As I have done many times, my Free Write Friday has ended up on a Monday. Email has not been touched for three days so when I finally got the courage to check it out, the first thing I did was type in Kellie Elmore to see what kind of prompt she provided. To my amazement, the prompt last Friday was an image prompt that immediately triggered my grandpa. The little story sparked from the image began with the end in mind. Some of it is fact while as with any writing, extras had to serve as fillers to make it interesting. Anyway, here are my thoughts which are just beginning thoughts working themselves backwards as I wrote the last paragraph first. Would love to hear your thoughts so leave a comment or two or three…
From Kellie, welcome to Free Write Friday. New here? Read the intro. Everyone else, let’s get started.
Here is your FWF prompt:
Tell me his story…
Grandpa was a hardworking man. He toiled the earth, tilling, planting and sowing crops to be gathered and preserved by his loving wife of over 60 years. They met as mere children. Grew up together, married, and reared half a dozen kids while raising ten times or more as many chickens. Home was a cabin hewed by logs cut from his own timberland. Firewood was chopped every evening before sunset.
Seldom did he complain even when he was so tired his feet dragged over the threshold. Sometimes just the heaviness of that ol’ axe would cause him to stumble. He would have no other, however lighter it might be because of differences in wood used for the haft. This one was special. Notched up and down like the handle of a six-shooter. Each notch represented a tree felled by the hands of his grandpa’s grandpa and every generation since. Pretty soon there would not be enough wood to even support the head. In addition, the blade was wearing thin from all the daily sharpening, the bit was chipped and the beard often hung low until the shaft was reheeled. Grandpa took pride in that ol’ axe. Said for a tool to complete a job in the quickest amount of time, it had to remain sharp, just like the mind attuned to its surroundings.
This day was special. It seemed different. He wasn’t any less tired than usual but the atmosphere seemed brighter, his legs seemed lighter. After making it through the door as he had done thousands upon thousands of times before, he stoked the fire, and hung his hat on the back of the chair, then sat down for a brief rest. Grandma was in the kitchen humming her favorite church hymnal while preparing his favorite, dumplings.
Sitting by the hearth in his rocking chair Grandpa gently closed his eyes. A faint smile crossed his parched lips as weathered hands firmly clasped the wood-splitting axe. The final blow had been made. A job well done. The fire logs crackled underneath the weight of his last log having been placed atop.
© Sharla Lee Shults, 2014