Looking Flagged

She was standing on the shoulder of the road. The gravel was littered with bits of broken glass and cigarette butts. She kept her eyes cast down to protect them from the glare of the sun. At the sound of approaching tires she’d look up and wave to flag down the passing motorist. She’d already walked 10 miles and her feet were sore. They were so sore that her will to continue was slipping away along with her flagging spirit. There was not a sound to be heard but her quiet breathing. She had to keep reminding herself that the quiet would make it easier to hear an approaching vehicle. She shuffled a few more feet, paused to listen, and took a couple more steps. The limestone cut that the highway made through the hills laid bare the history of the earth. There were wet spots on the rocks where the water was seeping. She leaned against the rock and felt the coolness on her back. She could see the clean lines where the rocks would separate with only a single blow. The memory of the flag stones stacked as a border around the garden rose up in her mind, a red flag warning her that there was danger in that reminiscence. With a start, she heard tires humming on the pavement. She spun to face the oncoming vehicle, a truck waving a large Confederate flag in the truck bed. She hesitated but did her best to flag down a ride. The truck slowed, stopped, and slowly backed up to come even with her. The man behind the wheel looked her over and leaning toward the open window spat a stream of tobacco juice hitting her square on the chest. He gave her a cocky grin showing his yellow stained and rotting teeth, before spinning his tires and speeding away. She did her best to wipe away the spittle but it had soaked into the fabric making a nasty stain on her shirt. As the day ebbed away, she walked away from the road and into the brush along the fence line. This gave way to a lightly wooded area just over a rise. Stepping into the trees she startled a couple of deer. They scattered flashing white flags to warn all the others of the danger approaching. Finding a tree wide enough to lean against, she lowered her body to the ground. She did it slowly, the way you lowered the flag at the end of the day. Folding her body into a compact triangle she resembled nothing more that a folded flag presented to a widow at a military burial – a white shirt, blue shorts, and a red bandanna tying up her hair. That’s how they found her, folded against the tree. The sheriff’s deputy pushed little flags into the ground to mark the positions of the shell casings. They loaded her onto a gurney and covered her with a white sheet, ironic because she had never surrendered and waved the white flag…

This is my little contribution to Calmkate’s Friday Fun – where she asks “get creative about what ‘flag’ mean to you post and add a link back”.

I live in Indiana and our state flag has gold elements on a blue field.
The meaning behind the elements are simple and straightforward: the torch represents liberty and enlightenment; the 13 outer stars represent the original 13 colonies; the inner five stars represent the 14th through 18th states. The largest star above the torch represents, the 19th state, Indiana. – Historic Indiana

56 thoughts on “Looking Flagged

  1. I love how you’ve woven flags all through this, also the surprise ending. “That’s how they found her” and “to mark the positions of the shell casings” were powerful statements. Made me wonder what happened. Homicide? Errant shot of a deer hunter? Well done, Muri. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  2. well flag me down and hoist me up … ya sure done incorporate so many dang flags in this one missy!

    Love your story telling and the mysterious ending πŸ™‚

    The link doesn’t work … thanks for joining in the fun Val

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    1. So glad you liked the many flags in this one. It did get my creative juices flowing! Anyway I checked the link and it works. I put these as future posts and with the time difference I think that messes with things.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe! I’m so glad this intrigued you! You as the reader can fill in the blanks – we all look at things through the filter of our own experiences and emotions. Sorry for the sad ending. She does not live…

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      1. So true. I am amazed sometimes with my blog what readers focus on. It tells me more about them and their needs or experiences than anything else….I can apply the 5 w’s-who, what….like a reporter…with a need to know, yes it did intrigue.

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  3. Very mysterious story.

    My stepson, his wife and kids live in Indiana. Once they got used to living in the midwest (he was born and grew up in California) they got so they love it very much. πŸ™‚

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        1. I hope she can get registered!! We need all the blue votes possible! Anyway I’ve been to Carmel. It isn’t too far from Fishers where we have friends and is just on the other side of Anderson from my hometown of Muncie… If you ever go visit we HAVE to meet!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Well done. Hard to read the end, but well done. Our gothic Midwest writer. πŸ˜‰
    (I was born there, in Indiana. I was 6 mo. old when we left, for Kansas.)

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  5. I love your take on the prompt of kate…and your story telling technique is brilliant…i love how you ended it..leaving it all to the readers’ imagination…

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    1. Thanks Zakiah! I’m tickled that you liked it. The Indiana flag is fairly simple as state flags go – some are very busy with lots of color (that all means something). Makes me appreciate 3rd grade when we had to learn (and memorize) the elements of the state flag! At least there isn’t a Latin phrase that had to be memorized!

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