When It Deserves The Grave


Abandon’s church near the cemetery in the Buckhorn, Iowa ghost town.

He visited the ghost town of Buckhorn, Iowa with a very specific purpose. It was mid-December and the ground should have been frozen, but he was master of this universe and had absolute control over all the physical rules. He waved and a fresh grave appeared before him in the cemetery. He had no idea how long everything had been abandoned, but it seemed a fitting end for one more corpse.

He’d printed it out. 150 words only took up a single sheet of paper. He tore it into pieces, knelt down and dropped them in. Then with another wave, fresh earth covered the dead story. He caused a proper gravestone to be raised. “Here lies Last Flight. b. 16 Dec 2017, d. 16 Dec 2017. High Aspirations. Low Marks.”

“Fine. I’ll try again tomorrow.”

He walked back out of the story into his so-called real life. Neither was particularly satisfying this afternoon.

I can’t submit two stories at Inlinkz.com for the same prompt, but I can still comment on it. Egad, I had no idea such a simple tale would generate so much ire. I won’t delete it since I’m told we can learn more from our failures than our successes, but I can symbolically kill and bury it in a grave with the rest of the forgotten dead.

Oh, word count: 148.

Nothing more to see here. Time to move on.

19 thoughts on “When It Deserves The Grave

  1. I appreciated your story, James. It packed emotional punch, which is the most we can ask. The commentary about technical accuracy is really a separate conversation, and clearly for one of your readers an emotional one. I remember reading with dismay that one of my literary heroes, Patrick O’Brian, couldn’t sail a boat to save his life. His reputation for fanatical accuracy about all matters nautical is legendary, so it was sort of a let down that he couldn’t actually sail. That said, this knowledge did not make me love his stories any less. I do hope you keep at it, especially on this prompt. There will always be critics, especially with historical stuff. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • As my friend PL can attest, when I am processing thoughts and feelings, I tend to just write about them. That’s really what this wee tale is about. There are so many stories I’d like to write but I lack the expertise. Even fantasy has rules.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. All right, all right! So maybe I was overly adamant in expressing my passion for professionalism in aviation. But sometimes, I think, the challenge of meeting the constraints of this game for concise writing induces unintended errors. “So let it be with Caesar.” On the other hand, I’m familiar with the idiom about “burying a story”, but this is a bit more dramatic.


  3. This is a MARVELOUS story. I have a whole graveyard full of stories I want to bury myself! I’m sorry you got raked over the coals and I have to agree with Josh that the first story was great too. It just lacked an accuracy that spoiled it for one of your readers. I think these stories and their accompanying threads have been a learning experience for all of us!
    As a software developer, I’m often rolling my eyes at the portrayal of technology in fiction and film, but as a writer I sometimes find myself simplifying technology or taking shortcuts for the sake of my reader. Sometimes a story is meant to tell a larger truth that is polluted by accuracy or an abundance of technical detail, and it is up to the reader to decide whether or not they will grant us ‘suspension of belief’.
    I hope you don’t mind but I added you to the InLinkz.


  4. Ha, nice one! I have a graveyard of lost stories. Or at least several stories on life support. So two great stories this week! This is, after all, supposed to be a fun writing challenge.


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