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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)

TITLE: Melancholy
By Lisa Keck


It’d been raining for months. At the beginning of the storm the woman had retreated to her cabin, a little place she’d bought many years ago. She hadn’t been there lately but the first sign of rain had drawn her there. Now she was trapped. All alone she decided to sit out on the porch and work on the sign that’d hung over her door. As long as the wind didn’t blow it was a nice spot to work. She didn’t know why people did it but she decided to name her cabin. She was just cleaning out a cobweb from the letter Y and about to move on to the broken chain when a clap of thunder startled her. She went inside to call her mother but the line was down. “Great, it’s raining too hard to go anywhere and now the phone doesn’t even work.” She muttered to the four walls. They were four of the most drab walls she’d ever seen. She never could decide how to decorate or even if she wanted to. At times the simplicity was quite comforting. The cabin didn’t have any windows when she bought it and she hadn’t gotten around to putting any in. Sometimes when she was inside she’d keep the door open. Usually though, she kept the outside out and the inside in. Lanterns provided adequate light (for doing nothing.)
The rain continued and the woman lost track of time. She’d spent her days inside never getting back to repairing the chain for her sign. One day the quiet woke her from a deep slumber. She stepped out on the porch and realized the rain had stopped. “Hum, clouds must’ve run out of water,” she said to the cold, damp woods that surrounded her property. She looked up at the sky and thought the raincloud moved ever so slightly. The rest of the day she sat on the porch and watched the sky. The cloud ping-ponged overhead, played by a gentle force she couldn’t see. It reminded her of the days of her youth when they’d play just to pass the time. She thought about her father just across the bridge down the road. She had a choice to make. She could finish repairing the sign and hang it up before going back into the cabin or she could go see if floodwater from the recent dam break had washed out the bridge. It was a difficult choice. If the bridge was washed out then she couldn’t get to her father and that frightened her. Night was falling. It was too late to hang a sign and too late for a walk so she decided not to decide.
The sign which read, “MELANCHOLY” lay on the workbench outside. Inside she slept but her Father just across the unbroken bridge didn’t.

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This article has been read 563 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/07/08
You really did show melancholy in your piece. I like the way you waited till close to the end to reveal the name of the cottage.
Your story would be easier to read if you would leave a space between paraagraphs.
Marlene Austin08/07/08
Agree with the first comment - double spacing between paragraphs makes the reading much easier. Also, just my suggestion, but for me, breaking the first l-o-n-g paragraph into shorter paragraphs would have made following the thoughts easier - for example, a paragraph describing the woman and the storm; one for the description of the cabin; etc. You did a terrific job with setting and holding the mood for this story. :)
Anita van der Elst08/07/08
Wow! I could relate to a lot of what the MC was going thru. I especially liked the phrase about keeping the outside out & the inside in. I hope the MC eventually gets to her Father.
Holly Westefeld08/08/08
Do I detect some symbolism/allegory here? The father who neither slumbers nor sleeps? I hope your MC chooses to seek out her father rather than to inhabit melancholy permanently.
Lois Hudson08/09/08
This is a great piece of writing, with layer upon layer of meaning, simple at first, but stunning when the depth opens up.
Beckie Stewart08/12/08
Thought-provoking entry.
Debra Martinez08/13/08
Very provocative. It will make me wonder for a long time about this family's relationships. Thanks for writing.
Dan Blankenship 08/13/08
Wow! Great work.

May God bless!

Dan Blankenship

Hannah Hunter08/14/08
Great opening. It leaves me wanting to know more.