The Plant

six sentence story copy

Here’s six sentences. Denise has given us “plant” for this week’s prompt which sprouted this story idea. It might be more of a sketch than a story, but it’s where the prompt led. Link your six sentences at GirlieOnTheEdge’s blog.


Built on the outskirts of town, the plant was a heavy drop of ink that seeps and spreads across the drawing paper; plazas mushroomed around the plant and the town itself deliquesced and leaked beyond its own edges.

New houses, ranch-style and kit log homes, sprouted up along the road; familiar trees were felled, familiar fields, the ones that had produced the hay we bought, were now either unmown, or transformed into manicured wastelands, clipped green carpets rolling up to the closed-windowed houses with their attached garages.

We weren’t real farmers; we had some land but not enough for hay of our own, but we raised our own beef, kept chickens for meat and eggs, and had a large garden that provided most our vegetables and potatoes that we put up for the winter.

The new houses didn’t have gardens, and even though McCourtney’s general store at the four corners had always served most needs, convenience stores and a chain grocery store also trickled out of town, coursing along the road and eventually washing McCourtney’s away.

Butchering day always had a holiday feel, solemn, yet a celebration of life and of plenty, a time when, even if we didn’t say it, we felt grateful for what we had, but that summer, giving in to the neighbors’ complaints of odors, it was a time of mourning, for we butchered for the last time, kept no calf to carry through to another season.

There wasn’t time for the garden anymore with Dad and me mowing lawns weekends, and Mom working shifts at the plant; even so, the car she needed to get there, along with the gas and the groceries, had them talking quiet at the table over a sketch of our lot, a bleeding pen line drawn through where the cow shed had abutted the garden, a despairing swath of impoverishment like we’d never known.

29 thoughts on “The Plant

    • That is the word that works but then I worried that it might, being uncommonly used, be a distraction and not best choice. But I also don’t mind as a reader picking up new words so….
      anyway, thank you, always a trip to see where a prompt leads. I like that you got “quiet desperation” out of my efforts.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. so… it has nothing to do with the process of opening a delicatessen??!!*

    Interesting thread (somewhere above) about this being. sketch/outline of a story… I agree but, imo, even more than that… a glimpse into a storied (or new) world, however more disciplined (’cause a that Six Sentence limit thing) to make the most of the few words we can avail ourselfs of

    Interesting (as story and learning craft opp) as always.

    * I looked up the word**
    ** being a clark, I reveal that with a sense of gratitude, mine being a people of endless curiosity

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am finally coming to see or accept that these flash fictions are like those dehydrated camper meals, complete but compressed, add water when ready to expand and fill it out. It’s an annoying realization really because where I used to think “That’s done, that’s the story”, now I am never sure and am haunted to revise or expand. But there is always value in the compressing or expanding, because, like a good camper, you tend to pack only the essentials and toss the dross.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Write On!; #SixSentenceStory | ShiftnShake

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