A Story by Summer Grace

Supposed to be 400 word flash fiction..

July, and the long plains stretched, burned in the heat. Who knew the world could begin on a day like this? For little Julie, the world had. She was born during a heatwave, that long ago summer, on the western plains. Julie, born in July. Smiling in a picture taken of her as a young woman, in the 1920s. A a bit of a flapper, but from a little town in the middle of nowhere.
July, and the long plains stretched, burned in the heat. It seemed like the kind of day the world might end. For young Julie, it did. She died during a heatwave, that long ago summer in the small Nebraska town. Julie, dead in July. She was only in her 20s. She was buried in the town cemetery under a stone that's becoming more unreadable by the year, now. 

July, many decades later, during another heatwave. The sun burns the the wood of the abandoned Nebraska farmhouse. The sun burns the plains. A young woman, Christine, is hot as she explores the abandoned house, half hidden from the sun by the old stand of trees planted to protect the farmstead from the wind long ago.It is still hot though.

Christine and her friend approach an old bureau in the house and from a creaking drawer, pull out an old photograph of a smiling young woman, in the 1920s. They turn it over, looking for a name and a date. It says " Julie, 1923". They look further in the drawer, and find a lock of blonde hair, in an envelope, crumbling to dust. They look at the hair of the girl in the photograph, it looks the same.

July, and Christine and her friend stand on the plains, dotted with tombstones. They are at the town cemetery, looking for Julie, or who she might have been. It's so hot as the sun burns down. They think they have a last name, as well as knowing her first name.They find out they are right as they read the old tombstone."This must have been her" Christine says. Her friend agrees. They look at the photo and the crumbling lock of hair, and then at the tombstone."Look, she was born today"! Christine exclaims in excitement, "well, today 100 years ago". 100 years later, during another heatwave, Julie is remembered.

© 2012 Summer Grace

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Added on August 30, 2012
Last Updated on October 15, 2012
Tags: Abandoned House, House, Death, Life, Vintage, 1920s, Flapper, story, Nebraska, Plains, Sad, Cemetery, Died young, July, summer, heatwave, girl, young