Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Beet Widow


 
 
For IG's Out of Standard Challend on Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads.
 
 
With one tractor wheel hopelessly stuck in a blow out, he unwrapped the foil from his sandwich and put his feet on the dash and ate unfettered. In the glow of the radio light, he accompanied Waylon and Willie in twangy ham and cheese tones. Twelve miles from the house, he would be here through the night, but that was alright by him. He always had his sketch pad and his flask and in this case, something he had little of these days, time. Sitting in a million dollars worth of equipment, it still boiled down to a sandwich, Waylon and Willie and a working man’s hopes and dreams, but mostly the sandwich.

She hung up her cell phone and heaved a breathy sigh as she looked out the window toward the Lindsay’s northern most beet field.  But she couldn’t see him, he was too far out. He wouldn’t be back for breakfast, maybe lunch, but probably not.  She turned the heat up to seventy eight, not because she was cold, just because she could. She made some tea and sat wrapped in his Denver Broncos blanket on the front porch and wondered how things might have been different if he would have taken that job on the dairy farm in Phoenix, a little closer to civilization. That damned great horned owl was sitting on top of light pole scanning the grounds for another easy meal, two cats had gone missing already. It was definitely survival of the fittest out here when night fell.

He drifted to off to sleep with thoughts of fly fishing Montana and what his calves would bring at the auction.

She drifted off to sleep wondering when it would be a good time to tell he was going to be a father.

Neither of them could hear the flap of the wings and the almost silent kill as the cat population on the farm suffered yet another set back.
 
 
Copyright Corey Rowley 2012

23 comments:

  1. Tremendous.
    So full of lovely little scenes. How do you manage to cram so much in the way of character and settings. Want a sequel now.

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  2. I really enjoy your short short stories, Corey. They are complete meals(and btw 'ham and cheese tones' go well with Good Hearted Woman) You tell us everything we need to know to see these people, and to put ourselves into their world for a bit. The illustration between male and female wiring is pretty spot on, also. Nice of them to feed the owl.

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    1. Thanks for reading Joy, I appreciate it. And feeding the owls is important...and with most farms you know that they hardly miss the cats. Just sayin'.

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  3. Oh you took me right there, you painted it all so vividly. Just lovely. A million dollars worth of equipment and it still boils down to a sandwich - I love that!

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  4. I think this is the finest work of yours I've read--the pacing is impeccable, and the juxtapositiion of the predatory barn owls (and using the owls instead of some more common, over-used bird like a vulture) with the ending of the ability to a continue a certain livelihood and a relationship is just wonderfully done. Top-shelf writing, nothing less.

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    1. So glad you liked. I do respect your opinion after reading su much good stuff at your site.

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  5. This could be a classic, Corey. All the elements of drama are here. Very well done.
    K

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  6. You packed so much into a few paragraphs. Very vividly told.

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  7. Wonderful story - I love the cheese overtones especially. k.

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  8. Oh Rowley, here you've teased me again with a slice of prose so rich, I only want another piece to bring to bed and hide beneath my pillow. It is standard to leave a great piece of writing for the story faery, who comes in the night to collect her reward and leave french cigarettes, lip gloss, and whiskey in return.

    What I find so amazing about this piece is the tone you evoked, as if the characters situation and dilemmas are a harvest of their own. I sensed your classic ease in describing the guy content with his flask, radio lights, and the dreams of fly fishing, and I sensed something far beyond greatness in the quiet meh of the lady wrapped in her bronco's blanket....and of course all the while, that blasted owl preying over all. just superb! Viva la

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    1. Lol....I wish everyone wanted to read more of my writing and stick it under their pillow. Thanks IG...great prompt...once again I didn''t follow suit exactly but was at my desk, read the prompt and took two minutes to throw something out. I like your challenges and I know you would never be hurt if I colored outside the lines a little bit.Now about the french cigarettes, whiskey and lip gloss....that sounds like a wonderful friday night to me.

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  9. You are quite the story teller. It makes me wonder what happened next...how did she tell him he was going to be a father? Was his flask to numb the fact he would rather be an artist...so much whirling in my brain. :)

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    1. Thanks for reading Susie....you rock.

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  10. Owls eat cats!!? There's a turn-up for the books.

    I loved the two perspectives you afforded us here: the farmer and his wife viewing the harvest from different angles. I would like to be a fly on the wall when she tells him. (Hope he doesn't choke on his sandwich!)

    Brilliant writing, and story feelingly told.

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    1. Thanks SA...see my answer to Ella below...had to change up the type of owl for cat hunting.

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  11. Wonderful....
    I agree there is a book in here! It is wonderful~
    Really owls do eat cats?
    Yes, where is the sequel...
    more please ;D

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    1. I changed the owly type....barn owls not so much with cats, but the bigger owls like the great horned and snowy owls eat larger animals like rabbits, possums, cats etc. especially smaller ones although still primarily dine on rodents. But whers the fun in that!

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  12. Nice HTM, this is he way it is with a lot of couples. Together in thought, released by chance but nothing to do that would be interesting, and alone to roost.
    My favorite line was "... boiled down to a sandwich, Waylon and Willie and a working man’s hopes and dreams, but mostly the sandwich."
    ..

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  13. I just love the last sentence of your first paragraph!!

    You have some great story telling skills...I'd read more!!

    Great unique offering for this prompt, Corey!!

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  14. I loved this ... but you said he fell asleep... couldn't that be dangerous. Made my heart flip thinking he died in an accident while the owl swooped in for its own kill and she rocked on, wrapped up in her dreams! But I must have read it wrong as no one else sees that in the piece...

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  15. I want more! Stamps foot. This scenario should be a novel, would be a wonderful read, like your oh-so-frustrating short piece!

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