#AtoZchallenge #flashfiction: Q for Quotas had never been easy to achieve

As part of the A to Z Challenge,  through the month of April I’ll be posting a story a day based on photographs by Joseph W. Richardson and prompts given to me by blog-friends.
Writing prompt: Quotas had never been easy to achieve

Provided by: Daniel Antion, blog-friend and tech-whiz.


#atozchallenge : Q for Quotas had never been easy to achieve

#atozchallenge : Q for Quotas had never been easy to achieve

      One of the signs you’ve truly grown up is your shoes fit your son.

        What if you have no son, what then, you ask, officer? But I have a son, see. Had, you’ll tell me, but that’s just grammar.

        I have a son, and he’s good. He loves the outdoors, the shy sort, handy at the spread with the hatchet, in the woods with the gun. All those bear and wolf pelts you see? He brought home every last one of them. Shot his first wolf that winter he turned fourteen. Fifteen years ago, that was. I taught him.

       Why didn’t I go? My eyes don’t see so good. A bit nippity out and my bones would freeze in the snow, that’s why. What’s that gotta do with this, you say?

       I’ll tell you. All they found is a piece of blue cloth. Some blood. Pig blood for all I know. Yes she was wearin’ a blue jacket, but that’s neither here nor there. That’s a shed, those nails and hooks on the posts are to chain Slow Elk with. Cows, officer, not women. Why would my son want to chain women? And why this blue-jacket woman don’t stay home? That’s where the trouble starts, if you ask me, women strayin’ from home.

       Why isn’t he back yet? He’s out hunting all November now, that’s why. He hasn’t called, but didn’t call year before last either. Came back home the same, in January, four wolf pelts, six coyote. Good shot, my boy.

       We need to save our range maggots, officer, put food on the table. Quotas had never been easy to achieve, not twenty years ago, not now, when those blasted wolves are eatin’ our lambs to the ground. Spendy thing, too, that shootin’ license. My son wants to get most of the harvest quota in our county. Shoot as many of the thievin’ bastards he can, all right?

       No. He’s a shy boy, never seen a woman with him. And for the hundredth time, he’ll be back, soon. Tomorrow, maybe. He’ll be back, I betcha. That’s all I know.

       If you’re done, I have some pigs to feed now. Nice speakin’ atcha, officer. Call me if you hear from him.


Are you taking part in the A to Z challenge? Do you read or write fiction? Ever write based on a prompt? What’s your take on wolves? On hunting? What do you make of the man in the story?

53 thoughts on “#AtoZchallenge #flashfiction: Q for Quotas had never been easy to achieve

  1. Pingback: Many and Varied Thoughts | No Facilities

    • Q is for….Qantas flight 6753. A simple one hour flight from Sydney to Ballina along the beautiful coast of NSW. Approaching our destination a tempestuous storm blew up , a usual occurence for the area. Circling out at sea until the storm passed, the pilot remarked on similar conditions for the men and women searching for the missing MH370 . Gee thanks! Just what I needed to reassure that all was well!A collective gasp ushered from the passengers who clapped when we finally landed.

  2. The story could go either way. Yes, the son sounds like someone who wouldn’t want to meet up a dark alley, but his actions could also be explained as simple country living. The knack you have, is that the father is the one who makes you think otherwise. A great skill. :)

  3. Well done! Wolves and quotas are a hotly debated topic here in the Rocky Mountains. I can understand both sides of the debate. I’m ignoring that gruesome statement about women shouldn’t be straying from home! You have a vivid imagingation, Damyanti.

  4. Your story speaks a lot!!! Interesting!!! especially the place where you described the pig blood.. i was like oooooooaaaa with opened mouth in amazement

    Participant|AtoZ Challenge 2014
    Smile, it makes (y)our day!

  5. A serial killer son and a protective parent. Realistic enough. “Women strayin’ from home.” That’s the parent’s justification.
    “He loves the outdoors, the shy sort, handy at the spread with the hatchet, in the woods with the gun.” This is my favourite line. Really tells a lot about the son. Violent.

  6. I absolutely love this post. You had my undivided attention. Really, this is very impressive.

    Yes, I’m in the A to Z challenge. Yes, I write and read fiction. Yes, I have written many items based on prompts. I really like wolves- so long as they aren’t eating me. Ha! My take on hunting… I’m from the Lenni Lenape tribe. We hunted. (We were also excellent farmers.) To hunt is to be in tune with the animal side, with the nature within. However, I will always be far more impressed by a hunter that goes into the woods with nothing and comes out with even a single dead rabbit. Someone who goes in with some high tech stuff another created can only master using the tools and resources someone else thought up. To me, that’s as impressive as mastering getting to the grocery store and buying packaged dead animals. A deer hit my car- I didn’t get excited about “hunting” it with a Pontiac. (That’s aiming at 70mph on a dark highway at night, and “hunting” the animal that ran down a hill and sideswiped the car. Shot of a lifetime? I think not. For the deer maybe…) The man in the story… he’s an original. His voice really came alive for me. I’d love to read more, to find out about the son and the truth of what’s going on.

    Stopping by from the #atozchallenge !

  7. Creepy, and frighteningly possible. (I just saw a “Criminal Minds” like this.) You did a great job with the idiom; very mountain man/hillbilly, like “women strayin’,” and these lines “…those blasted wolves are eatin’ our lambs to the ground. Spendy thing, too, that shootin’ license.” (My current WIP is set in Georgia, and I’m researching idiom right now! lol)

    • Lexa, I’m glad you approve of my idiom. It’s All research tho, cos I’ve never set foot on US soil, nor been anywhere outside of Asia. All the best for your WIP!

  8. The picture really connects well to the story. I can see son making marks in the wood with his knife. Probably hangs his pelts behind the door, as there is a hole for air. The story is awesome and swept me into scenerio.

  9. Don’t know how you keep coming up with such imaginative and creative stories. This one is quite amazing – so unique and yes a bit spooky too. But very enjoyable. Wonderful indeed.

  10. I am honored to have provided the prompt and amazed at the result. I’m guessing this is like the one a couple of days ago where “there is no rest of the story Dan” but I’m happy with this much. The picture works well. Thanks for another great story in the series.

    • Lol Dan, I had to dream a dream with this one, and Quotas don’t make me dream, so I had to figure out what the piece of wood was. Once I knew what that was, I knew who lived there and why, and what they had done. The quotas on ‘wolf harvesting’ was a stretch from there but I had read about it months ago, how Gray wolves are being taken off the endangered list in the US– and it all kind of fell into place.

      It would be interesting to find out from Joseph where he photographed this wood, and what it really was.

      • I try to use my own photos for my blog, or I borrow some of my daughter’s, but it’s hard to always find the right one. You’ve done a great job throughout this challenge.

        • I didn’t match the photos to the stories. I just took 26 of his photos that I liked, then randomly added prompts. Once or twice the prompts seemed to go with a story — those combinations I deliberately avoided.

          I find that the more random and difficult to put together the two prompts, the more challenging it is to dream up a story, but when the dream comes to me and I put it on paper, it gives the most satisfaction.

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

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