JB Lacaden’s Picture Choice: 1
Title: A Day in Miranha
He wakes up earlier than the sun. No one greets him good morning save for the ever present pain in his body, in his bones. He has long learned to not listen to its voice.
Art sits up and puts on his glasses. The world outside is blanketed with gray and his house remains in dreaming. All is quiet. Art reaches for the photograph on the bedside table and brushes his fingers lightly on the woman in it. His wife, dead for over a decade, smiles at him with her all her shyness and love. Art smiles back.
A lone rooster crows the arrival of the morning as Art puts on his overalls and heads outside. The air is crisp and has the light touch of the coming winter. In front of him lies sprawling his garden - a garden that had grown from being more than just a simple hobby. It has covered his entire yard and has surrounded his house. Everyone in Miraha admires his garden. It's his pride and joy. He has thrown his everything in it - becoming the focal point of is life ever since Maria died. He brought it to life with his arthritic hands and bad back and broken heart. It became his new Maria.
He has grown all sorts of vegetation and is continuously planning on adding some more. A couple more root crops, he thinks. Art picks up his equipments and begins working. Climbing up his wooden fence he sees the first rays of daylight. A bead of sweat crawls down his sunburnt cheek. He stops and looks up for a heartbeat or two and sees one window of one house light up. It's the Ripple house. Art wipes away his sweat and resumes his work.
Prudence Ripple takes out her coffee mug and begins making coffee. She looks outside the window and sees Old Man Art, a permanent fixture to the landscape, working on his garden. Honestly, Prudence thinks to herself, that man would rather talk to his vegetables than to his neighbors. She's pretty sure the old man doesn't even know he has neighbors. Prudence walks away from the window and takes a sit.
From above she heard floorboards groan - a signal that her husband has now waken up. Prudence's eyes fall down to the blackness of her coffee. She sees her reflection which turn into something else, of an image of a woman she doesn't know. Her thoughts wander back to last night as she listens to her husband whisper a woman's name in his sleep. It's not the first time that happened. But Prudence is sure it means nothing. It's just a dream, she thinks to herself. She takes a sip from her coffee.
Her husband walks in the kitchen and greets her a good morning. Prudence returns the greeting. She watches him pack food into his bag. He loves me, she thinks to herself. He wouldn't cheat. He's not like that. Prudence smiles at herself, at her assurance, at her husband.
The husband tells her he'll be working late, to not stay up waiting for him, to kiss the children goodnight for him. Prudence nods and nods and nods. The husband walks over to her and kisses her on the lips. The feeling is no different than that of a handshake. Prudence thinks nothing of it. She remains seated in her chair as the sound of the opening and the closing of the door fills the room. Her husband leaves.
The world holds its breath. All the eyes of all the trees watch Henry in anticipation. The boy draws his knives and waits in the shadows. His prey, unaware of the danger around it, stops by a stream to drink. Henry knows an opportunity just opened itself. He makes his move. He slips out of the shadow and pounces on the deer with both knives outstretched like claws - a human that has turned into a vicious wildcat. In two swift motions he has severed the deer from its life. Blood spills from its neck and into the stream. Not bad for three hours of waiting, Henry thinks as he wipes the blood from his knives.
Above, the sky turns red as the stream soundlessly flowing beneath Henry's feet.
The sun is a golden coin that's already halfway buried beneath the ground, and with it comes down the colors of the sky - leaving nothing but the darkness of the night.
She's wearing a white dress.
The grass feels soft beneath his feet and the night breezes are kisses on the skin. He watches the houses in the town of Miraha glow with light. From somewhere far comes the sound of a wolf howling into the silver moon.
He feels her beside him, looking at him.
The wind carries to him her scent. He holds on to her just a little bit tighter, afraid to let go.
Time keeps on moving, pulling her away. He can't keep up.
He remembers her words, they float in the darkness and they land in his memory.
The hands of the clock continue to move as Miraha prepares for the night. He sits alone on top of a grassy hill with his hands in his pockets. He watches life move along. He refuses to let her go.
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JB Lacaden dreams of someday being a published writer. He currently resides in Manila, Philippines. He's a lover of comic books, science fiction, and high fantasy. Check out some of his works at http://www.jblearnstowrite.com/ and follow him at @jblearnstowrite.