100 Word Challenge – On the Border

It’s Week 51 of Julia’s 100 Word Challenge for Grownups. This time our prompt is ….the line was drawn…. There are all sorts of lines; for this story, the question is what makes a line real, and how much keeping it real might cost.

If you’re a young border guard, it might cost more than you have…

On the Border

The line was drawn on maps, but here there’s just sand and scrub and coyotes and jackrabbits, and little trails. Some made by the jackrabbits, who wouldn’t understand a map no matter what you said. Some made by the men called coyotes, who wouldn’t care.

My job’s stopping coyotes from crossing the line on the map. I remember what one of the old-timers said to me. “Sure, there’s rules. In the book. Out there? You’re God out there. You make the rules.” I kept wondering if I ought to be a cruel God or a kind one.

But you know that last coyote? The one with the good gun and good aim? He showed me it don’t matter which I am.

Advertisements

20 responses to “100 Word Challenge – On the Border

  1. I wasn’t familiar with the word ‘coyote’ used in this way. Now I am. Very interesting story and great take on the prompt.

    • Well…I’ve read that those people are called “coyotes”. Don’t know if it’s true, but the word fit so well with jackrabbits I couldn’t resist. I’m glad you like the story!

  2. great story. great voice, great irony – great twist.
    from the “You’re God out there. You make the rules.” I kept wondering if I ought to be a cruel God or a kind one.” tp the.”The one with the good gun and good aim? He showed me it don’t matter which I am.”
    And the jackrabbits who wouldn’t understand a map no matter what you said,

  3. Sahron I’ve just read all your 100 word challenges, you are developing a really rich collection, just fab!

  4. This was a really original take on the prompt. Really well written. Loved it!

  5. Your tales remind me of some of Roald Dahl’s “Tales of the Unexpected”. You manage to get an eerie twist in at the end – and to do that in about 100 words just shows exceptional skills. I love ’em.

    • Being compared to Roald Dahl – now, that’s praise! Thank you. The funny thing is, I’ve never thought of myself as being any good at short fiction. I suppose there’s truth in the idea that we get good at the things we practice?

  6. Very gripping. I love the language.

  7. Agree with all the above; your piece seemed longer due to the richness of the language used- great job.

  8. Wow! I love this. I am always fascinated by the borders that we randomly place between ourselves, and the human willingness to fight and destroy each other over an invisible line. This is powerful. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Thank you! Those borders can begin as something almost accidental, and over the years they become so very real as we adapt ourselves to them. One foot to either side of the line, and you may very well find that the language you speak and the laws you have to obey and the way you expect to live changes completely.

  9. An invisible line in the world…all the reason people need to kill someone.
    Very realistic and even gritty. Excellent work!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s