Day 9 – Prompt: A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene. Twist: write the scene from three different points of view
Day 8 – Prompt: Go to a local café, park, or public place and write a piece inspired by something you see. Twist: write an adverb-free post.
THE RED SWEATER
Today the sun keeps the clouds at bay, shining heavy on the crowded park. There are no shadows to follow the walkers, picnickers, dog owners or the disc golfers as they toss their Frisbees into baskets. Lunch time always sees the park numbers increase, men in suits, grey, black or blue, ties tight against striped shirts, trench coats left open or hung folded on their arms. Women walk on black pumps clacking against the sidewalk. Their blouses tucked smooth into pencil skirts, hair tied close to their heads to keep it in line.
Every bench has at least one occupant, a man with his dog, a mother chatting with a friend while pushing a stroller back and forth as her baby cries hungrily. An old woman sits alone, under the gnarled red oak, knitting a small red item. Her needles flying and clicking with a life of their own as she looks around the park.
“Knit one, Purl one, carry one over, Knit one, Purl one, add a stitch. I do like this pattern. Joyce will be over the moon when I give it to Kitty. Her 1st birthday. She is such a good baby. Knit one, purl one, add a stitch, knit one, purl one, carry one over, start a new row. Always happy. There’s a handsome couple coming along the sidewalk. They must be just beginning to date. I remember holding Martins’ hand that tight, years ago when we started going out. I was about that girls age, early 20’s. He looks a bit older than her, 29 or 30 I’d say. Purl one, start a new row. I wonder what they are talking about. I bet it is something intimate, they both have that shy happy smile painted across their faces. Carry one over, knit one, purl one add a stitch. This will fit Kitty with enough room for her to grow. Oh Oh! Something is not right with the lovers. His face is twisting, she must have said something. Oh my his face is wet, he is crying, the tears are flowing. What did she say? What happened? Add a stitch, start a new row. She is still smiling, doesn’t she know he’s upset? Knit one, purl one. Oh there she goes, she knows now. She looks surprised, interesting. Hmmm. Maybe she didn’t say anything at all to upset him. Hmmm. Purl one, Look how she puts her arm around him, how sweet. I wonder what upset him so much. Start a new row, knit one, purl one carry one over, knit one purl one, add a stitch, Yes, Kitty will look so cute in this little red sweater, Joyce will be so happy. I can’t wait to finish it for them. Add a stitch start a new row.”
A young 20 something woman, walks with a bounce in her step, her thin candy red wool coat swinging against the leg of the older dark haired man walking close beside her. With her free hand she runs her cherry tipped fingers through her short auburn bob, freeing its’ strands from the stuffiness of the office.
“That was a scrumptious lunch, Don.” the young woman remarks as she looks up into his eyes, then at his full lips. “I just love that place, they make the best chicken, avocado wraps, don’t you think?”
“Sure do, Sam.” he quips “I know it’s your favourite.” He looks at her and winks.
Sam smiles, drops her eyes and blushes as he takes hold of her hand and holds it as they walk. She holds his hand back. Don smiles a grin that stretches from jawline to jawline.
Sam, licks her lips then says “Your hand feels so nice holding mine, it’s warm and comforting. It makes me feel special, like you and I are the only ones in the park today.” She looks at Don and smiles a small quiet grin. He looks at her, smiles back and squeezes her hand.
They walk in silence for a moment, each relishing the new step taken in their budding relationship.
Sams’ mind is reeling. Wow! I can’t believe this. His hand is so smooth, it feels good to be touching him. I can feel the butterflies flitting around in my tummy. I won’t be able to concentrate this afternoon.
“What are your thoughts on this, Samantha?” Her mind mimics her the voice of her boss. “I don’t know Jordon, Don is holding my hand. I can’t think of anything else.” As she day dreams her coat swings with a little more bounce.
I wonder where we will go tonight. Last nights’ movie was fun. It was a little embarrassing when I jumped during that scary scene and hid my face in his shoulder. Her smile widens as she reminisces about the evening.
It is Friday, maybe we will go to a club. Oh that new one everyone is talking about. Maybe we will have a quiet dinner at “Roger Rabbits”.
What! Don has let go of my hand. What’s going on? She turns to look at Don. His head is bent down, both hands cover his face.
With surprise and concern she asks “Don, what’s the matter? Are you OK? What’s wrong? She gives him a quick once over to make sure he isn’t injured. She takes his hands and pulls them away from his face. Shocked to see he is sobbing. Oh my god, she thinks, did I say something wrong?
“Don, you’re crying” Oh yeah, how obvious, that’s helpful, she berates herself. “What can I do?” “Here” she rummages in her pocket. “Take this Kleenex, wipe your eyes.” she whispers and puts her arm around his heaving shoulders.
Her mind is racing, I cannot imagine what happened. We were having such a lovely time and all of a sudden he is crying. What is going on? I wonder what triggered this. Perplexed she continues to coo, “It’s ok sweetheart, everything will be ok.” as she rubs his back and shoulder.
Man, she is so cute, thinks a 32 year old man walking with a young woman by his side. His short dark brown hair shows a few grey strands just above his temples. Around his eyes are the shadows of a few crow’s feet, just enough to herald the number to come as he ages. His jaw, sharp and square, speaks of a strong back with a touch of stubbornness. Dressed in the dark suit so popular with office workers, his red tie sets off the thin stripes on his shirt. Sharp toed shoes finish off his polish with a touch of flair.
Her lips look so kissable. I just want to touch her, feel her skin against mine. Listen dummy, she’s talking to you about lunch.
“Sure do, Sam, I know it’s your favourite.” Anything for you baby doll, Wink. My famous wink always wins a few smiles with the ladies.
Her eyes, so dark, so brown, I could fall into them and never come out again. Man, you’re grinning like a chimpanzee, stop it and grab her hand. Wow, so soft, so small, my hand engulfs hers. I bet those nails can leave a good scratch. Whoa, she is squeezing my hand. What a woman, she knows just how to get my blood going.
I could walk beside her forever. I haven’t felt this free since…… Stop it. Stop it, don’t go there. Sam is here. Look around, get your mind back on track. Don’t go there. Distract yourself, look around the park. Anything to take your mind off the past. What is that old woman knitting? No no, don’t look there, it’s a baby sweater. Quick, think of something else. Don’t let this take hold.
She was just a baby! Stop, stop, you can’t do this, not here, not now, he pleads with himself. There was nothing you could do. It wasn’t your fault.
If Helen had just asked, I would have driven her. I would have kept them both safe. I would have….. Oh God, why? Why? What did I do? What didn’t I do? Our life was perfect, she was perfect. She was just a baby. What did she ever do for you to take her away so brutally, so violently? Oh God. My daughter. Oh God, my daughter. I’ll never see her, hold her again
“I’m sorry Sam I’m ok.” he whispers between sobs “You didn’t do anything wrong, It’s me. Please forgive me, I am so sorry”