“Jo,” a chapter in Part I of my novel, Hardpan

The wind came from Line Creek Canyon without warning, leaving only a pretense of soil in its wake. The locals called it hardpan: soil so hard even sagebrush couldn’t grow in it.

Kurt and Jo leaned together to stay upright. The afternoon winds roared easterly from the canyon past their ranch house on the bank of the Clarks Fork River. The faded white two-story frame house stood in stubborn isolation on the silty riverbank. Persistent winds and unforgiving sun had ravaged the coats of white paint applied over the years.

“What do you think?” He pressed her for an answer. Their moving truck was still full of furniture and boxes.

She tucked her sleeveless white cotton shirt into her dusty blue pedal pushers, struggling to keep her clothes intact as the wind gusted around her. Strands of her reddish blonde hair blew across her face, sticking to her lips. She brushed the hair away and licked back and forth across her lips to make the wetness stick.

Find the complete chapter here: Chapter 2: Jo

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