Long Shadow

Loxton Australia

Photo © Eric Fletcher via Google Maps

I journeyed halfway around the world to escape from under your legacy. Yet everywhere I turn, I see your echoes.

The river floods the banks with aid until they drown, then withdraws its support for months. Trees stretch their roots deeper into the shifting sands, but even the strongest topple with the next assault.

Across the flat plains the harsh sun judges from daybreak to sunset, bearing down relentlessly no matter where I try to hide. At night the blinding white god abandons its prey, and we freeze.

There are no average enemies here. Only giant monstrosities against which no mundane arts will prevail, and an endless army of chittering and slithering vermin who can kill you even faster.

Still, I have hope that I can conquer this land, meet its challenges in a way I never could yours.

Convince it that I am worthy of being called its son.

Word count: 150. Written for this week’s What Pegman Saw challenge. Big thanks to Karen and Josh for hosting it!  This week Pegman takes us to Loxton Australia, which features some fierce and beautiful scenery. Click on the link to see the images other writers chose, and read the stories that were inspired by them. And feel free to join in: everyone is welcome!


25 thoughts on “Long Shadow

    • Thanks Josh, I always like hearing which lines stand out to other people. I was intrigued by how to make everything he mentioned about the landscape and dangers here remind him of his father, and what kind of opponent his father was to him.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Love your descriptions here, Joy – you’ve captured the harsh environment so well. The fact that there is nothing at all soft or forgiving there – weather, landscape, fauna – everything can and will hurt or fight you. Such lovely language and rhythm in the visuals too. And you chose a fab image. Great stuff. and have a fabulous holiday! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lynn, I appreciate that! I had fun with the challenge of describing the land in a way that made sense, but also had the double meaning of describing his father. I originally had a completely different idea for a story and then I found this image of the long shadows and I had to go with this.

      And thanks — I’m not sure how I’ll get everything done before I leave on my vacation, but I’m so excited about going!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. your reply to Josh was what I took away – how oppression can take a long long time to shake off and heal from.
    and the way you used the nature metaphors was powerful to connect to “escape from under your legacy”
    well done – and their was good counseling material here –

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Kurt! I often think of these micro-flash stories as prose poems, trying to get the rhythm and the alliteration and whatnot working well. Harder to do with longer stories, but at this size it can really work.


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