Fare Well

I wrote the following story for The Iron Writer Challenge  (the 25th) in August 2013. The terms of the challenge were to write an exactly 500 word flash story using these four elements:  After a bloody battle drawn out over several days of back and forth lead changes, my story won against 3 other Iron Writer contestants, who were worthy opponents.

Fare Well

E. Chris Garrison

Carole drew a breath to say her final goodbye to the family farm. The air left her as a sigh, instead. Her eyes cast to the ground where her boots trod the soil, once worked by her father, she nearly ran into the mortised stone of the well.

She smiled, despite her troubles. Despite the coming foreclosure, despite her cousin Tony allowing it to happen by selling his share to the factory farm company. Despite his smug face in her doorway, telling her she only owned the land until noon. Then it’d be the bank’s.

She smiled, remembering  how Mamaw had called it a wishing well, a magical place, containing the farm’s greatest treasure. When asked what the treasure was, Mamaw just grinned, held a finger to her lips, and said, “secrets”.

Growing up, Carole told her secret hopes to the well, imagining them held safe in the water below.

She pulled a penny from her purse. 1968, the year she was born.

How lucky!

She tossed the penny in. It pinged off stone and plunked into water.

“I wish I knew how to save the farm.”

The well whispered, “Get the treasure!”

“What?”

“You asked how to save the farm. There’s treasure down here.”

“Are you a genie?”

“A zephyr, actually, a wind spirit. I grant knowledge wishes only. I’ve fed on secrets for decades. Now, there’s not much time.”

Carole nodded and ran to the farmhouse, searching for help. She spied a tow truck in the driveway, set to drag off the family tractor at noon. She bribed Earl, the driver, and he backed the vehicle up to the well. She stood on the hook and Earl shrugged and lowered her into the dark. Her feet touched water as the line reached its limit. The dark swallowed up the glow of her penlight, until her eyes adjusted.

A carpet of pennies glowed a dingy orange under the clear water. The chill of the water came as a shock as it overflowed her boots and soaked the legs of her jeans. She bent low and shoveled the coins in the middle aside, revealing a rock plugging a hole. She used one of the chopsticks in her hair to pry at the rock, which came loose.

Under it was a silver dollar, adorned by LIBERTY, a woman’s head with flowing hair, and 1794.

“Worth more than enough,” whispered the zephyr.

She shouted, and the driver hauled her back up, where Tony waited. He snatched the coin from her, laughing.

She said, “Zephyr, I wish I knew how to stop him!”

Whispers in her ear told her what to do.

“Tony, I still own this farm, and you’re trespassing! And according to the US Tax Code, that coin is mine. You saw it, right Earl?”

Earl nodded.

Tony spat and threw the coin back in the well.

Carole didn’t mind retrieving it again. The coin’s ten million dollar bounty was well worth it.

“Thank you, Mamaw,” said Carole.

“You’re welcome, dearheart,” said the zephyr.

Fare Well

Eric Garrison

Carole drew a breath to say her final goodbye to the family farm. The air left her as a sigh, instead. Her eyes cast to the ground where her boots trod the soil, once worked by her father, she nearly ran into the mortised stone of the well.

She smiled, despite her troubles. Despite the coming foreclosure, despite her cousin Tony allowing it to happen by selling his share to the factory farm company. Despite his smug face in her doorway, telling her she only owned the land until noon. Then it’d be the bank’s.

She smiled, remembering  how Mamaw had called it a wishing well, a magical place, containing the farm’s greatest treasure. When asked what the treasure was, Mamaw just grinned, held a finger to her lips, and said, “secrets”.

Growing up, Carole told her secret hopes to the well, imagining them held safe in the water below.

She pulled a penny from her purse. 1968, the year she was born.

How lucky!

She tossed the penny in. It pinged off stone and plunked into water.

“I wish I knew how to save the farm.”

The well whispered, “Get the treasure!”

“What?”

“You asked how to save the farm. There’s treasure down here.”

“Are you a genie?”

“A zephyr, actually, a wind spirit. I grant knowledge wishes only. I’ve fed on secrets for decades. Now, there’s not much time.”

