Friday Fictioneers – Something In The Air

ff270914It had been a scalding hot summer. Blinding dust storms, the likes of which hadn’t been seen in generations, swept the plains. It was the mailman who found the Farnworth boys at their farm off of Highway 23A. Laid flat out in the yard they were, skulls burst like melons – a sweet smelling, yellow and red sap trickling slowly into the bone-hard dirt.

As we arrived, the Farnworth’s old mouser, Thumper, jumped down onto the porch and miaowed. On the gable end of the barn, gathering birds sang as cloudy skies cleared to the brightest, purest blue.

They say it’s going to be another hot one this year. More dust is on its way.

These words form my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge. Weird picture, weird story. Went for atmosphere and a sense of menace this week. Hope you enjoyed it!

27 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Something In The Air

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Aye, a mysterious blend of dust, death and cats. I’ve no idea what it’s about either…I just liked the various bits of imagery. Glad you enjoyed it.

  1. Claire Fuller

    There’s something really sinister, not only about the Farnworth boys (great name) laid flat out in the yard, but the whole tone of this piece. It’s to do with when something grisly or unexplained has happened, something shocking, but the world (the cat, the dust and the birds) carries on around it, like normal. This is my favourite piece so far this week. Wonderful writing and atmosphere.

  2. The Writer's Village

    A little dry story… more dust, more death maybe, too bad about the boys, the cat’s okay though, we’ll see how the rest of the year goes…
    maybe I’ll wake up in the morning and I’ll be a huge bug.

  3. Nan Falkner

    Dear Paul, I truly think this is one of your best stories I’ve ever read. It gives me the creeps though! This is a disgusting image (sorry), and yet – so many ways to write about it! I think that we’re a rag-tag group of brilliant originators of the macabre! Thanks for your brilliant piece! Nan 🙂

  4. patriciaruthsusausan

    Paul, It seems to me that these fellows weren’t well liked. Maybe the locals thought they had it coming. It looks like one of them decided to act on that dislike. I agree that this would make a great beginning for a mystery story. Well written. 🙂 —Susan

  5. kirizar

    Very well written and balanced. I loved the return to the weather commentary at the end. The only, pesky, complaint I have? The fact that you mention bone-hard, red earth. (Loved the imagery there, don’t get me wrong.) But, the photo shows greenery and a forest-like setting. What made you pull in the desert-like conditions of a dust-bowl, dry season, may I ask?

  6. aliciajamtaas

    Interesting take on the prompt. Brings up stories my Mom told me about being in CO during the dust bowl, visions of Bonnie and Clyde, the feeling of being lost somehow. Very well done.

  7. jwdwrites

    Hi Paul, I think the most disturbing thing about this story is that the cat was called Thumper and there was a Thumper in the last story I read too. Hmm……..


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