For September I’ll be pulling from several related short stories I wrote this summer, all dealing with the apocalypse.
Today’s story, tentatively called “The Graveyard,” was inspired by a town I passed through while wandering the country this summer: Tonopah, Nevada, home to the “haunted” Clown Motel located right next to an old graveyard filled with plague victims. Fun. :)
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The plague hit quickly and deadly. In the course of just a couple weeks nearly half the town was dead, with those left alive torn between caring for the sick, burying the dead, or fleeing the county before they were struck down too.
With Pa taking the easy route and hightailing it out, and Ma dying right off, that left me the task of looking after the young’uns, and my older brother to bury the dead. Then the plague took him too, and most of the little’uns, until it was just me and baby Nylen after the plague was gone.
Pa had wanted a right proper homestead but there ain’t really any call for farming in the Nevada desert. He’d always talked about moving – west to California or north to Dakota Territory – but Ma’s people were here in Nye County and so she put her foot down. I thought about moving me and Nylen somewhere too, but where does a sixteen-year-old girl even go? So we stuck around, nearly the only folks still in town, determined to make the best of a bad situation.
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A very intriguing introduction. :)
Oh wow, poor girl! A bleak situation indeed!
Although the concept of a clown motel from the video – scares me.
I love your character’s ‘voice’, can’t wait to see what will happen next!
Sounds like a truly grim situation. I’ve been to Tonopah (though my clown phobia is such I had to avoid the motel), and can’t imagine being stuck there, especially if it’s practically a ghost town.
Wonderful! I am hooked!
Such a lot of information in such a short excerpt – brilliant! I love her voice as well, I can just hear her talking right next to me.
Haunted Clown Motel? Nope nope nope nope!!! *runs* *… *comes back* Okay, now that I’m no longer terrified, I can say that you wrote some complex and tragic history for your characters. Great job!
I’ve been to Tonopah. What else is there to do there besides die? (My apologies to all the Tonopahns out there; actually, I’ve lived in worse, smaller, more isolated towns.)
Your writing is perfect for your POV character. Great writing.
Great voice. You’ve captured the character so well that without description I can “see” her. Love your writing.
Oh intriguing. I wonder what she will do. Interesting snippet!
Bleak and yet matter-of-fact, just like a survivor of such an event was likely to be. Well done. Nice snippet.
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