Writing prompt: Farming the Death Valley

Time: 7 minutes. Click here to go to my list of prompts.

“Farming the death valley”


Dad said I was a hero. Mom wouldn’t speak to me. I was going to go farm in the Death Valley, so neither of their reactions were really at the top of my mind. I went to the City Works, excited and nervous.

“These are the seeds you’ll take. I see you’ve done work in the local farms, so you probably know what you need to. Still, we have a training course for you. The conditions in the valley are a little different. Wetter. You’ll have to watch for rot more, but things grow there.” The representative spoke in slightly awed tones. Everyone seemed to.

“Different conditions… and different critters,” I remarked.

“Yes, different critters. That’s part of the course. I… didn’t want to be grim. You know most of the farmers survive, come back very profitable. The valley is supposed to be beautiful, like a paradise.”

“Most. So… more than 50%? How much more than 50%?”

She looked away. I snorted softly.

“It’s a good thing to do,” she said, with softness that spoke of conviction rather than the propaganda associated with her office. My sister went.” She paused, and I felt like she didn’t return. “The yields they can get in the valley… people like you keep children from starving.”

“That’s not why I’m doing it,” I said.

“Well, that’s not up to me,” she replied. “But we try to prepare you for the valley as best we can.”

“It’s mist. It comes in under the doors and takes you in the night. Is there a preparation for that?”

She looked away again.


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