This is my response to the Friday Fictioneers prompt for December 19. The challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by the photo prompt. Play along by writing your own, reading others and/or commenting on the flashes we fictioneers create. The photo prompt this week comes from Douglas McIlroy. My piece this week weighs in at exactly 100 words.
Bane of the Little Osage
Alice’s shoulders slumped as she looked out the window of the farmhouse to see another black blizzard on the horizon. She remembered how the elders of her tribe had warned of such times. Men like her handsome, blond husband had laughed. Prairie grass couldn’t be harvested for money. They declared war on the land, tried to domesticate it, planted acres of wheat. Then the drought came.
As the storm arrived, Alice held a wet handkerchief over her mouth. Even indoors she was not safe. The grit entered through every crevice. Alice closed her eyes and dreamed of escaping to California.
The facts behind this week’s story:
During the 1930s, an America already distressed by the Great Depression was plunged further into despair by a human-caused disaster. Over-farming the Great Plains created conditions for the Dust Bowl. I don’t know what my fourth great grandfather, the last Little Osage chief, John Horn, actually said about the habits of white farmers, but I am sure he would have warned against disregarding the earth. My story this week is a fictionalized account of a dust storm on the family farm where his great granddaughter, my great grandmother, lived with her pacifist husband, the son of a Ukrainian immigrant. In my story, names have been changed.