Tag Archives: observe

Approaching Winter (for Trifecta)

It’s time for the Trifecta Weekly Challenge. I wrote this entry on my phone during several recent moments of downtime in my life. Truthfully, I think these challenges have become my go-to free time activity … replacing reading, TV, music, Facebook and all of my other mindless occupations. (Fine. Who am I kidding? I was never really busy reading.) Now, if only I could convince myself to write in lieu of snacking.

Oh … and anyway … the word this week is observe. I was actually the Trifecta member who submitted it, dumb ass that I am. You would think I would have proposed a word for which I had already written a story. But NO. I had to come up with something new and original to challenge myself, thereby offering me (my primary concern, really) no unfair advantage over my fellow participants. So, I was accidentally ethical. Stupid … and ethical.

Seriously, you don’t know the rules by now? All entries must be between 33 and 333 words and need to include the following word using its third definition (both listed below).

ob·serve verb \əb-ˈzərv\

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Approaching Winter

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“It’s snowing again,” Martha announced to an empty room. She stared out the dusty picture window for a few minutes, watching the endless flakes fall into her overgrown garden. Sliding the tattered quilt from her legs, she braced herself on the arms of her chair to stand and reach for her cane, an old shepherd’s crook that had once belonged to her grandfather.

She steadied herself with it before traversing the excessively cluttered room. With her compromised balance, the trips to the kitchen had become incrementally hazardous. The quantity of obstacles taunting her along the way had increased ten-fold over the years.

She doddered across the stained rug, oblivious of the mess that had accumulated since her beloved Henry had passed seventeen years earlier. They were unable to have children so she seldom had visitors and the small cottage had plummeted into disrepair. The only thing preventing a rodent invasion was the daunting number of cats roaming the property, coming and going at will through a small window left ajar in their honor.

“Toby?” Martha called. “Toby, are you ready?” She looked around and finally saw an old grey tabby peeking out from behind a tall pile of newspapers beside her. “Hello, my handsome boy. And happy birthday to you.”

Toby was her oldest, as she’d adopted him shortly after Henry died. He was the only one for whom she knew a real birthday, November 7. It was the busiest day of the year in her non-traditional household. And Martha intended to observe it throughout his life as though it were a high holiday. Over the years, the other days had all lost their significance to her anyway.

He was her family now, he and all the others. They needed her for survival, or so she thought. And they were willing to sit for hours and listen to stories of her childhood, her factory job during the war, her Henry and whatever else crossed her tired and addled mind.

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