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Old Boots: Billybuc Photo Challenge Edition 3


Alyssa is an avid reader, writer, and coffee enthusiast. She loves sharing thoughts, ideas, and creative writings with the world.


The Challenge

Sometimes you get an idea, begin writing, and then stop. Why? There are many reasons. For me, I just got too far into my head, overanalyzing. It's a bad habit that I can't seem to break. I originally started this story in late February, early March. Here I am, finally wrapping it up in November. The general idea is the same, although the story took a sharp left turn and headed in a completely different direction. It's a little shorter than my previous attempts at fiction, but I hope you all enjoy it.

Thank you, Bill, for providing these photo prompts. It's not easy for me to write creatively like this, but I'm starting to come around to viewing it in the same light as my fitness routine. Strength and progress come from consistency and stepping outside the comfort zone. Such is also true for writing.

Old Barn Rafters

Old Barn Rafters

Old Boots

The bright sunshine filters through the slats in the old barn rafters, illuminating a history covered in dust and dirt. Saddles, once polished and shined, now sit abandoned on their racks along the wall. Reins and rope hang neatly above, worn by the hands of time. But the old boots stop me in my tracks as memories come rushing back. Stooping down, I reach out to touch the brown leather. The larger pair, size 14, and right next to them, covered in cobwebs, my old Olathe's. I shake my head and chuckle quietly. I still remember the excitement I felt when Paw surprised me with those.



I was always at his side as a kid, tagging along, helping with chores: Feeding the animals, milking the cows, but my favorite was the horses. I loved washing them, brushing them, and oh the thrill of riding. The freedom I felt when I was astride, wind in my face, no cares in the world. There was nothing like it.



Standing up, I grab the boots and sit on the old wooden bench. I set my old pair beside me, brushing them off. They still look good, just need a little conditioner. I bet my son Colt could wear those now. I reach down for Paw's pair. Carefully, I run my hand down the shaft and vamp, removing the dust and dirt. The handcrafted leather is still soft and smooth after all these years. Sliding out of my shoes, I slowly pull them on. Looking down at my feet, I can feel the weight of Paw's hand on my shoulder. It's almost like he's still here. My hero: the man who taught me everything about life; the man who taught me what being a man truly means. My paw. Grief floods my heart and my eyes begin to fill with loss.

Old barn window.

Old barn window.

"Jack?" I hear my wife call out from the door, shaking me out of my thoughts. "Honey, everyone is here."

"Alright dear. I'll be back up to the house in a minute." Closing my eyes, I take a deep breath. I slide my shoes under the bench and stand, grabbing those old boots for Colt. As I head out of the barn, I take a look back. I can see Paw standing in the distance, hand in his pocket. He gives me a little grin, nods, and turns to disappear in the shadows.

© 2020 Alyssa


Alyssa (author) from Ohio on November 02, 2020:

Thank you, Pamela! :)

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on November 02, 2020:

Thank you so much Brenda!

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on November 02, 2020:

Thank you, Bill!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 02, 2020:

This is a very good story, Alyssa. I relate to that feeling and those thoughts you have when you lose someone you love. I lost my mother last year and so many little things make me think of her so often. The ending of your story was so sweet. I think you wrote a lovely story.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on November 02, 2020:


This story flows so naturally and keeps the reader's attention.

Those little moments, the things that cross our path during the day that make memories come flooding back is an awesome thing to touch our hearts.

Your words describe this feeling perfectly as he sees the old boots.

When he leaves he can picture his paw standing there.

Excellent story. Well worth the wait.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 02, 2020:

That really was, as Lora said, a lovely story. I was smiling at the end. It's a story eternal, memories flooding, due to one simple object. We humans are tied to our wonderful memories, forever, and I find comfort in that. Thank you for sharing such a touching story with us all.

Well done, you!

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on November 02, 2020:

Thank you so much Lora! :)

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on November 02, 2020:

Thank you, John! Your feedback means a lot to me. :)

Lora Hollings on November 01, 2020:

Your story is a lovely narrative of a person who has passed on but has left an indelible print on our heart, Alyssa. I thought it was very moving and sensitively portrayed. Thanks for sharing.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on November 01, 2020:

This is a touching story, Alyssa. Honestly, it didn’t have to be any longer. A wonderful response to Bill’s challenge. I am glad you finished it.

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