Dust Bowl

Flash Fiction contest, with photo prompt.

ghost-town-pic.jpg  –  from Short Story and Flash Fiction Society

When the old man died, her heart went with him.
Their children came and brought her favorite flowers.
She placed them in water, but did not smile.
“Please, open the windows” she whispered.
The wind blew, and brought dust in from the desert outside, and she could smell the wild sage.
The tiny grains against her toes reminded him of his feet rubbing against hers at night, calloused from years in work boots.
The children did their best to mimic her recipes and brought her the dishes she liked best.
She felt the warm aromas in her nose, but she did not smile.
“Please, open the back door” she whispered.
Grains of sand blew in across the threshold, and she could sense the distant thunder storm in her skin.
The rough grains began to pile against her ankles, and she thought of the weight of the blankets that he would bring her, on cold february nights.
The children moved the furniture, so that she could see the sunrise though her bedroom window.
She let the soft colors from the sky touch her eyelids, but she did not smile.
“Open the front door” she whispered.
Sand rolled in, over the living room floor, and settled in around her waist, letting her mind go to the heavy tools he would set in her lap, while she watched him lovingly make household repairs.
The children set the radio to her favorite station and put wind chimes up on the front porch.
She listened to the violins dancing out of the stereo, and the dripping sound of the chimes, but she did not smile.
“Please, turn it off, and take them down” she whispered,
“and open the front gate.”
In round whirls, the wind brought the desert inside. She could feel the dry air move though her blood.
As the pile grew up around her, peace began to settle into her soul. The gravity of the grains felt absolute, like the love of the old man.
As the sand came up over her chest, the muscles in her face relaxed.
And finally, the woman smiled, as she was buried forever, beneath the dune.
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11 thoughts on “Dust Bowl

  1. Pingback: An Interview with Natashaski | Short Story and Flash Fiction Society

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