A Month of Short Stories 2014, Day 5 – A Worn Path

A year ago, for the month of June, I wrote about an online short story each day for the month. It seemed like a good idea at the time. My blog readership fell precipitously and nobody seemed to give a damn about what I was doing – which was a surprising amount of work.

Because of this result, I’m going to do it again this year.

Today’s story, for day Five – A Worn Path, by Eudora Welty.

Read it online, here:

A Worn Path

There is a cold in December in Mississippi – a wet cold, a bone cold.

The time is late, too late to do any good, but not too late to go on.

Go on along the worn path. The Natchez trace is a well worn path – well worn but a long hard walk. Along the way you might dance with a scarecrow, fight with a black dog, or see a two headed snake.

And what if you forget why you are walking so far in the first place? You are because you have to.

Five pennies make a nickel, two nickels make a paper pinwheel.

Merry Christmas. There are more important things to do than to go see Santa Claus.

‘Sun so high!’ she cried, leaning back and looking, while the thick tears went over her eyes. ‘The time getting all gone here.’

At the foot of this hill was a place where a log was laid across the creek.

‘Now comes the trial,’ said Phoenix. Putting her right foot out, she mounted the log and shut her eyes. Lifting her skirt, leveling her cane fiercely before her like a festival figure in some parade, she began to march across. Then she opened her eyes and she was safe on the other side.

‘I wasn’t as old as I thought,’ she said.