Of Salt

17 Sep

100 words for Friday Fictioneers in the form of a slice of life based on the photo prompt below from Dawn Landau.


Lot's Wife


Crusted rime crunched beneath Yana’s boots. The pan was ready. Tomorrow, by the time her husband began work with scraper and sacks in the gray light of dawn, she would be at the shrine near the source of the spring that fed the plots, giving thanks to God and Saint Rose of Lima for the miracle of the salt.

Though her faith was deep and strong, on the way back down she would reflect, as she always did, on the strangeness of life, so little was the difference between her and Lot’s wife.

One a pillar and one a tiller.







62 Responses to “Of Salt”

  1. David Stewart September 17, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    I like that last line. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a great way to tie their two stories together. I can’t say harvesting salt really appeals to me, but it’s better than being a pillar, to be sure.

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 10:41 am #

      Dear David,

      Thank you for your kind comment. It is always gratifying to see that you’ve read one of my tales as I consider you to be a very good writer and I value your input.

      I think the one thing about harvesting salt that appeals to me is that it is free, and has been for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Did you click on the little red asterisk below my story? More info there.



  2. patriciaruthsusausan September 17, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

    Doug, Interesting story. Creative and poetic connection between the two women. Well written as always. ๐Ÿ™‚ —Susan

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 10:44 am #

      Dear Susan,

      Than you for stopping by to read and comment. I appreciate you taking the time.



  3. Snow's Fissures and Fractures September 17, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    Oh, I love this. Very poetic and beautiful, especially the last line.

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 10:45 am #

      Dear Lore,

      Knowing that the rhythm I tried to imbue the piece with was heard and felt by you is satisfying. Thank you for telling me what you thought. I appreciate it very much.



  4. siobhanmcnamara September 17, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    Beautifully written. I love the comparison with Lot’s wife. Her situation is every bit as fixed and permanent as that of the statue

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 10:47 am #

      Dear Siobhan,

      It should seem that way, but I learned (click the tiny red asterisk below by story) through research that those who work the salt plots are very much free to come and go. There is something about the life that is appealing to me.

      Thank you for reading and commenting so kindly.



      • siobhanmcnamara September 23, 2014 at 8:53 am #

        I had a look and yes, I can certainly see the appeal of that way of life. One thing that stood out for me was that the system is described as an ‘informal co-operative.’ In the age of red tape and over-worded contracts that sounds very refreshing.

  5. lingeringvisions by Dawn September 17, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    Like poetry your story flows.

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 10:51 am #

      Dear Dawn,

      Thank you for your comparison of my story to poetry. The rhythm and pacing that makes that seem so is hard to accomplish. I’m glad to hear I hit close to the mark.



  6. sustainabilitea September 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

    One looked back, one kept on with her work. Told beautifully, Doug, and perfect last line.


    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 10:52 am #

      Dear Janet,

      Thank you for dropping in to read and comment. I appreciate your keen eye on my work.



  7. patrickprinsloo September 17, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

    That is good. So much in it. Well done.

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 10:54 am #

      Dear Patrick,

      Thank you. I appreciate you reading it.



  8. Sandra September 17, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

    Majestically told, in all its simplicity. I’m glad you’re moving amongst us again. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 10:56 am #

      Dear Sandra,

      Your response makes me look like that little emoticon. I love being here when I can come up with a half decent story. Thanks for reading.



  9. elmowrites September 17, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    You put me right there with Yana with your descriptions. I tried to put some sense of place into my story this week, but it got cut for the sake of word count – I definitely need to learn from you.

    This is the kind of story I love from you, Doug: thought-provoking without being polemic.

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 11:00 am #

      Dear Jennifer,

      How is Sebastian?

      I read your story and thought you did fine in the sense of place department. I do know what you mean about word count and having to make hard choices. For the longest time I was stuck at 126, but in the end managed to pare it down to the 100 and it was better for it.

      Your comment made me feel really good, Jennifer. Thank you. I haven’t told you in a while, but I think you’re a stellar writer and hearing good things from you in the comment section of my stories is heartwarming.

