It seems I’ve put my shovel down again…and have forgotten to pick it up. I’ve done a little editing on older writing projects, but haven’t done much so far as fresh writing goes. Until today.
When I saw this prompt on Red Lettering, I knew I had to take it. This is the result:
“It was a ghostly morning. He kept his eyes lowered while he walked and watched as the rocks and scraggly, blue-hued grass tufts appeared out of the mist, passed under his feet, and faded behind him back into the mist. The nanny goat and hunting hound had started the journey this morning at his side, both wearing a load on their backs as he did. But the dog was now far ahead of him, following the mourning coo of a crag dove. The nanny was somewhere behind him, distracted by a patch of weeds. He could hear her collar bell in the distance, reminding him of the solemn tolls of church bells. His pace fell to a heavy tread as the sense of loss, still fresh, burned at his core. The road he followed, isolated and obscured by cold fog, mirrored his mood. He kept moving forward, but his mind was elsewhere and misted with memory.
The small, mumbling voice brought him to a slow stop. He reached an arm over his shoulder, and felt tiny fingers, chubby and somewhat damp, wrap around his own. He smiled, although his eyes were still fixed on his feet and his thoughts fixed on the past. He carefully sat and undid the sling on his back, then brought his infant son around to sit on his knees.
“Ba…ba…ba…ba!” the baby accented each word with a bounce, muffling the end as he stuffed a fist into his mouth. He was ready for breakfast. The father pulled a stake and rope from his pack, and whistled for the nanny. The faint ringing of the bell came quicker and louder, and soon the goat’s shape pushed through the fog. There was a slight waddle to her trot, due to her full udder. The hound, too, came running. He knew he’d get to clean up the puddle of milk, the first few squirts which every milker knows to discard.
While the nanny was distracted with an oatcake, the father filled two bowls with the milk. He set his aside and fed his son first. He did his best to spoon the warm, foaming milk into the baby’s mouth, but a good third of the milk ended up everywhere else.
“Ba…ba!” The baby gave a wide and toothless smile, as if pleased with his mess. Eventually, the father smiled also. He may have lost his wife and his home, but he had his son. His son, his bright son.
At that moment, he realized that the world was lighter, clearer. He looked up, and saw that the sun had risen above the mountain ridge. It was merely a gentle glow, but the mist that veiled it was quickly evaporating. Wildflowers were peeking through in flashes of gold, purple, and red.
The father picked up his child and strapped him to his back again. Then, whistling for the goat and dog to follow, he continued down the road. He would cross over the mountain ridge, together with his son.”
It was good to take the shovel in hand again.
I look out my window and watch the rain fall, I feel the call of the tea kettle, and I have my motivating music playing.
I think it’s time to write again!