Western Fiction posted February 21, 2011


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Life on the prairie

The Wind

by Realist101

Story of the Month Contest Winner 
The woman came from hardy stock, born and raised in the Missouri cane breaks, she was used to adversity. Now, brought west by her new husband, displaced and alone, but for a new baby, she could not stand the wind of the Texas prairies. It roared and whistled incessantly, her constant, unwelcome companion.

The dirt crept through every crevice of the cabin that she had helped to build, almost choking the life from both she and their infant son.

Her husband had gone on a cattle drive, west to Abilene. Melting into the dark well before dawn, he left, leaving her with one rifle, provisions and the promise he would return in one month. It was now going on seven weeks.

The wind started to blow just days after he'd gone off to join the others. Gently nudging the clouds along, the first breezes had carried the faint smell of much needed rain showers. Gratefully, and hoping for the chance of moisture, the young mother plugged the chink's in the walls and around the one window and base of the door. She believed the wind was a harbinger of good and would deliver the precious drops and leave. It had not.

Now, almost out of food and water, she doggedly marked each day with less hope that her man would ever return.

And the wind blew across the prairie, piercing her ears and her very thoughts.

She cradled her tiny son and unable to cease his crying, she coaxed him to her breast, to no avail. She was dry.

The wind blew with added force, as if possessed by the devil himself. She paced the cabin like a caged animal as the whistling grew louder and more powerful with each passing day.

She didn't even realize it when she let go her baby and he tumbled screaming to the cold dirt floor beneath her feet.

The woman stood, hands clamped tight over her ears, her screams blending with her son's own cries. And the wind garnered strength from their weakness as it whistled a song of death.


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Inspired by this picture found on Photobucket. Thank you very much for reading...
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