A Desert Dream (Nightmare)
She crept across the ground, praying not to be discovered. The grass in the yard was tall enough to hide all but her billowy skirts. He slept soundly, but she was still afraid because he often woke when she left.
But he had been so drunk the night before, on this early morning escape seemed possible. She continued to crawl on her belly until she reached the verge of the yard; beyond the uncut grass was the prairie — sand, and the shelter of sage. When her fingers reached the sandy edge of the deep desert, she looked back. A clumsy shadow moved behind the dingy glass of a cracked window, so she sprang to her feet and raced blindly through the vast sea of prairie grass toward the river and the hills beyond. Exhausted, she finally reached the sheltering sage and flopped onto the warm ground. She raised her head and was about to give thanks when she saw his dirty boots. She felt his hot breath as he leaned far down and stared blankly into her shiny eyes.
It was the last sound she heard. The pistol shot that ended her life was lost across the desert expanse. He buried her in the warm sand then staggered home to fall asleep on the broken steps of their empty house.
When he woke, he called her name.