Welcome to the 2017 Blogging A-to-Z Challenge! I’ll be blogging my way through the alphabet the entire month of April, taking a break on Sundays, for a total of 26 posts! This year I am writing short stories based on a word that starts with the letter of the alphabet. The 26 fictional stories are not related to one another. This is a chance for me to exercise my imagination and explore creative writing which I have not done since college. Learn more about the blogging challenge HERE!
The theme for today’s story is Inhabitant.
Dark, warm, and dry, that was how he liked his hideouts. He had been an inhabitant in many different ones over the years. The first one had been with his family, in the middle of a glen next to a raging river, until the day the hawk grabbed his brother for lunch. Next, he and his momma spent a few weeks searching for a new home. It took some time because there were many squirrels in the forest and none of them were willing to share their safe spots.
One day they were climbing a tall, old oak tree and they came upon a large hollow in the trunk. They tentatively sniffed around eagerly hoping to claim this as their new home and mother and son were in luck. No other animal had been here for ages! They scampered about gathering soft leaves to use for their beds and fallen nuts for their meals. Winter was fast approaching and, despite the unseasonably warm weather they had been experiencing this fall, it was predicted to be brutal. They must be prepare to feed themselves for many months.
In the middle of the winter, momma looked at the dwindling nut pile and realized there was not enough to last the two of them through spring. She looked at her son and indicated she would go out to look for any last bits she could gather from the forest floor. Her son promised to guard their home and put up a fight in case other squirrels tried to take over. Somehow he knew this was his momma’s way of saying goodbye to him. There was no food left on the forest floor. It had all been gathered up weeks ago.
When the first buds of spring began to bloom, he had been alone for weeks and out of food for two days. The sun was shining and it radiated warmth which was his cue to run down the tree and hungrily eat those new buds. After he finished gorging himself, he went back to his tree and found a nasty surprise: two fat and mean squirrels had claimed his home. Fighting was pointless because he was skinny, weak, and only one squirrel.
The next home he made was a few miles away and deeper in the forest. He figured the lack of sunlight and considerable distance from any water source surely would discourage other squirrels. However, after only a few days after setting up his secluded home, a group of squirrels came and stole it from him. Discouraged, he decided to find his first home, the one he had lived in with momma and his brother. It took a couple of weeks, searching up and down the river to find it, but eventually he did. Things were trashed. Some other squirrels had lived there and they had been messy. He set about cleaning up the place. He found soft leaves for his bed and, although it was summer, began gathering nuts in preparation for winter.
It was the middle of his second winter when a head popped into the entrance to his home. A beautiful squirrel chirped at him indicating she was alone and hungry and in need of a place to stay. He offered to share his home with her and by the time spring came around they were expecting. His first home would now become his family’s home and he was content.
And with this post that makes nine down and 17 more to go! Thank you for reading my short story. What did you think? If you are here with the Blogging A-to-Z Challenge, please leave a comment below because I would love to check out your posts!
P.S. Check out my other short stories HERE!