As far as Story for a Shipwright goes—I’ve had 2 requests for the full manuscript, and 2 subsequent declines. I’m just so tickled that someone found the premise interesting enough to ask for that much, but a little disappointed that I didn’t receive some sort of feedback with it…Oh well, that’s okay—we all know that’s the biz. So, rather than second-guess the entire project and assume it’s my writing that sucks, I’m getting ready to send out another round of queries.
I’ve also started a new WIP, but for now, all I have to post, literarily, is the result of a 7 minute prompt, provided by a fellow writer, (which I couldn’t post without turning into an hour-and-a-half revision).
I didn’t see it immediately. Not until I sat in my lone rocker did I discover it at eye level, within arm’s reach in front of me, on the railing. Ochre blazed against the viridian and burnt umber background, so perfect and ripe, absorbing and reflecting light as if the sun itself had studied that spot for an eternity before planting itself right there. Rather than scrutinize the bushes for a broken twig, or the dirt walkway for a footprint, I stared in astonishment for an eager moment.
Reaching for it with both hands, my fingertips met its downy texture. Fondling it, brushing it against my upper lip, I breathed in its summertime scent. In seconds, I pierced its skin sending a dribble down my chin, escaping from a smile I could not restrain. Abandoning my self-consciousness, I devoured the peach like an undisciplined child, and sucked any remaining flesh from the pit. The way I used my bare wrist for a napkin and smacked my lips would have earned the scorn of any mother.
At last, I held up the pit for inspection. Who had left such a delectable gift?
Perhaps the college student working a summer job at the paint store, who wouldn’t meet my eyes, but raised his feathered brow with intrigue when I objected to too much yellow: “No,” I had told him, “too apricot. More peach—a fleshier, more succulent tone.”
Or perhaps the old spinster lady with fingers bent at painful angles, tending her fruit stand, holding out the peach that would be past ripe by tomorrow, as I clutched a pint of dark, dew-laden cherries, while counting my very last pennies.
Maybe the John Deere-capped and pepper-chinned farmer on the road, whose mud-caked boots shuffled along, halfway between town and his truck, and declined a lift because, he said, “It’s a beautiful afternoon, and I ain’t as broke down as my ol’ Chevy yet! But you’re a peach for offering.”
Or, I hoped, the azure-eyed gentleman at Stan’s Art Supplies, with crisp white sleeves, twice folded, exposing thick forearms, who asked if I was interested in purchasing the Summer Peach watercolor. When I said, “No—I’m simply studying the technique,” he handed me an enrollment application for an upcoming workshop, which I filled out, even though I loathe classroom settings.
I then placed the naked pit back on the rail, wondering if I ought to plant it, or if it might sprout, right there, overnight, of its own volition.