The Measure of a Man’s Best Friend

The Greyhound halted. This was where $200 took James. He disembarked, shouldered his prison-issued backpack, and read the station’s name: Kum & Go.

“Here to rob it?”

James swung to see a man by a pickup; opened his mouth, then shut it. The man had no legs. The truck had a dog.

-But not just any dog. “Buttercup!”

The yellow lab hurtled out and licked him, desisting at her master’s call. James had trained her in prison, as a service animal for a wounded soldier.

James looked up, and both men saw each other -clearly- for the first time.

©2022 Chel Owens

Oh my goodness, Charli! Don’t ever make me do that, again! -I mean, This was written in response to Charli’s prompt at Carrot Ranch:

May 16, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about when a newly released prisoner meets the disabled veteran who adopted the puppy the prisoner trained behind bars. The prompt is based on the short story I wrote for Marsha Ingrao’s Story Chat. Yes, rewrite my story in your words, 99, no more, no less. Go where the prompt leads!

  1. Submit by May 21, 2022. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form. The Collection publishes on the Wednesday following the next Challenge. Rules & Guidelines.
  2. Carrot Ranch only accepts stories through the form [on the site]. Accepted stories will be published in a weekly collection. Writers retain all copyrights.
  3. Your blog or social media link will be included in your title when the Collection publishes.
  4. Please include your byline which is the name or persona you attribute to your writing.
  5. Please include the hashtag #99Word Stories when sharing either the Challenge or Collection posts in social media.

22 thoughts on “The Measure of a Man’s Best Friend

  1. ‘The man had no legs. The truck had a dog.’ Excellent work, Chel. Captured the essence of the original in 99. (I still think Buttercup is a dumb name for a dog but don’t tell Charli.) 🙂

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    1. Oh my, Doug! I haven’t popped over to read yours -but that was so hard! I had much better story-telling elements at 135 words. 🙂


  2. You did a great job parsing down, Chel. It had all the elements of Charli’s story. Could I use it as my 99-word summary this month? I always write one for each story, and yours is already perfect. My 99-word story has a little more added information, and I’ve gotten some comments that I could take out some of those words. LOL I would link back to this post, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow; really? I don’t mind. I do feel badly that parsing meant removing many of Charli’s details like being out in a cornfield and how chance the meeting was …ooh, and the details of the people and their expressions. Oh well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like it parsed down without those types of details. Puts the focus on the power of them seeing each other for real. Very poignant story. I think you did a Great job! I said, “Wow,” when I read the last line.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Your story was wonderful. You could write it ten times and it would probably be more awesome and very different each time you wrote it. I love this version, though. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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