(Playing with a five-minute sprint writing technique, this is a short piece of FICTION I wrote.)
As I climbed up into the stuffy attic, a billowing fog of dust rose and tickled my nose, making me sneeze. A circa 1800’s setting greeted me, sepia-toned, with huge pirate-like treasure chests haphazardly placed throughout the enclosed space. Memories rose, and my heart fluttered with intense feelings of longing. This space somehow reminded me of the childhood I never had.
My index finger traced the etchings on one of the wooden chests. I tugged at the latch and flipped the solid lid open. It creaked with argument after being closed for so many years. A mohair teddy bear and antique doll lay on top of a stack of colourful checkered tablecloths and quilted bedding.
When I placed my hand on the teddy bear, a beam of sunlight shone through the attic window. A vignette played before my eyes showing a young woman sitting on a rocking chair. A little girl sat on her lap, her tiny head rested against her Mother’s chest. The light reflected against the soft blond curls framing the woman’s round face. She read a dog-eared book to the child whose little fingers fidgeted with the edge of the stained apron her Mother wore. I wiped the wetness from my eyes before the tears streaked down my cheeks. The scene in front of me represented everything I wanted from a mother, but not what I received growing up.
Shifting my gaze, I noticed an antique dresser standing behind the chest. The mirror on top of it, crusted with dust, invited me over for a closer look. I swiped across the glass to remove some of the grime. My reflection showed an adult with greying hair and a face that wore wrinkles from frowning too much throughout life. Beside me stood myself as a little girl, her reflection one of innocence and youth. I slid an arm around her shoulder and pulled her close to my side. She needed the love that I could offer now because she never had it growing up.
While sunlight played across our features, we stared into the mirror, mourning that which we never received.
Cathy Sim says
And then what? I want more
Patricia Atchison says
Thank you for wanting more!