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November 15, 2013
English: Desert landscape in northern Tinogast...

English: Desert landscape in northern Tinogasta. Español: Paisaje desértico en el norte de Tinogasta. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Juan rode his horse down the dirt road from the mountains. He was headed into town to get supplies.The dangerous trip would take him several days. A light dusting of snow lay on the ground. Gray clouds swept forward over the craggy mountains. He shivered slightly in his warm coat. A line of telephone poles marked the left side of the road. A rich bounty of wood, the scavengers hadn’t reached them yet. He knew that they would soon be gone.

He came to Tinogasta. Overturned cars and trucks blocked the spaces between the houses. Wood smoke filled the air from the burning fireplaces. He circled the town until he came to the gate. Sharp-eyed men with guns alertly watched his every move. “Hola.” Juan greeted them.

“State your business.” One of them said coldly.

“I have come to trade for medicine.”

“What kind of trade goods do you have?”

“Wine and olives.” He held up the full saddlebag and gently clinked the bottles against each other.

“No firearms are permitted beyond this point except those carried by the Militia.”

“I only have a knife.”

“That’s fine. Curfew is at 7:00 pm, be in your room at the Inn or get shot. The Doctor’s office is at the right end of the Plaza.”


The hairs on the back of his neck tingled as he entered the town. He felt tense. He was lucky, the supplies he had brought won him six precious doses of penicillin. He tucked them securely inside his shirt. His wife Maria and son Carlos would be saved. He slept with his door locked and the hilt of his Bowie knife in his hand. He didn’t relax until he was a half day’s ride away. He thanked God daily that he lived in the desert. The invading Slimies were uninterested in a climate so cool and arid.

309 Words in response to Flash! Friday # 50, 300 words (25 word-leeway). Emily

  1. I like that!

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