Writing Prompt: It had been weeks since they last saw rain.

Happy Friday everyone. Are you ready for the last prompt of the week? I’ll admit as we’ve had rain bucketing down most of the week I saw today’s prompt and giggled. But let’s see what the brain makes of it shall we? Timers set for fifteen minutes? Remember not to stop writing until the timer ends? Excellent. Let’s go.

Not too bad. More scene setting than story, but it could be fun to play with in a story idea that has yet to be placed in a landscape.

Friday, September 24th: It had been weeks since they last saw rain.

It had been weeks since they last saw rain.  The ground was baked hard and flat, jagged cracks forming along the ground between the tufts of grass so dry and prattle it snapped when stepped on rather then bending under the weight and springing back.  Even those used to running through the yard barefoot now wore protection on their feet as the edges of the grass blades were dried slicing sharp.

The air now shimmered above asphalt and yard alike and a passing car added more heat to the air and seemed more like a mirage than reality.  Not that there were many cars passing by these days.  Restrictions on travel, based on gas shortages as well as outbreaks were keeping people closer to home.  This place wasn’t ever a tourist destination.  It was a place people passed by at best, and even that was lessoned once the highway veered west.

Even before the highway this farm had been on the edge of places.  A bit of nowhere between two smaller somewhere.  To the east there was a small town whose population height once reached a lofty two thousand souls.  To the west there was another town who claimed they once reached the same two thousand person population, but records showed, to those that cared to investigate such things that the population boom capped at nineteen hundred and eighty six. 

Farm vehicles once left the area heading towards one or the other towns, or the outskirts of town where processing was done.  The fields were still worked, but they were leased to a corporate farm now, the family only keeping a small acreage around the house for themselves.  The food grown on the garden plot went to their dinner table, the excess going into mason jars for the winter.

This year there wasn’t much excess.  Rain was scares and water restrictions meant that there was limited help they could give the small plants.  The garden harvest was feeble this year. There would be no filled jars for winter.  Already jars, cans and bottles were stocked.  The freezer was starting to fill up as well. 

While summer’s heat still gripped the land, there would be a break eventually.  Then the rains would come.  It would feel like a relief at first.  But the ground would be too hard to take the influx of the first autumn rains.  The water would run off on;y a little water seeping in to start to moisten the dry earth.  There would be floods as there were every year.  Then there would be a break.  Moisture would seem slowly back into the earth and the ground would remember it needed to drink.  Remember it’s thirst. 

There would be a burst of green as new rains fell.  The earth would be a sponge drinking and holding every drop.  The ground would turn to mud and leaving the far would be impossible. In time it would dry.  They would have a short window to restock before the winter snows arrived to lock them in until spring.

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