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Rated: E · Short Story · Family · #812054
Winner Writer's Cramp 2/7/04

Linda’s Story

         “That’s it! I’ve had it.”

         “Had what, dear?”

         “I’ve had it with these writing prompts. Here’s another one about a color.”

         “Well dear, I thought you and Goose did pretty well with that last one even if you didn’t win. What was the color? Red?”

         “Yeah, red. I can’t keep getting Goose to help me every time I need to write a story about a color. I thought the red one was good too. The mayor didn’t appreciate it, but everyone else seemed to chuckle.”

         “Hmmm, Yes. Well Joe, you know a lot of us didn’t know the mayor wore women’s lingerie until you posted that story. I can see why he was a bit upset. What’s the color this time?”

         “Green, and you have to use nature to describe it.”

         “That should be easy for you, Joe. You work at protecting nature for a living. You should have no problem describing green based on nature.”

         “Well I’m stumped. I think I have writer’s block when it comes to describing colors as emotions or seasons or something to do with nature. I’ll just pass on this one. Maybe I’ll like tomorrow’s prompt."

         “What if tomorrow’s is just another color? You won’t be able to write about it then either. Here let me help you. I’ll get you started.”

         “Ok, use nature to describe green.”

         “Green is the color of the beginning of spring. Years ago, when I was a young girl, my grandmother and I had a yearly competition. Whoever spotted the first crocus blooming won. I would watch the flowerbeds very carefully every spring for the first sign of a crocus. The first sign was always this tiny little green shoot pushing up through the white snow. It would poke out and proclaim for anyone who saw it, 'spring has arrived. Look at me. Give me a couple more days of sun and I’ll bloom with a beautiful spring flower.' That shoot was always the loveliest shade of green. So green is the beginning of spring. Do you think you can take it from there?”

         “I don’t think so. I mean, everything that has anything to do with the beginning of spring is green. I can’t just say, 'green is spring' and leave it at that. There has to be something else in nature that is green and isn’t spring.”

         "What about Harry? You remember Harry, don’t you? For years he lived in a crack in our front sidewalk. In the hot summer sun he would slither out and sun himself. Scared the mailman half to death. He was only a small garter snake. He was mostly green. Why can’t you use him?”

         “But how do either of those things describe Green?”

         “Green is the freshness and newness of spring. Green is the warmth and laziness of summer. Honestly, sometimes I think Goose is right. Are you sure you’re a writer?”

         “I’m having my doubts lately. Anything else?”

         “Well, let's see. Green is the color of the wings on the green winged teal that come through every fall on the way south. I’ve seen the luminescent green patch on the wings when you bring them home from hunting. It’s very pretty. Could you maybe stop hunting the pretty ducks and just shoot the ones that weren’t real colorful?”

         “I suppose I could. Did you know the colorful ones are usually the males? The females are usually dull and drab. It helps to hide them from predators when they’re sitting on the eggs. Hey, there you go. Some bird eggs are green. Ahh, but there’s that spring connection again.”

         “I didn’t know that about ducks. Maybe you could just not shoot any of them and that way they’d have one less predator to worry about. And getting back to green, green is the color of the grapes on the arbor in our backyard. They’re a light pale green and when I see it, it reminds me that the first frost is not far away. Green is the color of the frogs that live in that old plastic kiddies pool behind the garage . You know, the one you’ve been promising to get rid of for two years. And green is the color of the bark on the two hundred year old oak tree down at the town square. Green is …..”

         “Ok, I think I’m beginning to get it now. Green is fresh and new, it’s luminescent and pale. It’s bright and subtle. How about this one, green is the color of the bugs that splatter on the windshield when we’re going down the interstate. Not bad, huh?

         “Well, I could do without the visual.”

         "Ok, green is the color of Little Jim’s long john’s.”

         “Well there’s that visual thing again and how’s that got anything to do with nature?”

         “Every spring Little Jim washes his winter woolies and hangs them out to dry. Remember I’ve told you they’re the nicest shade of olive drab green. It’s a sure sign spring is on the way and winter is over. That’s what it has to do with nature. I know we’ve got that spring thing again but how’s that?”

         “I don’t think you should use that one dear.”

         “Why not?”

         "Well, when we drive by Little Jim’s cabin and his winter woolies are hanging on the line you always say how much you like the color and you wished you had a pair. So I asked Little Jim one day where he got them. He said he always bought his long johns down at Henderson’s Dry Goods. Last week I stopped to see if I could get you a pair for Valentine’s Day and I couldn’t.”

         “Why not, did Little Jim buy them all up?”

         “No, they don’t come in green.”


         “Why Joe, I think you’re turning a bit green.”

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