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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Droughts come in all areas of life from earth to love, and sometimes they end at the same time.

Submitted: November 28, 2016

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Submitted: November 28, 2016




Flash Fiction

Nicholas Cochran





Justin Rush peered into a brownish swirling mass, trying to get some idea of what was causing this freaky billowing cloud of locust-packed dirt to blow up the road toward his farm; and his brand new black Ford F-150 Raptor, a gift from his late Grandfather Lou.

Justin Rush was a rangy man of twenty-two, with black hair and blue eyes that he inherited via his Black Irish grandmother of County Cork.

The main dust-laden gravel road split between the Rush andthe Madison ranches at a sharp right turn that would take the ballooning murk three miles to the east where Holly Madison and her parents tended a herd of skinny goats and a skinnier herd of cattle.

Holly, a tall twenty-one year-old brunette, show-cased a wicked western figure. 

Justin pretended she was Jane Russell in “The Outlaw”, a film that he had bought with most of his meager resources one day about five years ago, after seeing the film at Dancing Dan’s Film Club in Horse WhisperCity. 

Holly’s real name was Hollister. Her father met his wife in the city of that name in California some forty years ago. 

He encouraged Holly to use ‘Holly’ so that people would not fall into a state of gender or geographic confusion. 

Holly was home today and was probably looking out at the flinty brilliance of the flat blue sky; the Big Sky of Montana.

He wondered if she was even aware of the immense roiling mass heading her way. She would be terrified if she were watching.

Justin and Holly were childhood chums until she went to college in Missoula, where she was studying aeronautical engineering and nuclear physics.

Justin barely recognized her when she returned at Christmas. She was glamorous. 

He told her so right out. She thanked him warmly, but she didn’t blush, a sign that Justin took to mean she had been complimented on her beauty before—probably quite a few times, Justincorrectly surmised.

Two days ago, Holly came home for the summer. Five minutes ago, Justin called Holly and she invited him over.

Justin whistled while he rounded up a clean pair of jeans as well as a pressed jean jacket that neatly fitted his six-three frame. He put on his favorite belt that he won for all–around best performance at the Spring Rodeo.

Justin Rush had been on drought land for seven of his twenty-two years.

He could barely remember what a storm cloud looked like, yet alone a downpour. He had taken to reading about droughts and watching movies where it rained for days—even weeks. He saw “Noah” six times and thoroughly enjoyed “Water World”.

Then he saw “The Grapes of Wrath” and became depressed all over again.


The massive murky morass suddenly took a right which was to the left as Justin was facing which meant that whatever it was had spared the Rush ranch but was bad news for Holly’s home. 

Justin ran to the sitting room to snatch the huge Bushnell binoculars off the cow-horn rack.

He raced back to the front porch, zeroed in the binos, and immediately picked up the mammoth blackish-brown disturbance that was speeding down the road toward Holly. 

Suddenly, in the wake of the artificial storm came dirt, some gravel and a hell of lot of locusts. Justin dove inside and slammed the door.

He removed the locusts from the hallway and returned to the bay window and observed a familiar scene: a drought-ridden front pasture.  

He swung the binos in a quick movement to the left. The locust cloud was separating from the dust cloud and heading north.

The dust cloud began to settle. 

The creator of all this farm-land mess had stopped some sort of yellow contraption right outside Holly’s door. 

Justin dropped the binos on the cowhide divan, raced to his Raptor, flipped the ignition and floored it. The Ford roared.

Justin knew every yard of gravel to Holly’s front door, where he executed a perfect four-wheel slide to the bottom step of the porch stairs. 

Holly came out in a red dancing dress with a light blue scarf on her head and bounced down the porch steps toward the two contraptions.

Justin looked over at the other ‘contraption’ driver. He was about Justin’s size , wearing a red Ferrari polo shirt and black slacks. His hair was a blond crew cut. He took off his sunglasses and came over to Justin with outstretched hand.

“Hi Justin; I’m Mike; heard a lot about you; from guess who?” Mike had a great smile.

They shook hands.

“This yours?” Justin motioned to the yellow sculpture on wheels.

“Naaah. My dad’s a car dealer. He has Ferraris,” nodding, “and these Lamborghinis; for all the instant oil-lease millionaires; and a few cattlemen as well. 

She is a beauty. I thought I’d tool over and check up on Holly.”

Justin could only wag his head very slowly as he examined all the quality detail of the yellow Italian speedster. 

Mike looked closely at Justin’s ride, admiring all that power under a silver and black skin that could go fast on and off the roads. 

At the same instant, the two men remembered Holly and turned to face her.

They pulled in their stomachs, puffed out their chests and waited.

“Thanks for coming by Mike, but I have a date with Justin. See you in September?”

Mike widened his smile and nodded. “Sure thing Holly.

"Enjoy the summer. You too, Justin. Good to meet you.”

Mike waved, folded into the Lambo, and flew away down the gravel overlaid-with-dust road.

Justin fastened his seatbelt and beamed at Holly.

She took his hand and squeezed it. 

They smiled at each other, drew closer, and entered a long spine-tingling kiss.

Suddenly, Justin looked up through the windshield. Drops of rain bounced off the glass onto the longsuffering cracked earth. 

He widened his smile at Holly and squeezed back harder.

© Copyright 2018 Nicholas Cochran. All rights reserved.

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