The Last Mile – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by Susan Spaulding, who has taken over this great weekly prompt from my old friend Al Forbes.
This week’s prompt is one of my own photos, taken here in Medville. The happy fact that ‘Bergerie’ is French for sheepfold, or pen, allowed me to not only produce today’s tale, but also to complete the trilogy I began here last Sunday.
general idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
Click on this link to enter your tale, and see what others have written.

© C. E. Ayr

Click here to hear the author read the tale:

The Last Mile

I am almost home.
I have the money I earned, the hardest money I’ve ever earned.
I still have my head.
And I still have my fingers.
Well, most of them.
Twice in the past few days I thought I was done for.
I escaped the desert by a near miracle.
Then they were almost upon me in the foothills before they were distracted by another group of riders.
They wheeled away to confront them.
I heard the sounds of fighting, but I didn’t wait to see who won.
When we reached the first stream my horse regained enough strength to drag us both up the slopes into the woodlands.
The gold in my saddle-bags will let me restock the farm.
There’s a big sheep market next month over at the railhead.
I’ll start rebuilding with a flock of Rambouillet Merinos, breeding them with what I already have will add size and strength.
I see the flatlands ahead, know I’m almost safe.
I kick my heels, the horse surges forward, enjoying the burst of energy.
As I clear the last of the trees, I see the signs.
I know I won’t reach home.
And worse, I know it doesn’t matter.

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13 Responses to The Last Mile – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. Piyali says:

    I’ve read the first two parts and loved them but now the third one left me gasping for breath. I really want to know why it wouldn’t matter if he can’t make it back home


  2. Jules says:

    I could see this snippet in an old west dime store novel…
    (and yet some find gold in recycling…)
    Thanks for stopping by my post on your photo – Best to you in this New Year. ~Jules


  3. Things were getting better – until that those final few words. I wonder…


  4. Abhijit Ray says:

    Ah gold! What a man does not do to earn gold? He risks his life, he loses body parts, well almost, and still keeps his hope alive for a bright future.


  5. Violet Lentz says:

    Uh oh.. What is it that he saw?? Civilization in the form of refuse containers? hahahah.. Nice write, and read C E..


  6. Lynn Love says:

    So close and yet so very far. I’m guessing ‘the signs’ are his own homestead burning, his home and family gone. It’s a torture to get so close and have that hope pulled away from him. Well done C


  7. I’ve not read the first snippet of this trilogy, but I came across the second a few days ago. I was rooting for him to get home! Now my brain is coming up with all sorts of horrible ideas of why it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t make it back.
    Sounds like he knew a bit about his sheep though.Just been reading about Rambouillet Merinos.


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