Bane of the Little Osage

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.

Copyright Douglas McIlroy

Copyright Douglas McIlroy

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.

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Blue

I didn’t manage to play last week, but a little quiet time this evening brought a story to mind. I give you

Friday Fictioneers for May 9.

The challenge: 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.

My piece weighs in this week at exactly 100 words.

 

Copyright B.W. Beacham

Copyright B.W. Beacham

 

At age three, she saw a blue butterfly light on bicycle. All beauty was summed up in that single, exquisite creature.

Blue became her favorite color. The blues of nature captivated her imagination. The many shades of the expansive Kansas sky contained unrivaled depths. Always, they reminded her of her butterfly.

One afternoon, at the state fair, she wandered through exhibits in the 4-H building. Among the insect collections, a patch of blue caught her eye. Her butterfly, now lifeless, was pinned to a board, neatly labeled by genus and species. Suddenly, she understood what it meant to feel blue.