Sunday, December 20, 2015

It's been quite some time since I posted here and thought it would be a great day to start again. Here is a short story I wrote this morning using the words tea, Christmas and green as a prompt. Hope you like it. 

The Green Afghan

Winter came early in Northern Maine. Especially in the mountains where Nina lived. She'd already been snowed in for a week and predicted at least 2 more weeks. She didn't mind though. She was all stocked up and ready for anything. She'd lived up here on the hill long enough to know what to do and what she needed to make it through the winter – 70 years now to be exact.

She sat by the fire with a green afghan that she crocheted wrapped around her shoulders like a shawl as she sipped her peppermint tea. She watched the fire crackle in the fireplace glad that it would be yet again another white Christmas up on Hutchison Hill. That's what the locals called it because Nina's family had lived here for several generations now. Nina was the last of the Hutchinson's, having never married nor had any children. 

She often wondered what was going to happen to the place when she passes from this world. She's talk to her lawyer several times about what to do with the place. The best idea so far is to turn it into a Writer's Retreat. Nina loved this idea because she loved to write. She wrote something every day no matter how nonsensical it might be. She wrote no matter how short or long her writing. As long as she could still write, she would write.

She glanced over at the Christmas tree that she herself cut down and dragged back to the house. It was a beauty. Dad had taught her how to pick the best trees and she remembered every word. “You want one just the right height so you don't have to cut any off and so you don't have to shove the top through the roof.” Nina had always giggled at that one. “Make sure the branches are uniform so they make a nice shape. You want a girl with a bi g middle and even bigger behind.” He always made her laugh. “She has to be plump in the middle. Not one of those barbie doll types with the skinny waist and no ass.” So that was what she found and brought home. It was perfect. Dad would be proud.

Her sparse decorations brought her even more pleasure. They were all of various shades of purple; her favorite color. All different shapes and sizes. Some were shapes like angels, some like doves and others just regular Christmas balls. She set the purple off nicely with just a few silver balls and some silver garland. The tree was beautiful.

All this wonderful beauty around and she had no one to share it with. Nina sat her chair with the green afghan wrapped around her shoulders like a shawl. Her tea now cold and sitting on the side table beside her. The fire long burned out, the house was bitter cold. The Christmas tree sadly drooping from lack of water, bulbs falling to the floor and smashing.

It would be another two months before anyone found her lifeless body still sitting there with that green afghan, her eyes fixed on her tree. She passed among things she loved and family that came to help her cross over. She was more than glad to go. She'd seen enough of the bullshit of this world and was glad to be gone from it. The only thing she was going to miss was that green afghan to keep her shoulders and arms warms. She wouldn't need it any more but it was her favorite and was always there for her when she needed a warm hug.

She passed from congestive heart failure, the paramedics said but everyone in town knew that what she really passed from was a lonely and empty heart.

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