Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Misty Mountain Morning

Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

Use the photograph above as the inspiration for your flash fiction story. Write whatever comes to mind (no sexual, political, or religious stories, jokes, or commentary, please) and after you PROOFREAD it, submit it as your entry in the comments section below. There will be no written prompt.

Welcome to the Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. In 250 words or less, write a story incorporating the elements in the picture at left. The 250 word limit will be strictly enforced.

Please keep language and subject matter to a PG-13 level.

Use the comment section below to submit your entry. Entries will be accepted until Tuesday at 5:00 PM Pacific Time. No political or religious entries, please. Need help getting started? Read this article on how to write flash fiction.

On Wednesday, we will open voting to the public with an online poll so they may choose the winner. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday. On Saturday morning, the winner will be recognized as we post the winning entry along with the picture as a feature.

Once a month, the admins will announce the Editors’ Choice winners. Those stories will be featured in an anthology like this one. Best of luck to you all in your writing!

Entries only in the comment section. Other comments will be deleted. See HERE for additional information and terms. Please note the rule changes for 2016.

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23 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Misty Mountain Morning”

  1. Prudence crushed her cigarette into the ashtray on the producer’s desk. She reached into her clutch and pulled out another Marlboro.

    “Gimme a light, will’ya, honey,” she whispered, batting her heavily mascaraed lashes. She leaned over to reveal more of her personality.

    “Don’t overdo it, Pru,” he cautioned. “You’ve got the part. This’ll be your very first movie. We start shooting next week.”

    “Didja get you-know-who for my leading man,” she asked crossing her fingers?

    “When he heard we signed you up he begged me for the part.”
    He unzipped the publicity department’s folder of promotions. “Anything here strike your fancy,” he asked?

    She flipped through the material, suddenly stopped and raised one, a photo labeled “Misty Mountain Morning”. She imagined her name emblazoned in large letters, followed by the title of the movie and then her co-star below, in smaller letters.

    “Oh, this is the one for me,” she moaned. “Let’s do it!” She sank back
    into her chair, fanning herself with the photo.

    “There’s just one other thing, Pru, before we can go ahead.” He stood behind her chair and patted her shoulder. “We’re going to have to give you a catchier name. Something the public will easily remember.
    Got any ideas?”

    She began to chuckle and waved the photo at him.. “Well, there it is, Toots, right under your nose.”

    “Wha….?” He shrugged his shoulders and scanned the photo.

    “We’ll just change my name to ‘Misty Morning’. Who’s gonna forget that?”

  2. Williams was alone in the spacecraft as it drifted in the Andromeda Galaxy. As he checked the instrumentation he glanced at a picture on the wall entitled “Misty Mountains”; it reminded him of Earth. Then he heard a tapping sound; it was coming from the exterior surface of his craft.

    It was faint at first; then the sound grew louder. It was like an endless dripping faucet; he couldn’t get it out of his head. There were no windows or cameras on the sides of the ship, so there was no way to see the source of the noise.

    Tap, tap, tap.

    Finally, Williams resolved to dawn a spacesuit and examine the ship’s exterior. It was quite possible something had worked loose and was banging against the hull. Within the hour, he was on the outside of the craft. He left the hatch to the pressure chamber open so he could re-enter it quickly, and then he slowly moved along the surface of the ship, looking for the source of the tapping.

    After inspecting the exterior thoroughly, and not finding the source of the noise, Williams decided to re-enter the spacecraft. Upon returning to the hatch he discovered it was locked. Shocked, he desperately clawed at the door.

    Suddenly, the booster rockets on the ship ignited and its forward motion knocked Williams free, severing his safety line. As he slowly drifted into space, away from the spacecraft, the tapping sound continued to echo inside his mind.

  3. Fog enshrouded trees , flashes of green amongst grey toned hills; my vision blurs in the heavy mist and I sit.No movement but waiting content No where to go , nothing to do.Jist sit and watch the mists unfurl .
    Once I had places to go, things to be done but that was long ago in another life before the world ended for is all. Once was full of promise, open to all possibilities. Once life had meaning for us all, seemed eternal.
    All that is gone now, flushed away down the mountain. Homes, farms, towns cities are no longer.Only ruins appear thru the mist for a moment and then are lost
    Perhaps I only dreamed our past created our world out of movements in the mist ? Have I peopled it with memories that never happened and events that never were to be ?
    I am old now as old as these mountain mists and alone in them, I sit
    I breathe, I watch and I wait for an. End

