Saturday, August 22, 2015
Grave: A Six Sentence Story
When they chose this desolate land to homestead on, with nothing but sweeping prairie and no neighbors for miles, it didn't occur to them that some day, they would want to marry off their daughter; Sarah was but two years old when they made the trip via covered wagon, bumping over rutted trails made by Indians long before being forced further westward, but it was here the little family made their home on this hostile land.
They made a life there, Sarah's father working from daylight to dusk to tame the rough land while her mother ran the household and taught Sarah to read and write and to sew and cook and keep house, and when she was nearing 16 years of age, Sarah's parents decided it was time to find not only a husband for her but someone who could help Sarah's father with the farm work. He made the long journey to the nearest town, returning a week later with a young man that he thought would fill the bill for both himself and his daughter, but Sarah demurred any feeble advances the young man put forth, and after a few weeks of homestead life, he asked to be returned to town.
Her parents tried once again when a fellow headed to Indian Territory passed by, and although the young man was not easily dissuaded, Sarah again refused all advances, and her parents sighed at her stubbornness and resigned themselves that she preferred to live her life in their home as a spinster.
Through years of harsh winters and searing hot summers, too much rain and too little rain, insect infestations and cyclones, they persevered, the three of them, until Sarah, hair gray and skin withered, buried her parents, first her mother, then a few months later, her father, in graves she dug herself in the hard ground and with great effort, on a little rise at the edge of their land, next to the other two that had been there for so many years now that they blended into the landscape. Sarah continued on her own for a short time, until the day she couldn't any longer, and the prairie then began to creep back and reclaim its territory, thistles taking over the cornfield and wildflowers pushing into the little house, while the tall grasses grew up and up, finally free, until nothing was left of any of them but the whispering of the wind.
Linking up with Ivy at Uncharted for Six Sentence Stories with the prompt "grave."