Monday, September 14, 2015

KendallJaye Collard Week 167: Death of the Small Town

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KendallJaye Collard’s Picture Choice: Both

Title: Death of the Small Town

What’ll ya have, darlin’?”

I must have asked it a million times. Spent my entire life working this diner in this piece of trash town. Maybe served up five generations of folk by now. Of course, back then when I started here I was only thirteen. Everyone seemed so old to me. The regulars coming in for morning coffee. The middle agers bringing their families for dinner. I was convinced back then that I’d get out. You’re just so damn dumb when you’re thirteen.

Those folk and most their kids are dead now. Hell, I’m 83 and I don’t know how I’m still here.

“What’ll ya have, darlin’?”

And now it’s mostly old farming families tied to land that stop in on weekends for a meal they don’t have to cook. Young kids hang out in the parking lot and ride their skateboards and text each other from four foot away. Even the new wind turbines they put up on the edge of town act like sentinels for progress when farmers have been using windmills for ages.

It’s new, but it’s not.

It’s just different packaging.

“What’ll ya have, darlin’?”

Not as many travelers through here as much since the highway bypass goes around town now. Sometimes people pull off for gasoline, but they never stay. And why would they?

The door chimes just rang. A new young face on the way to the big city in his fancy truck. I hurry up and straighten my plates of homemade pie. The kid smiles until he sees my old, beaten face. I know what he’s thinking: Sad, old lady.

But I put on my best smile and head over to his booth.

“So, what’ll ya have, darlin’?”


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KendallJaye Collard gets her kicks above the waistline, Sunshine. Wine drinker, Cancer Survivor, and protected by rocksalt. Spread the love with her at @KJCollard.



  1. I love this. Your unnamed lady has regrets at a life entirely spent in one small speck of this huge world, clearly, yet she shows a profound wisdom born of a lifetime of interacting with people. She's a proper three-dimensional character. Bravo.

    1. Thank you so very much. I nearly made her a serial killer. Who suspects the old lady?

    2. It's always the old lady in my stories though... :-)

  2. Fantastic flash piece. Great emotion.

  3. I adore this. So much truth about life! And perfectly written.