A few years ago, in the middle of six weeks of radiation and chemo treatments, I feared I might not see home again. Our garden. That desert sky. So my wife Cindy got my Friday appointments reset for early in the day, and those for the next Monday set late, and she drove me six hundred miles, each way, for a weekend at home in West Texas.            

We listened to music along the way, and at one point broke into singing song lyrics in the voice of Elmer Fud. When a maaaaan wubs a woooooman…. Rain had come to the scrub hills between Houston and Marfa, and the purple blooms of ceniza stretched on for miles.            

The trip was a great extravagance when money was tight. But I remember the gratitude I felt when we pulled into our own driveway. Our cats coming to find not the pet sitter but us! The apricot and mesquite trees already turning green in early spring. And even though it seemed no time at all before we had to head back, I think that brief interlude helped me make it through the hardest part of my treatment, and to gratefully make it back yet again.

Daryl Scroggins lives in Marfa, Texas. He is the author of This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash novel (Ravenna Press). One of his fictions has been included in Best Microfiction 2020.

See more of his work in 8.3 and 8.3 and 7.2 and 7.2 again and 6.2 and 6.2 and 6.2 again and in Special Flash issue 50/50 here and here