Carole nodded and ran to the farmhouse, searching for help. She spied a tow truck in the driveway, set to drag off the family tractor at noon. She bribed Earl, the driver, and he backed the vehicle up to the well. She stood on the hook and Earl shrugged and lowered her into the dark. Her feet touched water as the line reached its limit. The dark swallowed up the glow of her penlight, until her eyes adjusted.

A carpet of pennies glowed a dingy orange under the clear water. The chill of the water came as a shock as it overflowed her boots and soaked the legs of her jeans. She bent low and shoveled the coins in the middle aside, revealing a rock plugging a hole. She used one of the chopsticks in her hair to pry at the rock, which came loose.

Under it was a silver dollar, adorned by LIBERTY, a woman’s head with flowing hair, and 1794.

“Worth more than enough,” whispered the zephyr.

She shouted, and the driver hauled her back up, where Tony waited. He snatched the coin from her, laughing.

She said, “Zephyr, I wish I knew how to stop him!”

Whispers in her ear told her what to do.

“Tony, I still own this farm, and you’re trespassing! And according to the US Tax Code, that coin is mine. You saw it, right Earl?”

Earl nodded.

Tony spat and threw the coin back in the well.

Carole didn’t mind retrieving it again. The coin’s ten million dollar bounty was well worth it.

“Thank you, Mamaw,” said Carole.

“You’re welcome, dearheart,” said the zephyr.

– See more at: http://theironwriter.com/the-stories/challenge-25/#sthash.sEbLq6Il.dpuf

Fare Well

Eric Garrison

Carole drew a breath to say her final goodbye to the family farm. The air left her as a sigh, instead. Her eyes cast to the ground where her boots trod the soil, once worked by her father, she nearly ran into the mortised stone of the well.

She smiled, despite her troubles. Despite the coming foreclosure, despite her cousin Tony allowing it to happen by selling his share to the factory farm company. Despite his smug face in her doorway, telling her she only owned the land until noon. Then it’d be the bank’s.

She smiled, remembering  how Mamaw had called it a wishing well, a magical place, containing the farm’s greatest treasure. When asked what the treasure was, Mamaw just grinned, held a finger to her lips, and said, “secrets”.

Growing up, Carole told her secret hopes to the well, imagining them held safe in the water below.

She pulled a penny from her purse. 1968, the year she was born.

How lucky!

She tossed the penny in. It pinged off stone and plunked into water.

“I wish I knew how to save the farm.”

The well whispered, “Get the treasure!”

“What?”

“You asked how to save the farm. There’s treasure down here.”

“Are you a genie?”

“A zephyr, actually, a wind spirit. I grant knowledge wishes only. I’ve fed on secrets for decades. Now, there’s not much time.”

Carole nodded and ran to the farmhouse, searching for help. She spied a tow truck in the driveway, set to drag off the family tractor at noon. She bribed Earl, the driver, and he backed the vehicle up to the well. She stood on the hook and Earl shrugged and lowered her into the dark. Her feet touched water as the line reached its limit. The dark swallowed up the glow of her penlight, until her eyes adjusted.

A carpet of pennies glowed a dingy orange under the clear water. The chill of the water came as a shock as it overflowed her boots and soaked the legs of her jeans. She bent low and shoveled the coins in the middle aside, revealing a rock plugging a hole. She used one of the chopsticks in her hair to pry at the rock, which came loose.

Under it was a silver dollar, adorned by LIBERTY, a woman’s head with flowing hair, and 1794.

“Worth more than enough,” whispered the zephyr.

She shouted, and the driver hauled her back up, where Tony waited. He snatched the coin from her, laughing.

She said, “Zephyr, I wish I knew how to stop him!”

Whispers in her ear told her what to do.

“Tony, I still own this farm, and you’re trespassing! And according to the US Tax Code, that coin is mine. You saw it, right Earl?”

Earl nodded.

Tony spat and threw the coin back in the well.

Carole didn’t mind retrieving it again. The coin’s ten million dollar bounty was well worth it.

“Thank you, Mamaw,” said Carole.

“You’re welcome, dearheart,” said the zephyr.

