Instead of spouting off, it might be nice to indulge my creative writing side. I’m less likely to offend (except, perhaps, your sense of aesthetics), and my blood pressure stays low.

Let’s try just a few paragraphs, nothing complete, some doodling that sets a scene. For good measure, I’ll try it with no dialogue.

The next day, Tuesday, brought rain and snow. If it had been in that order, fine, but she’d found there was nothing so disquieting as slow, white snow in the morning, then rain heavy as baby slugs in the afternoon. It wasn’t natural, and she needed things to be natural about now.

She’d kept the door locked, but didn’t have much confidence in its strength, neither the lock nor the door. But she’d used the last of the nails on the fence, and there wasn’t anything heavy enough in the cabin to make a difference. If they wanted to get in, they would, no use having false hopes. Might as well ask the angels for harp lessons. But her shotgun was loaded, and she’d placed obstacles where she hoped they’d do the most good. In a few days, if they didn’t come, she would take a look around the field for tracks, or signs they’d broken through the fence.

She checked the thermometer, and sighed to see it dropping. That would mean, not more snow, but hail. She started to pray for a hot north wind, then stopped herself. There’d be no appeals tonight. She had to focus on what would do some good. Eating, listening, sleeping ten minutes every two hours.

A sound like braying hit the windows. She jumped, brought the shotgun to her shoulder, her finger taking the trigger just short of firing. But it had been thunder. She lowered the gun.

Idly, she wondered how they’d reacted just then. Did they freeze, listening, turning slowly toward the sky? Did they hear an enemy, or might they mistake it for one of their own, calling? Did they imagine? Did they reason, or merely think?

Her jeans were fraying at the bottom. Useless as it seemed right now, she’d been brought up to plan for tomorrow. A few stitches from a needle and thread would mend them for another month, so she went into the bedroom and pulled her sewing kit from the medicine cabinet.