Fierce winds blew across the valley as the morning began for Regina. She headed towards the chicken coop and watched as Red bounded across the yard towards her.

“That dog,” she thought, “he thinks I am going to give him an egg. “Depends on how many we get, fella,” she told him. Regina opened the coop door and it slammed against the wall. The chickens were all sitting in the rafters. The wood shutter on the backside of the coop had blown off, leaving only the screen and they were trying to keep out of the wind. They screeched and flapped their wings, wanting out.

“Not today,” she said out loud. “Too windy.” Regina had no interest in trying to round them up, with the weather so bad. She found only one egg and several were broken on the floor. Regina scooped up the broken ones and set them outside for Red. She secured the door but didn’t even try to put the shutter back. That would have to wait until she had some help. Her neighbor, Carl would come by in a day or two to check on her and he would fix it for her.

Red lapped up the precious eggs and continued to bark as he followed her back to the house. She usually didn’t let him in the house but something made her give in. “The weather is too bad’” she thought. The wind forced the door against the house with loud banging sounds. It took all her strength to shut the door.

The water was boiling on her woodstove now and she made her morning coffee and downed a few gulps before she started her breakfast of egg and bacon and biscuits.

The wind grew as the day wore on but finally the snow began to fall.  The wind slowed when that happened and Regina began to feel calmness settle over her. As long as the temperature did not drop too much the animals would be ok.

There was no one to help her anymore. But she would not go to the city with her children even though they begged her, whenever they visited. She had lived in this house since she was a young woman and her husband bought this place for them to spend their lives together.

She would be lost in the city. Oh, she didn’t mind visiting but she could not stay busy there. And being busy is what made her feel fulfilled. Without Warren that was the most important thing to her. Maybe, after the winter was over this year, she would visit her daughter and maybe not.

In the morning Regina didn’t check on the chickens and by midday, Red was howling at the foot of her bed. Her neighbor Carl found her the day after, frozen stiff in her bed with Red curled up beside her.

Written to prompt: winter, lost, fierce and calm – December 15, 2018

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