Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordsmith's Challenge #2: Fall Carnival


October has been a blur. Which is my excuse for being so late to the WSU party this month. (Yup, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.) But I'm in under the deadline -- and that's all that ocunts, right?
So real quick-like, here's the deal:
The picture:

Photo by Deb Richardson
The Rulez:
1) All entries must be 500 words or less. NO KIDDING!
2) All entries must be relevant to the challenge provided. Be creative, but stay on topic. Try not to repeat themes or styles within your writing.
3) Spelling and punctuation are important, except where rule departures are used for effect.
4) Entries must be submitted by the deadline given. You may submit your piece by providing a link in the comments section of the monthly challenge.
5) You should be willing to read the other entries and comment in a constructive fashion, pointing out high and low points of the piece in workshop fashion. Feedback from other writers is half the point of Wordsmiths Unlimited, and as a participating writer you're expected to critique the other submitted works.


My Offering:
Ever since they'd been schoolgirls together, Eunice and Margaret had made their annual pilgrimage to the town's Fall Carnival. Part county fair, part street party and one-hundred percent embedded in the social fabric of their community the Carnival had survived wars, floods, and the Great Depression. One year it had even survived a tornado that somehow miraculously missed the town square (which was actually a circle, but they called it the town square all the same). In this town, the Carnival was as certain as death and taxes and for Eunice and "Maggie" (as she was known to everyone she didn't intensely dislike) the idea of death - or even taxes - was preferable to the idea of missing the annual festival weekend.

As youngsters they'd exhibited at the 4-H booth, later at the FFA exhibits, and still later when they grew into adulthood they'd joined on with one group or another competing with the best of the town's best to see who could grow the sweetest watermelon or bake the tastiest sweet potato pie or fashion the most flawless and elegant afghan or quilt. They competed fiercely in this endeavors with everyone except each other. And when one of them took home a blue ribbon, she brought it home for both of them.

That was the nature of the bond they shared. They were a fixture in town, the two of them; always had been as far back as anyone could recollect. In fact, no one in town could remember a time when seeing one of the pair without the other hadn't been cause for alarm - or at least concern. It was simply accepted as a matter of fact that the two were never separated.

And so it had been for better than 70 years. But these days neither of them got around so well as they once did. Maggie had held up slightly the better for wear. Eunice took a bad spill about 5 years back and broke a hip. It never did quite feel right again, and when the weather started to cool - as it did during the Fall Carnival - she'd rely more heavily on her cane and the arm of her Maggie. That's how Eunice thought of her; as "her Maggie". The converse was probably also true though it's unlikely you'd ever hear Maggie say it out loud. But the sentiment showed, no matter how she might try to hide it.

And so on this final day of the Fall Carnival they set out to offer opinions, observations or advice to whoever might need it. As they neared the fringes of the festivities, Eunice smiled at her companion with the crinkled kind of smile that reached all the way to her pale blue eyes and asked, "Maggie hon'?"

"What is it sweetie?"

"You s'pose we'll ever get married?"

Maggie snorted, "Hmph! Not in this lifetime. Not in this country at least. Told you we should've moved to Sweden. Told you that years ago."

"Well damn."

You wanna play too?
Wordsmiths Button - Image by Smarmoofus
Wordsmith's Challenge is a monthly writing challenge hosted by Tiff and Kingfisher.

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5 comments:

tiff said...

LOVE IT.

Totally.

Dave to You said...

The spirit of a lifelong friendship in a small town comes through for sure. Liked the little dig the two share at the end.

Thanks. -d

Passion said...

Great story. Very believeable and heartwarming with that touch of humor. I loved it. :-)

Doctor Err said...

like tiff, I friggin love it.

Kay said...

Not sure how I missed reading this back when it was "new"

Great story, and great point.

And you made even this true blue city girl want to visit the country... just for a spell...