A red snowstorm

The_Court_House_bell,_by_J._W._Shaw

Once the soot and ash settled and the red snowstorm had ended, we were once again covered in the Great Plains rust. The hot summer winds had brought our fair city to ruins, but not before covering us in a rusty dust.

A cough from behind me, no one speaks as they wander aimlessly along the dirt streets while the skeletons of our city stand like eerie salt pillars reaching for the dry sky that brought them down. We all cough. Ash and dust in our lungs; a taste of our homes on our tongues.

The dried timbers of The Patch had been rendered asunder by a horde of dogs from hell. As we ran toward the lake, and eventually into it, we watched them bound from rooftop to rooftop until reaching downtown and the Courthouse. The bell that woke us up from our sleep and had gathered the millionaire and the vagabond, the modest and the harlot, the teetotaler and the drunkard along the shores of the lake came crashing down with a boom and settled in the basement of the shattered remnants of the Courthouse.

I had to see it for myself. It was the only thing that still had a hint of color in our ochre town.

A boy sat inside the upturned bell, silently, as though waiting for it to sound again.

With a rub from my sleeve, I found a spot of bronze that still wanted to shine.

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Trifecta Week 83 submission: Word–Rusty

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6 thoughts on “A red snowstorm

    • No, I have not. One of my favorite times in U.S. history is the Gilded Age. This little piece is a snippet from the 1871 Great Chicago Fire. I hope you enjoyed it.

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