      Mahalo and Aloha,


      • elmowrites September 22, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

        Thank you for saying so, Doug. I suppose I feel like it lacked a sense place because there was so much more I had to say. People seems to have been able to feel the story anyway, and that’s what matters. Like you, I think the stories are usually better for the word count; even if the decisions are tough. Still, I’m always looking to learn, and seeing how other put tiny descriptions into their stories is a good start.
        Sebastian is fine, thanks. Coming up to 2! He stars in my Voice Week story today if you want to see how he thinks!

  10. Bjรถrn Rudberg (brudberg) September 17, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

    I love the reference to Lot’s wife (what was her name BTW?) – it was on my mind too, but I did that one on her a while ago. The last sentence is a stellar pun

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 11:02 am #

      Dear Bjorn,

      Lot’s wife’s name was Edith, as far as I can tell, though that is a name given to her in performances depicting her story. Ir does not appear in the Bible at all. Thank you for reading and commenting.



  11. helenmidgley September 17, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

    Great last line, although the rest was pretty awesome too ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 11:03 am #

      Dear Helen,

      Thanks for both. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.



  12. aliciajamtaas September 17, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

    Long ago, salt truly was a miracle and still is, although it’s SO much cheaper now. Your piece is beautifully lyrical this week. Peaceful.

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 11:05 am #

      Dear Alicia,

      Did you click on the red asterisk below my story? It will illustrate what you already know, but you might like the pictures. Thank you for your kind comment and for taking the time to read and share your thoughts.



  13. rochellewisoff September 17, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

    Dear Doug,

    I read this with a grain of and proclaim that you are certainly worth yours. Beautifully layered and full of meaning. Perfect marriage of title and last line.



    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 11:06 am #

      Dear Rochelle,

      Thanks for priming the pump for me. Too bad you missed the red asterisk. You’re the saltiest bus driver I know. Mahalo.

      And Aloha,


  14. JKBradley September 18, 2014 at 12:25 am #

    Solid and inspiring work as always, Doug. Happy to see you back. You’re certainly one of those I look for.


    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 11:09 am #

      Dear JK,

      Thank you, sir. I appreciate it when you stop by to read. And I enjoy writing when I can think of something to write.



  15. talesfromthemotherland September 18, 2014 at 4:35 am #

    Beautiful story to honor this photo, and I love that you understand its reality and have honored that. The last line is beautiful, tying the two stories together so meaningfully. Love this one. Dawn

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 11:18 am #

      Dear Dawn,

      It’s a beautiful photograph and I knew how I wanted my story to sound right from the start. A lot of humans are way too removed from the value of things…a nail…a song…salt. I like to think I could make the transition to a simpler world very easily. You r photo reminds me of what is important. Thanks for taking it, sharing it and for commenting on my story.



      • talesfromthemotherland September 21, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

        I could not agree more, Doug! I often say: “somewhere in this world, there is someone who spends every day making matches. We light them and throw them away, rarely thinking that to someone that match was their entire livelihood.” I think my kids get pretty tired of these observationsโ€“ my bleeding heart, but I hope I’ve rubbed off a little on them. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for your wonderful story and your kind words. Dawn

  16. draliman September 18, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Clever last line. And now I know what the photo is all about!

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 11:19 am #

      Dear Draliman,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Glad I could help.



  17. camgal September 18, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

    This was a piece of beauty, fine poetry and particular serenity especially in its pace and tone. I loved how you tied it all in neatly, not missing a beat ๐Ÿ™‚

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 11:35 am #

      Dear Camgal,

      Thanks for filling my gas tank with the words of your kind comment. I thrive on the input of writers 9and readers) like you.

      Mahalo and Aloha,


  18. Weltchysnotebook September 19, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    The first and last line works perfectly for this story. The first gives instant visualisation, whilst the ending gives a strong contrast as to their “lot” in life.

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 11:35 am #

      Dear Weltchy,

      Thank you, sir, for your fine comment. I appreciate you taking the time to read and share your thoughts.



  19. The Writer's Village September 19, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    the things we do that either please God or oppose God.
    a nicely told, low keyed toned, contrasting story of dedication or faith.

