Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Empty Bench...A Short Story


 The Weekly Photo Prompt

 This week's entry is a little different from what I usually write. There's a brave contributor to this weekly process who has gone through some tough times of late. So, here's something for her.

If you'd like to write a story yourself, here are the rules:

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story
2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.
4) Link up your story at these sites: Nicole, Carrie, or Leanne.   
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

Your mandatory words:


 Hope you like it.

The Empty Bench

There's an empty bench on a path in the wood where I go to remove myself from the world. It's a place of solitude, of quiet calm, of reflective space. 

Years ago I pictured the day when I would stroll with my daughter and we would find the empty bench. We would go in spring, summer, winter and in autumn with God's brilliance gently falling on our heads and shoulders and boots. 

I envisioned smiling as I watched her look at the world as only a child can, the wonder of a stick on a leaf-covered path, her curiosity in the way cats recoil when she touches its whiskers, and the way she would crawl under a kitchen stool and pretend to be locked inside a spaceship on its way to Mars.

In the wood we would walk and talk about bugs and gummy bears and discuss which of Santa's reindeer is the best, the vowel in Rudolf sounding more like Ru-duff would never get old.

We would go hand-in-hand until the empty bench invited us to sit. And sit we would as the crisp air of fall kissed our cheeks and dusted our noses with the teasing promise of snow.

But God had different plans. Instead of walking with me, my hand in hers, He would be there, a loving Father in heaven sharing His realm with her. They would take the walks I thought would be mine, sharing the smiles and the joys of wonder as she sees the universe as only a child can.

The pain I feel as I pass the bench remains temporary, a burden that one day will be lifted from my shoulders and released forever replaced with unimaginable love, love for me and the child I will know later. My heartache is my gift to God for allowing me to dream and wish and cry and live in the world he created for me. As I walk I notice that the bench remains empty...empty for now.

Word Count: 336


  1. This is so beautiful, Scott. It moved me to tears. You are a wonderful writer. :)

    1. Thanks Leanne. It just felt like the right thing to write.

  2. Beautiful writing, brought tears to my eyes.

    1. Thanks Sally. I love the comments you always bring.

  3. Oh my goodness, what a great piece, Scott. So moving.