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The lone Sentinel- A challenge by Bill Holland-AKA Billybuc

Updated on February 14, 2015
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I am a writer of poetry and fiction. I especially love flash fiction. My name is Ruby, and I live in Southern Illinois. I am a retired R.N.

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The old rugged fireplace standing alone and so majestically tall

Concrete bricks chipped and worn, some lying quietly against the old stone wall

The memories it must cherish held within the hollow wall inside

Mom, Dad, Timmy and Susie, Grandma Millie and Grandpa Bob, Sammie their beloved dog who embraced the happy family until the sad day he died

The fireplace kept the family warm and cozy so many winters yore

It kept the homemade bread warm wrapped in cheesecloth just outside the old hinged door

It popped corn for many years, with lit candles emitting a scent, a celebration of happy cheer

It kept an iron pot of water warm hanging from the polished hearth

It kept the newborn babies warm after each joyful birth

The old home place stood for a century after the family left their earthly abode

Until a tornado swept it away one dark march day, wooden shingles ripped apart covering the old country road

The Fireplace refused to surrender standing tall among the fallen trees

Today the trees returned to give shade to the lone sentinel, caressing it with their soft summer breeze.

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    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Genna. I've been housebound for days. The snow and ice is treacherous and I'm sick of it! If it not for challenges, I would probably hibernate too. Thank you for a beautiful comment Sweet friend....

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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Ruby, I almost missed this gem. (I’ve been hibernating during the past couple of weeks.) If the sentinel could but speak, it would echo your words with the life it helped to give and sustain…a beautiful response to Bill’s challenge. Voted way up and shared.

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello my sweet friend. Thank you for an enduring comment. Hugs..

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Nostalgic, warm and loving...such beautiful work, dear Ruby.

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Nadine. I'm glad you liked my focus on the fireplace and it's love for the family. Thank you...

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Pstraubie. Yes, the fireplace was a true friend to the family. I'm glad it brought back memories. Thank you for sharing.

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Theresa. I used to live in Missouri and the area was called tornado alley. We would spend many nights in the basement. Thank's for the lovely comment.

      Blessings..

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      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Congratulations you did a great job by telling the fireplace's own story. Well done.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Defiant, determined, trusted the sentinel stood after its loved ones left. A fitting tribute..they lived and it lives on for them.

      For those of us who have had one of these in our past, this was a lovely journey back into time.

      Voted up+++ and shared

      Angels are on the way to you this evening ps

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Lovely contribution to the challenge, Ruby! I live in a state where tornadoes are the norm, and I have seen the destruction they can cause. Glad the fireplace still stands tall as a beacon to all the love the family shared there.

      Blessings

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello DDE. Wow four fireplaces, that's cool' I only have one and it's in the kitchen. Thank you....

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello sujaya. Thank yo. Happy you enjoyed..

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Sarah. Nice to see you again. I loved writing this. Thank you for a well written comment. I hope everyone reads yours. It is a beautiful story. You are an excellent writer...

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Audrey. I guess I am a deep thinker. I love to write about happy families, that changes when my muse wants to take over and write about sad times in my life. I'm so glad you liked this. Thank you. Smiling back...

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Clive. So glad you enjoyed. Thank you..

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You had a unique idea about this challenge and I did have four fire places but only used two.

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 2 years ago

      very good narrative

    • Sara Sarwar Riaz profile image

      Sara Sarwar Riaz 2 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Stories of a lifetime summarized beautifully in a few verses. Well written and nostalgic.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      This is poignant and beautiful Ruby! I think you must feel on a deep level--at least that is what I get from your work! Smiles to you!

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 2 years ago from Nibiru

      beautiful poem exploring

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Jo. I love your comment and I believe that too. Thank you so much...

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Ruby, this a beautiful poem. What we love will always live on. The sentinel, although broken and discarded, is no less loved.

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Manatita. I didn't grow up in a house with a fireplace but if I had, I'd like to think we had the good times as this family. Thank you for a beautiful comment

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Shauna. I'm thrilled! Thank you for a beautiful comment...

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Shyron. I'm so happy you could relive old memories through this piece. Thank you so much. Hugs..

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Ann. I'm so glad you enjoyed my take on this. Thank you...

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Sallybea. I just read yours and I loved your beautiful story. Thank you for coming to read mine..

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      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      A great poem! You used the memory or reminiscence's idea excellently, and you gave that Lone Sentinel a beautiful conclusion. Happy week-end, Ruby.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      A great poem! You used the memory or reminisences idea excellently, and you gave that Lone Sentinel a beautiful conclusion. Happy week-end, Ruby.

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Homeplace Series. You are welcome. Happy to share. Thank you..

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Jodah. At first I couldn't decide if I was going to write a short story or poetry. Rhyming is what I love to do, so I went with the poem. So glad you enjoyed the video. I was an Elvis groupie and still am. Thank you..

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mike. You of all people know that I love Elvis. Thank you for the card and video. I loved them both. Your critique makes me a happy camper. Thank you..

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello DJ., when I look at the picture of Elvis as a child, I feel sad. They were so poor. I'm thrilled you thought this was lovely. Thank you..

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      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Ruby, you've painted quite a beautiful picture with your words. A lifetime of love and warmth was supplied by that old fireplace. Its pillar of strength symbolizes the unity of the family that lived within its protection.

      Excellent job of Bill's challenge!

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Lady Guinevere. Nice to see you. I've never seen a wind like that. We have tornadoes here, in fact one did some damage to my home three years ago. Thank you for reading and commenting..

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello daghoglund. I wanted to focus on the fireplace and tell the story about the family and how much the fireplace added to their life. Thank you..

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mary. I'm so happy you liked this. I love challenges. Thank you..

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Ruby, this is so beautiful, in this I see my own family when I lived with my grand parents, in the house that had two fire places.

      Voted up, UABI but mostly Beautiful. Loved it.

      Blessings and Hugs

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      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Beautiful poetry! I enjoyed the walk through the history of this fireplace and now it's being looked after in its turn. Lovely.

      Ann

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Short and sweet, thanks for sharing your take on this fascinating challenge.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thanks for sharing your vision of the Lone Sentinel... ;-)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      A brief but delightful story/poem, Ruby, in response to the challenge. I loved Elvis' version of Green Green Grass of Home and the pics with it...brought back memories. Voted up.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby - Hey you are an Elvis fan - who knew (I think everyone.) You have spun a nice tale. It is strong and rich with the right amount of image building.

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      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      So sweet, Ruby.

      I have not heard the "Green, Green Grass of Home" in a long time.

      It make one think about how quickly we come and we go, but there are

      some things that do not succumb to age quite as quickly.

      Your story is lovely.

      DJ.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      I could have been there as well as you gave the description. Then the tornado. We do not get many tornadoes here but we get what is called Straight Winds and they actually twist trees off their trunks before they fall.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 2 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      That is a nice poem, Ruby. It does well in focusing on the fireplace and its life cycle..

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Oh Ruby what experiences you told us about in such a small space, Bill is so right. The life of the family and the home. Of course your choice of song/video is perfect.

      Voted up, awesome, and beautiful.

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Bill, so glad you approve. I loved writing it. More challenges please! Thank you..

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That was lovely, Ruby! You packed a lifetime into a few short lines....perfection in brevity. Well done! Thank you for taking part in the challenge. I truly do appreciate it.