– See more at: http://theironwriter.com/the-stories/challenge-25/#sthash.sEbLq6Il.dpuf

Fare Well

Eric Garrison

Carole drew a breath to say her final goodbye to the family farm. The air left her as a sigh, instead. Her eyes cast to the ground where her boots trod the soil, once worked by her father, she nearly ran into the mortised stone of the well.

She smiled, despite her troubles. Despite the coming foreclosure, despite her cousin Tony allowing it to happen by selling his share to the factory farm company. Despite his smug face in her doorway, telling her she only owned the land until noon. Then it’d be the bank’s.

She smiled, remembering  how Mamaw had called it a wishing well, a magical place, containing the farm’s greatest treasure. When asked what the treasure was, Mamaw just grinned, held a finger to her lips, and said, “secrets”.

Growing up, Carole told her secret hopes to the well, imagining them held safe in the water below.

She pulled a penny from her purse. 1968, the year she was born.

How lucky!

She tossed the penny in. It pinged off stone and plunked into water.

“I wish I knew how to save the farm.”

The well whispered, “Get the treasure!”

“What?”

“You asked how to save the farm. There’s treasure down here.”

“Are you a genie?”

“A zephyr, actually, a wind spirit. I grant knowledge wishes only. I’ve fed on secrets for decades. Now, there’s not much time.”

Carole nodded and ran to the farmhouse, searching for help. She spied a tow truck in the driveway, set to drag off the family tractor at noon. She bribed Earl, the driver, and he backed the vehicle up to the well. She stood on the hook and Earl shrugged and lowered her into the dark. Her feet touched water as the line reached its limit. The dark swallowed up the glow of her penlight, until her eyes adjusted.

A carpet of pennies glowed a dingy orange under the clear water. The chill of the water came as a shock as it overflowed her boots and soaked the legs of her jeans. She bent low and shoveled the coins in the middle aside, revealing a rock plugging a hole. She used one of the chopsticks in her hair to pry at the rock, which came loose.

Under it was a silver dollar, adorned by LIBERTY, a woman’s head with flowing hair, and 1794.

“Worth more than enough,” whispered the zephyr.

She shouted, and the driver hauled her back up, where Tony waited. He snatched the coin from her, laughing.

She said, “Zephyr, I wish I knew how to stop him!”

Whispers in her ear told her what to do.

“Tony, I still own this farm, and you’re trespassing! And according to the US Tax Code, that coin is mine. You saw it, right Earl?”

Earl nodded.

Tony spat and threw the coin back in the well.

Carole didn’t mind retrieving it again. The coin’s ten million dollar bounty was well worth it.

“Thank you, Mamaw,” said Carole.

“You’re welcome, dearheart,” said the zephyr.

– See more at: http://theironwriter.com/the-stories/challenge-25/#sthash.sEbLq6Il.dpuf

Fare Well

Eric Garrison

Carole drew a breath to say her final goodbye to the family farm. The air left her as a sigh, instead. Her eyes cast to the ground where her boots trod the soil, once worked by her father, she nearly ran into the mortised stone of the well.

She smiled, despite her troubles. Despite the coming foreclosure, despite her cousin Tony allowing it to happen by selling his share to the factory farm company. Despite his smug face in her doorway, telling her she only owned the land until noon. Then it’d be the bank’s.

She smiled, remembering  how Mamaw had called it a wishing well, a magical place, containing the farm’s greatest treasure. When asked what the treasure was, Mamaw just grinned, held a finger to her lips, and said, “secrets”.

Growing up, Carole told her secret hopes to the well, imagining them held safe in the water below.

She pulled a penny from her purse. 1968, the year she was born.

How lucky!

She tossed the penny in. It pinged off stone and plunked into water.

“I wish I knew how to save the farm.”

The well whispered, “Get the treasure!”

“What?”

“You asked how to save the farm. There’s treasure down here.”

“Are you a genie?”

“A zephyr, actually, a wind spirit. I grant knowledge wishes only. I’ve fed on secrets for decades. Now, there’s not much time.”

Carole nodded and ran to the farmhouse, searching for help. She spied a tow truck in the driveway, set to drag off the family tractor at noon. She bribed Earl, the driver, and he backed the vehicle up to the well. She stood on the hook and Earl shrugged and lowered her into the dark. Her feet touched water as the line reached its limit. The dark swallowed up the glow of her penlight, until her eyes adjusted.

