Hey, funky monkeys! Last week I posted Writing Prompt – Random Books, Random Words and promised you that this week I’ll upload what I’ve created with it. Here it goes!
(this is something I drew years ago and which the exercise reminded me of)
The air outside might have been hot and humid, but that did nothing to stop the people from gathering at the town square. And how could it; it wasn’t everyday that such a grand figure as the count graced with his presence such a small community.
My own curiosity wakening, I tiptoed to the tall windows of our living room, waiting for this notable man to pass by our house. I was still in my nightgown – long, light and lacy – and with a pillow in my hands. My mother – absorbed in the commotion outside – didn’t notice me, which was a blessing, given my attire.
“Most unsuitable at noon” – was what she’d exclaim, her eyes closing as she shook her head.
“Let the child wear what she pleases; she’s young and we are not expecting a visit” – would be what my father would say, but nevertheless my mother would shoo me out of the room and order a maid to dress me appropriately in one of those painfully tight gowns that no girl of six could play in.
Both of my parents were respected in our community.
My father was a minister and as such he made sure we were raised with the word of God. He said a prayer at each meal and he insisted all members of his family did the same each night before we went to sleep.
He was a private man, one of quiet contemplation more than words. You could often find him in his study with an open book in his lap. But lately his eyes were not set on his reading; they were aimed at the space in front of him, his bushy dark eyebrows knitted and his forehead wrinkled. He would stay like that until I came into sight; he would then try to smile – he used to smile for real once – and beckon me to him.
Whatever hardship was on his mind, he would not share it. Instead, I’d sit on a chair and he’d hand me his book.
I’d then commence reading for him.
At some point he would get up and approach the window. As he gazed outside at our well-kept garden, he’d light his pipe and I’d find myself distracted. This was the image of my father that I would never forget: his figure a dark spot in the background of the sun rays which shone through the glass and the thick orbs of smoke coming out of his mouth. He seemed like an ancient, powerful dragon, lost in thought.
My mother was an entirely different person.
Like my father, she was reserved, speaking often about God and decorum and not much of anything else, but my father’s lack of words did not hinder him from expressing his affections. A look of approval, a gentle caress on the top of your head – those he was generous with; I could not remember my mother showing her feelings of warmth, not even towards my older siblings who she cared for more.
Her hair was always styled in un impeccable bun, her clothes were modest – perhaps even dull – for a woman who could afford the latest fashion and her favorite pastime was embroidering in silence. Her nose had always reminded me of the beak of a bird of prey and I’ve had nightmares of her swooping down from a darkened sky and grasping me with a set of claws; I would cry out in pain and wake up.
In the morning, she would reproach me for screaming and waking the family up. I would apologize, but I would not share what I’d dreamt about; not with her, not with the rest of my family… But maybe with the beggar I sometimes snuck out of our house to feed. He was a scrawny man, with shabby hair and even shabbier clothes, but he was a kind man; he listened to me and he never judged me when I spoke my mind.
And the tales he shared; oh, the tales!
He’d traveled to faraway places, met with people with black skin – black; can you imagine that! – and tracked down animals so exotic, they weren’t even in my father’s books.
“It is almost time for the count to arrive,” my father’s quiet voice made me look towards him and I saw him pocket his silver watch. “I better get out there.”
My mother nodded, her eyes set on the square so close to our house that we could hear the crowd outside even through the closed window. I hugged my pillow closer to my chest and waited.
Prompt used: Random Books, Random Words
Words used: pastime, was, minister, town, might, visited, both, wakening, and, pillow, air, had, curious, about, smoke, mouth
Word goal: 750
Words written: 775
Random order of the words: allowed
So what do you think?
Have you written anything with this prompt?
If you have and you’ve posted it online (on a blog, wattpad, etc.), feel free to hare the link to it in the comments!