Perhaps cheating a bit; I had thought about the challenge and themes I might expand upon. In the middle, I got an important phone call, and didn’t note the exact time I stopped, so there may be more than 20 minutes worth of writing! Problems with my computer did slow me down. So here it is 2 poems and 2 short stories (one flash fiction) all conceived for the 20 minute challenge. Enjoy?
I sailed my boat out to the colored sea
with waves of every rainbow hue
a wave, a splash would colorize me
I applauded Neptune, look what he can do
She stood in the winter forest, her boots full of snow, and called again. Only silence, occasional noises made by winter birds. When wind swept tree tops, bark on bark squeals, the thud of snow from branches hitting the drifts below. She called again; her voice echoed off the trees surrounding the meadow.
As she was decided to go forward or go back, crashing sounds came from the woods to her right. A moose broke through the trees and headed directly towards her. From behind, she looked frozen, too scared to run away. But, if you looked at her face, you would see was laughing and holding her arms out. “Bruce, where have you been?”
Flowers I picked for their
brilliant colors, exotic smells
today, hang limp and wilted
as if by bringing them
I had sentenced them
She stepped back to look. The rose bush was full of orange blooms and buds. She was getting better at taking care of the roses. On-line videos, blogs, and websites were her sources of education. And colorful companions on dreary, grey winter days.
She had really looked out her window three years ago, and saw the roses. Neglected. Struggling. Tangled with weeds and vines. Leaves attached by insects. Only a few buds were determined enough to bloom.
She identified with the roses’ plight. She made her first journeys into the overgrown garden and lawn. The gardener’s shed was only 1/2 locked, so she easily pushed her way in. The tools were rusty, the shed full of dust and cobwebs.
She toured the rose beds, softly saying she would rescue them. After learning roses 101, she knew which garden items to order. Every day, she would reassure the roses they would return to their former glory. Boxes began to arrive with clipper, shears, and rose food. She arranged with a garden store to have compost and mulch delivered.
She cleaned a corner of the shed. She put up a rack to hang her tools, garden gloves, knelling pad. Next to the shed, she started composting.
Under her careful management, the roses began to recover. Slowly at first. They had been neglected for so long. Orange, pink, red, white, banks of primroses sheltering the garden. Fancy roses. Old fashioned roses. Early roses. Late roses. She told the roses stories, offered encouragement, and advice.
Hum of the bees. Mixing of colour and scent. Warm sun turning her extremely pale skin a shade of golden brown. She smiled more, and even began to sing quietly as she pruned. She asked permission to take some into the house. On grey, raining days, the roses would bring light and hope.
Hope, a word she had removed from her vocabulary. Also deleted was dream, wish. Why did it spring into her mind? She had planned to say light and colour. Maybe it was time to rethink her vocabulary.
Like the roses she rescued, she began the slow process of rescuing herself.