Friday, April 2, 2010

Magpie tale #8

Willow,at host a weekly writing prompt.
Write a vignette or poem using the photo below.


This week's photo prompt:

"Take what you want," our friend Emily said pointing to items on her dining room table that were piled so high that it looked like a church rummage sale.
Harriet made a comment that the items were of value and surely George's daughter, Wendy, must want them.

"I didn't ask her," Emily said ,"all I've been to her all these years is a babysitter and spitwiper for her father. No, I'm not giving her anything. I asked my daughter  and she took the old Aunt Jemima cookie jar and sugar and creamer set. She claims it's worth $750.

Betty leaned over and picked up the hand crochet tablecloth and bedspread.
"Surely,Emily, these were made by her mother and she would want them. Did you ask George about this before he died?"

That's when I remembered seeing Emily in the grocery store a month before George, her second husband,had died.
I remember the glee with which she told me about getting him to sign over the last CD to her. And the fury that came out of her eyes as she said she couldn't change the house....damn she couldn't change the house.
At that time I thought she was a weary frightened old woman...afraid of being alone and broke. But now I see her real deviousness. She was going to deprive her step daughter  of her mother's things to get even.

"I told her I didn't know where any of these things were..her father must have thrown them out after she died." Em said with a smirk.

We stood there silent. Who was this woman before us. We knew her to be a long suffering devoted wife to her sick husband and granny good baker to her step grandchildren.
"If you don't want anything, I'm just going to dump it at Goodwill tomorrow."

That's when I spotted the hand painted porcelain egg on the gold stand. I picked it up and saw that it was a depiction of a man trying to catch the Phoenix. There was a trowel in his hand. Had he disturbed the bird before its ascension or had he deliberately tried to dig it up before it flew away?
"I'll take this Emily. What do you want for it?"
"Just take it, it's ugly anyway," she said.
"No, I want to pay for it.I'll give you thirty dollars for it," I said reaching into my purse and pulling out 3 tens.
She didn't say a word but kissed my cheek with a smile then grabbed the money and went into the kitchen to put out the sandwiches for our lunch.

Not another word was said about Emily's treasures. Betty bought the tablecloth and bedspread.
We were the last to leave Emily's house that day and as we got into our cars, we nodded at each other and   headed straight to Wendy's house, 
to offer these gifts to the sun that they may have life again. 


  1. wow again. (are you tired of hearing my praises? i hope not)

    i'm glad for the ending. how classy the women bought the things to make them truly *theirs* to give away.

    talent, girl. talent.

  2. I'm so glad you've returned to your writing. You artwork is beautiful but your writing is truly wonderful.

  3. Janean...I had in mind the rising Phoenix gathering the bones of its the city of the sun
    and also the 30 pieces of silver for betrayal...that's how she saw it...and then the betrayers kiss and the meal.... and women doing the right thing...egg ,cloth, so much symbolisim of rebirth and death..all in keeping with the season I guess...
    maybe too much in one story...but heck its a hoot to let the mind go...revision later....and no I am grateful for your input...and your loving words....yes, you can ride shotgun..I promise

  4. Elena...I only wished I had known this about myself earlier..
    My mind does work in a peculiar way doesn't it? This prompt was crazy...but I found something in the crevices of myself to write about...yippee and thanks for your cheers
    Happy Easter...and dress like a siren you beautiful woman you!

  5. Great story! And the ending was perfect. Have a very special and meaningful Easter.

  6. wow, that incense holder is amazing. great post.

  7. A lot of subtlety in your writing, Suz, which isn't always apparent on first reading.
    You are a natural storyteller

  8. Why Peter thank you. Ah...but does a reader bother to go back and reread...the story must stand alone the first time I guess
    It is hard work..this story telling

  9. You are truly gifted, Suz. Great story.

  10. Suz, this story holds so much truth and tells of so many plots, subplots, and emotions very quickly. Who of us hasn't experienced, or at least heard of these kinds of family bickerings, yet your writing makes it new all over again.

    Love the ending: "...offer these gifts to the sun that they may have life again."


  11. Rick, thank you.....ah..the Phoenix
    ah...betrayal ..and ah.. resurrection..

  12. a wonderful tale you have she must pay for it, to truly offer it again...nicely done.

  13. Wow - I like the way the right thing is done in the end.

  14. Suz

    A beautiful tale you weave,,,lovely the first read through and it makes you want to reread again..

    I was just thinking about you when you were visiting my blog,, my son inspired the poem I wrote -- he said to write Haiku -- which as you know writing is sometimes hard and then to tell a story in three lines --whew --

    Have a lovely week ,

  15. great story! And I love your post about your idea behind it. Wow.

  16. I'm glad they did the right thing. Poor daughter.


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