  4. As she stared, dead-eyed, at the mist dutifully unfurling from the mountain, Jane found herself wondering if Joe was as thoroughly fascinated as his wide-eyed expression had, somewhat mistakenly, led her to believe.
    Right, she thought, as he stole a glance at his watch.
    “It’s amazing isn’t it honey?” He asked, his eyes vigilantly locked back on the mountain.
    “Yes,” she said, squeezing his hand, her voice betraying undue remorse.
    Why, today out of all days, did she have to go rummaging through the pile on his desk. Today, when she had finally made up her mind.
    “Remember when we…” Joe began, his voice drifting off as his lips sank into hers.
    How could I forget? Jane thought, her arms snaking around him, the mist up ahead giving way to the glaring glow of Joe’s first Cadillac staggering towards this very spot, 10 years ago.
    Why? she thought, wincing at the lingering taste of cheap bourbon, Joe sprawled on the kitchen floor, her eyes nervously darting towards the living room, where her son Jack is still dutifully watching TV.
    Why? she thought, her fingers running through his thinning hair, the taxi’s blaring horn resonating in her eardrums as her eyes scan across his MRI results.
    Why? she thought, as they slowly headed back to their car.

  5. The mist clung to the trees like they had to each other the night before. He’d never slept with a client before. It happened after hours of banter and what now felt like gallons of alcohol. He’d consumed it in an effort to deal with his desires for her. Now it banged on his head like a carpenter’s hammer.

    Looking out over Oak Creek Canyon, he wondered if there’d be more tonight. Or, would things become awkward? Would she tell him that she’d made a mistake? Her eyes had sparkled with mischief and more than lust. No woman had ever looked at him that intensely. Just the thought of it stirred his carnal urges.

    Only a few feet away, she gazed into the early morning mist. He wanted to hold her, but so far, this morning, she’d acted like nothing had happened.

    She’d commented a few times over the years about his powerful and sculpted bodyguard’s physique, but he hadn’t sensed any further interest. Why now?

    He thought back to standing in front of the red, rock vortex in Sedona. As they’d climbed to the top, her hand had brushed his. He’d felt a spark. Was it possible – had the power of the vortex opened up some kind of a connection between them? Nah, ridiculous.

    The spark again ran up his arm. Veronique slid her hand into his. He turned; her brown eyes had that glint he couldn’t resist. Vortex or not, something was different – and it was good.

  6. It was April, a week before Easter. Not too hot and not too cold. Our Adventure Guide, Atlas. Yeah, that’s right, a perfect name for an Adventure Guide was telling our group about our misty morning mountain hike. Where we all started from was warming up quickly. But, we’d all be grateful once we got to the top of our hike. We’d all be tired, sweaty and HOT….but, the misty morning covering the mountain would cool us all down. Now the hard part. Hiking up the looming mountain before us. So, here I am in my new hiking boots 4 hours into our hike. Yep, biggest rookie mistake of my life. What in the world was I thinking? I’m really excited and proud of my accomplishment. Atlas had been right all along. The mist covering the mountain that early in the morning was refreshing. That’s when the depth of my mistake reared it’s ugly head. I had taken my hiking boots off while enjoying the crisp, cool air to rest my feet. When Atlas signaled time to go back, I couldn’t get my boots on, not even a little bit. My feet had swelled and my toe nails, ALL my toe nails were throbbing painfully and black! As I struggled and kept struggling to get my hiking boots back on. That proud feeling of accomplishment was overshadowed by being carried down the mountain by litter.

  7. Veritas fled through the hills as the Hellhounds followed. He paused for a moment to rub the blood out of his eyes and gingerly prodded his forehead to see how bad the damage was. The cut was long but shallow.

    It was never supposed to be like this.

    There was no stopping them now, he thought. Veritas and his squad were the last lines of defense.

    The Capital would fall.

    Veritas looked down at the feral landscape and watched the mist seep through the valley like the Angel of Death. The sun crept above the horizon illuminating the mountain face. Beyond the valley, Veritas made out the sinister black cloud twirling from the smoldering wreckage of his convoy.

    He sat down in the sliver of shade provided by a wilting patch of trees and took inventory of his supplies. His rifle was caked with grit but usable. He ejected the clip and examined how many rounds he had left. Not many.

    Veritas took a deep breath, winced at the pain clamoring from his rib cage, and began to think.

