Desert Plant


National highway that cuts across continental America from east to west passes through this town. More like an apology of a town, with a population of fifty, one gas station and one convenience store.

He stopped his car here because he had business at the convenience store. Got his car filled with gasoline, lit a cigarette and looked around. Nothing really has changed in last five decades. Located at the foothills of rocky mountain, landscape has remained sun burnt, dusty and unfertile. Nothing grows here except the study desert plant, some call it Octotillo.

Father had pointed at this plant in his childhood and adviced, “Be sturdy like this desert plant; No water, no shade, no fertiliser. It is not asking for anything. Yet, growing on its own strength. It is easy to die, difficult to live. Want to be something in life, son, be an Octotillo. Extract the last drop.”

His business grew with time. He has everything that he did not in his childhood – money, food, shelter, security. Today, pointing his gun at the owner of convenience store for his monthly protection money, he remebered his father’s advice. “You were right dad; extract the last drop!

Word Count : 197

This little piece of fiction was inspired by the weekly prompt challenge hosted by Sunday Photo Fiction Sep 2nd, 2018, for Aspiring Writers. Thanks for reading!

Photo prompt, by Joy Pixley.

14 thoughts on “Desert Plant

Add yours

  1. I did not expect that ending. Sad that he only learnt to collect dollars. As the Octotillo listens to the wind and only takes what is given by nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great story. I like the lesson his father tried to teach him using the plant. What a shame, he turned to organized crime instead. It goes to show you that you can teach and raise your children as best as you can but ultimately, their decisions and choices in life will determine how they will turn out.


    1. Glad you liked it. There is a dual meaning. We can argue his father adviced him to be strong he interpreted it differently. Or, his father himself was a crook that way so is following fathers footsteps.

      Liked by 1 person

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