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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: New Year (05/09/05)

TITLE: Knitting and Rocking
By Karen Deikun


It was just after midnight. The old man was in bed, but apparently the old woman couldn’t sleep. She sat in the rocking chair in their bedroom, while the overhead light illuminated her knitting and made a soft halo of her beautiful white hair. Seemingly unconcerned that the light might bother her husband; she rocked back and forth as she knitted, softly humming an old hymn. She began speaking aloud, although her voice was slightly hushed.

“It’s a New Year, Herm! And you did it again. You managed to get out of taking your best girl to a New Year’s Eve party.” She chuckled. “This makes the 47th year in a row. How you manage to keep coming up with excuses, I’ll never know. Guess I won’t ever get to a New Year’s Eve party. Unless, of course, I go by myself. I just might do that this year.” She continued rocking, although her busy hands had slowed a bit.

“I have to say, that in spite of the New Year’s Eve parties we’ve missed, you’ve been a real good husband, Herm. I couldn’t ask for better.” The rocking chair had slowed down by now, and her hands had stopped their work.

“Don’t know what I’m going to do without you, Herm.” A tear spilled out of the corner of her eye and rolled down her wrinkled cheek. She walked over and kissed the cold, still face of her husband, who had died sometime during the night. It was a new year, and she was alone.

“I guess I’d better call the preacher. Is that what I should do Herm? Wish you could tell me what I should do.” She walked over to the phone by their bed and dialed.

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This article has been read 1171 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Lee Schab 05/16/05
Wow - you packed a lot into this short piece. Personally, I would have liked to see a longer story - maybe drawing it out a bit, more one-sided conversation, making us wait a bit for the twist of her husband's death at the end. But it was wonderful writing all the same.
Blessings, Lynda
Sandra Petersen 05/16/05
How often do we forget that there are those in the world that lose loved ones over the holidays! What a moving picture you painted! How little time we all have to do the things for someone else that would bless them! After I read your entry silently, I read it out loud to share it with my daughters.
Cheri Hardaway 05/16/05
Wow! You got me! I never saw it coming! Good job. Blessings, Cheri
Dixie Phillips05/16/05
Oh my..... if I was sleepy before you've got me wide awake now. You have a great plot! Creative twist! WHEW! My heart is still racing.
Kyle Chezum05/16/05
This was awesome! One of my favorites!
Sally Hanan05/17/05
Very touching and sad.
Helga Doermer05/18/05
A well written peice. My one disappointment was the woman's deferential question to her husband at the very end. Her character led me to believe she was quite capable of making decisions.
dub W05/20/05
Very tight, everything worked. Bravo.
Jamie Driggers05/23/05
Here you are again Karen, congrats! Well done.
Lois Jennison Tribble05/23/05
Congratulations, Karen! Your writing gift is like nitroglycerin -- not much needed to make the point. A powerful, poignant story, well-told. -- Lois
Debbie OConnor05/23/05
Very real, well-painted picture. I agree with Lynda that I would have liked more. Still, you did excellently well. I loved the deferential question at the end, too. The fact that she was knitting and kidding her husband about not taking her to a New Year party was powerful. Well done! Congratulations.