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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fruit (10/10/05)

TITLE: Henry
By Paul McKinley
10/16/05


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As the breeze lay chase upon autumn’s crisp morning, golden leaves rustle along rolling hills of Pennsylvania’s countryside. Early Friday morning at Six o’five a.m the sun rises in the East, a winter’s call soon to be heard. The roaster sounds as Henry Olstead drinks his second cup of coffee while sitting alone at a small kitchenette made for two. Henry has lived on his farm now for fifty-three years and at eighty-three years of age he was still spry and could keep up with the best of them--or so he would contend. Henry wasn’t one to entertain while living on his sixty-acre farm on the outskirts of Summerset as few visitors would dare to impose uninvited.

With a population of eight hundred and seventy six, including the firehouse mascot, Danny, a forty pound basset hound, Summerset was a quiet but friendly community. Every Friday morning at eight Henry would drive himself to town to do his weekly errands. This time of year is overly busy for Henry as he would bring along several bushels of ripe red apples he had collected throughout the week in his orchard to sell to Mr. Gallerger, the local grocer. With a few essentials and a drive to the Summerset bank Henry would drive the twenty minutes back to his farm.

This morning however was different as Henry would not be driving into Summerset to sell the apples he had collected throughout the week. Today Henry is receiving a visitor. The wooden bird emerges from its hiding and sounds one coo-coo. Six-thirty and Henry is slipping on his jacket while stepping out the back pantry as the orchard lay before him. The scent of apples now linger upon the cool morning breeze ignites fond memories of times past. Henry is reminded of that encounter when he first saw her. “It seems like yesterday,” he trembles as soft spoken words were barely audible. She was more beautiful than he had ever seen before and it was there he fell in love with her. A few hundred yards to go as Henry anticipates memories longing.

Approaching the grand old tree standing forty feet high, and at fifty-two years old, still grows the best apples in the orchard. A beach had been set near the trunk where Henry makes his way and settles down. Memories flood his soul. “It was here, Katherine,” Henry spoke, “where we first met fifty-one years ago under this apple tree.” “We shared our first fruit, the first of many of which you have so blessed me for many years that followed,” Henry sighed with a smile as he gazed toward the much fruit upon the branches before him. “We were married this very day fifty years ago under this old tree and I sure do miss you,” Henry’s voice was shaking, “And though God thought it best to take you and little Jess home that day, as it was too much for the both of you, God has also seen fit to remind me of the fruitful life we once shared when every year I sit here before this old fruit tree. I love you Katherine, happy anniversary.


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This article has been read 526 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Yolanda Baker10/17/05
aww, this was such a lovely story. You wrote it well, keep up writing and be encouraged!
Paul McKinley10/18/05
Garnet Miller 10/19/05
How lovely that he still remembers her. Thanks for sharing your story!
Daniele Moskal10/19/05
This is an excellent piece of short-story writing from the author. Very descriptive,; lovely words!! Love from JOHN3-34 Evangelist
B Brenton10/21/05
This was sweet. Awww... Nice one!