Visitor – Image by KL Caley

 

Participating in the weekly #WritePhoto challenge at KL Caley's New2Writing website.


I am excited and honored to be in residence at Holly House/Hypatia-in-the-Woods for a couple of weeks, decompressing and focusing on my writing. That helped give me the idea for this very short story. Very short in part because I'm still trying to get that novel drafted, and have fallen a bit behind the last few days. 

Here you are, in just over 300 words.


The Visitor

The squirrel came to visit on the first day of Cora’s solo meditation retreat. Squirrels, she realized, were always around. She didn’t pay it much attention the first time it came and sat on the fence, watching her doing her yoga. But the big-tailed rodent continued to visit every afternoon, so that she quickly came to look for it when she was on the deck.

 

By the end of the first week she was calling it “The Visitor,” and making entries in her journal like, “The Visitor stopped by while I was meditating on the deck. We watched each other for a while.”

 

By the second week, she was having conversations with The Visitor: “How’s the nut supply? Not so good? I’m sorry; If I’d known, I’d have brought you some.” Or, “Isn’t this glorious weather we’re having. Well, yes, I suppose you’re right. It is pretty dry. Funny, I hadn’t thought about that, how the forest and all of you need water. I was just thinking how nice it is to sit out here on the deck and meditate in the warm sun.”

 

When she was getting ready to leave, at the end of the third week, she felt rather bad about leaving her friendly squirrel. She’d miss it. Maybe The Visitor would even miss having her to visit.

 

The Visitor sat on the fence while Cora loaded the car with her yoga mat and favorite pillow, and a bag of dirty laundry. It was still there when she finished cleaning and got behind the wheel, a strange feeling after three weeks without driving anywhere. She waved to the friendly Visitor before starting the car.

 

As the human pulled out, the squirrel jumped down onto the deck as though it owned the place. It sprawled in an empty chair, basking in the peace as the visitor drove away.

 

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©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2022
 As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated.
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