In 99 words (no more, no less) write about the day the earth turned brown. How did it happen? What else might be going on? It can be dramatic or even humorous. It can be the greater globe or a localized ccurance. It can be an aftermath or a revival. Follow where the prompt leads you.

Charli Mills’ prompt is in sepia tones, here. It feels a like a throwback to a different world but her own take on the prompt points to a possible dystopian future.

For my take we go back to Mary North, watching her parents’ garden being destroyed by the police forensic team as they hunt for other bodies. Here is the story so far. And here is this week’s episode.

Darkest before the dawn

 Mary stared at what was once her parents’ garden but now looked like the Somme. Figures in white suits, like choreographed aliens moved slowly between trenches. A group were struggling to raise a tent to protect the current working area.

She heard her half-brother say, ‘They’ve not found anything. The detective said they should be finished by the weekend.’

Mary watched the clouds roll in, the first of the promised rain dropping on the turned earth. Finished by the weekend? ‘It’ll never be finished.’

Her husband put his arms around her waist. ‘Yes it will; you wait and see.’

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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19 Responses to Monochrome

  1. Sacha Black says:

    ‘ Figures in white suits, like choreographed aliens’ really really like that phrase Geoff. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Archaeologist says:

    Have you got father’s poem about a neighbours garden, that would certainly fit the topic. But perhaps not the right number of smokers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fantastic. Love the dynamics and different personalities in so few words. Not to be gloomy, but I kind of agree with Mary. Great take on the prompt. I’m seeing such a variety and I thought this one was going to produce a lot of similar pieces.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Charli Mills says:

    The contrast of white and brown in a garden is both alien and depressing. The scene mirrors the overwhelming despair Mary must be feeling by now. Good that her half-brother and husband are supporting her.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Annecdotist says:

    Oh, I can just see all that mud – and the cliffhanger, will Mary ever be free of this?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Norah says:

    Great, Geoff. I love the way you are dragging this one out, keeping us in muddy suspense. But poor Mary. Such goings on in the family plot. I hope it works out well for her.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. willowdot21 says:

    Remind me what is Mary’s maiden name?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ula says:

    It is astounding to me how all of Charli’s prompts lead you back to Mary. How do you do it?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. lucciagray says:

    ‘It’ll never be finished.’ Is that a clue? 😉


  10. Pingback: The Day the World Turned Brown « Carrot Ranch Communications

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