me, he spun off into the median. I sighed with relief and turtled on.

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Rider’s Fear by Vignette Swanepoel

The engine grumbled in the background, and the faint music played through the helmet. The unexpected shower had wrecked my sunset ride. My vision distorted from the droplets on my tinted visor, and the six o’clock traffic chilled my blood as the thought of getting rear-ended haunted me. I didn’t dare travel to the middle lane as I usually would, never in this weather. I depended on the taillight of the blue Range Rover Sport in front of me while wiping the rainfall off my visor, offering a second of vision. It was going to be a long trip.

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Escaping the Storm by Dianne Borowski

The sound of the wind crashing against the tiny cottage was deafening. What began as a much needed getaway weekend had now turned into a nightmare. Chrissie huddled under her blanket in a corner of the darkened room. What else was a four year old to do? John kept fiddling with his stupid radio, trying to find the news.

“Can’t we drive out of here?” I asked.

“Roads flooded. No access in or out, ” He answered curtly.

Chrissie began to cry.

“Chrissie stop it! BE QUIET!” He shouted!

I picked up Chrissie and we stepped out into the storm to freedom.

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Digging Out by Colleen Chesebro

The storm blew in from the north with tornado force winds. From my window on the third floor of the hospital, the scene looked surreal.

My husband was in the ICU recovering from cancer surgery. I stayed as long as I could, but I had to leave before dark.

I found my car. I crept through town, scared I would be blown off the road. Finally, I pulled into my driveway.

I couldn’t see my home’s front door. It was covered with tumbleweeds stacked as tall as the roof.

I had to dig out, before I could get in!

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No Days Off by Ann Edall-Robson

Temperatures drop, snow swirls into wind-driven hard-packed drifts. A song worms itself into the brain, “The weather outside is frightful.” Water troughs become blocks, haystacks drift in. Bundled in insulated clothing, plow snow to get feed, open water, plow to get home, repeat. Calving time is hell. Wrecking weather takes hold. Momma cows get moved to where babies can be born, kept warm, without too much worry about little ears and tails freezing. Sleep, eat, and check stock done in shifts by the keepers of this lifestyle. No days-off, no snow-days. This is their life.

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Linemen Don’t Just Restore Power by Frank James

Thunder rumbled.

Lights went black, rain clinked windows, and winds howled.

Weather radio crackled, “Take shelter. Hurricane Deshawn landed.”

Safe, I sat in my house.

A snap cracked the air. Seconds later a tree crashed through my ceiling. I scrambled, but a dangling powerline sparked. I climbed over the tree, teetering. I gripped a limb.

Wrapping my legs around the oak, my torso bent opposite. Sparks bit me.

A gust punched me down. All went black.

“Hurricane is gone,” a lineman nudged me.

“I’m not dead?” I gasped.

“Nah, we clipped the line,” he smirked.

“Thank you,” I said.

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Revenge, A Dish Best Served Cold by Geoff Le Pard

Raine Cloude was Little Tittweaking’s weather manipulator. She provided the firmament to compliment every occasion but she did like to bear a grudge. When Colonel Rumbling-Prostate had a recurrence of his strigilated ab-dabs, a consequence of taking his men up some unpleasant back passages during his service days and didn’t pay her bill for a week, Raine took great delight in plotting her revenge. She waited two years for the anniversary of his achieving his rank and ensured it rained on his parade, forcing the Colonel to undertake something he had avoided during his army days: the tactical withdrawal.

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Gotta Get Out of This Town by Charli Mills

Lulu McFadden sauntered into the bar near the base. She’d tucked her tight jeans into rhinestone-edged calf-skin Ropers and unbuttoned her western shirt to reveal the lace of a ruby-red bra. Connie, her best friend since grade two, waved Lulu to her table where she sat with four other girlfriends in tight Wrangler jeans. They were out to plunder in their best boots. Naval Airmen and Seals new to Fallon NAS, grinned appreciatively. Lulu winked eight times before sitting. She barked a laugh when she overheard the bartender warn the newbies to stay clear of the local Wrecking Crew.

