These entries from April's challenge were selected as Honorable Mentions. Those who completed this challenge are now encouraged to share their stories in the comments section of the "April Writing Challenge."
Until Next Spring
A lonely bird sings her heart out on the tiny branch of the massive cheery blossom tree. I cherish the soft, light touches of the fallen petals beneath my feet. I take a deep breath and let the winds narrate me tales. They are gentle on my ears. I can feel this place come to life. It’s amazing, and I’m glad I’m here.
“Thank you for bringing me here,” I whisper to the boy beside me; his eyes are calm but lost. They search for something I fail to understand. Though he’s here, he hides himself well. He doesn’t say anything but nods, enough of an acknowledgement gesture. I like his ability to be cut off from the rest of the world whenever he wants, and he likes it too.
“Should we head home now?” he asks, tilting his head to the other side, not really facing me. I don’t want to go anywhere. I like it here. His right hand finds my left, and our fingers intertwine; it fits perfectly. He inches closer to me until our shoulders touch, the little warmth it offers is enough of a reason to smile. He notices it but doesn’t react; my cheeks are pink. We take a last look at all the loveliness around us and leave.
I miss spring. Why does it have to come only once in a year? Things like that should be perennial. As I sit in my room with the windows open to allow air to play with my hair, I replay the images of that place from my mind and feel the empty space it has left. Those times were a blessing, and the boy was the best among them. I wonder where he is now. It’s been months since I last saw him. I miss him and our laughs. Though I knew he was faking it when he said he would meet me again, I couldn’t help but believe him. His eyes shone that evening; it was our last. We didn’t say much, just sat next to each other and relaxed. He handed me a small paper and asked me to look at it when I miss him. As the sun went down, I knew it meant the end of our spring but was happy that it sealed our friendship that could defy time and space.
I look down at my hands and smile.
In this little world of ours,
There’s beauty and everything’s bright.
Fill it with colors,
Some of yours and some of mine.
(Until next spring)
She sits contently on the porch of her white-picket-fenced-house, built from the ground up with the love of her husband and his father. Taking in breaths of the crisp, fall air, she can’t help but reminisce about the day he had asked her to marry him. This happened under the big willow tree just atop the hill in their backyard.
But that was two years ago, and today is September 3rd.
And today her life will change.
The window behind her back reflects the dull blue sky, her neatly combed hair, and just inside the living room sits an open box with the contents of a newborn crib spread strategically along the floorboards. She was in no rush to put together the crib on her own, embracing each day of her pregnancy; the little kicks, the stirring, feeling full and complete. She was in no rush.
Her husband was deployed just 63 days prior to this crisp, fall day. Letters were piled on her dining room table from the love of her life, folded neatly within a white envelope and always signed “Forever, Jack.” She whispered this softly each night as she climbed into bed in hopes he could hear her somehow, clutching his favourite navy blue t-shirt with a small hole in the left sleeve. Laughing, thinking about how she could never get him to just buy a new one. But in the moment, she was in no rush.
A breeze swept over the porch almost blowing over her unopened mail that sat beside her. Leaves tumbled around her ankles. She quickly grasped the neatly sealed envelope, wondering what Jack’s words would read today. She loved letters.
Slowly, carefully, she unsealed the contents. Her eyes darting to the bottom. She smiled.
“Forever, Jack.” She would read the rest when she got inside.
She got up from her wooden chair as a car entered the long and dirt-filled driveway. Smiling, knowing her mother had planned to visit this afternoon to bring over some baby items. She ran inside to turn on the kettle, adding the opened letter to the pile on the dining room table. Moments later the doorbell rang and confusion arose. Her mother always knocked 5 times before entering.
She opened the door to a man. A man in a uniform. A man holding a letter.
A neatly folded letter and a flag.
Anti love letters
Sitting near the window I thought
I thought of all the things that could be and all the things that would not
I thought about past memories under the willow tree
I never thought that this could be
My thoughts dangled to and fro
Never coming clear and becoming my foe
The letter in my hands created these wild thoughts
I never knew your love for me would rot