1 year ago
Friday, August 27, 2010
Magpie Tales: Saying Goodbye
In the foyer, her hands encompassed the walnut ball that marked the beginning of a journey upstairs. Holding it as if she held a mystical gazing ball that would foretell her future, she closed her eyes and traced her fingers over the hash marks left by a hurried craftsman generations ago.
Climbing the stairs she counted, "One, two, three, four, five, six..." A loud creak sounded at the fall of her foot on the seventh step. Over the years it became the tattle-tale of sneaky stair climbers and later the tell-tale sound of a wandering heart. At the top of the stairs she turned to the left, opened the door to the now empty room where once upon a child a little girl lined up paper dolls on a crocheted lavender rug. The tiny table set for tea with a bear, a monkey, and two dolls named Lily and Lucy disappeared long ago. Down the hall, another square room witnessed raucous wrestling and little boy games. She turned her back on the room at the far end of the hall, too many memories, too much pain. Her audible sigh echoed through the hallway bouncing off walls, plumb and plain. No framed prints, no rogue’s gallery of the branches, limbs, and twigs of the family tree stared down from the walls. Everywhere she looked basic beige stuck her as boring and necessary.
From room to room she wandered. Each room naked and vulnerable lacking furniture and adornment that speaks of personalities, experiences, likes and dislikes. Not even shades, hanging like heavy eyelids over dark eyes peering out into a world remained. It had become a hollow house, too lonely for words, so she moved on in silence.
Back down stairs, she gazed out the wavy glass of paned windows where 200 years worth of children watched seasons transform from trees shaking in the frigid winter winds to pastel blossoms bothered by bees on spring days. From this vantage point, she could see the magic tree where the children hid and created fantastical lands of fairies and goblins. So many memories enveloped in a few acres called home. A hot trail of tears descended down the curve of her cheeks, passed her chin wetting her neck with salty brine as she stewed in her thoughts of past and future.
She continued the final tour while ghosts, still living, haunted her mind and followed her steps. In the dining room, where rainbows danced against the wall from chandelier prisms that caught the early evening light, she smoothed a hand over the antique step back cupboard, emptied of its fragile occupants, standing alone, a compromise for the future staring blankly from the wall as if questioning why it should remain.
The kitchen loomed before her an open wound with yawning cupboards waiting to be filled and the fireplace gaping wide-eyed and cold across the room. She stood in the heart of the home, a mirage of joyful meals dissipating into marital battles and lingering tearful nights accosting her memory.
It was time. She slipped her shoes back on and with one hand on the brass door knob; she touched her fingertips to her lips, blew the kiss into the house, turned, and walked out the door.
A brief glance into the rearview mirror revealed the setting sun’s glow embrace the house while she drove into her future.
Each week Willow offers a photo on her writing blog, Magpie Tales, and invites all interested to take a look at the photo and write their take on what they see. This is my story inspired from the above photo. Take some time to read the inspirations of other talented writers.