#1 to #10

The monitor uttered it’s final sound and she collapsed over his lifeless body in heavy sobs. Her family stood back, crying silently. All she had wanted was for him to say he that loved her, but now it was too late. She hugged him tighter and wailed.

She flipped her perfectly tousled hair, which worked flawlessly with her low slung jeans, pumps and tank top, baring the team’s logo stretched tight across her chest. As she walked toward Wrigley Field, she eyed herself with a glossy pout in every window down Clark Street.

His nurse rushed to the dimly lit room. “I think you should call your mom now,” she said calmly.

Just then, another nurse entered the room and told Sara her mom was on the phone. Her hand shook as she picked up the phone next to her dad’s bed. She caught her breath and answered.

The window in the attic is my only friend. The brightly colored stained glass, marred by cracks, is the most beautiful thing in this place. Most days I sit in front of the attic window because it reminds me that beyond it, maybe there is hope.

She began with a single word, then another and another. Her fingers glided across the keyboard like a pianist writing a symphony.

The adagio danced like a ballerina. The air soared like a beautiful bird. The requiem mourned like death.

At the end of the month she was finished. 50,000 words, complete.

It was a masterpiece.

Blinking at the tower of pine caskets on the sidewalk, I wondered which one belonged to Timmy. The wind kicked up a pungent smell as dry leaves created a tiny tornado at the base of the stack of boxes. I shoved my hands deeper into the pockets of my jacket and turned to walk home.

I dress to write.

Pants, sweater, socks, shoes give me purpose. Barefoot or fluffy slippers scare me. Soon I will be wearing a robe, then only underwear, and before long, nothing. I won’t shower, I may sleep till noon. After a while, I might not bother to write at all.

So I dress to write.

Darla’s mother said she could place one piece of straw in the manger for each good deed that day.

Helping her brother get dressed to play in the snow…one…clearing the table after dinner…two…picking up her room…three…finally, nine pieces of straw to make Jesus’ bed. 

Knocking her brother over in the snow? She removed all the straw.

Being honest…one.

Picking up the package that arrived in the mail that day, she ran her hands over the smooth brown paper before tearing it off in one swift motion, revealing a crisp hardcover. The new spine cracked as she opened the first page and saw her name. She drew in a breath and said the words aloud.

“I am an author.”

I need to go to the gym, she sighed. The cookies, the cheeses, the hams…they’ve formed a new circle around my hips. 

Sipping coffee, her eyes wandered from the laptop to the snowdrifts outside. She would have to shovel. And she wanted to catch up on Facebook. The bite from a custard-filled donut expanded in her mouth. 

Never mind, she decided. I’ll go tomorrow.

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© Kathan Ink 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kathan Ink, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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