A carpet of pennies glowed a dingy orange under the clear water. The chill of the water came as a shock as it overflowed her boots and soaked the legs of her jeans. She bent low and shoveled the coins in the middle aside, revealing a rock plugging a hole. She used one of the chopsticks in her hair to pry at the rock, which came loose.

Under it was a silver dollar, adorned by LIBERTY, a woman’s head with flowing hair, and 1794.

“Worth more than enough,” whispered the zephyr.

She shouted, and the driver hauled her back up, where Tony waited. He snatched the coin from her, laughing.

She said, “Zephyr, I wish I knew how to stop him!”

Whispers in her ear told her what to do.

“Tony, I still own this farm, and you’re trespassing! And according to the US Tax Code, that coin is mine. You saw it, right Earl?”

Earl nodded.

Tony spat and threw the coin back in the well.

Carole didn’t mind retrieving it again. The coin’s ten million dollar bounty was well worth it.

“Thank you, Mamaw,” said Carole.

“You’re welcome, dearheart,” said the zephyr.

– See more at: http://theironwriter.com/the-stories/challenge-25/#sthash.sEbLq6Il.dpuf

Fare Well

Eric Garrison

Carole drew a breath to say her final goodbye to the family farm. The air left her as a sigh, instead. Her eyes cast to the ground where her boots trod the soil, once worked by her father, she nearly ran into the mortised stone of the well.

She smiled, despite her troubles. Despite the coming foreclosure, despite her cousin Tony allowing it to happen by selling his share to the factory farm company. Despite his smug face in her doorway, telling her she only owned the land until noon. Then it’d be the bank’s.

She smiled, remembering  how Mamaw had called it a wishing well, a magical place, containing the farm’s greatest treasure. When asked what the treasure was, Mamaw just grinned, held a finger to her lips, and said, “secrets”.

Growing up, Carole told her secret hopes to the well, imagining them held safe in the water below.

She pulled a penny from her purse. 1968, the year she was born.

How lucky!

She tossed the penny in. It pinged off stone and plunked into water.

“I wish I knew how to save the farm.”

The well whispered, “Get the treasure!”

“What?”

“You asked how to save the farm. There’s treasure down here.”

“Are you a genie?”

“A zephyr, actually, a wind spirit. I grant knowledge wishes only. I’ve fed on secrets for decades. Now, there’s not much time.”

Carole nodded and ran to the farmhouse, searching for help. She spied a tow truck in the driveway, set to drag off the family tractor at noon. She bribed Earl, the driver, and he backed the vehicle up to the well. She stood on the hook and Earl shrugged and lowered her into the dark. Her feet touched water as the line reached its limit. The dark swallowed up the glow of her penlight, until her eyes adjusted.

A carpet of pennies glowed a dingy orange under the clear water. The chill of the water came as a shock as it overflowed her boots and soaked the legs of her jeans. She bent low and shoveled the coins in the middle aside, revealing a rock plugging a hole. She used one of the chopsticks in her hair to pry at the rock, which came loose.

Under it was a silver dollar, adorned by LIBERTY, a woman’s head with flowing hair, and 1794.

“Worth more than enough,” whispered the zephyr.

She shouted, and the driver hauled her back up, where Tony waited. He snatched the coin from her, laughing.

She said, “Zephyr, I wish I knew how to stop him!”

Whispers in her ear told her what to do.

“Tony, I still own this farm, and you’re trespassing! And according to the US Tax Code, that coin is mine. You saw it, right Earl?”

Earl nodded.

Tony spat and threw the coin back in the well.

Carole didn’t mind retrieving it again. The coin’s ten million dollar bounty was well worth it.

“Thank you, Mamaw,” said Carole.

“You’re welcome, dearheart,” said the zephyr.

– See more at: http://theironwriter.com/the-stories/challenge-25/#sthash.sEbLq6Il.dpuf

3 Responses to Fare Well

  1. Pingback: I won the Iron Writer Challenge! | Eric Garrison

  2. Pingback: Iron Writer Grudge Match story: Fell Down | Eric Garrison

  3. Pingback: Help me win the Iron Writer Fall Equinox Tournament! | Eric Garrison

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