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 A winter in the country.

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Posts : 51
Join date : 2010-06-26
Age : 29
Location : North Carolina

A winter in the country. Empty
PostSubject: A winter in the country.   A winter in the country. Icon_minitime6/28/2010, 00:15

It is a small white house, a country house, isolated in the middle of no where. It is winter. A snowy roof makes it seem like the perfect, cozy place to be. Thick woods stand firmly and stoically behind the house, it is a landscape of hardwoods with no leaves left. An old dirt road sits quietly in the front. Rarely does any one raise dust clouds on it during such inhospitable times. A small white mail box sits at the end of the long drive way, a long drive way which has been used for so long the tire tracks now sink below the rest of the yard with grass growing between them. The small white mail box has paint flaking and chipping away. One can now see the cold black metal underneath. The yard is large, and well kempt. Everything has a sense of scenic country beauty. In the southwest corner of the yard stands a rather large rose bush, surrounding a fountain on the inside. To it’s northern side is a tall oak tree, with some smaller sprouting ones surrounding it. The entire western side is lined with a chicken wire fence, which gives both a slightly ominous feeling and more southern charm. The entire yard is laced with a thick layer of snow, covering the first two feet of the front door.

The old car-porch to the home’s eastern side has a red Oldsmobile beneath it. Perfectly clean on the inside, it is rarely driven by it’s elderly owners. Further east sits an old, rusted, swing set that was for the grandchildren who are now too old for it. Behind it is a burn pile. There is no trash pickup in a place this remote, so everything that is throw out is burned. Some sparse trees, mostly charred at the roots are past this pile, and then lies a cemetery. Clean, well kept, and with snow reaching halfway up many of the graves, it is a beautiful sight. It is solemn. The solace would inspire many to thought, tears, or smiling with a contented yet melancholy feeling. The cemetery surrounds a Church which is small, red, and remarkably tall. Laced with snow on the roof, amidst the tombstones shining in the intense light of the cloudless sky reflecting off the surfaces of ivory snow and marble, it would bring a pious one to their knees.

Behind the church is a small home. Bigger than the one across the woods, but still small. It has a small playground where the young members of the church play in the warmer days of the year. A faint trail of footprints is leading from the backdoor of the home, through the playground, and towards the woods. The blizzard has begun picking up and is pounding the form leaving them, and quickly covering his tracks. From the road no one passing would even be able to see him.

Back in the small white house, the elderly residents are sitting in the den. Two chairs side by side, with a door in between them leading to the kitchen, there is silence. Few words are exchanged, there is no TV., and no radio. No sound except the crackle of the fire. To the right of the door, sit’s a small old woman. Gray haired and wearing long loose clothing, comfortable, easy to move around in. a white sleeping outfit dotted with flowers, faded from years of use. She hasn’t bought new clothes in years actually. She sits in this chair most of the time she isn’t cleaning the home or cooking for her husband. She sits, and drinks her coffee right now. From a red plastic mug, that is set next to her chair in between sips. Rocking, slowly, she watches the fire and thinks. All kind thoughts. Of family, of friends, of fond memories from her youth. And though she smiles slightly, there is still a somewhat sad tone to her facial features. Almost scared in some way.

Opposite her is her husband. His chair is much larger, newer, cushioned, and reclines fully. He is in slacks and a work shirt. He has been retired for some twenty odd years now, but routine is a strength of his. He wakes up every morning, and wears the same thing. Eats the same things at the same times, and watches the same t.v. shows at the same times. He hates the weekend because it takes two days away from that portion of his schedule. He stares at the corner where the t.v. is. Henry is his name. Henry is very frugal, to describe him kindly. And to save money on electricity he has decided to stop watching t.v. at this time of night. Which, his programming has ended. It is his wife, beth, who is missing her shows. But she does not complain. She never does, as long as he is happy. And she never has in the past either.

They sit and rock in their respective chairs. Quietly, the sounds of creaking wood and a ticking clock on a shelf opposite the t.v. are all one can hear.

“Henry, I think the storm is getting mighty bad out there. I wonder if it’s going to pick up even more.” Beth’s voice was frail, weak, and yet still tender with affection. It cracked as she spoke, damaged from several strokes over her last few years.

“I guess it might.”, Henry’s replies are typically short. He didn’t talk much. Unless it was with other members of the family- certain members- or his -very few- friends.

