Welcome back to another Jane Espenson issue. Do I really need to say anything else? I mean her name is enough to inform us that the story is amazing. There is nothing this woman can't write. I would kill for half her talent.
Anyways, enough about the master that is Espenson. Now on to the Dust Bowl. It is a heartbreaking tell about a boy who lives with his mother and works on their farm. A bad dust storm hits and they have to bring all the animals into the barn. His mother invites a stranger into his home to protect him from the dust. He promises that he will be gone by morning. So he is. But something isn't right with his mother. She asks for a hug and bites him. Without thinking he bites her back.
The next day he wakes up and his mother comes to talk to him, he thinks her crazy and stabs her. She turns to dust. It is then that the hunger sets in. He goes to his neighbors house, just as the sun comes up, catching him on fire. His friend puts him out and he tells her that he wants to make her like him. He bites her but she never wakes up. He never figured out that she has to feed on him in return in order for her to become another vampire.
The dust starts to clear up and he knows that he will soon need food. What to do? He opens up his mothers room as a guest room. Making his house into a kind of bed and breakfast. He dumps the dead bodies in the barn.
It is a sad tale but one that is well told. It has just enough heart and irony in it to make even this short a tale so memorable.