Write a 200-300 word essay/story beginning describing the moment a character/narrator is departing (home? the country? a party?). What are the sensory details that would be noticed upon this moment of departure?
We lost our home in Sacramento a year after the market crashed, and the housing industry came crumbling down, and somewhere in between my husband lost his job, making my income insufficient to live the American dream. At the time, it was the most difficult of things to go through, and I remember clearly that June day we were instructed by the mortgage company, on our way out, to leave our keys in a planter on the side of the house. I hated the final blow, that the house we once called home was no longer ours.
The night before, we packed a small-sized U-Haul truck with a few of our belongings set aside from the garage sales we held over the course of three previous weekends, selling off major pieces, and then donating the items we couldn’t justify storing in my parent’s garage in San Francisco for an unknown period of time until we figured out life. I woke up that early summer morning to a cool breeze streaming across my face from the opened window by my side of the bed. The chirping ballads from the colorful birds busily fluttering in the backyard, hard at work; I could see vividly, even with my eyes still shut. I lingered in bed for a moment, knowing there was no delaying the inevitable. I stood up, to make my way downstairs, as usual, admiring the sun emerging over the horizon, steadily creeping across the living room, to the open foyer, and moving up the spiral staircase, in its path gracing temporarily a silhouette of an outdoor tree, and its ruffling leaves projected onto the wall alongside the staircase. How I will miss that I thought.
I opened the front door and saw a baby bird, not sure what kind of bird it was, but he had fallen from the nest attached to the corner of the walls to the entryway niche to the house.
I called my husband over, and together tried to get it up into the nest, and although our efforts were with good intend, we were, immediately attacked by five or six birds, trying to protect, what was theirs? I imagined. I was heartbroken, because I knew the baby bird wasn’t going to make it. So I walked over to the front lawn and sat on the grass, just under the magnolia tree, trying somehow to nurse the bird back to life, crying uncontrollably, not for everything we had lost, but for the baby bird that was dying in the palms of my hands.