Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: SLOTH (indolence; laziness) (01/29/15)
TITLE: One of these days
By Melinda Melton
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Bang! Bang! I shoot straight up from the hammock, my heart racing like a freight train. Frantically, I look around and see my Grandma snickering. Realizing it’s acorns dropping on the rusty tin roof, I look up only to get hit between the eyes by a nut that fell through the hole in the roof. I mentally add roof repair to my chore list.
Frowning, I lie back down, my gaze wandering to the two squirrels in the yard. I watch as they scamper around the yard stuffing acorns into their mouths. One after the other, with bulging cheeks, they run to the little hole at the base of the giant Live Oak tree, quickly storing their winter harvest and scurrying back for more. They tire me just watching them.
“Jimmy, when are you going to patch the holes in the roof? Winter is coming soon,” says Grandma.
“I’ll get around to it. I’m exhausted, plus I’m trying to decide what to write for my next article.”
Shaking her head she said, “Well, you’re not going to get anything done by lying around in a hammock all day. Just start writing.”
“I’m writing in my head Grandma. The deadline is in a couple of days. I’ll get around to it,” I said.
“Why don’t you get up and do some of the chores around here and get your blood flowing? That might clear your head.”
Ignoring her, I shift my position and cocooned deeper into the hammock.
Getting up from the rocker, Grandma groans trying to stand up straight. “I’m going to start lunch for us Jimmy but I want you think about something. You’re my only grandchild and I love you. I agreed you could move in with me on the condition that you would help me fix up the place instead of paying rent. The house is falling down around us and I need your help. Like I said before, Winter is coming. We need to prepare.”
“I know, I know and like I said, I’ll get around to it! Now leave me to my thoughts, please. I have a looming deadline.”
Rolling my eyes at the shake of her head, my gaze turns back to the squirrels. Maybe I should write about squirrels and their incessant need to store nuts, I thought.
Sitting up, I observe the neighborhood. The houses are quaint and well kept. Neighbors are busy mowing, raking and cleaning out gutters. Why, I don’t know. The wind will blow the leaves away, and grass will soon hibernate and be covered with snow until spring. It seems like a waste of energy to me. Maybe I should write about people’s constant need to work in their yards.
The smell of garlic and onion wafted through the screen door. I look over and notice the peeling green paint and holes in the screen. The handle is loose too. More things to add to the chore list, I thought. Maybe I should write a “how to” article about repairing a screen door.
Gripping the side of the hammock, I struggle to get out of it. Suddenly, I crash to the porch floor, the hammock pooling around me. The rusty roof, sagging from the weight of the hammock, gave way. Jumping up, I look around to see if anyone noticed me fall. No, everyone is still working like busy little bees.
Walking into the dingy house, I can’t help but compare it to the other quaint houses on the street. Their bright paint and trim lawns make Grandma’s house look shabby. One of these days, I really need to make repairs.
Entering the kitchen, my heart skips when I see Grandma fall away from the stove, clutch her chest and collapse on the floor. The onions and garlic splatter around her. I gather her up into my arms but it’s too late.
Several weeks pass. I slowly rock on the porch, pondering. Grandma left me the crumbling house in her Will with a note: ECC 10:18 Through sloth the roof sinks in and through indolence the house leaks.
I never wrote that article and I still need to make those repairs. One of these days.
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