The sun blazed, its intensity only heightened by the momentary relief of the drifting clouds holding only the promise: still no rain. The dead, drying grass crunched beneath his tread – another task that could not be ignored.

Slowly he made his way toward the decaying barn, accepting the shadow it threw as an oasis – the death of slavery had made him free, but there only seemed to be more and more work.

He struggled with the spigot, and sun-warmed water hissed onto the parched earth.

Four legs were better than two, Napoleon was right, of course they were.

But what he wouldn’t give for a pair of hands.

Inspired by this week’s Friday Fictioneers’ prompt, and by George Orwell’s Animal Farm (which if you haven’t read, you probably should…)

Comments and criticism always welcome!

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

15 thoughts on “Fieldwork

  1. Dear Chris,
    Descriptive story with a nice twist at the end. Nice one.

  2. billgncs says:

    Hi Chris – I felt this was strong and descriptive with emotional undertones. I liked how you described the grass as dying and then the man’s opportunity as well.

  3. I really enjoyed the images and feeling evoked by that second paragraph.

  4. Lyn says:

    Wonderfully different take on the photo prompt – well done Chris 🙂

  5. elappleby says:

    Ooh Chris – I like your writing very much. I’ve checked out a few stories on this site and I like what I see – consistently tight writing, brilliant turns of phrase, I could go on. The only thing that bothers me is that, as far as I can tell, you don’t seem to reply to your comments. So I’m not saying another word until you do – otherwise it’d be a bit like talking to myself.

    • First of all, thank you, I’m glad you like my writing so much – it really does push me to work harder when I see people complimenting my work in the comments section. And don’t we all need a little nudge sometimes to keep writing.

      I don’t often reply to my comments for one reason (well, maybe two, but they’re closely related.) The first reason is time constraints. Now, I’m not Neil Gaiman or anyone like that; I don’t have millions of visitors to my site, I don’t have an endless Twitter stream. What I do have is a full time job (just like everyone else, I know) and three small children (7, 2, Baby) and I already feel guilty whenever I’m sitting at the computer – although I am going to try to answer a few of my comments each week now that you’ve pointed it out.

      The other side of it is that I’m not sure how to reply to most of the comments – they usually just say “Loved it!” or some variation. How do you reply to those without just repeating yourself saying “Thank you?” I do try to reply if someone points out a mistake I’ve made, or when someone says something other than “Great work.”

      Thanks for stopping by – and I will put some time aside to respond from now on!

      • I’m also more likely to talk to people on Twitter, as it lives in my pocket!

      • elappleby says:

        Now I feel bad 😦
        I agree it’s tricky to respond to comments that don’t actually say anything. I just say thanks or post a little smiley face. I don’t think you need to reply to everything though – most people don’t. It’s just that blogging is an interactive process. Thanks for listening to me. I’m off to read your new Friday Fiction now 🙂

  6. TheImaginator says:

    Great Animal Farm spin-off.

  7. Great angle! (Agree whole-heartedly about the hands)

  8. heidiwhite says:

    Love Animal Farm and love this. Wonder what would happen to the large(ish) mammals if we all died out and they survived…that is until the cephalopods made it out of the water, along with the dolphins.

  9. Love this, Chris. Almost didn’t check to see if there were more stories, which would have been a shame. I don’t love the word “tread” but see it as necessary to give the initial impression of a human rather than a horse.


  10. Joe Owens says:

    This is a good story Chris. The imagery is strong and descriptive.

Comments and criticism always welcome!

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