The Brave Journey

Russell-quarry

PHOTO PROMPT © Russell Gayer

The sun beat down, making the smallest act a misery of heat and pain.  We had been crossing the trackless prairie forever, but it seemed to be coming to an end.  The Black Hills I heard them called.  We would no longer be as conspicuous, but the more mountainous area could hide entire warbands.  One of our goals was to avoid the wrath of the native Sioux population.  But the mountains offered no relief, they…

“Honey, we’ll be at Mt. Rushmore in a few minutes, OK?”

“Ah, Mom, can’t we go back to the Badlands and see some more dinosaurs?”

***

Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo ©Russell Gayer.  Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

***

The journey was brave because they were cooped up in a car with a hyperactive six year old ;)

38 thoughts on “The Brave Journey

  1. 4963andypop

    The Western that plays out in the first paragraph makes me think the story is set in an earlier time, much like mine, when (white) kids played cowboys and Indians and did not have the luxuries of phones or Ipads to make the ride less excruciating.

    I went to South Dakota too, as a child, on one of those long roadtrips, that were justifiable, when gas was 33cents a gallon, and peoplehad more time off, and global warming hadnt even been thought of.

    On the other hand, if the setting is the present, perhaps it is the father, not the son, who is retreating into his mind…

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      There are still some kids that do live in their imaginations (I love watching some of my nephews and nieces, even though they are no late teens, spend all day creating new games) but you are right, in ways this story is something from a bygone era. Of course it is at least in part based on my own trip through there when I was 10. And you are right, if I was in the car, I would have been the one drifting off into my imaginary land and wanting to go see more dinosaurs – there is no such thing is spending too much time with dinosaurs ;)

      I often only hit the first 30 or 40 FF stories, so I’ll have to go back and find yours. Glad you enjoyed this.

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          My older brother never gave up. He isn’t a paleontologist, but is geologist. For his senior year in college they did a field trip to the west, including spending a few days int eh Badlands. So, yeah, I’ve been surrounded by rocks my entire life ;)

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  2. gahlearner

    This child has the best imagination. I remember playing these games when I was a kid–I always wanted to be the horse, a noble mustang that came to the rescue, LOL.
    I’m sure that kid will have a blast at Mt. Rushmore. Suddenly these faces are alive, giants are real… :o :D

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I am sure once the kid gets there he or she will have a blast at Mt. Rushmore, though will want to climb up to see the faces close and in person… I think kids with imaginations like this turn into writers :)

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Yes, when I googled “badlands dinosaurs” the Alberta one came up first! (I did this to answer someone else’s question about where or when the dinosaurs are). I do hate when reality intrudes… Thanks.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Most of the story is through the imagination of a child. Russel’s photo reminds me of the Badlands in South Dakota. Some of the richest fossil beds are in the area, and there a lot of dinosaurs, though technically as a tourist you would see more in Rapid City, which is closer to the Black Hills than than in the Badlands, which is left very rugged. This area was the site of many wars between the US and the native population (called “Indians” back then), mostly tribes from the Sioux nations, though others as well. So in a child’s imagine, being filled with stories (and movies) of those wars, and after visiting dinosaur parks (there are several in that area), but going across a seemingly trackless prairie (many millions of square km!) this is how a child sees it. Mt. Rushmore is a popular tourist destination, a mountain carved to look like US presidents.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      It is what parents do best, though it should be the other way around – the kids should get their parents to reactivate their imaginations. Of course, if that happened then everyone would be an author ;) Thanks.

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