    Images of his family huddled in some bunker shot through his mind. The thought of what these animals would do to them gave Veritas the last sliver of energy he needed to sit up and make his last stand.

    “Not on my watch,” he said to himself while spitting out the dribble of blood that had trickled into his mouth.

    He loaded a round into the chamber and prepared for battle.

  8. They stood hand-in-hand at the edge of the cliff, staring into the misty nothingness below. They looked at each other with matching wry grins. It was the end of the line. Life had not been kind to them – a scandalous affair leading to elopement, him getting fired, her getting continuously propositioned at work, couple of failed businesses, piling debts, the two miscarriages, spells of depression and to top it all, a freak electrical malfunction had burnt their home.

    ‘Looks like this is it, eh?’ He sat down on a rock with his legs dangling into the gorge.

    She shrugged. ‘We did have a good run,’ She combed her fingers through his wavy hair, just the way he always had liked.

    ‘I’m sorry, my love! I never wanted our ends to be like this.’

    ‘Well, we tried. When life keep kicking us down, what else can we do?’

    He stood up and hugged her, ‘We never had a baby!’

    She wiped her tears away, ‘Lucky us!’

    ‘Shall we?’

    She tugged his hand, ‘Make love to me one last time.’

    She looked into his eyes once they finished, ‘What if this time we get pregnant?’

    He sighed and kissed her eyes, ‘I’d love that! But, we are in no position to support a kid.’

    ‘We have nothing else to lose, darling! Let’s give life one more chance. The mountains have nowhere else to go.’

    They kissed and watched the sun go into the valley instead.

  9. I’m walking the Camino de Santiago to get some peace and quiet. I’ve got some things to figure out and thought this would be a good way to do it. Thousands of pilgrims have walked the Camino. Some walk it for spiritual reasons; some are putting their demons to rest. Some just like to walk. I need space for my mind to defrag.
    I’ve been wet, hot, blistered, hungry, thirsty, and tired. The one thing I have not been is lonely. Since the first day in Rouncevalles I’ve had a shadow. A pilgrim who gets up when I get up, stops when I stop, eats when I eat, and talks without ceasing. I know everything about him now. Every slight he has endured, every woman who has ever left him. Every boss who did him wrong. I have suffered through an endless litany of unhappiness and not once has he taken a breath to ask me why I’m here.
    This morning I got up way early, didn’t turn on my headlamp. Didn’t even brush my teeth. Just put on a bra and my shoes and took off. I figured maybe I could shake him but within ten minutes there he was, puffing up the trail behind me. His voice reached me before he came into focus. It’s beautiful this morning. The mists are swirling all around. Shoving him off the mountain was easy in the fog. He never saw it coming. It’s going to be a lovely, peaceful walk today.

  10. According to grandma’s warning and her tale of the foggy abductions legend, this did not bode well for my sister’s wedding. It was impossible to see through the doorway to the front stoop because of the fog. Each whinny of the horses sounded muffled and indistinct until finally the rumble of their hooves rolled like thunder up the mountain when the men came to get her.

    Her beautiful dress hung limp and damp on her body, her hair tied tight against her head in a bun displayed her gaunt face with terrified eyes. She did not want this wedding but our father commanded the high bride price and got it. She knew it would be her last time as a girl that her young fourteen-year-old frame would ever laugh with delight so she straddled her horse bareback and rode laughing into the mist at full gallop.

  11. It’s early morning, still dark, as Daniel and Stacey hike up the mountain trail, a little box burning a hole in his pocket.

    The trail is rough but Daniel has been here before. Stacey struggles but holds her own, loving every minute of it. Her face beams with a bright smile Daniel loves so much. Her passion inspires him, which is why the journey they are on is so special.

    Daniel loves hiking. On one such adventure, he found a spot so special it took his breath away. Standing there one morning watching the sunrise he beheld a majestic view beyond words. A landscape so beautiful it couldn’t be real. The most beautiful sight Daniel had ever seen . . . until he met her.

    Finally reaching the clifftop they looked upon a gorgeous mountainside with a lush forest running down it. Daniel held Stacey close and whispered in her ear, “Wait.” She took a deep breath, held it, and then it happened.

    Dawn broke. The morning mist rolled down the mountainside through the forest creating a majesty of nature.

    Daniel watched Stacey’s eyes grow wide with awe and wonder and he knew it was time. Having just shared such a precious moment with her he knew he was ready to spend the rest of his life with her.