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Opportunity Knocked by JulesPaige

That new young driver weren’t used to the cold. Caught his truck in a bank not far from our homestead. Tucked deep, we did rescue the lad…took him into town so he could call for help. But when they came out to find the truck, it weren’t no place they could find it. An’ they weren’t gonna, neither. After chopping it up, disabling the electronics, draining the gas… we took the contents and divided the spoils. Ma’s old heart felt justified never really agreeing with Yankee government.

innocent homestead
in the woods holds wreckers horde
brutal cold, her heart

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Piracy in the Australian Tropics by Doug Jacquier

The flash flood had swept four rigs and their trailers down the river. The drivers had been choppered out, leaving easy pickings for Davo and Wozzer in their tinnie* after the water dropped enough to open the doors. Large wooden crates greeted them. With grins from ear to ear, they began levering off the pine boards. As the end of the first one fell away, a five metre long crocodile shuffled out. In their scramble to get away, they capsized the tinnie and floundered in the water. Previously destined for a southern zoo, the croc chased after his lunch.

Author’s Note: Tinnie is an aluminium flat bottom boat

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Iowa by Bill Engleson

I think about Iowa tonight. Iowanian caucus night. Don’t know if Iowanian is a word. Should be, though I do mangle language.
Word wreckage.
That’s me in a Canuck shell.
About Iowa. Never been there. Likely never will. And definitely not in winter. Being Canadian, I have my winter tolerances.
Weather tolerances.
Political tolerances.
Iowa tonight was an eyeopener.
Me, up here, waiting for a sprinkle of snow, watching those folks go where they went, politically, well, it just makes me want to cry.
Don’t weep often though there is plenty of reason to in the world.
Iowa, eh!

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Wrecking Weather by Sweeter Than?Nothing

The world is nothing but burning white and pain, I open my eyes and blink and blink but the white doesn’t fade. What? How did I end up… Hiking. The storm. The fall.

Snow.

The world is nothing but snow and pain.

I wriggle my toes and despite the pain, they do as I will and relief surges through me. I try to heave myself up but the snow is crushing, I don’t know which way is up or down and slowly I start struggling to breathe.

A sudden tug on my foot brings immense relief, someone has found me.

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Wrecking Weather by Kate AKS

Unpredictable weather.

Never measure the rain by the first drop.

To count days of rain, I need to look at calendar. After first week, they all became one. No more stark morning sun, no more breeze at evening.

I looked around – here they are, looking at me as an ancient witch. How was named our gathering?

Unpredictable weather and resources that each community should have handy.

Last vehicle drowned two days before. Good that shopping mall has few floors and all for fishing was at last one.

We still have enough food.

Boat returns.

And the Alaska rain stopped yesterday.

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Outdoor Wedding by Kerry E.B. Black

The week of Jody’s wedding, she fussed with alterations, florists, performers, and priests, preparing a perfect evening beneath the stars.

The big day dawned with nary a show of sun. No rising fanfare to greet the blushing bride. As the day matured, dark clouds obscured. Winds whipped. Heavy rain brought thunder and lightning, a crashing chorus.

They abandoned their twinkle-light lined tents and de-petaled flowers, rushed inside. Relatives carried presents. Parents shuttled supplies.

When the power yielded to the storm, they lit candles and said vows, married despite the turbulence, promising to celebrate their twenty-fifth anniversary beneath the stars.

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Time to Pull the Plug? by Anne Goodwin

He had to intervene before they overpowered their creator. But he was loath to admit he’d got it wrong. He thought that, in giving them intelligence, the ability to learn from experience, they’d build a better version of themselves.

In the past, floods, fire and famine had brought them to their senses. Now they recorded rising temperatures and continued as before. He hated seeing them squander the gifts he’d bestowed on them. He hated the thought of the suffering to come.

But God would do it. He’d send the storms, the wrecking weather that would destroy the human race.

