Flash Fiction – Iowa by Dar Williams


This week’s flash fiction is inspired by the song “Iowa” by Dar Williams. The lyrics and a link to hear the song are below.

I’ve never had a way with women
But the hills of Iowa make me wish that I could
And I’ve never found a way to say I love you
But if the chance came by, oh I, I would
But way back where I come from we never mean to bother
We don’t like to make our passions other peoples concern
And we walk in the world of safe people
And at night we walk into our houses and burn

Iowa, Iowa, I, Iowa
Iowa, Iowa, I, Iowa

How I long to fall just a little bit
To dance out of the lines and stray from the light
But I fear that to fall in love with you
Is to fall from a great and gruesome height
So you know I asked a friend about it, on a bad day
Her husband had just left her, she sat down on the chair he’d left behind
She said, “What is love, where did it get me?
Whoever thought of love is no friend of mine”

Iowa, Iowa, I, Iowa
Iowa, Iowa, I, Iowa

Once I had everything, I gave it up
For the shoulder of your driveway and the words I’ve never felt
So for you, I came this far across the tracks
Ten miles above the limit, and with no seatbelt, and I’d do it again
For tonight I went running through the screen doors of discretion
For I woke up from a nightmare that I could not stand to see
You were a-wandering out on the hills of Iowa
And you were not thinking of me

Iowa, Iowa, I, Iowa
Iowa, Iowa, I, Iowa
Iowa, Iowa, I, Iowa
Iowa, Iowa, I, Iowa

I glanced behind me as I shut the screen door as quietly as I could. It was early still, the sun wasn’t even starting to show it’s colors yet and I couldn’t hear any sounds in the neighborhood except a couple of dogs stirring. But I needed to be careful, I didn’t want anyone to hear me. Throwing my bag in the front seat of the old car, I put the key in the ignitition and slid it into neutral. It was a struggle to get the car down the driveway and into the road, but I managed it without knocking over the mailbox or crushing any flowers. Once I was a couple of houses away, I thought it was safe to start up the car. It roared to life with the sound of a small tank.

But that was the sound of my freedom.

The first truck stop I came to became the final resting place for the house key and my engagement ring. I was never going back and I didn’t want anything tying me to that place. I was finally traveling my own path and I had a specific destination in mind.

I drove all day, barely stopping, too excited and yet terrified at what I was going to find. There had been conversations, notes, hints, but nothing definite and here I was putting it all on the line. By the time the sun was sinking again, the pale pinks and oranges staining the cornfields, I was turning onto the drive leading up to the old white farmhouse. It looked just as I had imagined it, weathered and well-tended and wonderful.

The ancient muffler announced my arrival before I even made it to the top of the drive and almost immediately a woman in jeans and a flannel shirt appeared on the front porch. I couldn’t take my eyes off her as I turned off the ignition and climbed out of the car in the blessed silence.

“Sadie?” she said, disbelief plain in her voice.

“It’s me. I’m here Amy. I did it. I left him, and I came here to you. Please tell me I made the right choice.”

She answered me by running down the steps and throwing herself into my arms. Wrapping myself around her, I could smell fresh apples and the Iowa air. I was finally home.

The links to the other bloggers’ stories are below:

About Kayleigh

I'm an accountant by day and a writer by night - or any other time I can find to put words on paper. I live in the state shaped like a mitten with my husband, two cats, and a ridiculously energetic Beagle puppy. I love books and I buy way too many of them. But I maintain its a healthier obsessions than others out there and since I buy a lot of them in electronic formats no one has to know exactly how many I have. :P

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