Abilene’s Heatwave, 2012

On day seven, Jimmie’s family drove toward cooler Colorado without looking back. That was after Papa caught us naked in the barn, after the wells ran dry and dead calves littered ochre
fields. Before a red rash swept across my back and Papa claimed I’d invited God’s wrath.

By day twelve, electric lines sizzled and wildfire clouds choked the sky. Papa stumbled into First Baptist to pray forgiveness. I watched flames tease the altar’s cross before tramping down the road, hell-bent to reach the highway.

When I stuck out my thumb, thunder rolled and rain battered the earth like tears.

This story was shortlisted in the July monthly micro fiction competition.

About the author:

Sally Simon (ze/hir) lives in the Catskills of New York State. Hir writing has appeared in Hobart, Truffles Literary Magazine, (mac)ro(mic), and elsewhere. She is a reader for Fractured Lit. When not writing, ze’s either traveling the world or stabbing people with hir epee. Read more at www.sallysimonwriter.com.