The community garden had been planted by Talia’s grandmother in the late 1960’s.  The neighborhood had always been poor, but now, it had lost its pride and charm as well.  They’d been taken over by dilapidated strip malls, fast food restaurants and corner stores, the sound of police sirens playing in the background on a constant loop.  Developers wanted to destroy the garden.  They needed the space to put in yet another strip mall – more discount stores, another fast food place, maybe a liquor store.  The neighborhood was gasping for breath.  The garden, bursting with green, had been their only source of fresh vegetables for years.

She laid down in the earth, her hot tears falling into the dirt.  Her neighbors, one by one, followed her lead, taking spots between each row of plants, gripping hands.  She took the hand of her oldest neighbor, the only one left who’d known her grandmother.  The old woman nodded at her and smiled.  Talia closed her eyes, listening as the roar of the machines became louder and louder.


For Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Read more about food deserts here.


20 thoughts on “Desert

  1. The garden wasn’t just a source of good, healthy vegetables but also fresh air. It’s no wonder the neighborhood is ready to take a stand. They’ll take no more destruction. This story is so rich, full, and alive. I really love it. Excellent job, and thank you for posting this take of the prompt. I’ll remember Talia’s story for sure.

  2. Terrific story, Jenn! Yuor writing is so assured, you make the reader feel safe in your hands 🙂
    And what a wonderful thing, so worth fighting for.
    We have a park in the town centre that our council wanted to sell off for development. It has a couple of bombed out churches on the site, memorials to those who died during the Blitz in Bristol. Fortunately, so many members of the public objected to losing such a calm and lovely space in the middle of the city, the council backed down.
    Let’s hear it for people power! 🙂

  3. such brave people t stand up against the greedy developers who care less about the lives they destroy in the name of modernisation. i too see many small towns fall into such hands here and their beauty destroyed.

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