Three Sisters

working-template-for-ff-challenges44.png Below are 501 words in response to Charli Mill’s July 26, 2018 prompt at Carrot Ranch to: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about what happens next to a stranded suitcase. Go where the prompt leads you, but consider the different perspectives you can take to tell the tale. The 99 word version is beneath the longer version. Click over to the Ranch to see other 99 word stories about a stranded suitcase, or to leave a story of your own.


(501 words)

The three sisters spied it at once, a worn suitcase in their path.

“Unattended baggage!” the first cried.

“Abandoned,” lamented the second.

“Lost,” declared the third. “We should clear our path.”

The first sister refused to go near the suitcase.

The second sister found the suitcase too heavy for her to manage.

The third sister found that she could manage to carry the suitcase and she set it upon a bench.

“We’ll get blown to smithereens.”

“I doubt it,” said the third, “look, there’s a tag.”

                         Contents may vary

“Hmmm”, they intoned at once, and two of the three sisters agreed they should open it, the better to identify its owner.

The first sister moved some distance away with her fingers in her ears.

The second sister kept fumbling the clasp and found she could not open the suitcase.

The third sister studied the clasp and, on her third try, managed to unlock the suitcase.

“Don’t lift that lid”, pleaded the first sister.

“Yes, maybe we shouldn’t look inside”, wavered the second sister.

“We’ve come this far”, resolved the third sister. “We’ll find out what is inside this suitcase that was in our path.” She lifted the top of the suitcase.

When the suitcase was opened wide without incident all three sisters gathered round it to peer inside.

The first sister saw fear, all her fears from all her years, the little ones as well as the big ones. Some began to appear silly to her, looking in on all of them as she was, and she wondered if she might give some of them up. “Let’s abandon this suitcase, leave it,” she suggested.

The second sister saw worry, all her worries from all her years, the little ones as well as the big ones. She saw they were a tangle and she wondered if she might unravel them or just give them up. “I agree. Let’s leave this suitcase. We’ve no need for it or its contents.”

The third sister saw hopes, dreams and wishes. Some were from long ago, some forgotten, and some she hadn’t even realized yet. She rummaged through the suitcase, enthralled and distracted.

“Sister!” the other two finally yelled. “Let’s get going. Do you agree we should abandon this suitcase and its contents?”

“No! I’ll take it.”

But now the third sister found the suitcase clumsy to carry and she kept stopping to review and examine its contents. Their progress on their path was slow. Finally she had to agree with her sisters. She sorted through the hopes, dreams, and wishes, deciding on what she might take with her and what she would leave behind in the suitcase. Shiny as the wishes were, she left them. Hope was light and easy to pack. All three sisters took hope from the suitcase and carried it close. The third sister then chose her biggest and best dream and wore it like a medallion over her heart.

The three sisters continued on their journey, their steps lighter and more certain.


(99 words)

Three sisters came upon a worn suitcase in their path.

“Unattended baggage!” the first cried.

“Abandoned,” lamented the second.

“Lost,” declared the third.

The first sister would not go near the suitcase.

The second sister found the suitcase too heavy to move.

The third sister found that she could manage the suitcase.

All three sisters gathered round to peer inside.

The first sister saw fear.

The second sister saw worry.

The third sister saw hopes, dreams and wishes.

She left the wishes. She took hope and her best dreams. Continuing the journey, her steps were lighter and more certain.



25 thoughts on “Three Sisters

  1. I love this, D. It reminds me of something. I just can’t put my finger on it at the moment. I like that you’ve used the magical ‘three’ of stories – three sisters, three attempts, three contents. I also appreciate the warning that ‘contents may vary’. That’s clever. They varied according to who was doing the looking. I think this story would make a lovely illustrated book. Great to read and discuss with children, or adults. It has a very mystical quality. Thank you for sharing the longer version. Although the shorter one works on its own, I like the extra detail in the longer version.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I appreciate you coming by for a long read. I definitely prefer the longer version. Glad I put 99 out of mind and let this one run. Yeah, I used three’s and repetition to feel like a fairytale. About unattended baggage.
      But now I’m wondering what it reminds you of… a children’s book… Not I said the fly; not me said the flea; I can’t said the ant; what’s that from?

      Liked by 4 people

      • Not I said the dog. Not I said the cat. Not I said the mouse. Then I will, said the Little Red Hen. And she did. Yours has a more mystical quality. It’s worth doing more with. As is most of your writing. Or that probably should be ‘all’.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Stranded Suitcase « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

  3. D., I love that you can find magic in the words and pull it all together for practical application. Three Sisters are a powerful component of Native American lore, yet this has a fresh modern feel. I’m hoping this goes into the Myths WIP.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I’m home again, just in time to witness our creek overflowing… And attempt to catch up on visits. I know we all need a vacation – from our vacations. Luckily we only had to travel by car and there wasn’t any chance to loose our luggage. Though we did forget some stuff at home… as usual.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Trio | ShiftnShake

  5. One of my favorite trios! And do you know what you are doing, Writer? You have amassed enough material that you can go to it like precious storage. These are your ribbons, threads, and hand-woven material. The making of Longer Things (aka novels). This is excellent exercise in writing. This is “becoming.”

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s