The Boogie Man

“ . . . and he was never seen again.”
“Never?” My six-year-old was bug-eyed.
My 12-year-old scoffed. “Mom, there’s no such thing as boogie men.”
“No? Now go to bed, I’ll put the campfire out.”
Flames cast flickering shadows through the trees. Had something moved? I glanced about as the embers died.
I crawled into my sleeping bag, bone-tired.
I sat bolt upright. What was that?
Just my imagination.
No, there was something outside! I held my breath.
I breathed.
Rustle! Snap! Something hurled itself against my tent.
I screamed.
My twelve-year-old laughed. “Boogie man got ya!”

99WordChallenge #BoogieMan #Campfire #GhostStory #Halloween #MargaretGHanna

Got To Finish Tonight!

We clomped into the house at 1:50 am, collapsed on kitchen chairs, exhausted, bone-tired. Mom came down in her nightie and housecoat. “I heard the combine come in. All done?” she asked.

“Yep,” Dad said.

“How’d it go?”

“Wheat was getting tough but we finished the 80 acres.” He pulled off his boots, ran his hands through dust- and chaff-laden hair. “Good thing Glen helped with his combine and truck.”

I went to the sink and washed grime from my face. “I’m off to bed,” I said.

“Me, too,” said Dad.

Next day we watched the snow come down.


(The 99-word challenge – write about exhaustion. The story – a true one. At harvest time, farmers often have to race against the weather to get the crop in before the weather changes.)


#99WordChallenge #FarmLife #NonFiction #RuralLife #Weather #MargaretGHanna #OurBullsLooseInTown

My Forever Valentine

PressedFlowerPaul’s arthritic fingers slowly untied the frayed ribbon around the box. He lifted the lid and peered at the contents. A lifetime of love and laughter captured in letters and cards. A pressed flower, a dog-eared photograph. On top, a tattered paper valentine inscribed in a childish hand, “To my forever valentine. Adele.”

He was 8 years old when she gave it to him. He was horrified – girls had cooties! Twelve years later they were married. Sixty-some years together, contained in that box.

He heard footsteps behind him. “Dad? You ready? The car from the funeral home is here.”


(my response to another 99 word challenge from The Carrot Ranch — check it out if you are in need of inspiration.)

#99WordChallenge #Valentine #Memories #Loss #MargaretGHanna

The Boat

She stood on the pier, head cocked. Sea mist enclosed her in a shroud of impenetrable greyness, hiding the bay. Only sound existed. Unseen waves crashed against an unseen rocky headland. Unseen leaves rustled. Overheard, unseen gulls mewled. The sound she longed for – unheard.

Mist moistened her face, disguised the tears. Tears she had shed these past three days. Three days without sleep, three days of waiting, worrying, hoping. Three days with no news.

Behind her, in the house, a phone rang. A muffled conversation seeped through the mist. The screen door squealed open.

“Martha, they’ve found the boat.”

(The challenge: write a story of 99 words — no more, no less — about sea mist)

#99Words #Fiction #MargaretGHanna