Monday, February 7, 2011

Rumours Lie Broken

10 Word Exercise #5
Basket, rickety, yellow, anvil, alcoholic, snow, tremendous, candlelight, yarn, pizza

The candlelight glowing softly from the windows cast a yellow glow on the path I walked, guiding me through the deep snow to the beautiful two-story house. Where once stood a set of rickety, old stairs, there now gleamed newly painted wood. “Yes!” My now exhausted and beyond-cold limbs exclaimed. With the tremendous effort already placed on them to carry me and my basket of yarn this distance they were profoundly grateful not to have the added worry of falling through rotten wood.
I could see him sitting there as I looked through the window. I looked to the floor rather gauging the safety of knocking but before I could turn tail and run, the door flung open and there he stood. If the look in his eyes told me anything, it was that I’d just poked the proverbial bear with the sore paw. “What do you want? If you’re here for the church, turn around and save your breath. Well, SPEAK! I don’t have time for little church mice.”
The smell of pizza wafting to nostrils I had thought were frozen had been enough to warm my courage. “I’m not here for the church. My car broke down. Yours was the only light I could see.” A hit in the face with an anvil would’ve surprised me more than the turnaround old Mr. Farley took.
“Well, why didn’t you say so? Step on in here,” he said as he ushered me into his home, closing the door behind me. “I assumed the way you’re dressed, well...never mind that. I was just sitting down to dinner, come and join me.”
I couldn’t rely on the part of my brain that clanged warnings to me at times like that. It was too frozen to even clink. Nothing. Nada. Zip. I had to stay on my guard until my poor body thawed.
“Rumour has it that I’m an alcoholic. I’m not you know, so don’t worry your pretty head,” he said as, with perfect dexterity, he handed me a slice of pizza and a glass of what looked like brandy. “People around here don’t know squat.” That my brother was the cop who escorted him off the street not two weeks before to keep him from taking a drunken stumble headlong into traffic was a fact better kept to myself, but before I could come up with an appropriate response, he continued.
“I’m an epileptic,” he said. “A night in a drunk tank is not going to change that. And most people around here know very well that imbibing would work against my seizure medication.”
Well knock me over with a feather, I was not expecting that. I’d arrived there that night hoping Roy Farley would be sober enough to call me a tow truck but instead left feeling guilty for having believed the worst of a man I’d known nothing about, but for the lies from the rumour chain.
My two-year tenure with Mr. Farley proved to be more beneficial than once I thought, for I now live in that two-story house with an outlook on life as new as my surroundings. All because I’d befriended a gruff old man one stormy night, and soon after was hired to be his caretaker. 
Many of life’s lessons I learned as I watched age take over a once proud man; a man who among other things, taught my previously jaded self that anyone can tell a story but only you can decide what you believe.

The End


  1. Another good write. Good moral to this story.

  2. I like the meaning behind this one....could you please tell my kids this moral??? Great job!

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  4. I like... keeping on reading here! :)