Damn cow

A cow is screaming across the arroyo. I’m sweating, but my mouth is dry – my lips taste of dust when I lick them. I feel like screaming, too. The cow won’t last the night. We lit a fire to keep away night creatures and it’s comforting. If the damn cow would stop screaming I might get some sleep.

Tomorrow, I’ll dig for water.

The moon is bright and there are more stars than I’ve ever seen before. A few nights ago we had the strength to sing, but now we’re too exhausted. We passed more abandoned cars today, found some melted sweets, licked the papers for the taste of sugar. We can’t keep going, but we can’t stop either.

The cow screams again. Somebody swears at it, and we all laugh. What else can we do?

Linda is hosting at dVerse tonight, and it’s prosery night – 144 word flash fiction, incorporating a quote. Tonight’s quote is from Jim Harrison – “a cow is screaming across the arroyo”. I had to look up arroyo – it’s a dried up creek bed.


18 thoughts on “Damn cow

  1. I love the title, Sarah, and the way you appeal to the senses, especially the lips tasting of dust, the repetition of ‘screaming’, the abandoned cars, melted sweets and licking the papers for the taste of sugar! However, the sardonic ending leaves a bitter taste.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, a tale of the apocalypse done incredibly well, where the cries of the dying are daily droll, pushing on into a haze of darkness; great feel to it. Damn cow, indeed


  3. “We can’t keep going, but we can’t stop either.”
    The desperation and its rupture by laughter “damn cow” Excellent



  4. Reminds me of the 1930’s and the dustbowl, when people were heading anywhere for a job that paid very little… The ending, their laughing at the cow, gave it an edge that made me think…


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