Any Place But Home

Hello Readers, I know I’m a couple days late, but I didn’t forget about Friday Fictioneers! Hopefully you don’t mind. Thanks as always to Rochelle for posting our photo prompt, and to Marie Gail Stratford for this week’s photo.

Earlier this week I read Beth Pattillo’s The Dashwood Sisters Tell All, a “modern day novel of Jane Austen”. It put me in mind of my glorious two weeks spent in England. (I can’t believe it’s been two summers ago now! If you’re interested in reading about my England adventures, you can start here.) I felt a sort of wistfulness for the green countryside of England, with its stone fences and houses and the quiet bustle of the city of Bath. Then, over on my friend Alex’s blog, Atlas Alex (check it out if you get the chance, especially if you love the outdoors and adventure!), the word of the week was wanderlust, which only made my desire to revisit England stronger. So I took all that wanderlust, wistfulness and Austenified romanticism and used it in a story. Hope you enjoy.

Copyright: Gail Marie Stratford
Copyright: Gail Marie Stratford

Any Place But Home

Elsie sighed dramatically. She would have swooned, which would have been more romantic, but there was little to swoon about in the scene before her. A field of dry brown grass spread out to the horizon, broken up only by a rusted barb wire fence and lonely silo.

Closing her eyes, Elsie held her worn copy of Pride and Prejudice to her chest and tried to imagine herself walking in the fields of England instead of nowhere Iowa. Breathing deep, her vision was shattered by the pungent odor of cow manure.

She would get off this farm someday, wouldn’t she?

19 thoughts on “Any Place But Home

    1. Same here…though I love my home. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere. Traveling and seeing something new however, I’m all for that. Just so long as I have home to come back to. 🙂

  1. I really liked this. I was telling someone the other day how I enjoy the way that you can pull readers in with just a few paragraphs. Some people wish that these would be made into fill stories, but I see the beauty in the cliffhanger.

    1. Thanks Alex! Most times when I write these, the story is much longer than 100 words. The challenge is cutting it to just enough words to pull readers in and get them thinking about what could happen next.

  2. This is great. She reminds me a bit of Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey, always trying to see the adventure and mystery. And rural England at that time would have smelled like cow and pig manure in many places, i’m afraid. Great story.

    1. This is perfect! I actually almost put Northanger Abbey in her arms instead of Pride and Prejudice, but I thought the latter would be more recognizable. But I’m glad you thought of Catherine, because I was thinking of her too. (and yes, I’m sure it would smell that way! But the mind romanticizes things…) Thanks for reading!

  3. Oh, dear! That cow manure can certainly bust a mood! I really liked this take and her having the Pride and Prejudice book on her chest. Someday. Something tells me she’s going to make it happen. 🙂

  4. Dear Tiffany,

    To some, the life on the farm, even the cow manure, would be idyllic. Nowhere, Iowa..I like that. Nicely written. Full of longing and emotion.



    1. I know! I personally love living in the country, surrounded by farms. The smell of cow manure doesn’t bother me. But perhaps Elsie needs to leave home before she realizes that! Thanks for reading.

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