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QuiscoverFontaine t1_j9kexqu wrote

Gran insists she doesn’t need help. She’s run the farm for fifty years; she can handle a few more. Her routines have fashioned well-worn ruts into her life. She’ll forget me before she forgets to feed the sheep.

If only that were enough. Things increasingly slip through ever-widening cracks. Another year, another door off its hinges, another piece of machinery grown faulty and rusting. Failure isn’t fatal. Not usually. It’ll take more than routine to keep both her and the farm from collapsing.

The farmhouse has become disordered and dusty where it was once meticulous. Mortar crumbling. Pipes leaking. Every room needs refurbishing.

I leaf through Gran’s photo albums. Easy smiles and fraternal hugs and recurring facial features. Page after page of unnamed faces. Strangers.

It’s not just the forgetting that’s painful. It’s the loss of what I’ll never have.

I harvest what’s left of the neglected vegetable garden while Gran does her rounds. The ones she still remembers, at least.

Withered roots slip free from the soil like surrender. Only one puts up a fair fight. Eventually, it bursts from the black earth, its twisted roots clutching the pale-smooth form of a human skull.

I stare into its empty sockets. It stares back.

I try to list them all; the deaths, the disappearances, the family who have since ceased to be my family.

And I know I’ll never know.


230 words



Susceptive t1_j9xm5he wrote

Okay, this one got me. The questions are kind of unnerving and unresolved in a way that pulls my imagination-- gonna give it a lot of thought.


Cody_Fox23 OP t1_ja391fa wrote

Thank you for your submission; it has scored 14 points!