    Kneeling down, Daniel reached into his pocket, pulling out the little box to reveal a sparkling diamond ring, a sparkle that paled in comparison to the surprise in her twinkling eyes.

  12. Autumn is upon her. Soon snow will fly, she can smell it. Once verdant leaves tumble to the ground with curled edges. She is not far from her destination. Delicate and small framed, she walks silently through the forest. An unexpected sound reaches her. She stops; listening intently. She has known this forest since birth. It is the land of her mother, and her mother before her.

    She only has a hundred yards before she will see the graceful line of sycamore, ghostly in the morning light along the creek, her destination. Something catches her keen eye. Turning she sees the dark outline. Her heart leaps. “Stay perfectly still,” she tells herself, “don’t even blink!” Immediately she feels as if the wind has blown dust into her eyes. “Don’t move.” She wills herself to endure. As if conjured by her thought, the wind changes direction and now she can smell him. Her heart races. He is partially hidden behind a honey locust.

    A twig snaps, he is distracted. The sun has reached that golden moment when suddenly all that was dark becomes bathed in the new day. He will spot her the moment he turns. She tenses and gathers her resources. He turns. She hears a click. Fire explodes and a deafening sound fills the distance between them.

    She releases her breath with a shudder. A carpet of autumn leaves cradles her. She kicks once, twice, and closes her eyes.

  13. Ranger Jared Masterson couldn’t figure it. Seven hikers fallen to their deaths in one month, always on this stretch of high country trail. Sure, you had to be careful. The steep, rocky slopes, the mist pouring through the pass and spilling down ravines, masking a score of dangers. Mountain lions. Bears. But these weren’t novices. Experienced hikers, all. Seven in one month?

    Jared breathed in the pine air, pressed his feet to the rock, set binoculars to his face, scanned the trail ahead.

    “Maybe,” his partner Tess White suggested, “all this beauty overcame them.”

    Jared glanced at her, but found no hint of either humor or sarcasm. She belonged here, with that raven hair and those smoky eyes as beautiful as the land, but he didn’t let on. Keep it professional. He directed his eyes through the lenses once more.

    “I mean,” she said, stepping close, “don’t you just love the mountains in morning?” She touched his shoulder, his arm, his chest.

    Jared swallowed and squeezed the binoculars. “It’s afternoon, Tess.”

    Her fist slammed into his gut. As he doubled over, she shoved him toward the brink. His arms flew wide, grappling for balance. His feet stepped into empty space, and he plummeted into the soft embrace of the mist below.

    Tess watched binoculars and ranger vanish in the gray, her breath caught in her throat. Then she sank to her knees, sighed, and wiped away a tear. “Oh yes,” she breathed. “Don’t you just love the mountains in mourning?”

  14. The smell of fresh pine trees did their job soothing his grumpy soul. The early morning fog did its job concealing him from sight.
    The past couple of days, hiding in the mountainous wilderness, Lambert found unsettling relief. His quarters had been cold and damp; his meals–tough and stringy, but he’d been content throughout.
    Heh, wouldn’t mind dying up…
    A chill roiled slowly up his spine. The leaves had stopped chattering. Not a sound. It felt too closely one of his assignments. The target’s last seconds.
    Unholstering his gun he exhaled slowly. He dodged behind a tall pine. But there was nobody there. I’m slipping, jumping at the wind, he told himself. He’d been admiring the sunrise when he felt a strange pressure in the middle of his forehead.

    Lambert didn’t notice the dime-sized hole put between his eyes. He died instantly. Shaking his head, the assassin advanced. Twigs and dry grass cracked under his boots.
    The piney scent had done its job: disarming him; the fog did its job too: concealing the sniper and confusing the prey.
    Shaking his head the hunter looked up. He really slipped. The sunrise was an errant blunder; his wish for peace.
    Targets aren’t rewarded peace, the hunter said to himself.
    They’re compensated with death. That’s my duty.
    The hunter got down on one knee over the body. He took the dog tags and heirloom ring.
    That’s what you taught me, father.
    He closed Lambert’s eyes.
    Rest now, in this, your final resting place.

  15. As I drift aimlessly through dense morning mist covering my mountain, the events that led me here, playing through my mind. It had been children laughing, carried with the mist as it silently drifted down, that had caught my attention. Why were children playing on the mountain? I knew I had to go rescue them.

    Walking for some time, I was suddenly aware of being lost and unable to recognize my surrounding. The laughter was barely audible now, making it hard for me to remember why I had ventured so far in. I was a wilderness guide, I should know better than to wander off the paths alone. Why had I?

