First Line #11

Ooh, two posts within a week something interesting is going on. Not really, but I did write this story and I happen to really like it so before I forget I decided to put it up now.

The story is a first line that I did in my creative writing class and is part of the competition hosted by thefirstline.com

I actually decided to put some effort into this one and wrote this in my usual style of randomness. So we got a good story with an extreme twist at the end.

Title: The Visitor

George pressed the call button and said, “Mrs. Whitfield, you have a visitor.”

Though Mrs.Whitfield has no inkling as to who her visitor might be she accepts him none the less with a single buzz as a reply back. The man who wears a pair of khaki’s, held up by black suspenders, and a white button up shirt tucked in (an outfit that is, while stylish, completely out-of-date) slips past George on silent loafered feet.

After the man disappears from his sight George soon forgets that he was ever there to begin with, he only has the faint impression of the bell above the door having been rung as if someone had in fact entered the apartment building, but it’s only faint and he chalks it up to his imagination. He returns to his unending game of solitaire while Mrs. Whitfield receives her visitor.

Mrs. Whitfield is an old lady whose husband had actually died last year, but she had never gotten out of the habit of being a ‘Mrs.’ so the title never changed despite becoming a widow. The apartment that she lives in holds echoes of her previous life, the one before she grew old and alone. Along the mantle our sporting shots of her and her late husband, much younger and holding the arrogance of youth in their eyes as the camera immortalizes them in each daring escapade that they dared to venture on. Nestled in between these old memories are the cherished photos of children, grandchildren, and great children.

While Mrs. Whitfield loves these pictures and the children themselves dearly she held the old fashioned opinion that many of her generation might, that she was perhaps not old enough to have great grandchildren yet, but she’d wave the thought away as soon as it come with a sigh and just murmur to herself: “That’s just the way it is now, I guess.” and she’d turn away from the mantle to go find something else to occupy her time.

The apartment isn’t large. It’s a simple one bedroom, one bathroom, with a small kitchen and living room. Mrs. Whitfield doesn’t require much space especially since it is only just her now. Mrs. Whitfield when not reminiscing on old memories or thinking about her children she can often be found sitting in her chair in the living room with a radio on the small stand beside it playing NPR while she knits various things. Her most recent work happens to be a blue and green baby blanket for one of the aforementioned great grandchildren.

This is where she had been before being told about her visitor. At first Mrs. Whitfield had thought that maybe it was one of her children, but had crossed out the notion upon thinking that one of her children would have called first before in advance so she could be prepared because Mrs. Whitfield did like to be prepared for such matters. Unless of course something had happened and there had been no time to give her advance call. This worried her so to soothe herself she said, “It’s probably just a salesman.” And it if is a salesman she thinks, she hopes that it’s a bible salesman because she is in particular need of a new bible.

When finally the knocking arrives Mrs. Whitfield answers it with what she perceives as a graceful and welcoming smile. Her visitor steps into her living room and while he is doing this Mrs. Whitfield has the impression that she is taking a step back in time for his outfit brings back many memories from her childhood. The years where people dressed respectable and held high regard towards acceptable and fanciful fashion.

The man looks down at the old woman with his own warm smile.

“How do you do?” He asks like a try dapper gentlemen and then continues on without waiting for a reply, “I’m Death and I’m here to take you to see your husband.”

Mrs. Whitfield’s smile fades, “Oh,” she replies in an understandably shocked manner, “I thought you might be a bible salesman.”