What can YOU say in six sentences?
Herr Zimmer came up the road again today, and would I sell him my goats and would I sell him the barn? This is the third time since August he has come with that vulture's smile, hoping to profit from our misfortune.
Gertie says I should sell the goats because I no longer keep up with the milking and the birthing, no longer go to town or shave or gladhand fellow burghers.
She left this morning to visit our daughter in Bremen, and I am left alone to make my scrutiny of this relic of a barn that used to ring with stamping hooves and bright, delighted laughter.
Inside, I've found a high and sturdy beam, the lumber milled from walnut trees before the Fuehrer decreed that wood could only be used for rifle stocks and hospitals, and I have a sturdy length of rope, as well, that once was used for a child's swing.
As I loop and knot it, a young goat nuzzles me and wants to eat the noose, but I say, "Sorry, buddy, it's a bit too late for that."
[This exercise comes from The Art of Fiction by John Gardner, page 37. The challenge is: "Describe a barn as seen by a man whose son has just been killed in a war. Do not mention the son, or war, or death. Do not mention the man who does the seeing." And, as always, only six sentence entries, please. The winner will receive the admiration of starving artists everywhere.]