Dust swirled around his boots as he looked upon his land – his father’s land, his grandfather’s land, where their bones were buried, deep in the drying earth. The fields were bare. A few stray crops stuck up from the ground like ghosts, withered to wraiths. A touch was all it would take to turn them to yet more dust borne on the hot, barren air.

There was only one cow left. One from a whole herd. A lone survivor.

He knew he should slaughter it or sell it and move on. The rest had run, heading for the mountains, where they said the grass was still green and the springs still ran pure.

But he had always been a sentimental man. He would not leave his ancestors’ bones.

He turned to the cow and ran a hand along the slick, chestnut-brown fur.

“You and me, girl. We’re survivors.”

Word Count: 148

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and MajesticGoldenRose for providing the prompt photo!


  1. Jade M. Wong says:

    Such a touching tale. Bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There is a lot of feeling in this small tale! I was trying to navigate this on my phone and accidentally unfollowed you 😟 then I could not find you. I was panicing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. maria says:

    Wow! Clever take to the photo prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. michael1148humphris says:

    Interesting and full of back story, I could read more, and for me that is good.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Poor cow having to be the only one left that is penned up! It sounds like the cowboy is drying up, just like his land. Great story, J.A.!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Voice says:

    Nicely written. Such a great descriptive narrative. I really got a sense of the loss and desperation.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Iain Kelly says:

    I was trying to go down the lone surviving cow route and couldn’t find a way to make it work – you did, very well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. luckyjc007 says:

    Very clever use of the prompt. Well done. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. milliethom says:

    An excellent description of a drought-stricken, dust-clogged land and I like the fact that he views the single calf as a survivor, like himself. I’m wondering if the rains are likely to come back or whether you intended the story to describe a futuristic look at the effects of climate change. Great descriptions, either way.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kate Gold says:

    Hi, I’m majesticgoldenrose, and I am glad you liked my prompt. Great post, btw!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great pathos in this story. Very Old Western, but doesn’t feel gimmicky. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Vaidehi Soni says:

    Survivors.. That’s what we all are.. in a way or another. Great Story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. afairymind says:

    A beautifully written tale, JA. You capture both the scene and the emotions perfectly. I hope they both manage to survive, and find their land revived before too long. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ameena k.g says:

    Aww, I do understand where he is coming from. It’s so hard to leave where your roots are p, change is not an easy task. A beautiful take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. mandibelle16 says:

    You create a wonderful tale here. The ancestors bones are almost ominous and the farmer’s strength to persevere is commendable. I hope next year is better for him and his lone cow.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I hope his perseverance pays off eventually. A good story.

    Liked by 1 person

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