I think the idea of a prompt all about February is a good one; I suppose I am just partial, particularly since my birthday is in February. Here are the rules from StoryADay:
What does it mean to you? Shortest month? Leap year? Darkness and winter? Summer in the southern hemisphere?
Write A February Story
What might “February” mean to an old woman? A young man? A kid whose birthday is in Feb?
Might you write a story with a sentence for each day in February? A 28-sentence story? (or maybe 29)
What unexpected stories could you tell, with a theme of “February”?
- You should use the prompt in your story (however tenuous the connection).
- You must write the story in one 24 hr period – the faster the better.
- Post the story in the comments — if you’re brave enough.
- Find something nice to say about someone else’s story and leave a comment. Everybody needs a little support!
Here is my offering, titled simply “February:”
Granny sat at the window, watching her breath come and go on the pane. It was the waiting that hurt her more than anything; the others in the home had visitors on their birthday and while some had to wait until evening for the pleasure of sharing the day with their loved ones (the sons, daughters, and grandchildren all work, you know) but Granny seemed to wait fruitlessly each year. The others felt sorry for her, both her fellow residents and the workers; it seemed that every February 18th she would wait by that window, hoping against hope that someone–anyone–would show up for her. She’d been there for 20 years and while there were no workers left who remembered her arrival the story of her being there was well-known. Her only son had left her at the doorstep of the senior residence facility after she’d become too infirm for him to care for at home. There had been no discussion, but simply a leaving. Her name was Wanda but she insisted that everyone call her Granny. She had, to everyone’s knowledge, two grandchildren; they had once come about 10 years ago to see her at Christmas time. Since then, no one had so much as called or sent a holiday card. The other residents and the workers did their best to make her happy by decorating her room and making much of her on her birthday in hopes of keeping her from sitting, forlorn, by that dreadful window all day. But there she remained, refusing to go anywhere else. As the dinner dishes were being cleared and the workers prepared their rehearsed smiles that would accompany her birthday cake with all its 98 candles, the door opened and a heavily-coated figure came in, stamping the snow from shoes covered and frozen. Granny turned with expectation, her eyes growing wider as the figure approached and removed layer after layer of cold. From beneath the hood came the head of her grandson, now a man. He looked a bit disheveled and the others in the room tried not to notice. Granny knew who he was immediately and put out her shaky wrinkled hands to him. At her reach, the young man fell to his knees in front of her, whispering “Happy Birthday, Granny.” Together they cried and the others in the room moved on to give them the appearance of privacy as he poured out his apologies for not coming to her in so many years. Life had not been kind to the young man; he shared stories of drug use, homelessness, and family separation. He expressed his love by punctuating his story with kisses to her hands and tears on her lap as he squatted at her feet, oblivious to the melted snow soaking his trousers. Visiting hours had ended but no one could separate the two and they talked until it became the 19th: Granny smiled as her grandson prepared to leave, both feeling lighter and younger; the other residents and the workers could not help but join in the conversation as promises for more time together were made and he made his way out the door. Granny and the others had birthday cake for breakfast, enjoying the best February the home had seen in more than 20 years.