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5 May, 2012

Today’s post for the May fiction challenge. I missed yesterday, time was against me, but it’s a holiday weekend now so I should be able to post for  the next few days. Inspiration permitting.


Norman bends carefully, feels the pain in his hip as lowers his knee to the ground. The carrots are about ready, and using his trowel he eases a couple from the soil. They will go nicely with the pork chops he has planned for dinner, maybe he might pull a few more tomorrow, see if he can make some soup with them. Irene always made nice soups, used to tell him it was easy and he should learn how.

He breathes through the pain as he stands again, tapping the soil from the carrots with a gloved hand. Home grown are nicer than the ones you can buy from the shops, they have a brighter colour, a better flavour. The staff there are friendly enough, but the fruit and veg don’t compare. He said so to Rachel as she scanned his shopping yesterday, and she smiled and carried on. She always takes a little longer than the others there, but that’s fine. No sense in rushing, he had no other plans for the rest of the morning. Or the afternoon or evening. Apart from a hello as he bought his paper that morning, that was the last conversation he had. With Irene gone, the house is so quiet, never any visitors.

He walks along the path towards the kitchen, carrots in hand, and his eye is caught by a tiny smudge of red at the door of the birdbox. A robin. The robin. The robin that comes back every winter, moves into that wooden refuge, helps itself to the seeds and nuts hanging from the branch above. Irene would fill the birdfeeder every other day, a job which has also now passed to Norman along with the all the others.

Back in the kitchen, he drops the carrots into the sink, filling it with water. He looks through the window, sees the robin sitting on the perch outside the birdbox, hears it singing. Norman smiles, whistles back to it. A conversation. A visitor. A friend.

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