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The Coin and the Corn.

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

The coin spun a silver flash in the sun, over and over until it dived head first into the dust. Five tails in a row. Some kind of record. One in thirty two chance, if her maths teacher was right.

  She gazed down Main Street, eyes covered against the dust and corn husks billowing down from the silos on the outskirts of town. Every harvest it was the same. The trucks rumbled to the silos with their heavy cargos and the husks filled the air as they unloaded.

  She always thought the giant, towering silos looked like silver rockets ready to explore new worlds. Their hoses sucking up fuel for the long journey ahead. They had watched her all her life, a symbol of hope and new worlds.

  Her hand, unbade, touched her suitcase for reassurance as it sat lonely sentry at her knee. On her lap, her small black bible from which a small paper ticket protruded.

   Peggy Anne had dreamed of this day for as long as she could remember. She had saved her money little by little in the old tin under her bed. She’d told Ma and Pa she had to go. She had to see what was beyond the horizon. The flat prairie must end and she must see its limit. 

  She would smell the sea. She would taste the salt in the water. She would hold the mountain snow in her hand and feel the Mojave sand under foot. She would see real Indians and gaze with awe at The Grand Canyon.

   She had it all planned. She would go to Hollywood, get a job, any job, at the film studios. Everyone got one break. The trick was seeing yours and grabbing it with both hands and never letting it go.

   The Greyhound was due at 11am. Her stomach was learning to tie knots like an energetic Girl Scout. She felt a little sick truth be told. But every journey must start with a single step and this would be hers.    

  With a honk of it’s horn the silver express rolled into town. A sential of the outside world with a promise of a future yet to be written. 

  Peggy Anne went to rise, to board the bus to her dreams. But she found her legs would not respond to her command. She took a deep breath and tried again but she could not move. Rooted to her seat. She couldn’t out run the coin, the coin knew. She watched with despairing eyes as her silver steed rolled West on out of town, leaving her dreams in tattered ribbons.

   A single tear rolled down her soft white cheek. She consoled herself. At only twelve, there would be other buses and other futures. For now her future held only a dry and lonely walk back to the farm, suitcase in hand, tattered ribbons trailing behind in the dust.

Main Street Atlanta with Corn Silos
The Coin and the Corn short story

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