Dust Bowl

Dust Bowl

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge to write a complete story in 100 words or less based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this challenge and Connie Gayer for this week’s prompt.

russell-working
PHOTO PROMPT © Connie Gayer

Jessie watched her family from the sod house window. Four boys in the yard; a daughter hunched on her hip. Jessie looked older than her 30 years. Life was hard.

In the field, her husband Jack tilled the dried red clay with a hoe. His back forever bent from labor.

The crops would still die.

She clutched a letter from her sister. Come to California, Annie pleaded.

They could stay with her sister until Jack found work. She would talk to Jack tonight.

Jessie placed her hand on her swollen belly. If this one survives, I’ll call her Hope.

The Ostrich Effect (Friday Fictioneers)

The Ostrich Effect (Friday Fictioneers)

The Ostrich Effect – a refusal to see unpleasant realities. This photo reminded me of my first cruise that included a stop at Montego Bay, Jamaica. As our tour bus drove through town, I saw many houses like this one, devastated Hurricane Matthew. Families still resided in these homes because the government continued to collect taxes on the property, even though the houses were uninhabitable. Repairs were made as time and money allowed. Its unfortunate that there are many people, like my two characters, who feel their vacation is ruined when faced with the reality of poverty that prevails in many of the Caribbean’s most popular tourist spots. Just read Cruise Critic Reviews from people who feel harassed by aggressive vendors. I could have just have easily named this piece, The Ugly American. 

House
Photo Credit: Sandra Crook

 

THE OSTRICH EFFECT

The old woman stared straight ahead as the tour bus drove through the indecorous side of town. Jamaica was not her favorite port-of-call, and if she had her way, they would have stayed on the ship.

“You would think there was a nicer route to the beaches.” She said. “I didn’t pay all that money to see….” 

Her sentence unfinished, but her husband understood. The houses they passed were unlivable, with missing walls and half-a-roof. He knew the owners had no choice but to stay. He just wished he and his wife didn’t have to see it.  

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge to write a complete story in 100 words or less based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this challenge and Sandra Crook for this week’s prompt.