    Spinning around, I started to retrace my steps but soon found I was merely going in circles. Unable to keep the cold and exhaustion at bay any longer, I sank down to rest. Then, the laughter turned to loud cries, causing me to rise from the ground with a start.

    I stood and took a step forward, calling out to them. Suddenly, the ground gave way and I was falling into a cavern. When I hit the ground, I knew I would not live. As I lay there, I could see faint images of children dancing and hear their laughter, in the mist. I knew at that moment; they had brought me here to join them. As the last of my life faded away, I felt a sense of peace knowing I would be dancing with the mist children.

  16. “These rugged mountains, they bring memories of a time long past,” Marcus said, his eyes as deep and dark as the scene before them. “Earth has existed for a million years and more. And man? Two cycles, probably more, this one and the ones before.”

    Roger was beginning to question the wisdom of choosing Marcus as his guide. Marcus’ morbid thoughts did not sit well with Roger.

    “Cells are programmed to die,” Marcus continued. “When cells die, organs die. When organs die, the being dies. But if the cells don’t die? What then?”

    “I don’t know… Eternal life?” The sun was setting. Darkness was closing in.

    “Yes. Eternal life. It happened in the previous era. Eternal life for all, which lead to the murder and suicide of nearly all. Unending life for the few remaining. An unbearable Eternity.”

    “You sound tired,” Roger said. He hoped Marcus would take the hint and head back to the camp.

    “How old do you think I am?”

    Roger looked closely at Marcus for the first time. What he saw in Marcus’ eyes frightened him. He saw Eternity. Age measured not in years, but in eons. He saw suffering and unbearable loneliness. He saw a man who had lost everyone he ever loved. He saw a man tired of living.

    “I can find my own way back,” Roger said quietly.

    “Goodbye, my friend.”

    No one ever saw Marcus again.

  17. She raised her eyelids and their eyes locked as she knew they would. The effect shook her to the core as it always did. Her breath hung in the air like a misty mountain morning.

    “Stop it! Mary,” she told herself. “You are here to hear the choir sing praises to the Lord of Lords. Not flirt with one of the singers. You hardly know the man!”

    The choir finished. She walked to the lower steps, so he could meet her and take her home as he always did.

    Here he came. Shivering, she almost felt wicked.

    He reached out his hand, took hers and whispered, “After all these years, I love to look out in the audience and see you there. You’re the best wife a man could have.”

  18. Jill was shivering and in shock. Why were they still hiking to the stupid pinnacle? She just wanted to go home and start her to-do list if their marriage was really over. Shelby, hiking behind her, kept on blubbering
    “I’m so sorry,” he said as he blew his nose and stifled his sobs. “This is not what I wanted. I’m so sorry.”

    How could the marriage be dead after last night’s sex, she wondered. God, it was great.

    “Didn’t you suspect something last night?” asked Shelby. “Wasn’t it as bad for you as for me. I had to say something.”

    Jill couldn’t breathe.

    Shelby went around her and stood at the viewpoint, trying to control his sobs. His sobs! Damned if she was going to let Shelby throw away seven years of her life.

    “You must know,” said Shelby as he turned from the view. “I didn’t mean for it to happen. But it did. You don’t know her, but you’d like her. And you’ll always be my best friend.”

    Jill flushed and stepped up to Shelby. “No,” she said. “This is not going to happen. I’m not going to be your best friend. I’m your wife.” She poked Shelby in the chest with her finger. “Do you understand?”

    Shelby stepped back, surprised at her anger. The trail’s edge gave way and he grabbed for Jill as he tried to regain his balance.

    Somehow she pulled him back from the brink.

    She didn’t know why.

  19. The locals had warned us that Spirit Mountain was sacred, that we shouldn’t hike or camp there. They related tales of lost hunters and hikers. But we were young and disrespectful. To us nothing was sacred.

    When we opened our tents on that first morning, the mist had covered everything. Flowers, trees, and rocks sparkled in the sunlight. We began to understand how people could believe this wilderness was sacred.

    Jen and Lisa wandered into the woods for their morning rituals. Rand and I were preparing a fire for breakfast when we heard the women’s screams. Racing toward the sounds we met Lisa running toward us. “Bear!” she shouted. “Attacking Jen!”

    I grabbed the bear spray and Rand picked up a tree limb. We found the black bear tearing at Jen’s torso and arms as she tried to protect her face. Nearby I spotted two cubs.

