Scars From Climbing #carrotranch #freewrite

As many of you will know there is a free write competition going on over at the Carrot Ranch here. It’s taking place over the course of September and there is still time to enter. Basically Charli Mills will issue a prompt and you have 24 hours to write a 297 word piece to that prompt. Submit and you’re in the game.

So far I’ve done two pieces. No idea how they’ll fare but here’s one. I may post others. Please take part. You never know.

He lifted the hand, skin crinkled with a lifetime’s experiences and ran a finger along the little white scar, shaped like a disappearing moon. ‘My Everest’ she’d told him, recalling how Aunt Felicity had dared her to climb the bannister, with all the drama of her failure: pain, the cut, shock and grandma’s anger.

He rubbed the rough skin, fingers long crippled with arthritis. Lower class, they’d called her.  ‘They told me I wasn’t good enough.’ Another laugh. ‘They said I put a spell on your father, made him marry me.’

‘Magic hands,’ his father said. And they both laughed. ‘Just another social climber.’

She hid the hurt in her smiles, but it was there, in those empty Christmases, the returned presents.

He kissed the knuckle near the kink, broken in frustration when the depression got so bad. He thought about how, alone, no husband or beloved sister she’d dragging herself out of the shadowlands, forcing herself to face a hurtful world, just to keep him fed and warm. What that must have cost her, hiding the clouds from him, those dents in her soul.

He turned over her hand, the dark ink-stained middle finger being the last remnant of those cruel days working to put food on their table. Forcing herself to confront the prejudice, refusing to let it hold her back, making herself indispensable, even as they disparaged the little woman with the permanent smile, who held the business together.

He laid the hand back in the coffin, letting them close the lid. The pall-bearers eased the casket onto wide shoulders, beginning her final climb to the church. Now the scars were his, bequeathed to him by her untimely demise, while she ascended, unblemished and, finally, pain-free to take her rightful place amongst the angels.

PS I checked and there’s nothing, least of all the judges stopping you posting your pieces.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published two anthologies of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand and Life in a Flash. More will appear soon, including a memoir of my mother's last years. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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19 Responses to Scars From Climbing #carrotranch #freewrite

  1. Norah says:

    What a beautiful compassionate piece, Geoff. I wish I could remember what I wrote in response to this prompt, but I know it would have nowhere near the depth of your piece. Well done, and good luck! Though, having said that, I’m not sure it’s luck you need.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Juli Hoffman says:

    Beautiful entry! Good luck to you!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow–you get so much out of so few words. Well done!

    Like

  4. Ritu says:

    Love your piece His Geoffleship! I May post mine yet!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 297 words! Words that when all strung together in this way bring me to a place of wonder and awe.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent imagery Geoff. Very nicely done. Loved both the buildup and soft landing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I thought we were required to post. 🙂 I’m glad I didn’t get dinged for doing so.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Poignantly compassionate

    Liked by 1 person

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