Day 8: Death to Adverbs

Today’s Prompt: Go to a local café, park, or public place and write a piece inspired by something you see. Get detailed: leave no nuance behind.

Today’s twist: write an adverb-free post.

The Stoop

I know that spring has definitely sprung. People are taking walks in light jackets even though there is still a little snow tucked away in some far corners of the lawns. After such a long cold winter, we are all anxious to get outside and play.

So here I am, sitting in the sun on the front porch taking a quick break. Laptop in my lap. Fresh hot coffee next to me on the concrete stoop. Ready to tackle this Day 8 assignment.

My mother wasn’t feeling her best so I am at her place today to keep an eye on her. I know that I am blessed to have that kind of flexibility from time to time. I can’t resist going outside for a little while with such beautiful sun and 22 degree weather.

I have lived on this street my entire life so if you spend a few minutes with me, I will share what I see.

Mr. R’s rake is chasing after all the leaves he didn’t get around to cleaning. With each swoop, I hear the crunch, crunch, crunch of the leaves stuck in his rake. He spent months in the hospital last year suffering from depression after having heart surgery, at least that’s what I heard from one of the newer neighbors. Mr. R is raking like he is rowing a boat. He should think about slowing his roll but maybe the sun is giving him some extra energy. I know that he is wondering what I doing typing away on my laptop out here on my mother’s stoop but he doesn’t dare look in my direction. He will not try to catch my eye and say hello. He knows that I will never acknowledge his presence and he knows exactly why. Is he ever ashamed at what he and his family put us through all those years ago?

Mrs. G is dusting off some area rugs at the bottom of her front stairs with as much force she can muster up. Her aluminum railings sing each time the rug hits against them. As usual, she is adorned in her “pearls” wearing a coat that is way too big for her diminishing frame. She heads into her house to retrieve a broom to try to finish the job. The swishing of the broom is constant and steady against the rug. She looks up, makes eye contact with Mr. R and they exchange greetings. Birds of a feather, they were as thick as thieves back then, keeping my family in constant battle mode. But karma has prevailed over the years in both of their family lives. Oh, the stories I can maybe tell at some other time…

Mr. B is using his hand trolley to move his vast collection of plants from his garage back to his front lawn. The trolley wheels squeak and the sound gives me goosebumps. His collection of flowers and plants spend the winter under fluorescent lights in his garage. I can see how anxious he is to coax them back to beautiful. I think that he has been retired for at least 20 years and gardening is his passion. He just saw me and gave a huge wave as he always does when I am around. You see, I am avid gardener too but can only play in the dirt on the weekends. Rain or shine, Mr. B is outside doing his thing. I wave back.

It’s time to go back inside now…


©2015 Marquessa Matthews

Note to the reader: Real time, non-fiction, adverb-free – this was the most difficult assignment of them all so far. Not sure if I met the task of “leave no nuance behind” but at least it was a try!


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