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Old Boots: Billybuc Photo Challenge Edition 3

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

billybuc-photo-challenge-edition-3

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.

Home.

Home.

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.

Memories.

Memories.

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

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