Sweet Readers and Writers,
Joining in for the fun of Dee’s eighth short story prompt link party on her blog, Grammy’s Grid. The idea for this story came from a photograph I took of an old barn in North Dakota while visiting a former long-distance boyfriend in another lifetime. The barn in the photo was a fairly dilapidated wood frame structure that had seen at least a century’s worth of summers and winters.
But as I started writing this small piece…not sure it even qualifies as a story…I remembered reading about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s sod house in Little House on the Prairie. With a little bit of research, I decided to add a soddy to my story. Growing up I always envisioned my dream home to be a log cabin, or old Victorian, or a cottage tucked away in some remote part of the southwest. But my dream home was never a sod house.
This is the fourth time I have participated in the short story prompt link party. You can read my other stories here, here and here, if you like. Today’s is by far the briefest. And by definition, it probably doesn’t even qualify as a story.
Before we get started:
To the Featured Blogger from Party 7
KALLIE COME HOME
BY SYLVIA – GRACE FOR A GYPSY
EIGHTH SHORT STORY PROMPT
A little about this exercise in creating writing from Dee.
This is a creative writing exercise for fun and without a lot of editing. Just start typing and see what you come up with!
Remember, no story is too short!
Depending on the authority, I’ve seen word counts classified as:
• micro (up to 100)
• flash (50 – 1,000)
• short-short and short (500 – 7,500, 3,500 – 7,500, and 500 – 17,000)
And to party with us, all you have to do is:
• Start with the partial sentence below
• Create a story or as many as you like using the prompt
• Add your story post to the linkup below
• Let others know in your post where they can linkup
• Check out stories from others, see how they compare to yours
Ready? Here’s the prompt:
The summer breeze blew through my hair as I…
and here’s my story.
The summer breeze blew through my hair as I… stood at the basin washing the dinner dishes. One eye on the griddle I was scrubbing and the other eye on the expanse of prairie that spread beyond the window as far as one could see. The tops of the wheat crop danced in the setting sunlight that bathed the fields to the left of the barn. The corn in its husks bounced in the breeze to the right of the barn. The entire scene was glowing in the light of this dusky golden hour. Even the barn had a golden tone.
Tomorrow our lives would change with the rising sun. Walter would leave the farm, the fields and our family for work with the Union Pacific. He would head south to meet up with the other Irishmen working on the last legs of the Transcontinental Railroad. Winter months were slow on the farm although the upcoming harvest this fall would keep the boys and me busy without help and direction from their father.
Less Than Dream-Like
By working on the railroad through the fall, winter and early spring, though, Walter hoped to earn enough money to build us a proper house out here in Dakota. Our sod house had sufficed the first years on the prairie when the boys were younger. But they were strapping young men now. They needed room to stretch out and continue to grow. And I wanted our daughter Emma to know a home like the one I had grown up in back east. A home with rooms and walls and glass window panes. Not the greased paper windows we had now that failed to keep out the howling winter wind. Or the sod brick walls that turned to a grass-laced mud after a torrential summer downpour.
We had used the little bit of timber we could get to build the barn which began as the home we shared with our horses, cows and pigs until we could get the sod house built for ourselves. The earth was actually cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than the clapboard barn. Even so, once his work on the railroad was finished, Walter would use his earnings to buy more timber. A real house.
I looked forward to the day I would see my Walter walking through the prairie and back into view from the same window where I stood this evening. Or maybe even driving a team of horses pulling a wagon full of lumber for that real house I dreamed of. Someday, in the not so distant future, I would have plank floors below my feet and a shingled roof over my head and real pane windows through which to watch the world go by. My dream home, finally a reality.
When you were young, did you read any of the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder? Do you remember learning about sod houses in school? I have always been a bit of a history buff and have enjoyed reading historical and realistic fiction since I was young.
At the time of the Dust Bowl in 1930, my father was a toddler living in the thick of it on the Oklahoma-Kansas border. His family packed up and headed for Kentucky for a short while before returning home. While writing this today, I imagined the dry dusty winds my family endured back then. Do you think people were grittier and tougher and more resilient years ago? Or is it my imagination?
Off to bed. Just getting this written under the wire in order to link up with Dee. Hope you will stop by to read her story and the stories of others who followed this prompt into a creative writing adventure. I am in Ft. Worth and have all of my girls, Brennyn, Cady, Lauren, Lucia and the yet-to-be-born Cammie, under one roof. My mama heart is full.
Hugs and kisses,