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 11:36 am #

      Dear Randy,

      Thanks for looking deep and seeing the stories behind the story.



  20. K.Z. September 19, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    wonderful last line… and i definitely liked the reference to Lot’s wife and the pillars of salt.

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 11:38 am #

      Dear KZ,

      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on Of Salt. I appreciate it very much.



  21. Alice Audrey September 19, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    Nice rhyme at the end there. ๐Ÿ™‚ Great scene setting.

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 11:39 am #

      Dear Alice,

      Many mahalos for saying so.



  22. Craig Towsley September 19, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    “Crusted rime crunched” is a great, opening line, nice texture

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 11:40 am #

      Dear Craig,

      Thanks for giving it a look and commenting.



  23. margirene September 20, 2014 at 6:54 am #

    A good story. I like how she’s aware of the similarities, but doesn’t seem to mind. Intriguing. I wonder how long she’ll continue to accept her role in life, having made that connection.

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 11:42 am #

      Dear Margirene,

      If you click the little red asterisk below my story you will see that the salt farmers have many options. I get the feeling that the life may be hard but satisfying. Thank you for reading and commenting.



  24. JackieP September 20, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    Now that was a great last line! Did you think of that line first? Or did it just come from the story? Curious, as I sometimes think of my last line first then put a story ahead of it. Great story too.

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 11:44 am #

      Dear Jackie,

      I knew what I wanted the story to sound and feel like but the last line didn’t come until late. I knew I wanted to use ‘pillar’ and ’tiller’, but didn’t figure out how until I walked for a while in Yana’s shoes. I’m glad I did, because this story turned out okay. Thanks for reading and commenting and asking questions. I appreciate the feedback and sharing ideas.



  25. Amy Reese September 21, 2014 at 4:12 am #

    Lovely piece, Doug. They each have their lot in life, and they are stronger together. Great tie in of your title to the last line. Very poetic.

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 11:46 am #

      Dear Amy,

      Thank you for the nod to the poetic feel. I was trying for quiet reverence and a measured pace, much as I think Yana’s pace throughout life might be. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.



  26. AnnIsikArts September 21, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    I enjoyed learning something about this salt ‘harvesting’ process as I failed, despite much research, to find out. Love your tale. You describe vividly – I could hear that rime being crunched, or probably I’m hearing frost rime crunching underfoot, rather than salt, though I expect it is much the same. And I like ‘pillar’ and ’tiller’. It made me smile. Ann

    • dmmacilroy September 21, 2014 at 11:49 am #

      Dear Ann,

      I tried to put myself in Yana’s shoes and the crunching is one of the first things I imagined. Walking all day on the precipitating salt and the coalesced salt in the pans. Tiller and Pillar was too good of a rhyme not to weave a tale around. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.



  27. wmqcolby September 21, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    Hahahaha! I like that … one a pillar, two a tiller.
    Good texture to the story. You have a lot of “crunching” sounds in the narrative which adds a lot, in my opinion. Just like the salt, I could feel the crunch. Great!

    • dmmacilroy September 22, 2014 at 4:24 am #

      Dear Kent,

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad my offering made you laugh.



  28. rgayer55 September 22, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    I clicked on the asterisk and got a good education–what beautiful photos too. Thanks for making my world a little bit bigger, Doug. As the Rolling Stones used to say, “Let’s drink to the Salt of the Earth.”

    • dmmacilroy September 23, 2014 at 5:04 am #

      Dear Russell,

      It’s an amazing, wide and wonderful world we live in, isn’t it. I’m glad you found the asterisk.



  29. Nan Falkner September 23, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

    Dear Doug, What a wonderful story! I went to the asterisk too and it was very informative! The similarity between Lot’s wife (I didn’t know her name was Edith) was amazing to learn! Very brilliant and ingenious! Good job!
    Nan ๐Ÿ™‚

    • dmmacilroy September 23, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

      Dear Nan,

      You are too kind. I appreciate your generous comments and want to thank you for taking time to share your thoughts on my story. I kept trying to figure out a way to tie the two women together and then, after thinking about Yana’s life for a while, it all came together. Thank, as well, for dropping by to read.



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