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.
Hope ~ stroke ~ lights ~ joint ~ heat
They were submitted by: My friend and cohort Minette over at http://www.southernbellecharm.com
I decided 7 months ago to take my words and create a continuing story and today that story continues with Life In A Small Town Part Seven. You can find part one here, part two here, part three here, part four here , part five here and part six here. I hope you enjoy it!
Marianne’s father escorted Michael into the house as the heat slid over and around them chasing away the frigid temps before they could grab hold. “Michael, I’d like to introduce you to my wife, Grace.” Marianne’s father said as she held out her hands to take the stranger’s coat. “Welcome Michael sure is cold out there isn’t it. Let me take your coat.” “Thank you,” Michael said. “I was in the neighborhood and thought I would stop by to say hi to Marianne and the kids while I was nearby.” “Oh,” said Grace who was taken by surprise. “I’ll see if she’s up for visitors,” she said moving through the house to the kitchen. “Marianne, you have company. Are you up for it?” She said her eyebrows raised. “There’s a Michael here to see you.” She said obviously confused.
“Michael?” she said stirring the pot of bubbling beef stew on the stove while she watched the kids making a snowman in the backyard. “What’s he doing here?” she asked the room as she turned to make her way down the hallway. Her father had already moved them along to the living room and the roaring fire that looked so inviting after an afternoon in the cold. “Hi Michael,” Marianne said shyly. “What are you doing way out here?” she asked not hiding her surprise. “I was just in the neighborhood and thought I’d stop by and say hi.”
“How have you been,” they both said at the same time. “Good,” he answered and she just nodded her head. “You’re father said you’ve had some trouble around here. Is everything okay?” “It’s been a day that’s for sure. Someone broke into our garden center and vandalized it. Tore up the whole place. It’s disgusting.” she said. “Speaking of that,” said Marianne’s father, “it’s all cleaneback upup and they’re coming tomorrow to install a new security system.” “There go all of our profits,” she said. “Everything we worked so dang hard for this year.”
“That’s awful,” said Michael, “is there anything I can do to help?” “No, thank you, Michael,” her father said, “we take care of our own around here.” He reminded himself that this was a stranger after all who just happen to show up on the worst of all days. “I guess I better get out there and take care of that sidewalk before somebody breaks their neck,” he said getting up from his comfortable, old recliner. “Sir, please let me,” Michael said standing up. “Shoveling snow can be dangerous! It’s the main cause of strokes and heart attacks in the winter time.”
“No, neither one of you should be out there shoveling,” Marianne said. “Emma and Joey can take care of it in just a few swipes. No sense getting all bundled up again after you just unloaded all of your gear.” “No, really Marianne. I don’t mind at all. I’ve been cooped up in the car all afternoon and could stand to stretch my bones and joints a little bit.” He said already heading for the front door and his coat. “Fine,” Marianne’s mother spoke up, “but only if you’ll stay for super. We’re having a fine beef stew and some warm crusty bread.” “Sounds delicious ma’am and you’ve got yourself a deal.” Michael throwing his scarf around his neck and walking out on the front porch quickly shutting the door behind him.
“Where did you meet him,” Grace said as soon as he was out of earshot. “We met him when we went skiing over Thanksgiving. He sort of saved me when a deer decided to tackle me on the slopes,” she said laughing at the memory. “He’s a very nice man. He asked me out, but I wasn’t ready then.” “Are you ready now?” her mother asked the hope evident in her eyes.” “Honestly, I hadn’t thought about it lately. Maybe, but he hasn’t asked yet.” Marianne said as she went back into the kitchen to start setting the table.
After the sidewalk was shoveled and a major snowball fight had been fought the kids & Michael were herded into the mudroom to get rid of their frozen clothes. They all settled around the table to share a blessing and a meal together. Marianne’s father watched the new stranger as he laughed earnestly with the kids and charmed Grace with his praise over the meal, but he decided he was going to hold out in his judgment for now. It was his job to protect his family and in his eyes, he’d already failed them once and he was going to make damn sure it didn’t happen a second time.
After dinner and cleanup, grandma and grandpa scooted the kids upstairs for a warm bath and a bedtime story so that Marianne could have a little privacy with her new friend. They sat in the living room with the lights of the Christmas tree and the fire lighting glowing on their faces. It was just like at the lodge, conversation came so easily between them that it hardly took any effort at all, which surprised them both. “Well, I guess I better get on the road. I didn’t mean to stay so late. I have an early morning,” Michael told her as he started to put on his coat. “I’ve really had a good time tonight Michael. I’m happy that you decided to stop by.” Marianne said.
She walked him to the front door sad that the evening was coming to a close. “I know you said you weren’t ready to date yet Marianne, but I was kind of hoping that you had changed your mind,” Michael said quietly. “Well, at Thanksgiving I know I wasn’t ready, but this is a new year and I think I might be ready to start living life again. My marriage ended badly and it came as a great shock to me, but I’m happy, healthy and ready to move on.” “Would you consider having dinner with me next weekend?” “Yes, Michael, I’d love too.” He bent down and kissed her lightly on the cheek and then he was gone. She watched his lights all the way down the drive, trouble is she wasn’t the only one watching.
Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:
Baking In A Tornado http://www.bakinginator
Bookworm in the Kitchen http://www.bookwormkitchen.com
On the Border
Part-time Working Hockey Mom https://thethreegerbers.blogsp
The Bergham Chronicles
Southern Belle Charm http://www.southernbellecharm.
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