2021 Daily Writing Challenge: March 1
A new month, a new try, a new kick at the can for writing here every day.
This time I’m really going to try and put more of my writing here, so, here is the piece I read for my writing class this evening: it’s called Tetraptych
Frank stood proud next to his handiwork, fresh bulbs poking up, camellias ready to bloom at last, and lawn clipped to perfection. He took off one glove and pulled a dust covered cloth from his pocket, not really a handkerchief, but handy for wiping the dirt mingled sweat off his brow. He breathed deeply – ah, the sweet air, remnants of winter making it crisper than it would be in a few weeks. But the snow was almost gone, lasting only a day or two as it did here. Frank bent over to pick up his clippers, new and shiny, the best he could buy. Suddenly a sharp pain wrenched through his chest, and he fell to his knees, the damp grass soaking into his pants, then his shirt, and finally his face as he gasped out his last breath.
Sweat glistened on his face as Joe jogged down the path. He looked up, and closed his eyes for a moment, feeling the warmth on his face. Opening his eyes, he squinted and raised his arm to shade them against the low February sun wishing he had not lost his sunglasses last week. How amazing to finally see the sun, but so strange still to see the paths so empty. Not as empty as they were six months ago, but he was used to the lawns and benches dotted with the gawking tourists from all over the world, come to see this oasis of Canada. Grimacing he slowed, the stitch in his side coming out of nowhere. The unexpected heat was beginning to get to him. He slowed to a walk and headed for a cluster of benches. Always benches….they were everywhere in this city. This one sat next to a large camellia bush with green buds blushing pink, and little yellow heads of daffodils popping out among the green. Spring was on its way. Something about the bush bothered him. He couldn’t put his finger on it. Was it something hitting his nostrils? The stillness? Slowly circling behind he stopped. Boots sticking out warning him of something he would rather not see.
The ambulance arrived in a blaze of lights and sirens. Paramedics rushed to the scene, but found quickly that there was nothing they could do; the old gardener, cold and gray, was beyond help. Police questioned the runner, but it looked like the unexpected heat had just had its way with the old man. As the paramedics took the body away, one reached down to pick up a glove, trodden into the dirt under the bush, clippers near by. Wondering if dropping the glove was the last thing the old man had done before death had taken him, Sarah tossed it aside, grabbed the clippers and pocketed them. They were shiny and still had the price tag on them… you could never have enough good clippers.
Emily came upon the scene later that week. Working at home meant enjoying lunch break walks with her camera along the inner harbour walkway. And today she was enjoying the solitude and sun, in spite of the wind which was pervasive these days. The bench, seeming to watch the calm waters, caught her eye, with the glove discarded, flecks of dirt still clinging to it. Kneeing down, she pulled out her phone and framed the shot, then looked around, wondering how it got there, and why on earth there was always only one lonely glove left behind.