2 from the Brink of Exhaustion

working-template-for-ff-challenges13.pngThe Carrot Ranch April 25, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes exhaustion. Who is exhausted and why? Can you make art of exhaustion? Go where the prompt leads! Respond by April 30, 2019.

As I sometimes do, I am posting two stories for one prompt. As often happens, one is light, the other dark. One features that recurring farm family, the other is, as they say, ripped from the headlines. I do not watch or even read much news anymore;  it is too exhausting. When I worked long hours doing physical labor outdoors I sure slept well, a good healthy tired. My work now sometimes leaves me emotionally exhausted but I don’t sleep so well. We all need to attend to what drains us and what rejuvenates and fulfills us. Exhausted means there’s nothing left, and that’s a hard place to be. Look out for your self and one another. 



“I know she’s old but just two days ago she was walking and talking and taking meals with us. You try talking to her.”


“Come in child, sit. I’m old it’s true but I see and I hear. Come, talk with me but do not talk to me of getting out of bed, of eating food. I tell you, I am done.”

“Why? Why are you giving up on life?”

“I’ve seen enough. I’ve seen too much. When I was a child. And now in this country. At Passover no less. I’m tired of the hate. I’m exhausted.”


Making Hay

“Hey. I’ve got dinner warmed in the oven. You’ve been haying since before sun-up till after sunset. You must be exhausted.”

“No, just tired.”

“What’s the difference?”

“Hmm. Well, this is good work that matters. It had to be done, especially with the rain forecast. Luciene helped us then I helped him. Our cows are provided for and our families. I’m sore and tired but it feels good. Especially coming into this kitchen seeing you, knowing our Hope’s asleep upstairs, safe and sound.”

“Hmm. Are you too tired? For more good work?”

“Heck no. Never too tired for you.”



17 thoughts on “2 from the Brink of Exhaustion

  1. Here I am, and I get a two-fer too 🙂 I can really relate to the first story – I think there is somehow a universal feeling encapsulated in there. I have turned away from ‘ the news’ and all media, social media (except blogging) and television. When someone decides to spin what is positive of the world I will return. There is always a positive spin! And your second story I think puts the positive spin on things ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve noticed that I tend to have to balance a dark response with a light one, I’ve often done that with Charli’s prompts. The second one is a recurring set of characters who started with a long ago Ranch prompt and they keep showing up. They have their own page, “The Fold”. They are very nice to visit with. Though I’ve never described it what with only 99 words, I know exactly what that VT farmhouse kitchen looks and smells like. It’s a comfortable, comforting place to go after horrific news casts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great how you’ve given us dark and light as well as the different kinds of fatigue / exhaustion. But I actually don’t see the first as so negative: we have to leave this world some time and it might be easier to go when staying seems so bleak. And it does take a lot of energy to engage in a world where such bad things happen. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If there’s a negative aspect of the first story it’s the hate in the world, certainly not an old woman’s being world weary.
      “Dark” is how some readers have referred to some of my stories, which surprised me. I don’t always think of them as dark, certainly not negative, but just a telling of a story. Sometimes a telling can shed a little light.
      I suppose the real story is what happens next with the granddaughter, the young woman who remains to forge her way in a sometimes hateful violent place?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Exhaustion « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

  4. On Sunday, I went outside and cleaned up a portion of the garden and worked furiously at revealing some old buried pavers. That physical work can ease the exhaustion of the mind. But Bobe, she has an exhausted spirit. She needs an infusion of joy to overcome the violence she’s experienced. Hope is sleeping well with her parents working together.

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