Thirty in Thirty  Day 20  “The Silence Rang in My Ears”

Last week I attended the 10th Annual Ashe County ( NC)  Literacy Festival, “On the Same Page.”  Four for days I had the pleasure and privilege of being among fellow writers and book lovers. It was such a treat to be in the company of my “tribe.”  I relished the chance to hear authors read from their work, to participate in workshops, and to hang out with like-minded people who appreciate the joy of the written word.


I filled many pages of my ever-present notebook with ideas, quotes, and helpful hints.  In one session a phrase struck a chord so I jotted it down, knowing it would show up somewhere, sometime in a writing session.


Today’s prompt is that phrase: “The silence rang in my ears.”

A little piece of fiction ensued.


Grant glared at me in the rear view mirror as I unloaded the back of the van. His impatience wrapped around me like a blanket and weighed my arms down. The trays of pansies felt as heavy as the yellow and green bags  of potting soil I had already dragged to the ground. I grabbed the handle of the hatch and slammed as hard as I could.

He gunned the motor and roared up the driveway, not caring that the gravel he scattered was pelting my legs.

It had come to this. We couldn’t even make it through a shopping trip to Lowe’s without fighting. I watched Grant stomp toward the house without a  word or a glance in my direction. The silence rang in my ears.

My thoughts turned to a familiar theme: What if David hadn’t died?


I pulled on my gloves and began plucking the care-worn geraniums from the rotting flower box that David had made so many years ago. Every season I feared it would fall apart as I carefully planted new flowers, but it continued to hang on, just like me.

As I teased the pansies from the flat, I recalled an October day seven years ago when I had mistakenly ordered a gross of daffodil bulbs. David had laughed as I counted the bulbs and realized that a gross was a great many more than the forty-eight I had anticipated.

He disappeared into the house and returned with the TV from the office, which he set up on the front porch. He offered to help me plant if I promised to cheer for Georgia against Tennessee. We spent the afternoon watching the game and planting bulbs everywhere.

At half-time David told me to set out the picnic blanket and some drinks while he ran out for hoagies. We had a “tail-gate” party in the front yard, laughing and waving to our uppity neighbors as they drove by advertising their disapproval.

David remarked that he couldn’t wait to see all of our daffodils in the spring.

He was dead before the first one bloomed.


I brushed away tears as I heard the crunch of Grant’s feet stalking down the driveway.

He scowled and flicked his wrist in an exaggerated look at his watch.  “Aren’t you going to make some lunch or something? I have a two o’clock tee time.”