Tuesday, August 16, 2005

cold and wet

This began as a response to our free-writing prompt at group last night, then I added a few paragraphs tonight… just playing around and thought I’d share it. The prompt was, “it weighed on her like…”

It weighed on her like fresh, wet snow—the kind that comes freakishly out of nowhere in the middle of October and completely shocks your system before allowing one more week or so of Indian summer to ease your internal thermometer into winter. She could feel the tension—her boughs bending under the weight, poised to snap back upward in rebellion should gravity (or warmth) finally relieve her of her load. Seasons all out of whack—weather running amuck—life in chaos. Where was the comfortable predictability of winter-spring-summer-fall? But nothing was comfortable now. Nothing was predictable. Like snow in October, life could dump on you whenever it darn well felt like it…

It was the shock of it more than anything—waking up to find herself six inches deep in cold, wet, slushy life. Not what she’d expected. Then again, little was as she’d expected. Life, seasons, weather—was there nothing she could count on anymore?

This was to be the autumn of her life. Golden twilight against crisp apple reds, jack-o-lantern oranges, goldenrod yellows—casting long shadows against the warm honey glow of the day’s final moments. A time of refreshing after a long, hot, laborious summer season, and a time for one last fling in the amber sun and the crisp breeze before winter charged through like the hounds of hell on the tail of Satan himself. She knew. She knew the snow was coming. Life in Ohio had a certain inevitability about it—the snow would be coming. But oh, for one more fair fall weekend…

Big thick flakes dropped one by one onto her branches, each one sticking, clumping together in their not-quite-cold-enough-but-not-quite-warm-enough state, adding their weight to her already bent over frame. If only she’d paid attention to the forecast. But seeing as she’d never trusted the weatherman before, the diagnosis would still have caught her completely off guard.

And what good are snow boots, really, when the prognosis is terminal?

Might as well lob a few snowballs at the sky and let her feet get good and cold and wet…

No comments: