One hour chalenges


On the Lighthouse Refuge we started a one hour challenge.  I think we are going to try for one day a week, on the honor system as it is difficult to get everyone together at one time for posts.

Mondays are a bit of a challenge for me to get much extra writing in.  I usually work a 9 hour day so that everything that needs to be done is.  I have proofing, typesetting, ads to build, copy to capture, formatting copy, photos to process and dummying the paper.  Its a frantic process to get the core of work done for the next day.  If you have ever worked for a newspaper, you know what I mean.  I am thankful we are a weekly, I would die if we were a daily.

So Monday we quickly decided to do a one hour challenge.  As many words as you could in 60 minutes.  The prompt was “Plague” and I had three false starts before I found something to work with.

This is a short piece, less than 500 words, and written in about 30 minutes.

The noise, the constant roar of cars on the street outside the house, the honks, squeals, the revving engines had become too much. He had always always lived in the town, but the town had grown. His once quiet street was now a major thoroughfare to the business offices, shopping centers and bars. When he was younger people had moved out to go live in the city. Now they were moving back in.

He owned the little house on the corner of Fifth and Jackson. He had bought it after he met and married his wife. He had raised his children in the three bedroom cottage. They had a good life and he had photos proudly displayed everywhere. It had been quiet then.

Not long after his children had moved out the town began to change. He had retired, his wife had gotten ill, and he had not paid much attention to what was going on outside his doors. His wife had passed from life a few months ago, leaving him alone, alone with the cars that passed incessantly outside, rattling his precious memories hung on the walls. He was alone the walls only dimming the noise outside. Alone straining to hear one moment of peace in his life.

He found peace in a little cottage out in the country. His house sold quickly for a better price than he expected. His children came home to help him pack, happy with his decision to move into a smaller home. The little house stood next to shady trees where the grandchildren could run and play, not like the old house where they had to stay inside for fear of the traffic. His sons moved furniture, boxes, bedsprings and such until the tiny little house was full of things. He hung up the photos after they left, smiling.

Sitting in the chair, sipping a beer, savoring his peace and quiet at last, crickets began to chirp.

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