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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Twilight Years of Life (07/02/09)

TITLE: Rocking Chairs
By Rachel Burkum
07/07/09


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Creak
Creak
Creak


His shoes gently push off of the worn porch floorboards, giving the chair its rocking momentum. Back and forth, back and forth.

His eyes drift out across the field to watch his Master paint the evening sky. The colors blaze, even to his aged eyes. The birds usher in the darkening haze, soaring one last time before the moon appears. And they sing, beckoning the stars. The melody is sweet, even to an old manís ears.

Creak
Creak
Creak


The boards beneath the tattered rug groan with the weight of each step. He shuffles slowly back into the house. The television is off, the back door is locked. Itís time, once again, to rest upon his bed.

Creak

The sagging mattress complains as its familiar roommate joins it for the night. The blankets are pulled up close. The pillow is fluffed just right. Oh, but the teeth. He wonders if he might one day forget his mind altogether. She had always reminded him to do these things.

The blanket is rolled back down.

Creak
Creak


His knees loudly proclaim their stretches as his legs carry him back down the hall. Lights go on. Crickets hush their singing. The rattling in the bathroom sink mixes with his monotone humming. Lights go off. Crickets resume their singing. The bed is occupied once more.

Creak


_______________________________________________


Creak
Creak
Creak


She canít hear the sound her chair makes, so she loves it all the more. Staring out the window, her eyes gaze across the lawn. The sprinklers send droplets of water shimmering to and fro on the blades of evenly-trimmed grass. The fiery red sunset beams make each drop sparkle. Itís like a blanket of fireworks that God laid out just for her.

Creak

The door opens and the nurse comes in, ready to prepare her for bed. Though she would just as soon stay by the window, she knows the routine. It always makes her a little sad. She wants to see the birds. She wants to listen for the crickets. But soon she will be tucked in bed and will have forgotten these things until the next night.

Creak
Creak
Creak


Her walker moans as it journeys across the floor. It carries her to her bed, and supports her as she struggles to sit, then slide down under the fluffy comforter. It is warm. It is cozy. But she asks that the curtains in the window remain open for now. She likes seeing the stars.

Creak

The door is closed and all is quiet. Or is it?

Creak
Creak
Creak


Her walker moans again. A childish smile toys with her lips as she sits back down in her favorite rocking chair. She canít see the fireworks from bed. She wants to watch them just once more.


_______________________________________________


Creak
Creak
Creak


The rocker sways gently in the breeze. It is empty, but its armrests are smooth, proving love and use that once was there. He is gone now, to an eternity of vivid sunsets. To an eternity of beautiful birds that sing the days away. To an eternity without the aches and pains. Without the loneliness of heart.


Creak
Creak
Creak


The moving air from the nearby air conditioner is just enough to keep the empty rocking chair from stopping its rhythm. It is empty, but the memories of loving use remains. She is gone now, to an eternity of bright fireworks. To an eternity of dewdrops that reflect the lights. To an eternity without confinements of walls and a mind that had grown so weak. Without the loneliness of heart.



Two rockers remain. But two hands join. Together again. Together at last. The dusk has become the dawn. Never would they have to part again.


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This article has been read 744 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/09/09
Your theme of rocking chairs worked just right for this topic, and the ending was perfect. I really liked your descriptive details.
Patricia Herchenroether07/10/09
A beautiful love story. Clever format. I'm crazy about this one.
Charla Diehl 07/11/09
Great presentation of this tender and sweet story of lovers apart, but then united forever. Thumbs up on this one.
Jim McWhinnie 07/13/09
Such a creative portrayal of mature love. Just lovely.
Allen Stark07/13/09
I like the way you were able to write the story in parallel. Different. But that's what makes for originality.
Shelley Ledfors 07/13/09
This was very unique and beautiful. I can really relate to it, having said goodbye to both of my parents last year. But I'm glad that they, like the couple in your story are together again, "without the loneliness of heart." Thanks for sharing this.
Noel Mitaxa 07/14/09
This piece rocks us between description and reflection. Thanks for keeping us coming back for each new piece of such a warm, reassuring picture.
Carol Slider 07/16/09
Heartrending and absolutely beautiful! Congratulations!!
Sharon Kane07/17/09
Lovely writing. You portrayed this with all the tenderness and love it deserved.