Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Bride by the Creek


The creek ran still, deep that day.  Already the church bell chimed, its deep tones bouncing off the rocky Missouri bluffs.

Dorothy knelt by the creek’s edge, her hand warm against her swelling belly. “Oh, Billy!  Why’d you go?” she whispered.  Shiloh had been brutal to gentle souls like Billy.  He fell in the first hour.

Hush, hush, her parents wanted it all hushed up.  Old Widower Howard Carnes would marry her, they said.  He needed a mama for his five children, they said.

The church bell rang again; it was almost time to meet at the church.

“Oh, Billy,” Dorothy sighed.  

Taking careful steps into the creek and then sinking into the enveloping chill, Dorothy watched as her long veil floated in the still water over her head.

Pam and Dawn really chose a great photo!  To give it different perspectives, I wrote three stories of less than 200 words.  I will be posting them for the next 3 days.  Susan 


  1. Great take on the photo, they really are worth a thousand words, or in this case 200 or less..haha

  2. A lovely story of heartache. I have trouble accepting a woman carrying the child of the man she loved drowning herself though.

  3. Dear Susan, congratulations on creating this short evocative story. Fine writing. I think the situation and the characters will haunt my day with their sorrow and poignancy.


  4. Aw that's so sad. Well done on getting me emotional in so few words. :-)

  5. A beautiful story and picture. As someone else commented above I have also have trouble accepting that a woman would do this when carrying the child of a man she loved - maybe because I have kids of my own. Nevertheless, beautifully written. Looking forward to the others.

  6. Well written. I feel as if I'd read a whole book and can fill in the blanks of all the why's and wherefor's.

  7. That was a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. Beautifully written - looking forward to the next! Lxxx

  8. This was a difficult photo in many ways. 1861 was a year of loss for so many families, and young lovers. This young woman (~16) from a strict religious rural situation saw her only option as being married to an older man with children. Not every person is strong enough to take that option. I designed this character to be fragile, and in that fragility take a more desperate option.
    Thank you each for expressing the horror that she would take the unborn child with her. It was something I wrestled with in this short piece.

  9. What a sad story--but wonderful writing!

  10. Ooh chilling. Beautiful photo and story.


Go won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!