One in Iraq (Flash Fiction)

Looking out over the field I felt empty beyond empty. All the kids have died before me. One in Iraq, two by those pills. What a tragedy to die before your children. One was born in the hospital, the first. The other two borne by me in the bedroom next to where I’m sitting.  I’m too weak to work the farm anymore. Boys, men actually, come by for wages. They are trying to keep their farms going  by getting some cash from me. There’s nobody to give the farm to when I go. I’m looking out at Richard riding my tractor. He’s got a wife and a new baby. I’ve seen them come by to pick him up. The baby was crying. She looked harried and tired. It’s hard to worry about losing your farm. We had a few scares like that but we scraped by.

 

What if I left the farm to him? Would he do any better with that much acreage? Or would he just run a bigger farm into the ground? They’d have to move to town. Cars running crazy. People smoking in the street.You have to walk by – disgusting. A guy peeing in an alley full of trash. The trash glows because it is about to catch fire. The houses in the alley bend over to see the fire and warm themselves, just like Richard and Helen and the baby driving in the long cab pickup with sides rusted out looking at the dumpster fire. The Jim Beam is starting to work. The gun is already loaded. Soon.

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