The old man had entered the contest for wood sculpting six months ago. Now, at the deadline, it was finished. As the crowd walked by and viewed his creation, they remarked that he should not have carved a living tree. His vision wouldn’t have worked on a dead one.
As more people viewed it, he wondered if the world had forgotten abstract art. Did everything have to be realism? He got angrier by the minute at their criticisms and tried to explain abstraction.
He got angry and threw his ax in the middle of the tree.
It was Saturday. He’d asked her to go to town with him. They worked so hard on the farm. She walked over to the mirror and gasped. Her white hair, long and stringy. Her skin, leathery and red. She began to work her magic.
He couldn’t believe what he saw. All the men in town would be jealous. Her beautiful hair peeking out from under a tiny hat. Her glowing skin. She wore a navy blue suit that matched her flashing eyes.
He offered her his arm and said, “My beauty?” She smiled.
She doesn’t want them watching her. She has secrets. Secrets that could spell the end of her. She’s tried everything to insure her privacy. She has instructed her crew to plant the tall grass. Maybe this will deter them and their prying eyes.
They want to destroy her. They are jealous of her. All the people buzzing around her door. All wanting a piece of her. She won’t have it any longer. The tall grass will make her home look uninhabited, run down.
Why does she have to go to these lengths? She knows who the prisoner will be – herself.
While the old man watched the sun rise over the city, he heard the old woman stir. He quickly left his sunrise and went to her. She was still sleeping. She was ill. Worse, for days, he had been able to tell she had lost hope.
They had come to this city to find the medicine she needed to survive. He was determined. He had loved her for 50 years. She was too sick to feel much at all.
He walked back to the window. It was a new day. New hope. More determination. He would prevail for his sweetheart.
Thanks to Rochelle for hosting #FridayFictioneers and Dale Rogerson for the photo
In a city in the North, she was the housekeeper for the handsome detective. She didn’t like him much. She was snowbound at his house overnight. He was gone on an assignment. She was bored that night and looked for something to read. She found a book with crumpled pages called The Book of Spells of Misfortune. Curious, she opened it.
She found a spell she would like to cast on him but she didn’t believe in that stuff. She started chanting it for fun. She heard something and there he stood. He had turned into a pillar of ice.
He lived in this ramshackle hotel. He’d caught the ferry to it a year ago after he lost everything in a craps game on the mainland. He couldn’t afford anything else. Now someone wanted to talk to him about painting a landscape.
He found the fine-looking lady at the bar. He bought each of them a drink. She had horses and wanted him to paint them in a pasture on her horse farm.
He briefly dreamed he could still do it. Now his hands shook and the muse was gone.
“Mama, look at the hats! Magnus needs a new hat,” cried Josefina. Their family had just moved to Northern Michigan from Sweden.
“Child, we cannot afford a new hat. Come along.”
Josefina and her mother walked toward the apartment where they were living in Marquette, along the waterfront, through the tunnels of deep snow. As they stopped to go inside, a man cleared his throat behind them. They turned and saw someone they knew as Father Christmas standing there with two handfuls of hats from the shop.
”Happy Christmas,” he said, as he gave them hats for the whole family.
The cabin was deep in the heart of Appalachia. She was a city girl and he had worked in the city for years. They weren’t on the same page any more. They had been fighting, constantly bickering. He was desperate to save their marriage.
He surprised her with a trip to the cabin for a simple, country Christmas. She didn’t think she’d like it. Just the woods, a tree, their dog, and them. It was awkward at first, but then they began to talk. They rediscovered what they loved about each other at that cabin in the woods that Christmas.