Sunday, August 1, 2010

Magpie Tales #25

This is a prompt from a weekly writing theme hosted by Willow over at:

 When I was about 9 years old, we moved from my Grandfathers house to our very own home, my Dad was a solo Dad in the 1960's, with four children... This lock reminded me of the very old house we moved into, and my Magpie Tale evolved.

It was an old house, with no insulation, freezing cold in the winter and hot and unbearable in the summer. Their father was not great at fixing things up, no home handyman, and certainly not a gardener.
There were no renovations done, only a bit of paint applied here and there where it was needed. No flower garden, but the lawns were always mowed and things were neat and tidy looking. The inside of the house was "tired-looking" to say the least, old brown linoleum on the floors and threadbare carpet in the lounge and bedrooms. But, it was their home, a place to settle and make friends, and to have a future,  the five of them together. Four children and their father.

In the hallway was a very large built-in cupboard, always locked, with the key stored up high in one of the kitchen cupboards.  It intrigued all of the children, but it had became an obsession for the eldest girl, Natalie. Every day she would stand in front of the cupboard door, looking at the beaten up lock, wondering what was kept inside. Knowing full well that they had all been given the word by their father that it was strictly 'Out of Bounds. The pull of not knowing was becoming too much for Natalie.

A few days later,  Natalie couldn't believe her luck, she was alone in the house. Her father had taken her brother to football, and her two sisters were at a neighbour's house playing. It was now or never, she had to know what was in the cupboard. She pulled the kitchen chair up to the cupboard where the key was kept,  and standing on tip toe stretched up until she felt her fingers wrap around the key. She got down from the chair and made her way to the hallway.Taking a deep breath she put the key into the locked, turned it and pulled the door open.

At first glance she was a bit unsure about what it was that she was looking at. There were lots of boxes of all shapes and sizes stacked up on the shelves. And at the bottom on the floor was a large wooden storage box. She started from the top and started to look into the boxes, they were full of photos. Wedding photos, the bride and groom she recognised as being her parents. Photos of a family together, her mother and father pictured with Natalie and her brother and sisters. She made her way through all the boxes recognising the faces of family members in happier times, at picnics and family gatherings, all of them had her mother in them. She put the boxes down and pulled the wooden storage box out. She lifted up the lid and peered inside, taking out the dress that lay on top. It was a wedding dress, complete with veil. It was then that she realised that the dress was the same as the one she had seen in the wedding photo. It was her mother's wedding dress. As she lifted the dress up to have a better look at it a small bottle fell out of the folds of the dress. She put the dress down and took the lid off the bottle and tipped the bottle up. Two small gold rings fell out onto her lap, she picked them up and the wave of emotion that went through her was unbearable. She stifled a sob as she took in all that she had found. The photos, the wedding dress and veil and now the rings. These were all memories of her mother, memories that her father had locked away in a cupboard, locked away so that she would be forgotten .

It was in this moment that Natalie knew that her mother was not coming back.


Evette Mendisabal

Oh my gosh! How horrible. This is going to be a tear jerker! I can just tell it's got some place to go ... hopefully with some good feelings!
Great story Mum. You never disappoint.

Bonnie Bonsai

Very poignant Magpie Tale. I pray Natalie after her own clandestine discovery of a painful truth managed to pull through from a sad memory and get on with life.


So unbearably sad, your Magpie. So beautifully written ........


Oh a very sad very for the children - their mother not only gone but all traces/memories locked away.


What a sad story Angela. I suppose it could be a way of coping for the father in the story.


You touched my heart....


very touching.


Great story ma, I hope she pulls the boxes out and puts the photographs everywhere :-) a child should know their mother no matter what happened


it was the father's way of surviving- well written-I could visualize that little girl.


Awww so sad.
No mother should be forgotten, but men are strange things and maybe this is his way of coping, poor dad.


A fine ending twist - well written story.

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