Satan’s Supper

Corn crop

On the hundred-twentieth day of the drought — I know this because I kept X’ing them off on Mama’s 1892 Sears-Roebuck calendar — I watched big old storm clouds stack up against the distant mountains and heard my Pa say, “Shit, we’re in fer it now.”

“Whatcha mean, Pa…don’t ya think those rain clouds are coming our way?” I said full of a wide-eyed ten-year-old’s belief in miracles.

Pa worked up some juice in his mouth and spit it into the dust that barely held up the dead-dry and stunted corn stalks stretching like pale corduroy toward an east Colorado sunset that turned those hope-filled clouds a right royal purple.

“Son,” Pa said, kneeling down and taking me by the shoulders, “Theys that tell ya ‘Where there’s smoke there’s fire,’ never seen clouds like those, what’ll not bring us rain, but prob’ly Satan’s own hunger.”

I thought better of asking Pa what he meant again, but found out that night when those heaven-sent clouds of mine passed over our place, dropping not rain but lightning on our fields, burning my innocence as black as that quarter of our crop ol’ Satan ate for supper.

This week’s Five Sentence Fiction is based on Lillie McFerrin’s prompt word: Rain.

14 thoughts on “Satan’s Supper

  1. You nailed it! I’m originally from Lubbock, Texas, which is at the southern end of the Great Plains. I lived there until 7 years ago. My parents, who were cotton farmers, married in 1934 at the height of the Great Depression and the beginning of the Dust Bowl. I heard many times about dry storms starting fires, black out dust storms and even tornados without rain. You captured everything so well, almost like you had listened to my dad’s stories. I don’t know how my parents survived it all, but they did. I think most of it was due to their stubborn tenacity. Thanks for writing this so well!

    • Thank you so much, Elaine. I worry a lot about the truth of my geography, history and culture, even in little five-sentence thingies. I’m nerdy that way, especially where my historical pieces are concerned. Thanks for the confidence builder!

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