    Rand beat the bear’s head and I unleashed the can of spray in its face. Quickly, the bear and her cubs ran away. Lisa tried to stanch the blood pouring from Jen’s face and arms. I ran for my cell phone to call for help.

    Soon the rescuers hustled Jen into the helicopter. When the rest of us arrived at the hospital, doctors reassured us that our action probably saved Jen’s life. She would have to endure surgeries, but would survive to hike another day.

    But we already knew that we would never again hike on sacred ground.

  20. Kyle Bunk was alone up there for like a hundred days. No food. No water. No warning. Kidnappers just tossed her out of the van like it was nothing. Hikers found the zip ties and the canvas bag 20 days after the abduction.
 Grief stricken, Kyle’s father started a vigil at the base of a towering Hemlock in the backyard. Said he was communicating and the trees knew where Kyle was. Just sat out there like a buddha. Listening.

    Conifers – especially Hemlocks – take a long time to get to the point. Lots of small talk about the weather. Lots of long stretches of silence. At first the trees asked all the questions. Where did Kyle grow up? What did she like to do?

    In time, conversation turned to long monologues as Jerry Bunk told the Hemlock about how funny Kyle was and how much she made him laugh. About how he used to give her a bath in the kitchen sink, her newborn body stretched along his forearm, pinky and thumb keeping the water out of her ears. How he pushed her once in anger and she fell inches from splitting her head on the corner of the china cabinet. How he saved her from certain humiliation upon noticing the forgotten tag on her new jeans as she got out of the car for school.

    It went on like this for days. Stories. The trees mostly silent toward the end.

    Then, finally, a whisper: “She is here. She is safe.”

  21. Sarah’s Dreams

    Sarah hastily packed some favorite belongings and clothing for herself and her little daughter, Rachel. She took the money hidden under the carpet.
    She looked in the mirror. “You’ve been in a fight,” she said to her wild reflection, applying concealer and brushing her hair.
    The aromas of Fred’s expensive cologne and excessive wine lingered. She didn’t know whether to cry, or throw up. She felt their unborn son inside her, at 22 weeks.
    Dawn was breaking in their majestic Montana vista. Their cedar lodge was tucked away among blue mountains and fir trees standing proud. She was dazzled when the handsome doctor brought her here. Now that was history.
    Sarah called her contact. They would meet at the North Dakota border.
    Bridget asked, “The cops believed you?”
    “They saw the bruises,” answered Sarah, “and I finally told them he threatened to kill me.”
    “See you soon.”
    Gently, Sarah woke the sleeping Rachel.
    “Did Daddy hurt you?” she breathed.
    “No, Chickadee,” said Sarah, “We were play fighting. You and I have a big trip today!”
    Rachel’s eyes grew big. “You’re driving the car?”
    “Yes, Rachel, Mommy’s driving.”
    “But Daddy said –”
    “It’s okay,” said Sarah, “Let’s go now.”
    As they left their home forever, the mountains in the pale green mist looked magical. She would miss it, but not the rage that shook their world.
    The tiny baby poked softly inside her. Rachel sang herself back to sleep, and Sarah knew she had all she needed.

  22. Ruth paced the floor. She could not believe her Frankie was a bank-robber.

    Everyone was experiencing hard times in 1935. But to rob!

    Their 200 acre homestead had always provided food and shelter for her family of seven children.

    Through the window, she stared at the ‘blue smoke’, as the Cherokee called the mist, swirling around the tree tops.

    Ruth had to trudge four hours, down the mountain, to the bank.

    But then, the bank manager sent her to the Sheriff’s office.

    Gare, Ruth sat down, and neatly stacked 1,000 dollars worth of bills in front of the sheriff. The whole story of her husband’s late-night meetings with others, the secret language, like WPA, tumbled out.

    He smiled, but his stomach was in a knot. How was he going to tell Ruth that her ancestrial homestead was condemned-by the government.

    Just to make a bigger playground for politicians.

    The deputy brought her husband Frankie.

    “I wanted to tell you…; when I had a good plan. The government found a house for us, in a town with a school.”

    “We have to accept it, even the big logging companies lost in court.”

    “How could you”she cried.

    “I have a good job that President Roosevelt started. I’m learning. We need a fresh start.”

    “I’m so scared.”

    “I trust the president, after all, his name is Franklin, he smiled.

    Ruth started to smile.

    “At least, I’m not a bank robber”he laughed.

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