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Who or what interrupted the person reading this book and having tea? Where did they go? Set your timer for 15 minutes and write.

Realistic StillLife035

He was so used to getting up at all hours of the morning and night that he could barely sleep anymore. He’d taken to reading the business news, which was odd, given that he had no businesses to be concerned with. What he had, instead, was a calling. It didn’t stop him wondering from time to time what it would have been like to own his own book store. Or a little tea shoppe. Yes! That would do quite nicely. He did love his teas. Or perhaps stables. He’d always wanted to learn to ride, though he was frightened near to death every time he got round a horse. Thank God for the invention of the automobile. It made his job a lot easier.

Two o’clock in the morning, and once again he was wide awake. He’d made himself a cup of tea — mostly milk, he didn’t need help staying awake — and settled down at his desk with his new copy of Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn.” He loved the American author. Someday he was going to see Hannibal, Missouri where Twain was from. Someday he was going to travel the world. To visit Rome and Ephesus, Antioch and Philippi. And Las Vegas! How he’d love to see the city of sin. He blushed at the thought.

He considered lighting his pipe, but the words on the page were starting to blur. Perhaps the long day was finally catching up with him. What was that? A knock. He turned “Huckleberry Finn” face down on his desk to mark his place, removed his reading glasses, and waddled to the door, his threadbare robe swishing around his slippered feet.

“It’s my da,” the boy said with tears marking dark trails down his dirty cheeks. “Mum says you’re to come at once…” The boy paused and looked timidly up at the old man, bottom lip trembling. “That is if you’re able, sir.”

“Yes, I’ll be right along. Go on home and let them know I’m on my way.” He patted the little fellow on the head. So young to be losing a father.

The old man blew out his candle, contemplated putting the cup of tea in the sink, decided it wasn’t worth the effort, then climbed the stairs to his chilly bed chamber. Dressing quickly, he crept carefully back down the steep steps, holding tightly to the railing as he went.  His balance was not as good as it used to be. Shimmying into his heavy coat, he pulled a woolen cap down over his graying hair and ears, then taking the trappings of his trade under his arm, his Bible and his stole, he went out into the cold autumn night to give last rites to the boy’s da.

His dreams of adventure he left behind turned upside down on his desk.

 

(Reposted from 10/15/14)

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