This is my response to the fifth Scrivener’s Forge exercise on Character and World Building. Click on the link to see the exercise details
Twenty-two years the barn has survived. Twenty generations of ewes lambed in it. We stored twenty-one harvests there, smelling of summer sun and the good rich earth. I see the paint is flaking now, and one door leans askew on its hinges. When did that happen? I should repair it and repaint the damn thing. I should. And I will soon. There’s time. So much time.
The old yew stump pains my right buttock, so I shift to my left and carry on studying the barn. Hope – that’s what it stored. When you’re young, you have nothing but hope. The future stretches out ahead of you, bright and unblemished.
Twenty-two harvests is so little time. Just adequate to build up a farm, get a wife, raise a brood. That’s only years enough to write the first couple of lines into the flyleaf of the family bible. But what a man writes slowly with his bare hands age on age, men together can erase in a second.
The barn and I have weathered as one. The door is falling off, and the wound in my leg aches me in the winter. I don’t suppose either of us are long for this world. I don’t suppose it matters now. No need for repairs. I’ll sit a while longer.