The original Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and eventually taken over by a moveable feast of participants when Delores had computer troubles.
The aim of the words is to encourage us to write, a story, a poem, whatever comes to mind.
If you are posting an entry on your own blog, please let us know so we can come along and read it.
This month the words are supplied by Elephant's Child and can be found here.
This week's words are:
here is my story; parts two and three of last week's beginning:
Harry took the basket from Kerry as she settled herself in the chair. "I don't pack the baskets, Mr Rivera," she said. "I don't know what's in them."
"We'll soon find out," said Harry. "Do you want a stool to put your feet up?" "No thank you, I'm fine, but I'm as curious about the basket as you are." Harry opened one side of the wicker picnic basket to see several wrapped packages that when opened, revealed sausages, a small amount of bacon and some sliced roast beef, presumably for sandwiches. Next came a carton with a dozen eggs, which put a huge smile on Harry's face. Kerry was surprised at the transformation this made. "He looks like someone's sweet old Grandpa," she thought. Sitting under the eggs were fresh potatoes and carrots, apples and a couple of pears.
The other side of the basket produced a large loaf of bread, a small packet of biscuits, several rolls of toilet paper and two cakes of soap. As Harry put these away, Kerry prepared her notebook, writing the date at the top of the page before beginning the questions she was supposed to ask.
"Alright now, young lady, I know the routine by now," said Harry. "To answer your questions, I've been in good health, eating twice a day, bathing twice a week, had no accidents, so you can mark off those questions as satisfactory." Kerry did so, smiling at his cheerful manner, wondering why everyone else said they disliked coming here. The place was a bit grubby, the air a bit stale, there was a lifetime’s worth of clutter, but she couldn't see any other reason. Perhaps it was just that he kept chickens inside the house?
"I'm supposed to inspect the rooms as well, Mr Rivera." said Kerry. "Check that you have things such as sheets and towels in reasonable condition and clean, should we get that out of the way now? Then we can chat about any other concerns you might have." "Right this way then," said Harry and led the way through a door into a big room with a large bed in one corner, a chair by the window and a board with several nails on the opposite wall. There were stacks of newspapers alongside the wall where the door opened, but otherwise the room was neat.
"Could you explain the newspapers?" asked Kerry. "I get them from town," said Harry. "The garbage collection people pick out clean ones and drop them off by the mailbox out front. Mostly it's old news, but it's something to read and I do the crossword puzzles too. In spite of what you see, I'm an educated man, all the way through high school." "I hadn't known that," said Kerry. In her usual decisive manner she made a note to bring him some proper books. "I didn't notice any books anywhere, do you have a favourite author?" she said. "I could bring you some books if you make me a list. I could sign you up at the town library."
"No one has ever offered that before, or even mentioned my newspapers." said Harry. “Come on out and I'll show you the rest of the place, you seem to be interested." "Oh I am," said Kerry. "I'm certainly curious as to why you choose to stay out here so far from town too." "That's kind of a long story," said Harry. "Has to do with my ill-fated marriage to a copper-haired woman, I'll tell it to you in a bit. Come around this way now, over here is where I used to grow vegetables, they told me I don't need to do that anymore, they send veggies in the baskets, but I miss doing that bit of digging and planting. Used to take up a bit of the empty time it did."
"I'm very sorry to hear this Mr Rivera." said Kerry. "my own grandpa loved his little flower beds, he worked in them happily until the day he died. I'll speak to someone back at the office, see if we can't get you a few seeds, beans or peas, something else green that you can feed to the chickens. Would you like that?" "I would indeed Miss Kerry, that would be mighty fine." "I can't make promises." said Kerry, "but in the meantime, maybe you could just spade over the dirt a bit, get it loosened up. Just in case."
"If the answer is no," she thought, "I'll buy the seeds myself." "What's that funny looking thing on the back of the truck Mr Rivera?" "That's an old chicken coop." said Harry. I used to have a half a dozen brown hens and that's where I put them to be safe at night, and the back window of the truck is knocked out so the hens can sit on the front seat too. The nesting boxes are along one side, that's where I used to get my eggs, but the girls got old and died off, now I only have the two you saw inside. Their appetites aren't so good now, maybe they'll die soon too."
"Then you'll be all alone here." said Kerry. "Would you like to have some other pet? Maybe a couple of new younger chickens? Or a cat?" "I'll have to think on that for a while." said Harry. "What time do you have to get going back to town?" Kerry glance at her watch. "I still have a half an hour before I need to head back." "I'll show you some more then," said Harry and led the way past an old well, long since dried up and towards an old woodshed, still half full of cut firewood. "Stand still now and close your eyes. Tell me what you hear." he said. Kerry did as instructed and listened. "It sounds like humming, a continuous hum," opening her eyes, she asked "what is that?"
"Bees," said Harry. "That's why I've asked to never have bananas brought out. The smell of bananas enrages them and they attack the source and sting." "But where are they?" asked Kerry. "Way up in the big horizontal branch of that oak tree." said Harry. "Most of that tree is hollow and they've built a hive in it, right now though, they're down behind the wood shed in the lilacs getting the sweetness out of the flowers. There's another small hive back there, I can't take you to it while the bees are gathering, they might get upset and I do like the honey I get from them, so I need to keep on their good side."
They headed back towards the cabin as Kerry said,"this is all very interesting and I'm looking forward to my next visit, you've got me for the whole month and I'll see if I can do next month's visits too."
"I'd appreciate that," said Harry. "Most of the others only ever come once and I never see them again."
"I need to ask you a few more questions, Mr Rivera. Do you need any more linens? Like sheets or towels that need replacing, or clothing perhaps? Some socks for the next winter?”
“That stuff’s all good for now,” said Harry, “but an extra blanket would be good, last winter was terrible cold some nights and I wouldn’t mind some spare light globes. One burnt out the other day on the back porch, so the others might go soon too. They’re all about the same age. I can manage alright while it’s summer, but a light to read by in winter is always good.”
Kerry made a note on her page and scribbled ‘seeds’ too. “Could I have a drink of water before I head back to town please Mr Rivera?” They sat on the sagging front porch sipping water and Kerry asked about his wife. “She wasn’t real suited to life away from the city,” said Harry. “Got a bit funny in the head with being alone out here. I took her into town a couple of times a week, but she missed the bright lights and noise she’d grown up with. Just took off one day.”
He got up off the porch and Kerry sensed that was all she’d hear about Mrs Rivera, for now at least. She said her goodbyes and once more wrestled the unwieldy basket, now much lighter, through the overgrown bushes leading to the road.