As i have told some others, i've been thinking about making a collection of short stories. i thought i would post some of my favorite sketches that i wish to expand upon and see just where life takes the story. i hope that you enjoy it.
The Fall Garden
It’s a beautiful fall afternoon, the chill of the morning has worn off and the sky is a deep clear blue that only seems to happen in the fall. Rake in hand the old man shuffles his way past a bed of roses and the empty flowerbed. The lawn still smells of the fresh mow it had this morning. With fall in full swing it’s a smell the old man won’t smell again until spring and he stops to savor it. Continuing, he passes the big oak tree in the back yard and looks up at its brilliant red leaves that are still in its boughs. The man sighs as he knows in the next coming weeks those leaves will have fallen onto the yard. Finally, he reaches his destination, the garden. He places the rake next to the other tools he needs against a faded white wood fence and he reminds himself again that he really should repaint it.
Opening the gate to the garden, he looks around at the dead vegetation. The corn stalks stand as sentinels among the remains of this once fruitful garden. He shuffles this way to these mighty stalks; there job done, he pulls them loose from the soil. He then rakes the rotting vegetation into a pile. It used to be so much easier years ago before the joints of his hands started to swell, but he still enjoys his time here in the peace of the garden. The smell of the soil and the production of the food in the garden brings him a sense of peace and accomplishment. His pile complete, he gets the large black garbage bag he hung over the fence earlier. As he puts the remains of the garden into the bag, he gets a last whiff of the rich soil. He takes the bag to the garbage cans to be removed the next day.
His job done for the day, he slowly gathers his tools and heads back to the shed. It’s an old tin shed that stands, actually leans, next to the chicken coop which hasn’t been used in a decade. Now it’s used as the jail when the grandkids play cops and robbers in the backyard. He has to pull on the door hard to open it because it sticks in the frame. Once it swung easily open and shut but time as warped the wood just and it has warped the man’s joints. The door of the shed must be open to let in the light, because he never did get around to running electricity to it. With its dirt floor, the shed has an old musty smell that reminds him of the root cellar of his childhood home. As he puts the tools away he sees the worn carvings on the legs of the work bench that stands in the shed. Danny, Bobby, and Jacob (not Jake) are the names carved there. He rubs his hands over the rough grain of the wood and remembers when his boys were young. Glancing down he sees an old coffee can filled with rusty nails. He picks up the can to move it higher, not wanting the grandkids to get hurt on one of them. After removing the can he sees in the corner and old pink gardening glove. Slowly, he reaches down and picks it up. He sits down on an old five gallon paint can and tears fall from his eyes. After a minute or two he stands and sets the glove on the bench. With a final loving pat on the glove, he leaves to go into the house. Jacob and his new wife are bringing over dinner, and he needs to get cleaned up.