Spring story: a writing challenge

This was the challenge:

In 250 words or less, describe a Spring setting

But here’s the catch–you can’t use traditional Spring words or images. No flowers, no bright green, no new growth. Look for the unusual and personal way your character would describe the setting they’re in.

The result was… interesting.

Rather than lose these forever, I will throw them out to make a reader go hmmm and wonder about the way my brain works:

The rains came early that year – and stayed long. The river rose almost to the level of the 1936 flood, and hung there for days, taking with it the beginnings of the crops, seeds that hadn’t but set out the tenderest of rootlets: they were no match for the onslaught, were washed away in wide swaths. Blossoms that had started to open were knocked off their branches by a careless hand. We had no beauty that year. I don’t know how the birds made it, sitting waterlogged on bare trees. Their food must have been impossible to find, insects pounded by the driving rain as much as we were.

It was cold that year. We brought in logs that smouldered and hissed as they tried to burn. The animals in the barn were restless, stuck inside for days. And hungry. We couldn’t let them out to graze – on what? And the chickens? Well, there’s nothing as unhappy as a wet chicken.

When the storm finally broke, we went out, Henry and I, to look at the fields of mud. I could see he was done for. He didn’t have in him the heart to plow again, plant again, to find yet another loan for the seed. Old Hemmerlane, next door – he bought us out, got it cheap. We came here – the children took us in. Henry tried, he really did. But losing his land was more than he could bear, and the flu epidemic took him. I’ll join him soon.

Feel free to try your hand at it, and post it in the comments.

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12 thoughts on “Spring story: a writing challenge

  1. Rachel6

    Oh, OUCH. Very Steinbeck-esque.

    “The snow was finally melting, and she could see the bare garden again. She strolled the yard, planning, wrapping her coat tightly against the lingering cold.
    Here, she’d plant lots of red…red anything. Here, yellow. It would take bags of top soil and mulch of course, but that didn’t matter. It was finally warm enough to plan.”

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  2. Sandra

    April is the cruelest month?

    My try.

    Snow still lay in scattered piles about the yard, but now the patches of earth dominated where two weeks ago the solid and deathly white ruled. One tentative bare foot on the ground felt the shock of renewed warmth. Another followed. I carried my unnecessary shoes as I walked down the path towards the car. The air, liquid with the fresh scents of a renewed world, enveloped me. Halfway to the car, I paused to take my keys from a pocket and then to unzip my jacket and finally to slip it off. The sun reflected hot on the white surface of my Subaru. In a moment of pure exuberance, I raised my arms and twirled. Then I clicked the electronic key, unlocking the door, tossed coat and shoes into the back, slid inside, and started the engine and the music. I turned Nico Case to full volume and peeled out of the driveway. Time for something new.

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