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Flash Fiction: Turkey Day

New flash fiction about Donovan from my recently released blog fiction, Tin Soldier. It's also linked at Three Word Wednesday which is a great place to drop in and read new writers, so go to it!


For days he had been trying, but it was no use. Donovan thought he was a pretty good shot, but these damn quail were so small and flew up so suddenly...he kicked a clump of withered gramma grass in frustration. What was he supposed to tell the women, after boasting that he would bring down enough quail for a Thanksgiving feast for them and their neighbors? So far he had only managed to get one scrawny bird that not even a child would consider an adequate meal.

Unbidden, his thoughts returned to a remark Amalia, the older sister, had made: the God's Candidates cultists raised turkeys, and weren't more than a day's ride away. Buying from them was impossible, though; Donovan's dark skin and obvious mixed-race heritage would get him shot on sight, but who said he had to buy? If they didn't see him....

He headed toward the arroyo, deep in thought. Practical Amalia and her younger, more sensitive sister Carina, had both forbidden him to go anywhere near the cult compound, but although he was a stranger living on their charity, they didn't own him. If he wanted to try his luck at the compound, they couldn't really stop him.

Donovan stopped walking and considered. The women couldn't keep him from going, but the lack of a horse was a serious obstacle. Maybe he could borrow one from the adjoining rancho, though. The Nuñez girl was quick and smart, always up for adventure. If she loaned him one of her family's horses, he could slip out at night and... Oh, yes, it was doable. He shouldered his shotgun and started walking again, composing in his mind how he would broach the matter to the little Nuñez girl.

A sudden stirring in the grasses by the creek stopped him in his tracks and a dark flock rose into the air on thundering wings. Too busy daydreaming, Donovan wasn't able to get off a shot in time, and with a sigh of frustration, he set down his gun and rubbed his face with his hands. Who was he kidding? He would never shoot a quail. He was going through the motions, persisting in the illusion just to put off what was, in essence, inevitable.

For a long moment he looked at the distant mesas, as if daring them to challenge his decision. When the skyline stubbornly remained as it had always been, he picked up his gun again and turned toward the house. He had plans to make.


Sheilagh Lee said...

Sheilagh Lee said interesting story.love that he couldn't shoot the quail

February 9, 2011 at 8:45 PM
Old Egg said...

I could never see the point of eating something as small as a Quail.
Now a rabbit perhaps… Sorry just kidding Bunnygirl!

The story has immediate interest from the detail and situations created. Looking forward to more.

February 9, 2011 at 11:26 PM
Deborah said...

I was totally drawn in and you create the scene wonderfully, really well written.

February 10, 2011 at 3:38 AM
Altonian said...

This is like finding a loose page from a novel. I've read the page, now I want the rest of the book - can you oblige please?

February 10, 2011 at 4:57 AM
LeiffyV said...

Hmmm, interesting. The tension of a forbidden choice. Is it a good idea to do so, taking the easy way out? Sometimes the easy way is never the best.

Great work, I agree with Altonian, this is like a page out of a novel and it would be nice to see what happens next. Thanks so much for sharing!

February 10, 2011 at 7:31 AM
Ann (bunnygirl) said...

The novel is posted at the link at the top of the story, or you can link to it here: Tin Soldier

February 10, 2011 at 8:18 AM
Anonymous said...

Neat; this makes me want to more about the setting.

February 10, 2011 at 3:56 PM
Alice Audrey said...

Oooo, something new for me to sink my teeth into. Remind me about this later. :)

February 11, 2011 at 2:34 PM
K said...

Oh no Ann. I'm already worried about him. I am afraid he will be caught. Or worse yet hurt or killed. He has already numbered all of the reasons he should not go...and now he has somehow decided he should, without considering the most important of them all.
I love your writing, as I have said before, clean as can be.

February 11, 2011 at 10:24 PM
Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Ahh, futility and desperation... sometimes, facing the truth really sucks.

February 17, 2011 at 11:06 AM

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