And this is the extent of their conversation for the next half hour. Suddenly, a harsh banging is heard on the door.

“oh Henry, who could that be at this time of the night? And in this weather!”, Beth is shocked and looks to Henry, who continues to sit in his chair staring at the corner and rolling his foot in circles from boredom, not even lost in thought, just sitting. She knows that no matter who it is or how dangerous they could be, she is going to be the one to answer the door. She stands slowly, adjusting her tattered robe, and places her feet into gray, worn, dusty slippers. Shuffling through the door beside her chair into the kitchen, she hears the banging growing more frantic. She reaches the old white door with peeling paint and shouts to the outside.

“Who is there?”, she screams scared and anxious.

“BETH!”, shouts the familiar voice from the other side, “It’s me! Reverend Thomas! It’s cold hurry and let me in! Please!”

Shocked that the reverend is out this late, she frantically struggles with the rusted lock and opens the door. Stepping in with his long black over coat bellowing violently in the wind and covered in snow, he turns to shut the door behind him.

“Reverend, is something wrong?” Beth’s breath are rapid and her motions frantic, but she begins to calm down as the reverend speaks.

“Beth yes, everything is fine, you can calm down ,everything is fine. Where is Henry?” the reverend looks over Beth’s shoulder towards the den, already knowing the answer to his question. His voice is low, as though he wants to avoid her husband.

“Why, he is in the den. What brought you out here so late reverend? Here, sit, have some coffee.” Beth walks to the counter to the right of the door to turn on an old metallic coffee pot, and the reverend follows makes his way to the table and places his coat on the back of a chair.

“Beth, who in the hell is it?” Henry shouts abruptly. Beth walks into the den, telling him it is the reverend, which earns a simple look of chagrin from Henry’s face. She returns to the kitchen and checks the coffee, pouring some for her and the reverend.

“Cream and sugar reverend?” she asks him meekly.

“Sure Beth, but you didn’t have to go through the trouble.

“It’s no trouble at all really.” she goes to the fridge and realizes there is no cream. There is not much of anything really, aside from Henry’s food, and a few petty pieces of vegetables for herself. “I’m sorry reverend, but we are out of cream.” she sits across the table for him, taking sugar from the container in the table center, as does he.

“so how are things around here Beth?” the reverend is sitting apprehensively, quite separate from his nonchalant words.

Drinking some of her coffee, and setting it back down on the rickety table, Beth lowers her head and voice, “reverend, Henry can’t hear well anymore…what did you come for? You wouldn’t have come all this way through the snow and wind just to drink coffee and chat. What is it, I’ll let you have it if it’s here.” she speaks honestly looking him in the eyes.

“Beth, why would you think I was coming here to ask you for something?” he stops seeing her glare cutting into him.

He sits silently for a moment. The incandescence of the furnace from the living room flickers against the walls and Beth continues staring at him calmly, solemnly, and almost remorsefully.

“I need some food for the kids Beth” his gaze lowers now. “there is nothing left in the house and the storm is to bad to drive to town. They are hungry Beth, all we have is some carrots, salt and pepper, and a piece of pork not even large enough for the dog to eat. I’m not worried about Donna and I, but the kids, they need to eat, please-” he is cut off by Beth’s hand over his mouth.

“Reverend enough.”, she gets up from the table and walks to the fridge and began searching, and finds that the only thing she has is the cabbage. Taking it out., she carried it to the counter. A towel is living on it which she wraps around it, along with an onion that is nearby. She motions him over to her and pushes the tightly wrapped parcel into his hands. “you take this to your children, right now.”

“Beth, can you really spare this?”
“It doesn’t matter, you need to feed those children. Hurry, go home before the storm gets any worse”

The revered looks into her stern but caring eyes, and takes the package. “You are a good woman Beth. thank you so much. I, I can’t even begin to explain what this means to me.”

“It means your family won’t starve. Please, go, before Henry comes in here and sees me giving you this.” with these words the frail old woman pulls her shawl tightly around her neck, hands the man his coat and rushes him out of the door so he can get home before the storm worsens. Making her way back to the den with her husband, she sits gently in the chair, feeling the tension coming from his presence. Her mind starts to drift, to what she will eat to make it through the storm.
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A winter in the country.
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