17:00

Picture of a park bench

(Click here to view : What the park bench sees everyday)

She supposed she really ought to be scattering bird seed, perhaps corn for the larger ones. So her grandson had often told her, in kind but stern words. “The mold on the bread could kill them!”

But her widow’s pension was meant for sustenance, not luxury, so she shared what she had. The birds didn’t seem to mind, judging by how they gathered about her feet on this park bench, every day at 5 pm. And they never left a crumb behind, so where was the harm?

Her grandson was adamant, but she needed a sign. So she prayed on it, then raised her head at the brush of wings, the whisper in her ear. “Look to your left, and many thanks, Svetlana.”

She grasped her purse with trembling hands. His voice…?

On the edge of the trash bin lay a half-dozen perfect red roses, wrapped tenderly in crisp paper. Standing, she shuffled over to the bouquet, raising it to her face. She inhaled its sweet scent, reminiscent of the smaller nosegays, equally perfect, plucked from the park’s garden and presented by her gallant Sergei on their daily courtship stroll from her job to the rooms she’d shared with three other girls.

What she wouldn’t give for one more walk with him.

Short version-99 words

She supposed she should scatter birdseed, as her grandson often admonished her.

Her widow’s pension was meant for sustenance, not luxury, so she shared what she had. The birds didn’t object. They gathered at her feet at this park bench, every day at 5 pm.

She prayed on it, asking for a sign. A brush of wings, a whisper in her ear. “Look left, and many thanks, Svetlana.”

On the trash bin’s edge sat a half-dozen perfect red roses, reminiscent of the sweet nosegays gathered by her gallant Sergei.

What she wouldn’t give for one more walk with him.

© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2020)

Carrot Ranch Prompt (01/23/2020): In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a park bench. Use this gif to choose a timeframe and write the story behind that particular scene. Use the time as your title. Go where the prompt leads!

7 thoughts on “17:00

  1. Pingback: Life Stories of a Bench « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

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