Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fog and fiction

Happy Thanksgiving! No feast for me today--I've got a cold and had to cancel plans. Still, I'm grateful for all the wonderful things in my life. Especially my children and grandchildren, family and friends. Thank you, Lord!

Writing a fiction exercise today--something foggy to match the weather.

November 26, 2009 (Thanksgiving) Neenah Ellis, If I Live to Be 100, p. 97

“Emotion is rising in his throat again and he pauses to let it pass.”

The fog settles in great gray puffs between the trees and up beyond the tree tops. Yet I walk through the woods with an easy gait, for I have walked this path a thousand times before. And through the dense fog someone calls my name. Am I mistaken? Is it the muffled cry of a bird? Is the wind beginning to stir, rustling the fog-laden braches of the pine trees? I hear it again . . . “Ruth, Ruth” . . . it seems to come from far, far away, yet I feel it resonate inside of me. It sounds like his voice, but he is gone, sure as his ashes were carried in the wind that June day at sunset. I climb over a log into a shallow trench, lie on the forest floor, and cover myself with soggy leaves. I hear him call me again, his voice louder and closer, and I hear the sound of footsteps and the crackle of broken branches underfoot. I hold my breath and hide under the leaves but I know that he can find me anywhere. I recall all those times I had awakened in a panic and felt for the gold band on my left hand. How had I lost my wedding ring? But then, as I awoke and my thoughts cleared, I would realize that the ring was not lost, but rather it had been ten years since I took off the ring forever. Every time I woke searching for my missing ring, I cried. I would cry because I could not purge that intense, visceral connection with him. But in the light of day, when my head cleared, I would remind myself that my life was good, that I had found some peace, that life would be okay without him. Yet I was hounded by a yearning for some sort of resolution with him, some words that would acknowledge that he once loved me and that he regretted what he had done. Now, here in the forest, the sound of footsteps become closer and I hear him calling me, his voice like the wind. I am lost between dream and reality. He moves the leaves covering me as I lie on side, my face hidden beneath my arm, unable to look at him. “Ruth,” he said, his voice cracking with emotion. I try to understand his garbled words. I think he is saying, “Ruth, please get up. I want to tell you. . . .” Emotion is rising in his throat again and he pauses to let it pass.

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