Love and Red Dust

Up until twenty to thirty minutes ago, this wasn’t happening. I haven’t made any secret about the fact that I just haven’t felt in tune with my writing, but maybe the Bahama Mama over dinner helped. 😉

So, here is my last entry for the Carrot Ranch rodeo contest. Even if I don’t qualify, I feel a victory in that I have written some new pieces, tried different things, and have risen to the challenge.

Writing well means practice, which I’ll continue to do.

Thank you for reading! And the best of luck to all who’ve undertaken the challenge!


Love and Red Dust (297 words)

Nothing in my life translated. Not my Jimmy Choos, my Kate Spade nor my fitbit.

DC humidity was a thing of the past in this arid climate where spiking dust lodged in my hair, mouth, eyes, anywhere it could dwell. Even my platinum hair turned tawny overnight.

But I loved Red. I loved his scowl, his rancor, his lazy eye that sometimes seemed to watch other women, except at night when it found me, firmly, squarely, without laziness.

Not used to horses, I pretended they were big dogs until one stepped on my foot and another bit my tank-top-clad back.

Then Red disappeared for a rodeo, playing “Amarillo By Morning” in his wake, and I was left with Patsy the dog whose eyes told me she didn’t think our IQs matched. The way she danced around and herded me into situations forced agreement.

Margaret ran the household. Her weathered skin spoke of days in the hot sun. Her eyes could be soft, when looking at Red, or hard, when looking at me. Just another sure sign that I didn’t measure up.

And yet, I persevered.

Patsy and I had come to some agreement, which she understood, but I didn’t, and that was fine. We walked in the evening as we were doing that night when Bo yelled.

“Is that you, Stella?”

I discovered him elbow deep inside of a cow’s hooha.

“Damn, girl, don’t look like that. I need your help.”

I quelled my inner urbanite and proceeded to be someone I didn’t know, who helped drag a calf from a cow’s body, who was covered with afterbirth, who laughed when the calf managed to stand and force a soft “moo.”

And somewhere in there, I fell in love, not with a man, but with a ranch.



Sascha Darlington


9 thoughts on “Love and Red Dust

  1. Beautiful story, Sascha!! I absolutely loved the tone and pace of your writing. I could almost hear Stella’s voice narrating her tale in my head 🙂 Bravo!! xx

  2. This reminds me of my mom. She moved from the city to a little costal town where she and her dog spend most of their time working in her garden. It’s not a ranch, but it’s her happy place.

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