Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Middle of Nowhere

The wind swept over the grass in the fallow fields as Libby sat on the tailgate.  In the distance, storm clouds gathered, moving to the north.  The north didn't need the rain, she thought.  The water would ruin the corn crop if there was too much of it.  But at least that'd be way more interesting than sitting here on the side of the road watching the grass grow.  Her father had sent her out here to wait.  She couldn't remember what she was waiting for, but at eighteen, did it really matter? 

Libby felt as thought she'd been waiting half her life, only to be slapped down. Just last week she got the letter denying her a loan for college because the farm was already in the red.  She was stuck.  The rich, dark soil of the farm was suffocating her, covering her with seed, water, and fertilizer.  She would die here, her bones calcifying underneath that soil while the worms did their work. 

A plume of dust approached in the distance, and Libby sat up as she recognized the sound of a truck sliding and skidding over gravel.  A visitor! She smoothed her hair, wiped the shine away from her nose, and stood up.  The driver saw her at the last, slamming his brakes and sliding halfway into the irrigation ditch before he stopped.  The swirl of dust choked her briefly, filling her lungs with the very soil of her nightmares.  Libby's eyes teared and she was bent over in a fit of coughing while the stranger slammed the truck door and walked around to her.  

"Sorry about that."

The first thing she saw were a pair of dusty cowboy boots, their best days long past. The jeans weren't much better, the hem frayed, and one knee ripped.  The view improved as her eyes traveled upward; a lean pair of hips, wide shoulders, well-defined arms in a snug fitting gray t-shirt. A strong jawline, tanned skin, the curl of dark hair that begged for touching.  And eyes the color of a winter sky.

He was smiling as though he knew her.

Libby felt her stomach drop.  Her heart seemed to stop beating, and right then, she was okay with that.  If she had to die looking at such a beautiful man, she was resigned to her fate.  The stranger touched her arm, and suddenly she could breathe again.  He held on to her as she stumbled a little, her knees weak.  She stared at him.

"I think I'm lost," he said. 

"Me too," she replied.

Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate.
~J. R. R. Tolkien
Image courtesy of Unsplash.
Image courtesy of Unsplash.


  1. I'm in love with this story. The descriptive prose, the phrasing of the end. It all flowed so well. And I like that it works as a short piece, but there's so much more there if you ever wanted to flesh it out to give more of Libby and the stranger's story.

  2. Dang. I really want to believe in that sort of attraction.

  3. I love this story! What a great description of the man! I love the rush of hope this brought to the story. LM x

  4. Come on Tina!!!!!! I want to hear more of this one...please!

  5. I LOVE this....I love the way you move time, slow and purposeful. You captured my heart with the girl, and I wanted to rescue her. How do you do that with only 500 words? Your one line held so much weight..". The rich, dark soil of the farm was suffocating her, covering her with seed, water, and fertilizer." I want more as well!

  6. Oh such a meeting, and such a change in a life - excellently conveyed


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