What We Never Knew – Fiction

Time for another installment of   Friday Fictioneers  hosted by Rochelle.  100 words or so based on the image below. Click on the froggy link (after this piece) and come join us!

I hope people will also enjoy the afterthought I’ve added to this piece…the music that inspired me:

walking trailWhat We Never Knew

The museum came to number objects in the house for their Dust Bowl exhibit. Grandpa hadn’t changed much since Grandma had disappeared.  The farmhouse and barn they’d built was as Midwest as ever.  It’s all a Bed and Breakfast now – west of Topeka.

I was spending one last night at the old place.  I was sitting cross-legged on an old feathered guest bed reading Grandma’s last letter home to Grandpa:

…I know you’ll never understand the workings of my frail mind, dearest love.  I’m sorry.   I’m not strong enough to stay.  Stella refused to come with me…

Your loving,



**I’ve been trying – for a year or more – to write something, anything, to show my totally lost feelings for the  words to this song – and these images.  These words and these images so relevant to us – always.

I’ve read that, during the Dust Bowl,  women hung themselves over the impossibility of living up to the expectation of keeping a clean house.  As a woman, this fact won’t leave my mind.

Here is the song that inspired this story.   Thank you for reading and listening.


photo prompt Copyright Dawn Landau

14 thoughts on “What We Never Knew – Fiction

    • I’m reading more about the Dust Bowl this weekend. I’ve found a diary, online. It was a sad time. I don’t know if it will be a suicide. That would make my character weak. Sometimes, leaving is not a sign of weakness.
      Hope all is well and that your draft is safely on its way.


    • Yes it is, Patrick. The words and images are timeless and the next dust bowl is happening now – in one form or another – all around us.
      Thanks for passing by and reading this piece.


  1. I think Stella is her child. That’s what I want to think. A lovely piece, and what a terrible time to have endured. I can see how this song inspired you, Ellespeth. It’s heartfelt and there’s so much history here. Now more than ever, it needs to be told.


    • I think, luckily, Stella is her child. It must have been such a difficult time. Mother Nature and greed – two powerful forces.
      It’s an old song, from shortly after the Civil War. The words are timeless, aren’t they? I’ve been thinking about reading more into the Dust Bowl and Depression time – I’d like to write a longer piece or several pieces.
      Thanks for commenting and I’m glad you liked this piece.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Wouldn’t I just love to have a coffee and a chat with your mom. The song just stays with me – it was written shortly after the Civil War. Meaningful today as well. Thanks for reading this piece. It needs work so I may reappear again as time goes by.



    • Hi Doug ~
      There seems to be plenty mystified readers of this piece. Special color for mystified, today, is red – I’ll add some glitter at no charge.

      This piece will reappear again for another photo prompt. You won’t recognize it 🙂
      Thanks for passing by.


  2. Dear Ellespeth,

    Terrible times those. I think your intent might have been clearer if you’d just written, “Grandma’s last letter” rather than “letter home.” Your after-words did help explain things to me.




    • Hi Rochelle ~
      I’ll keep working on this piece…evidently, it’s not clear to readers. I like this idea of this story and it’ll work out eventually. That’s for the helpful comment.



  3. I’m not sure I’m getting this. The ‘last letter home’ indicated that Grandma had already left and was writing to indicate she wasn’t coming back, in which case maybe her letter should read ‘I wasn’t strong enough…’ or if it remains in the present tense ‘I’m not strong enough’ then she wrote it before she left and it wasn’t a letter ‘home’. And if Stella refused to go with her, wouldn’t he already know that? I’ve probably got this hopelessly confused – I seem to be a bit slow this morning. Loved the song though. And I look forward to your contributions each week.


    • Thanks for reading and commenting on this piece, Sandra. Well…I can see, from other comments, that the story isn’t clear. I’ll keep working on this idea and maybe use it again at another time. It’s always helpful to know what’s not working – so I appreciate your critique.


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