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Blowin In the Wind (Part I) by D. Avery

“What’m I s’posed ta do with this one, lie in wait an take stories off unsuspectin folks thet come through the pass ta Carrot Ranch? That ain’t what we’re about.”

“Jist start thinkin bout ‘wreckin weather’, see what comes up.”

“Wreckin? Reckon. Hey, ‘member when Frankie first showed up? That was a helluva storm.”

“Yep, showed up in a flash writ by Shorty, her an Burt. Now they’re yarn characters.”

“’Member when Nanjo Castille showed up in a blizzard of spam.”

“Yep. Liz named him an then he kept showin up in yarns. Hmm. Mebbe ya are a pirate.”

“Kid, gonna try this dadnabbed prompt?”

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Blowin In the Wind (Part II) by D. Avery

“Perfer ta call it character an story recovery, Pal.”

“Thet was last week’s prompt, Kid. Anyways, is it re-coverin when it weren’t yers ta begin with?”

“Dis-covery then.”

“I’m gonna dispute dis an dat, Kid. It ain’t dis-coverin if’n it was already there, belongin ta someone else. Ya cain’t jist ‘propriate characters an stories.”

“Why not? Way I see it, characters are given opportunities through Ranch Yarns. They git ta… ta…”

“Git animated?”

“Yeah, git animated. Hey! Look Pal, it’s snowin an blowin somethin fierce! Mebbe a real story will blow through.”

“Or git stuck.”

“Mebbe git me unstuck.”

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Blowin In the Wind (Part III) by D. Avery

“Pal, where was our writer last week?”

“Dunno. Sometimes there’s a flurry a flashes from her, other times— nuthin.”

“Reckon she’s been ice-fishin ‘stead a flashin?”

“Good thing we write ourselves. D. Avery writes like she fishes. Jist sets there, jist a-hopin somethin comes along.”

“Isn’t that kinda what ice-fishin is?”

“Hmmff. S’pose. Still. She’d have the dang fish jist show up, magically fill her bucket.”

“Like us!

“Been cold where she’s at, Pal. Reckon that’ll wreck her fishin?”

“Naw. Ain’t no bad day fer fishin.”

“Even when there’s no nibbles even?”

“Check yer bait, Kid, an cast again.”

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Blowin In the Wind (Part IV) by D. Avery

“I hear you two talking about me.”

“D. Avery. Whut’re you doin here? Ya cain’t be in yer own yarns with yer own characters. Kin ya?”

“Why not, Kid? Anyway, I seem to have the same troubles as you when it comes to these prompts lately.”

“No kiddin. Intrepid! Insipid, more like. S’prised ya didn’t pin that entry on Kid.”

“I thought about it, Pal, but then I’d have nothing. Again.”

“Well, ya have 99 words. Now git.”

“Why? I just want to commiserate with Kid.”

“Cuz yer commiseratin’ll be my misery. Two whiners is def’nitely ‘bove my paygrade.”

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

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8 Comments

  1. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    There’s treasure in this here collection! A collective treasure to ponder, not plunder.
    Congrats to all who weathered the challenge.

    • Charli Mills

      Ah, yes, to ponder the treasure that weathered the writing!

  2. Colleen Chesebro

    This was such an interesting group of stories! I loved the wrecking weather prompt! Congratulations everyone!

    • Charli Mills

      It made for a fun group of stories. Some interesting takes on the prompt!

  3. pedometergeek

    Haven’t read them all, but from those I have, what a larcenous group! Well done to all of you, pirates. Gee, and I thought Jimmy Buffett said piracy was long gone. Boy, was he wrong (but he was quite a minstrel)! ~Nan

    • Charli Mills

      I think Jimmy Buffet would have enjoyed this collection! It begins with larceny then winds through weather, occupations, human issues, and ends with the yarn humor.

      • pedometergeek

        I think you are right, Jimmy Buffett would have loved this collection.

  4. Jules

    There’s been a bunch of weather and whether wreakin’ in these here pieces adapted to fit a challengin’ prompt. Kudos to all!

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