It was one of those cold nights, just after sunset, and the temperatures were going down fast. I was lying on my couch alone, contemplating my dinner and my imagination was in full swing. There was a knock at the back door. Well, I didn’t think it was the neighbor, Homer, because he never comes over after the sun goes down. I opened it and there was a beautiful woman standing there. She was short and had shiny, black hair. I hope I didn’t gape! I was surprised, but I invited her right in.
I opened [the door] and there was a beautiful woman standing there.
“Come in out of the cold and windy weather,” I said, poetically. I led her into the kitchen because it was the warmest part of the house. I had just put a loaf of bread in the oven, and there was red wine.
“I’m sorry to bother you,” she said.
“No, go right ahead,” I insisted.
I have a self imposed 500 word goal.
“I’m a reporter for Hashtag West Virginia,” she said, and she opened right up. She had been sent to my door because she had heard that I was that Larry, the one they call Grandpa Larry, who wrote imaginative nonsense for the newspaper, and that she was wondering if she could take a few pictures for the next month’s issue.
“Oh, pictures,” I said. I was a believer in pictures. I knew my column was short and I had to be succinct. I have a self imposed 500 word goal. I realized a few pictures were worth a few thousand extra words.
“Got any ideas? I asked.
“Nope,” she replied. “I was just going to go with my gut.” I looked at her gut. It was a wonderfully shaped gut. I would go with her gut, too.
I had some fresh baby greens, red onions from the garden, a ripe tomato, leftover meatloaf…
Well, I poured us each a glass of red wine, checked the bread, and started on a fresh salad. She went to clickin’. I had some fresh baby greens, red onions from the garden, a ripe tomato, leftover meatloaf and the rest of those scalloped potatoes that I made from the red potatoes that were just starting to get a little soft. I had to figure out something delicious to do with them. I joined those courses with a warming of some homemade mushroom soup.
When I turned around, she had stopped photographing me and was sitting at the table looking through a pile of things I had scribbled on small legal pads. In the mood lighting that I often napped in, in the early evening, she was an inviting hallucination.
…then I woke up. I got up off the couch and went and looked in the refrigerator. Well, it looked like leftover beans, again. I wondered if this word picture was worth a thousand bucks. (pssssst, that’s what Christina pays me for each column I write. You should get into this business, it’s cushy) “But I love beans,” I said aloud, to only myself. My ambition was to write 500 words, and it is that, exactly.
I did NOT pay him a thousand dollars! Rascally Grandpa Larry just said that because he likes to joke. He actually gives me these articles for free just because he loves to write them. . .Christina
– Larry Berger, HashtagWV #139. February 2022. Read more of Larry’s stories and poems at sinksgrovepress.wordpress.com.