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by • May 15, 2019 • Flash FictionComments (0)

Imagined Lands

Compelled by the stories of high adventure in dime novels, he set out West. Walking along with wagon trains to which he did not belong, he reached a place where the sky seemed to bloom into an eternal blue above the green of the prairie. There, on the rise of the undulating treeless plain, sat a group of buildings, squat one-level wooden domiciles, an island of civilization floating out amongst the eternal grassland. A small fenced area not far from the structures spoke of livestock, which meant water, so he headed that way, feeling by its weight that his canteen was empty.

Out front stood a tall woman, little more than girl, bony with fiery hair that she pushed out of her face as he approached. Even from quite a way aways, he could see that she was beautiful, so much so that he began to lace stories around her; of how her family had moved out of the city to escape the oppression and smog; how they had intermarried with Indians to survive a harsh winter; that they had adopted the name of Espinosa in a generational fit of poeticism and religion; that she spoke three languages, but English only poorly and as they learned how to better communicate with one another that she would fall in love with him.

He thought on all of this as he noticed a small white puff float up from one of the cabins’ windows, like a cloud floating away on the grassland’s endless wind. Then there was a pressure in his chest, like a rock had struck him there, and the world tumbled until he saw nothing but the bright prairie sky.

See the author’s published work here.
Image courtesy of Ghosts of North America.

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