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.