There Is A Curse On This Town And Everybody In It

Folks say the curse goes back to when Meeks cheated Joseph Smith in 1837. Smith and his followers come out from New York looking for the Promised Land. Smith had a land claim signed by the territorial governor. Them Mormons  was so poor they pushed handcarts full of all their earthly possessions.

The spot was prime, ten square miles on the winding Des Moines river, rich  black soil with groves of trees in the river glen. Smith named it Elah.

But somehow Meeks got that claim away from Smith, got it changed so it said it was him who owned it. Meeks had his boys roust out them Mormons, push them onto the ferryboat at gunpoint.  He changed the town’s name to Bonaparte and that was that.

Subsequent years brought first floods, then several killing frosts. A fire burned up downtown. Finally, a tornado.

And Meeks alive through most of it.


What Pegman Saw, a great new fiction prompt by K Rawson




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    • J Hardy Carroll

      The bones of the story are based in truth. Bonaparte endured more than its share of misfortune, but whether it was a curse or not is a matter due speculation. The thing I do know is that the town has a bleak, defeated quality that was all too apparent when my daughter and I visited it two days after the election. The entire valley felt like that.

  1. DebraB

    Nice story! The town certainly looks like it’s been cursed! I see from your comment above that you actually visited the town. I’m glad you got out alive!

  2. Lynn Love

    Really good story – love the voice, very strong and the sense of a curse. From Google maps it does look rundown, a sense from some of the buildings that their once was hope and ambition there which has long since wasted away. Great tale

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