My Forever Valentine

PressedFlowerPaul’s arthritic fingers slowly untied the frayed ribbon around the box. He lifted the lid and peered at the contents. A lifetime of love and laughter captured in letters and cards. A pressed flower, a dog-eared photograph. On top, a tattered paper valentine inscribed in a childish hand, “To my forever valentine. Adele.”

He was 8 years old when she gave it to him. He was horrified – girls had cooties! Twelve years later they were married. Sixty-some years together, contained in that box.

He heard footsteps behind him. “Dad? You ready? The car from the funeral home is here.”


(my response to another 99 word challenge from The Carrot Ranch — check it out if you are in need of inspiration.)

#99WordChallenge #Valentine #Memories #Loss #MargaretGHanna

In Praise of Winter

When I was a kid growing up on a prairie farm, winter was magical. My brother and I would wake up on a cold January morning to find the entire world made of spun sugar. The adults called it hoar frost but we kids knew better. The sky was a brilliant clear blue. Ice crystals sparkled in the air. The sun sported a glowing halo and four almost-as-brilliant sundogs. Our breath froze into fog, then vanished. Snow squeaked like old leather underfoot. We were not kids tromping across the drifts through the trees surrounding our farm, we were intrepid explorers crossing the Arctic. Continue reading “In Praise of Winter”

The Boat

She stood on the pier, head cocked. Sea mist enclosed her in a shroud of impenetrable greyness, hiding the bay. Only sound existed. Unseen waves crashed against an unseen rocky headland. Unseen leaves rustled. Overheard, unseen gulls mewled. The sound she longed for – unheard.

Mist moistened her face, disguised the tears. Tears she had shed these past three days. Three days without sleep, three days of waiting, worrying, hoping. Three days with no news.

Behind her, in the house, a phone rang. A muffled conversation seeped through the mist. The screen door squealed open.

“Martha, they’ve found the boat.”

(The challenge: write a story of 99 words — no more, no less — about sea mist)

#99Words #Fiction #MargaretGHanna