Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.
At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.
They were submitted by:
My words are: cold ~ limbs ~ blowing ~ thankful ~ bowed ~ hunter
They were submitted by: https://dlt-lifeontheranch.blogspot.com/
Thank you, Diane! These were great additions to the story. If you haven’t been here on “Use Your Words” Day, which by the way is hosted by the wonderful Karen Blessing from BakingInATornado.com. If you interested in joining the writing challenges look her up on FB @Bakinginatornado! We’d love to have you!
So, five months ago I decided to put my words together every month and role out a single story that carries over month to month. As you can see from the title this is Part 5. If you would like to catch up you can find PART 1 HERE, PART 2 HERE, PART 3 HERE, and last month’s PART 4 HERE.
It was the week before Christmas. and Marianne was hard at work getting the rest of the poinsettias and Christmas cactuses restocked. This had always been the deadest part of the year for the family farm. They sold most of their stock in the Spring & Summer, but last year she had decided to add live Christmas trees and the winter flowers, plus a few extra things that she had slowly added to the stock.
She only had six months until she finished business school, but already she had made more than enough in added income to pay for all of the courses she was taking at the community college. Her father had practically turned over the business to her in the last few years and she wanted more than anything for him to be proud of her. She had let him down so many times in the past, but he never mentions anything about the divorce or Jimmy. He’s the one who noticed the steady creep that the nursery’s profits had been making over the last year.
They sold mums, pumpkins, squash, cornstalks and they had added a hayride out to the pumpkin patch that the townspeople had loved. For Christmas, she had added trees, cactuses pansies and they have a hayride through the forest of lights that the workers had set up over the long Thanksgiving weekend. Her dad had wanted it to be a surprise for her when she returned from her trip and she had loved it. They sold cookies and candies that her mom baked along with hot chocolate. They had even hired a Santa Claus for the kids to see. She was so thankful for her parents. It was so much easier to stand strong because she had them supporting her the whole way.
When she was finished she stretched to try and get the kinks out of her back as she walked towards the empty parking spaces. Stepping out of the warm shop she was shocked to see how cold it had gotten since she had come in that morning. The wind was blowing and the sky was really dark in the west. “We’re going to have a big snow when we wake up in the morning,” she said to herself. She would have to drop the kids at her mom’s if the school was on a delay or closed altogether.
She decided to cut off early so she could stop by the store. She’d bet they were already out of milk and eggs. Whenever there’s a hint of a storm those were the first to go. She got home just before the kids and already had dinner simmering slowly on the stove. She had decided on a nice warm pot of spaghetti for dinner. “Warm us from the inside out,” as momma always says.
It had started snowing before she had made it out of the store and by the time the kids got home from school the ground had more than a covering on it. They ate the chili and after cleaning the kitchen back up she went out to the porch to grab a few pieces of wood for the fireplace.
As soon as she opened the door she saw a quick movement in her peripheral vision, but when she turned her head she didn’t see anyone. It was almost dark and with the conditions she couldn’t see 20 feet in front of her, much less all of the way to the woods. She kept her eyes glued to the spot where she had seen…something. “There!” She said as she spotted something moving between the trees. “Jimmy! Is that you?” She screamed but there was no return answer. She suddenly longed for the warmth and safety of her kitchen and turned to go back inside. “Probably just some hunter, trying to bag a buck before deer season ends in a few days.” She said as she stared at the black forest looking for something out of place, but didn’t see anything at all.
She shut and locked the kitchen door as she looked out of the small window to the curtain of black now enveloping everything, but the small circle illuminated by the porch light. Just then, “mom! mom! come quick there’s someone in your room. She felt all of the air evaporate in her body and she plunged through the kitchen door and into the unknown. Emma and Joey’s eyes told the story. Something or someone had scared the bejesus out of them.
She immediately pushed them behind her like a lion protecting her cubs. They inched their way to the closet where Marianne stopped long enough to get the nine iron she had taken from Jimmy’s old golf clubs that she had taken to the Goodwill after he’d gone. She made the kids get into the back of the closet and she started up the stairs. She heard the noise when she got to the top of the steps and sure enough, it was coming from her bedroom. She brought the nine iron back over her shoulder and turned the handle and flicked the light switch in one quick motion.
The room was completely empty. She looked around at her unmade bed and the clothes that she had left on the floor but didn’t see anything out of the ordinary when she heard the noise again she flinched automatically. It was coming from the window and once again she led with the 9 iron and she pulled the curtains back. The wind was blowing so hard that the tree was bowed over and the limbs were slamming into the window and side of the house.
She was relieved, but her heart was still beating out of her chest. She grabbed some pillows and a blanket deciding tonight would be a good night to camp out in the living room. No way was she getting any sleep with that noise all night. She’d have to have someone come and cut the branches as soon as possible. If it held on through the night that is.
They bundled up in front of the fireplace with hot chocolate and a kid-friendly movie and all three were sound asleep before the credits rolled. Marianne had forgotten all about seeing someone in the yard when she woke up the following morning and they had accumulated so much snow that the man-made tracks were completely covered just like he’d known they would be.
Come back on the next second Friday of the month for part 6!
Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:
Baking In A Tornado http://www.bakinginatornado.com
Cognitive Script https://cognitivescript.blogspot.com/
On the Border https://dlt-lifeontheranch.blogspot.com/
The Bergham Chronicles https://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com
Southern Belle Charm http://www.southernbellecharm.com
Bookworm in the Kitchen http://www.bookwormkitchen.com/
Part-time Working Hockey Mom https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch
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