The night deepened. They were closing in on him. He could hear the hounds wailing just beyond the trees in the distance. The cacophony of the tracking dogs and horses trampling through the woods was putting him into a sheer state of panic. He was unable to rest or stop. His terror was growing by the minute. Planning for his escape had consumed his thoughts the last five years of his imprisonment. His immediate mission was to vanish into the vast Hinderlands of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The rules are simple. Write a COMPLETE STORY in 100 words or less with a beginning, middle and end.
“I beginning to hate these people,” said Helen. “I just about lost my temper at dinner. Are we so afraid of Erick that we can’t talk about current events without the fear of offending him? How long can we talk about ocean cruises? Neighborhood gossip? I would like to talk about the necessity of wearing masks. Vote by mail? Racial equality? Black Lives Matter? The feeling that this nation is being divided by the very one who should be uniting us? Let’s not have another Civil War!”
“So that’s why you spent the final thirty minutes doing dishes?” said Tom.
They had been quarantined for so long they had ceased to remember it. It started out slow with the leader of their nation promising that it would magically go away once the warm season began. It didn’t. A night out on the town with a fine meal at a fancy restaurant was a distant memory. The mere fact of wearing a mask was now a polarizing political statement. Are you red or are you blue? The deaths began to rise at an alarming rate. The elderly clogged the emergency rooms. The young thought they were immune. They weren’t.
Panic was starting to form a cloud of fear over the farm. The migrants that worked these fields were nowhere to be seen. The farms precious fruits were going to rot in the fields.
At first the owners were in denial. The crops would be harvested! The use of facial masks were soon required to repel the invisible invader. Once established the virus began to spread. Workers who had previously never been sick suddenly disappeared. Co-workers soon followed.
The owners anger began to ferment. The invader did not distinguish who it infected. The owners slowly began to disappear.
It wasn’t the way things were supposed to work out. The promise of having friends and family visit was one of the main selling points in moving into assisted living. The ability to maintain contacts would keep him from going insane.
Now it’s just the staff. The same old staff now wearing masks. What the hell has happened. They say the most terrible legal sentence to impose on someone was solitary confinement.
Far beyond the window, at the edge of some tall willows and behind the gate, he can see his granddaughter. Even from here he can see her crying.
You wonder why you torture yourself with the annual Thanksgiving dinner. It’s the same every year. Send out a distribution list to fifty like minded individuals and prepare yourself for the onslaught of replies. Limit the number of attendees to the first twenty that respond (always leaving room for a few extra exceptions for your “special friends” that didn’t make the deadline). You know from experience that fifteen of those people will volunteer to bring their favorite dishes which in all honesty not everyone likes. You will spend the next two weeks in a continuing state of anxiety. For what?
You always told me you wanted to know your birth parents. There is no doubt that you have found them. The DNA test proved it.
Now for the first time in over fifty years you actually know what your family looks like.There’s your mother smiling from that photo. The mother that left you on a neighbors door step over 50 years ago. Those are pictures of the people in her life after she left you. She even started a new family on the west coast and actually named her first daughter after you.