An early Spring darkness has been settled outside for more than an hour as melted snow becomes ice again. The horses are in the stables and the old man’s tractor has been put to bed.
“Peter? I’m taking the biscuits out.”
At the edge of an aged rug in the center of the room is a paperback journal labeled ‘1997’. The journal is held open to the first page, pressed down into the rug by the weight of the old man’s forehead. A damp few spots bless the page in which hardly legible lines can be seen, written decades prior.
“Okay, dinner is ready,” came her last call before she would have to investigate.
The old man does not hear her. He does not smell the hot biscuits or the meat stew. The music is completely lost on him as his lungs have compressed and his heart has beat its last in a life of hard rhythms. A sudden gust whistles against the house yet he is not stirred.
“Are you alright?” The woman asks before stepping into the room. “Oh, my — Peter.” She trips in excitement and nearly lands on top of the old man. She kneels with pulsing heart and rigid joints and pushes against his body, failing to turn him on his back. “Peter…”
In the old man’s hand is a page torn from the paperback journal with ‘January 7' written in the top right corner. In fading blue ink are the words, ‘All of this matters.’
Then a line is drawn from the end of the sentence to the bottom of the page, where the final message rests. It reads, ‘We are not created. We are the creators.’
And out of the house and into the wind there exists a world manifested in the vision of its inhabitants. The next day will come with a breaking of dawn and an erosion of the black of night as a peek of sunlight returns ice to its more common state. The grateful trees welcome the light because the day, as life, is new again.
Benjamin J. Lindsey has been writing throughout his life. He's completed several drafts of a novel, the first draft of a memoir on grief, and a few short stories. Benjamin lives with his wife, two children, and a rescue pup in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.