The air had the scent of summers past; when the morning was spent in anticipation of the day ahead. I remember the light breeze and coolness of the day that lifted my hair as I helped to pack the car for the trip to my aunt’s house. I could capture it for you; a mix of bird song the scent of flowers and the essence of sun starting to warm the day. A calm unfettered feeling with only the movement towards our arrival. I would see my cousins, drink lemonade, eat tiny egg salad sandwiches, and walk in the woods.
“It’s your turn.” I say handing him the small white dice. They make a pleasant sound as he shakes them and land with a plunk on the table. “Six!” He says with glee, obviously not understanding that a low number is not that desirable. A few more pieces of colored paper move into his meager pile. His turn is played and the dice come to me. I hold them in hand testing their weight and roll them between my fingers thinking of tens and twelves. The roll is disappointing; only an eight. I buy some colored papers and move on.
The sweet smell of lilac in full bloom hit me long before I touched the cold metal of the gate. The morning was chilly despite the sun’s warmth. A breeze lifted my hair and rustled the branches. I released the latch. The garden was still loved, but plainly far too much work for aging hands. The green burst of spring had consumed the bare spaces left by winter die-back. I put down my basket of tools and laid the blanket near the wildest part. Gathering my well-worn skirt to one side, I settled myself, surveying the smaller world.
The bones were old, creamy beige with dark brown crevices. You could imagine my surprise to find them so neatly stacked behind the shed. They were gleaming, as if someone had washed and dried them. It was more likely that the rain and wind had done the thorough cleaning. Brushing stray leaves away, I lifted the top bone. It was lighter than I expected and still warm from the sun. I brought the flared lens of the bone analyzer close. There were no fractures in this one. It was long, tapering to a wide end point where it joined something.
The camp was deserted. We picked a random spot to pitch the tent. I head towards the car to get the last pole set and am surprised that so many people have arrived. An acquaintance asks for help moving; a strange assortment of damaged sports equipment and battered musical instruments. I ask her to teach me guitar tuning. She asks where the next event is. I tell her that it’s over. She asks who won, but I don’t know. We scan the newspaper as we’re waiting for the pedestrian signal to change. Bicycles rush by on the rubble filled street.
My self-imposed Sunday Weekly Writing Challenge: To quickly write exactly one hundred words on whatever topic, theme or idea that wanders through my head that morning. Inspired by medium.com to give credit where it is due. Here’s this week’s 100 Words:
The call of “sweetie” over and over again, was creating an auto loop in my head even when the bird was silent. It was slowly driving me insane. I considered some sort of violent extermination and then reconsidered. It was spring after all, and the poor bird had only a few words with which to seduce and nest a mate. Pity consumed me. I should not be judging the evolution of this tiny creature. The solution was to turn up the music to run interference. The rasp of the singer’s voice soothed me and I forgot all about the bird.
The sunny, bright day moved me to take a path I’d never walked. It meandered through the trees and eventually opened into a clearing. A dilapidated merry-go-round, with broken horses and faded pastel colors stood in the center. Around it were abandoned concessions and a bumper car attraction with some of its cars upside down. The grey building, on the left, was a bathroom. The taps worked; the water a brassy brown. Its walls were painted in a peeling hospital green, reminding me of a bad horror movie. Behind it were wooden ramshackle cabins. Could this have been a summer camp?