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Junk

This week's prompt for Sunday Scribblings is "junk". Here is my story...

Todd found Elisabeth sitting on the floor of the spare bedroom they used for storage. Next to her was an old battered suitcase he'd seen her looking thru at least a dozen times before. Contents of the suitcase scattered around her on the floor, Todd could tell that Elisabeth was somewhere far away, lost in her memories.

She didn't notice him standing in the doorway watching her as she picked up items one by one - an old postcard, an empty perfume bottle, a faded man's handkerchief, a tarnished locket, a battered pocket-size New Testament, a ragged piece of fabric that looked like might have been a baby blanket at one time, a small teddy bear with a missing eye, and at least a dozen other things that looked more like trash than treasures to him.

Elisabeth touched them gently, caressing them and holding them close to her heart as if they held some magical power. It seemed like every time they'd had an argument, and there had been a lot of them lately, Todd would find her here going thru this stuff. He'd asked her about it once, when they were moving and trying to pare down the stack of belongings going with them. But she'd cut him off short with a glare, "Drop it... it goes."

Elisabeth wasn't one to open up about her past, but Todd was growing impatient with this suitcase ritual. "Good grief" he exclaimed, startling her as she became aware of his presence. "It's just a bunch of crap, a pile of junk. Why don't you get over it and get rid of it?"

She looked up at him with more coldness in her eyes than he'd ever seen before. It scared him and he backed off. "Fine, just sit here with your suitcase full of garbage and stare off into space" he snapped, "I'm going out", and with that he stomped down the hallway, grabbed his keys from the hook, and slammed the door.

A tear rolled down Elisabeth's face, and then another and another. If only he could understand that this beat-up old suitcase held all that remained of what once was her life - before the fire that took her Mom and her baby brother, before her Dad became a raging alcoholic and hung himself one night... and now Elisabeth feared that she was losing Todd too.

(Now head over to Sunday Scribblings for more stories from some great writers!)

18 comments:

  1. wow--
    i hope the story doesn't reflect you mood for the day???

    i hope you have a HAPPY sunday--
    (soul sis!)

    laterz--
    and no, no fishin for me today-- call a cry baby whambulance?

    HUGZ

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  2. Definite no, Soul Sis. I'm having a lovely quiet Sunday morning scribbling and commenting away! I don't know why the word "junk" caused this reaction in me. I guess because so often things I've valued in life have been deemed as unimportant by others. Sorry about the fishing, do it soon!

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  3. Glad you're not "Elisabeth" in mood, woman! Nicely done. I'd like to say "enjoyable," but that's not the right word to use, eh?

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  4. Detailed narration helped me picture your story scene by scene.I was a bit sad when i read the last para.

    True, value of things one hold dear isn't of the same value to others.Sigh!

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  5. You write so beautifully...its always an honor to read what you've penned. Life makes us more in tune to emotions and the feelings of others as well as our own. Especially if one has had sadness and conflict much of the time. My life mirrors your own in this category, dear friend. I'm happier now than I've ever been but I had to be alone to find that happiness. It would be nice to share my life again, but the trust is no longer there. Anyway, you just have no idea how happy it makes me to hear that you've found your soul mate and life is not only good....its blessed. Big hugs to you sweetie.

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  6. Well-written, this piece rings of truth and those parts that aren't generally valued by others. Nicely done!

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  7. Very moving. We all have knick-knacks that are special to us but we can't always talk about to others. Well done.

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  8. So sad... and I want to know MORE! :-) Would love to see you continue this.

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  9. Oh, wow, this begins in a somewhat predictable manner, but builds up beautifully to that heart-wrenching ending. I'm cryinClick here please

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  10. i m so glad u arent that lady ... it deeply moved me... and i m shocked too!
    still not recovered from my uncles demise so i m sobbing still!

    Click The JUNK I need to Rid oFF!

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  11. Once many years ago when we moved half way round the world I threw out some junk that I bitterly regret now.
    Young and foolish and didn't know then how valuable some junk can be. A sad but insightful story, well done.

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  12. nice writing, your story has some valuable morals. well written and easy to read. thanks for stopping in at my "Burned Toast" blog

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  13. That was a powerful story!!! If she was a real person, I would hope she would leave Todd as he doesn't care to understand her & her past - what matters to her. Seems a lot like my ex-husband.

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  14. You wrote this so beautifully - you created the opposite of the happy ending!

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  15. Loved this. Sometimes we can hold so tight to the past that we push away the present.

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  16. *Patty - no, not exactly enjoyable, but hopefully a good read. I seem to enjoy writing darker stuff best. :-)
    *Swapnap - I try to visualize exactly what's going on and describe it. You are right, value can be so much more than the obvious.
    *Val - thank you so much for the compliment. Writing is my therapy, it helps keep me relatively sane. :-) Your comment on trust has given me an idea for a post! YOu are right that being alone is preferable to being with someone who makes you miserable.
    *Tumblewords - Thank You! I'm thinking that most of us can relate to the concept behind this story, even if the details of our own lives aren't as dramatic. We've all heard disparaging comments like that.
    *Michelle - I'm glad that my story reached you. Yes, there are some things in our hearts that we really can't fully explain or share. We all have our private corners and memories.
    *Terri - Yes, it was a sad story. Then ending made me sad as I wrote it. I'm not sure we want to know where it goes from here, but then there is always hope!
    *S - thank you! I like to write things that end with intensity. Life seems to build that way too.
    *Desi - while I have been in similar situations to Elisabeth, thankfully that is not my family history. I am sorry if this renewed your sadness. It is hard to loose people we love. But then, love is eternal and they haven't really gone all that far away!
    *OldEgg - Oh, I have done that too. Disgarded things in the process of sweeping out my life that I've later regretted losing very much. Bits and pieces that trigger good memories do have value.
    *GS - Thank You for complimenting my efforts. I appreciate you stopping by! Writing fiction is a new endeavor for me, but I'm enjoying the process.
    *Kristi - Todd seems a lot like my ex-husband too. His lack of sensitivity and his harsh words are part of the reason he's an ex!
    Keith - Thank You! I smiled at your comment about creating the opposite of a happy ending - that's a great way to put it! :-)
    *Dee - You brought up a good point. It can be very hard to let go of the past, and sometimes the baggage we carry with us is the emotional kind, which is even harder to dispose of. It takes work, trust, and love to dispel it!

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  17. just cruisin thru ss--
    g'nite-
    :))

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  18. I was thinking that sounds like something I would like to do. Until I read a bit further and found the rest of the story. That is so sad. Men don't look too far do they.

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)