The Family Farm

“I still don’t see why you don’t try and talk to that Lowell boy from down the road, he comes from a respectable family.” Mom said as I was pushing a wheelbarrow full of fertilizer, occasionally stopping to dig a small hole in the ground and deposit the crushed up mulch and pulp for my crops. Every season, my crops came out better and better, raking in more money from awards and from sales.

And every season Mom would try and derail all of this by talking me into marrying some rancher or farmers son so I could take up me “wifely duties”, like I would ever do that! I have a good thing going on with my own farm, with two farmhands that come by and work in the day for me, while I work the fields at night.

I know, it sounds a little unorthodox, but fields worked for twenty hours a day provide some great fruit. My strawberries are nearly the size of a child’s fist, and my fruit trees are heavy with sour green apples. Right now I’m tending to my wheat fields, which are by and are some of the most important for me as I use them to feed my pigs and chickens.

“Look Mom, I’m happy being single, I don’t need a man to make me happy, alright?” I say as I stop and dig another hole, depositing some more wet mulch into the ground before covering it up. “The farm is more successful under my management than when Dad was running the show, so all I see when I think about adding a man to this is just more headache than it’s worth.”

“I’ve seen you dally with those farm hands you bring in, you little slut.” Mom accuses, bringing a wide smile to my face. “You just don’t want the responsibilities of being a wife and mother. The Lowell boy could give you what the farmhand gives you and more, I imagine.”

“Bet he can’t,” I smile wickedly as I sink my shovel into the mulch with a splat and push the wheelbarrow forward further into the darkness.

“Please Violet; just think about continuing the family line. Without you, we’ll die out for certain.”

“I’m not some animal to be bred Mom,” I grouse as I push the wheelbarrow further down the lane through the wheat. The cloudless night sky allowed me to see by moonlight as I deposited the rotting mass into the ground in various places, to make my crops grow bigger, and stronger.

“It’s just, since you killed us we haven’t been able to go to rest knowing that you’re not reaching your full potential…” Mom said, her voice watery.

I turn to regard her spectral figure, which is more vapor than anything else, a rough amalgamation of her face rises from the roiling mists to stare at me as I deposit more mulch into the cold earth. Taking a trowel, my favorite one truth be told, I lean down and carve a long slit in the ground, digging a narrow trench about six feet long. Standing up, I ignore my mother’s judging eyes as I maneuver the wheelbarrow so that I can tip it forward enough to drain the blood from it into the trench.

“If you had a man you wouldn’t have to do this…” Mom says again, a slight sob entering her voice.

“If I had a man he wouldn’t let me do this. And this works!” I say, using my trowel to cover up the muddy trench I’d dug, patting the soil down well and good. “Your body alone got me the prize for the biggest pumpkin in the county. That was five hundred dollars!”

“And the farmhand here? What’ll he be sacrificed for?” She spits, looking at the mashed up meat I’d cleaned from my lover's bones earlier in the evening.

“Just my wheat for now. I need something good for the pigs, they can’t just live off of bones and rotting leaves and hay; they need grain to stay healthy. And I intend to win the biggest hog contest this year, old Brutus is already up to four hundred pounds.”

“You’d win already! There’s no reason to keep on like you have been honey, just find a man and settle down, stop this kind of farming.”

“No ma’am,” I say, looking up at the moon. “I think I’ll be farming this way for a few years to come.”

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