Sunday, December 14, 2008

Day 217

i acquired a bunch of my old files recently. i found a short story in them from a while back that reminded me of how much i miss sweet tea here. i'm posting that up for your entertainment and critique while i take a rest to do some reading. i'm finding this book to be really insightful, but i want what i'm absorbing to find its flow.


the porch screen door opened silently. chester shuffled through its white, flaking frame and lowered his shaky body onto the porch swing. heavy, sparse breaths were the only sound of the late summer afternoon; not even a trace of a breeze was left in the air. impulse, or maybe habit, would have called for some toast and sweet tea, but any such thoughts today fell silently into an eternal shell of quiet consternation. there was no desire to say or think anything in particular, yet never had he so strongly felt as if there was something that needed to be done.

not even the swing's unusual resistence could forge the dense, motionless air. it swung in eerie silence. his stiff neck turned to the metal joints and squinting eyes begged for a sqeak or rattle or any noise at all from the suspending chains. even the june bugs and grasshoppers had deserted the crisp, yellow lawn. the tall oak tree was all that was all that remained in the middle of the yard. never before had such a strong contrast existed between its dark frame and the old hay field he knew so well.

countless times had chester watched the sun fall behind this tree and the extending country hills. in fact, he quietly anticipated that time of the day when the sun would take center stage and would perform its glorious solo. the ultimate closing act always followed- a graceful and much appreciated fading bow to a humbled audience.

today the sun cast long shadows from the tree's bare, outstretched fingers and lifted them gently over the old eyes of its solitary audience. it was if the sun knew that it, in all his power and glory, could not muster a single wiff of air nor could it reach the old man's ear with any resilience of a burning crackle.

it was an ironic duo the two made. both, eternally destined it seemed, had their way of life and both silently met to end each day together. no sound, no words, nothing could better communicate the similiarity that burned within each of them. nothing could explain it and, now, nothing could replace it.

suddenly chester sighed, half wondering if it was only to break the stifiling silence in honor and remembrance of a time when he needed not call the air alive. oh the time when crickets sang lullabies from the sweet, dewy grass to the small children asleep upstairs. that time when his dashing wife would bring out two glasses of tea and would silently rest her head on his shoulder as a rythmic squeak accompanied the paling orange decent.

the sigh ended and the sun dipped, lower and lower and lower, behind the familar bumps on the horizon. finally, the tree was outlined by a fading pink brushstroke. flashing lights sprinkled the stillness- stars took their place along the branches of darkness. the swing rocked and rocked and suddenly, strangely, screeched a single, long whine.

somewhere, far beyond the wood rail fence, an inspired, solitary cricket gave an awkward, return outburst of jubilee. the single chirp resounded like the drip on a still pool of water. the wrinkled face pinched into a tiny smile.

"go get 'em little guy, go get 'em."

1 comment:

ThatTheyMayLive said...

that's so good. your imagery is captivating