I had so much fun with my actual entry for Carrera de Cabellos: An E2 Proseproduction that I decided to try another. Please note this isn't an entry for the competition - this title is still up for grabs if you're looking!

“Come on, Ilsa,” the young nurse said. “I have to bring you back inside.”

The eighty year old didn’t hear her - or pretended not to, at any rate. She barely moved on her bench in the nursing home courtyard, faded eyes fixed on something in the distance.

The nurse kept trying. “We need to make sure you’ve got your meds before the next shift comes in - don’t want them to forget anything -”

“Don’t want them,” Ilsa interrupted.

“Now, Ilsa, come on -”

“Don’t want them,” she repeated. “No more meds.”

“You need them to stay healthy.”

“Fuck healthy,” she said. “Haven’t I been healthy long enough?”

“Ilsa. If you don’t let us take care of you - “

“Been taking care of myself long enough, too.”


The old woman gestured to something in the distance. “How old’s that tree?”

The nurse looked. “What?”

That tree. The maple. How old is it?”

“I don’t know. Ilsa, we have to -”

“Thirty years?”

“Ilsa - “

“I’d say thirty years.” She looked around. “You can go away now, dear. The tree’ll take care of me.”

The nurse took a deep breath. “If I leave you for five minutes, will you cooperate?”

“Sounds more than fair.”

The nurse shook her head, walked back towards the building. After a second, Ilsa put her hands flat against the bench, pushed herself on to her thin legs, walked over to the tree.

“Looks just the same,” she muttered to herself, hands flat against the light grey bark. “Just the same as Robert’s.”

The nurse found her there five minutes later, hugging the tree, thinking of Robert and the tree he laid under.

“The tree’ll take care of me,” she told the nurse. “He always has so far.”

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