Wednesday's Words on a Friday

On Wednesdays, Delores, from Under The Porch Light, has a meme which she calls

“Words for Wednesday”.

She puts up a selection of six words which we then use in a short story, or a poem.

I’m hopeless at poetry so I always do a story.

It’s a fun challenge…why not join in?

This week's words are:

1. insurmountable
2. sprint
3. timetable
4. vegetables
5. indigenous
6. relative

we also have: a tall thin man with a heavy heart

Here is my story:

A tall, thin man with a heavy heart, Walter shuffled slowly along the corridor, leaning on his walker. He hadn't needed one until recently, when a slip in the shower brought him a sprained ankle and the visiting doctor suggested help and support for a few weeks might be a good idea.

He caught up with Victor, another patient making his way to the dining room and they exchanged a few words along the way.
Meals here in the Woody Valley nursing home were on a strict timetable and neither of them wanted to miss lunch so they shuffled a little faster towards the plates of steaming vegetables and gravy that would be served today. Wednesday was always vegetables and gravy day, with the gravy richly flavoured by the liver and onions that had been cooked, then pureed before being stirred into it and simmered to amalgamate the flavours.

Victor had recently been transferred from another nursing home in the city, when his family had discovered the bullying and lack of care that was going on there. Traces of bruises were still visible on his thin arms. 

As they turned into the dining room, Walter and Victor were pleased to see they were the first to arrive. That meant they were able to snag the table by the bay window so there was room for their walkers to be placed out of the way of the wheelchair brigade. Not many of these old folks got around on their own feet anymore.
They sat and gazed at the garden where pink blossoms and soft green grass were showing that winter had indeed ended at last. 

It had been a long, cold winter this year and Walter's last relative had died. Molly had been 97 when she had peacefully passed in her sleep just two nights ago. Walter, at 96, was now the last of the indigenous people that had lived in these woody valleys almost since time had begun. They had numbered in the thousands originally, but were only several hundred by the time Walter had been born and so very many of those had died in the great flu epidemic.

His heart was heavy with the knowledge that so much of the memories would be lost when he died, so Walter had asked Matron Kitson to contact a journalist, someone who would be interested in writing the story of Walter's life and the memories of stories that had been told to him from his childhood onwards.

Victor began the conversation and soon the two were reminiscing about their youth, discussing long gone times when they would sprint through their days instead of shuffling, when no challenge had been insurmountable, and being glad they'd had those challenges.
These days their only challenge was getting to the dining room in time to beat the wheelchairs.


  1. Sad, and beautiful.
    Thanks River - you are going from strength to strength with these prompts.

  2. Oh River...that is so sad. Poor old guys.

  3. A well-told, poignant story!!

  4. So sad but we all come to this in the end.

  5. Wow! You are definitely a writer! I really liked it.

  6. This was so well written and touching. The milieu of a nursing home is visible in your words. I found myself caring about Victor and Walter as though I knew them!

  7. Elephant's Child; becoming the last of your people is sad and makes for a heavy heart.

    Delores; I was trying for sad and hoping it wouldn't sound mushy.

    fishducky; thanks, I'm hoping Walter's story continues with a journalist writing about his life and people.

    Merle; yes, we do and being the very last of his people is very hard for Walter.

    Becky; thank you so much.

    Susan F; thank you. I was hoping I could portray the feel of a nursing home well enough, I've had nothing to do with them, so no experience at all to draw on.

  8. That is so beautifully told and yes, walkers can be a nuisance in shops and particularly so in crowded places. I know from experience.
    I hope Walter was put in touch with a journalist in time for him to tell the whole of his story.
    Sorry I'm running late but it's been a bit sort of busy.


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