Friday Fictioneers-Beast of Burden

sheep-and-carcopyright-Sandra Crook

Walking back to the village, sheep meandered around Krista’s legs. One bleated, and the others followed suit. She inhaled car exhaust and lanolin. And dust.

She was so tired of feeling dirty. Her teeth were always gritty. She spat on the ground, careful not to knock the water container from her head.

This was it. Krista was done. She’d told Joey they could stay in Africa for a year. It had been three. She wanted her mother. And some semblance of a normal life.

Back at the village, she found Joey and cried, “I’m going back to Nebraska, without you.”

100 words/Genre: Domestic Fiction

I saw this photo and was immediately reminded of the book, The Poisonwood Bible. The character I most identified with was the wife/mother. She stayed with a husband that had clearly gone off his rocker while they were doing mission work in Africa. I wondered how I would react to a partner that continued living in a place that wasn’t home. That wasn’t safe. Where I wouldn’t want to have a family in. I’d be so afraid of losing who I was while trying to help people and be faithful to a partner that kept changing his damn mind. The rebel in me would eventually say, I’m done. That’s exactly what Krista did, she went home.

Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers.

26 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers-Beast of Burden

    • There were so many tough decisions. His to go in the first place. Her’s to go with him. Her’s to continue to stay. Her’s to leave. And then her’s to go back home, alone. Of course, we don’t know the true end of the story. Did he go home? Or did he stay?

      Love, Renee

  1. Dear Renee, Excellent story you wrote. Three years is above and beyond the call of duty of a wife. Living in an unsafe place, eating dirt every day would take a toll on the sanity and the health of a lot of people. Krista misses her mother and had not grown up in the foreign third world. Joey is a selfish idiot. Good for Krista! Nan 🙂

    • Greetings Nan,

      Thanks so much for the kind words about my story. Yes, three years was far too long. Can’t imagine being called to such a life in the first place. God bless those that are. Of course, I feel the same way about surgeons and nurses. God bless those that have a higher calling. Because I sure don’t.

      I guess some of us have the calling to write. I’m glad Krista went home. I’m sure her mother was happy about it too.


  2. Dear Renee,

    I love how her statement infers that he’s going to stay put. Your words paint the picture well. She’s gone like a dog’s dinner.



    • Aloha Doug,

      So good to hear from you. I think Krista was going home whether Joey went home or not. I’m kinda hoping Krista left everything behind but her passport and money. I hope she hightailed it the hell out of there!


  3. Dear Renee,

    I love the feel of this. What a world of difference between Africa and Nebraska.

    On the crit note. I’d make “She wanted her mother. And some semblance of a normal life.” one sentence.

    Nice one.



    • Dear Rochelle,

      So glad you loved it. I ‘love’ it when the stories come to me quickly like this one did.

      I’ll change the two sentences to one. 🙂

      As always, I’m humbled by your honest criticism of my work.


    • Thanks so much for your kind words. Didn’t you love The Poisonwood Bible? It was fantastic! Three years is too long. One day would be too long for me. I love nature, but I like indoors more. 🙂


  4. Renee, I moved to India with my husband when he retired and I’m still here, but I “never” had to do anything like carrying water on my head. Before my husband got his flat back from his brother, we lived in the country for a short time and I demanded we move back to the city where we had enough electricity to make life livable, good public transportation, and sufficient water. It’s more affordable on Social Security to live here. We also have a cleaning lady so it’s not too bad. Not everyone is as dedicated as a missionary. I also understood that her husband had mental problems. In her situation, that would be really rough.

    • My dear, I love that you shared your story with me. Thank you so much!!! It sounds like you and your husband are good partners. You listen to each others needs and compromise. I’m sure it’s much easier to live on Social Security there. Good for you and your husband for giving back.

      You’re right, the husband in my story did have mental problems. But he didn’t communicate either.


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