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The Bench

So I completed my first short story in forever a couple weeks ago. No, not the one for Writer’s Digest. This is one that I actually came up with on my own – and longer than 750 words – and I actually finished it! Granted, it is a little . . .what’s the word? A little corny, I guess. and unrealistic? But I wrote it and it is all mine. Ever since then, however, I have been scared to pick up a pen again. I don’t know why. It is almost like I actually accomplished something and I am afraid I will ruin it by picking up my pen and not finishing something else. Or perhaps I am disappointed in myself for writing something I am not entirely pleased with and afraid I will do that again? Or perhaps I just feel like someone is going to see anything I might write and therefore I can’t write it unless I am sure it will be good. I don’t know. But, once again, I have Writer’s Digest to thank for making me pick up my pen again. They are doing another one of those “Write the first sentence to a story based on this picture.” But, sometimes, a picture requires so much more than once sentence. It requires a description.

Of course, it isn’t on the website yet – only in the magazine, so I can’t share the actual picture, but it is something like this:

It was the bench that did it, really. Not the soft glow of pink stretched like cotton candy across what remained of the light blue sky. Not the sound of the water hitting the sand, causing a lonely wail of mourning. It was the empty, decrepit old bench, still standing, but barely, as though a light touch would cause the foundation to go crumbling away, just like the memories that were slipping further and further away, no matter how hard I worked to hang onto them. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, lifting my face to the soft breeze kissing it. “I still love you!” It seemed to cry. “Everyone else may have abandoned you, but I am still here!” It enveloped me in a gust with a gentle push towards the last symbol of my love. The bench.

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