Christa S. Fraser grew up in the Central Valley of California but has also lived on the Pacific coast and in the Sierra Nevada foothills. She is currently earning her MFA in fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she is working on a yet-to-be-titled collection of short stories and a novel, The Last living Speaker. “Wildflowers of the Western Chaparral” is her first published fiction. 
Jan 06 2012
Wildflowers of the Western Chaparral
Mr. Lohnert acts as though he doesn’t notice that home or its occupants whenever he passes by now, as though there is nothing there but a giant hole at the end of a short driveway to nowhere, even though they’ve been neighbors nearly forever. If any of them is outside their old moss-sided white double-wide, especially her, he will cross the terracotta-colored road and then the ditch, walking right through if the water is running high, getting wet to his knees. Sometimes when he’s crossing, he feels the way an escaped prisoner from years ago must have, sensing the bloodhounds close behind, knowing he is barely a creek and a hillside scramble away from being apprehended.