Losing Day – Fiction

Here’s a short piece submitted for Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers’ weekly photo prompt.  If you’d like to submit a piece,  click on that link for more info.  Thanks to PJ for hosting this and also for providing our photo prompt this week.

If you’d like to read more stories, click on the froggy icon after this piece.

**Thanks to several comments, this piece has been edited to show that  the horses were set loose.

cowboyLosing Day

“Get in the car! Get in the car!” Daddy shouted.

“But Daddy,” I sobbed. I was trying to gather the things Mamma was hollering about. The fire had sprung up so quickly and moved so fast that we were all taken over with shock.

I wanted to grab my yearbook for that year. Under his picture, Buck had written: “To my one only from yours.” I wanted that yearbook as much as I wanted anything.

“Get in the car!” Daddy shouted. He grabbed Mamma’s arm and Mamma grabbed mine.

“Oh my god!  Oh saints preserve us!” Mamma wailed. “Pray with me, Sissy,” she pleaded to me. “Hail Mary full of grace.”

Daddy weaved the old station wagon in and out of fallen electrical wires and low flames. “Keep praying, honey, ” he begged.

“What about the horses, Daddy?”

“I set them loose.”  He shook his head and looked in the rear view mirror.  Mamma gently touched his arm.

One of the last things Mamma grabbed was Daddy’s cowboy hat. All else was lost.


This week’s photo prompt is provided by Scott, author of the blog, Scott’s Place -original painting by Scott’s brother.

22 thoughts on “Losing Day – Fiction

  1. Suspense coated each and every word, sentence, paragraph. Very tragic, but I still loved it; and I’m glad you clarified that the horses were set loose. It doesn’t guarantee their safety, but they have a fighting chance.

    Btw, it’s also interesting how the MC couldn’t grab her beloved year book, but her mom was able to snatch up dad’s hat as she raced out. The more I think of it, the more alternative meanings pop up.

    I definitely kept thinking, “Don’t go back to get anything. Not even your coat. Just get out of there.” Great great job.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that’s a great idea! I may just have the daddy open the gate as they drive away…in a longer version that would be perfect. I really hadn’t thought of that possibility. I saw a news photograph of a dead horse on the side of the road – east of us – lost to the wildfires. That’s what this painting reminded me of. And – of course! The rancher had let them loose.

      Thanks for reading this, Jessie, and for your insight.



    • It’s edited, now, to show that the horses were set loose. It’s tense, right now, north east and south of us. I almost hate to read the news and am so glad not to have a television!

      Besides the important paper box, I wonder what I’d grab in such a scenario? But…I don’t think grabbing the cowboy hat was random. That cowboy hat could be a story on its own!

      Thanks for passing by and for your comment.



  2. Wonderful story Ellespeth with a lot of tension throughout. Too bad the mother saved the cowboy hat instead of the horses. Very well done and great story! Thank you for participating in Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers Challenge. 🙂


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