Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Brilliant Little Fire - A Tale Of the Town Of Renaissance (Pt 2)



(Part 1:  Joseph is here. )


 Part 2:  Anna

“It's time” said Anna, watching as her husband brought a spoonful of porridge to his lips with a shaking hand.

His face went slack for a moment, then lit up with joy.

“Goin' to see the grandchildren!” he exclaimed, waving his spoon in glee.

Anna's heart contracted painfully.

“No, Will, I'm sorry. You remember, today we're going for a little walk. Up the hill, to have a picnic. The air will do you good.”

“A little walk”, he repeated doubtfully, and then resumed prospecting for raisins in his bowl.

Anna had already labeled their boxes MENTZER FAMILY and placed them outside the door. The first rays of dawn entered through the kitchen window, illuminating the hand-hewn beams of their cozy little cottage. The joins were a little crooked, and a few deep cuts in the wood hinted at the lack of expertise in construction. Still, those flaws had names: Levi Lapp, Andy McElroy, Dustin Craley, Joseph Grey. Men who sweated and swore and laughed as they raised building after building, conjuring a town and planting it in the dust and ashes of another. It was wrong to cling to something as ephemeral as a house, however; if there was one thing which she had learned, it was that life could take everything from you at one fell swoop. Everything.

Draping a warm woolen blanket over Will, she led him outside into the chill morning. The town was waking up and swirling in mass confusion; twice they were nearly knocked over by neighbors scurrying this way and that, calling after children, rounding up scant belongings, and chasing down dogs who gamboled about with tongues lolling in glee. Once upon a time, these same neighbors would have stopped and lent her a hand; but not now. They were all consumed with their individual dramas.

The couple made their way slowly, painfully up the treacherous hillside. The Main Gauche glimmered in the mist, reflecting the light like a mound of the daggers for which they were named. Spreading her own coat on the grass, Anna helped Will lower himself to the ground. He drew his knees up and wrapped his arms around them; a tear slowly rolled down his cheek.

“Want to go home,” he whimpered.

Anna wondered which home he meant. The one below? Or the one they'd left behind in the old world, now decaying among the ruins of a once thriving city. It didn't matter, really; all that mattered was the Here and the Now.

“Soon,” she murmured, stroking what was left of his hair. She held him closely and sang a nursery rhyme, one of the few ways she'd found to soothe him.

“Ring around the rosy...”


Prompt:  One character lies to another (there will be no picnic today).
Word count without title:  455
Character #2:  Anna Mentzer

Click HERE for Part 3

32 comments:

  1. Just love the last line...fits the rest oh so well.

    Great job, Ms. Co-Host!! ;)

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  2. You are doing a great job with the challenge story. Your writing not only is up to your usual standards, it perhaps is even exceeding your usual excellence. I think you've got a good thing going here so far.


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  3. Oh the poor man; to lose his home twice. And how painful for Anna to have to lie to the old man. Life can be so unfair.

    ........dhole

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  4. I really like this - the interplay between the woman and the old man. Felt like I was there ... well done!

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  5. A great challenge story excellent to read.

    Yvonne.

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  6. A very touching scene! Great work conveying her feelings as she tries to console a senile old man.

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  7. How sad . . . I felt bad for the couple.

    Great writing. :)

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  8. If this were a photo the photographer would be shooting from an entirely different angle on this shot - wonder what shot will be next?

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  9. Love how you ended this post. Still dying to understand why the town is about to be razed.

    :-)

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  10. Sublime storytelling, tightly controlled yet the story moves forward. Well done.

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  11. Complete break from the previous perspective - great shift. What's their connection to Joseph Grey from before he was mayor?

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  12. So sad, but very well written. I wonder what you will show us in the next chapter.

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  13. Wow. This brought tears to my eyes! What a lovely entry and a lovely character. My heart broke for her.

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  14. Beautiful and stands solid even on its own, separate from the other parts.

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  15. Nicely written scene. I also like how the mayor, who had ordered the burning of the town, was one of the men who had helped build the house...HHmmmm. I'm intriged. Your scene was very touching.

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  16. That was fantastic! I'd give you extra points for establishing such a vivid setting. And the short conversation at the end nailed the effectiveness.

    Nice one! :)

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  17. Well done, Li! I like Anna, and what's more, you've made me care about her, and her home.

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  18. Being uprooted once is painful; twice and the latter at old age is truly torturous....your second instalment moves the reader and makes us wonder - why would he want to destroy what he helped create?
    Great writing.

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  19. I really really wanna know why this Joseph guy is playing God and kicking these tender people out, just because they are human. {anger} Doesn't he know that humans take their flaws with them wherever they go?

    Great job you're doing engaging the reader! :)
    C'mon next week, come faster!

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  20. You could almost tweet these stories. I bet this is harder than it appears.

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  21. How very sad, I'm captivated by these characters.

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  22. Well done. The characters are rich, the story makes me want more. Everything fit. :)

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  23. That is very sad, made bearable by how sweet she is to them. There had better be a darned good reason for dumping them!

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  24. Anna has such a kind heart. This type of passion always tugs at the heart strings. Well done, Li.

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  25. Aww, that's so touching. I felt like giving them both a hug. I do hope they're okay, next week...

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  26. Poor Anna -- You show us her pain...

    http://ladysknight.wordpress.com/

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  27. I love the tragic connection between the nursery rhyme and what's about to happen. I really felt for these characters. How sad is it that Anna will lose her home and she has no one to share the grief with.

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  28. You capture so much emotion so very well. I am really curious how this story is going to end.

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  29. This made me really sad for her, despite whatever is going on around them.

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  30. Very heart wrenching.
    No, there will be no picnic today.

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  31. Oh that is so sad. It sounds like they lost more than their old home. Great descritpion and dialogue.

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