(6 votes, average: 2.50 out of 5)
Thanks for your vote!
Voting on this contest has closed. Thanks to all who voted!
by Nancy May
Homes are lives of their owners. Houses are homes when the shutter sweeps the remains of the burning candle wax.
For Gloria and Stephen; their home is a house with their missing grown children. Their children, stroked into the ocean where they’d made sure there was no snapping sharks. Their children survived. They were less fortunate.
“It’s empty, an Egyptian tomb without the Sarcophagus”. Gloria saddened, scoping the remaining room.
“Our children have emigrated onto the next stepping stone of life as we are stepping onto ours. Did we not discuss this stage in our youth?” The creases round his mouth had road under his eyes; his mouth now tip toed the semi circles. Gloria responded,
‘We said we’d convert Stephen’. She’d aged; gracefully. Her hair no longer shone the colour of dandelions, her face soaked in the wisdom knowledge of raising two boys with her skin eclipsed in origami folds as she smiled.
“Take up our forgotten hobby; painting”. He laughed, the laugh propelled down to his stomach.
The remaining room they were standing in was the last for excavation. It had been their children’s room. As all other rooms had been renovated and in the process all objects and items had been dispensed in the remaining room. Everything was protected with dustsheets.
“Where shall we begin?” Stephen questioned, the stacks of their possessions confounded him as he slapped his hand on his bald head.
“By removing the dustsheets for the final clean of our project Stephen”. All dustsheets were prosthetic protectors for their objects and items over the last few months. They made up the final limbs of: a six piece dining table, a wardrobe, two single beds, a chest of draws, a collection of artwork and dining chairs.
Throughout the day, it had been agreed between the two, all un-necessary objects and items would be sold in the upcoming car boot; co-ordinated by their eldest child.
“That’s the last one Gloria”. He’d aged only an ounce as he flossed the dimple under his chin.
“What’s under there?” She enquired, as she clenched the corners of the last dustsheet, it fanned outwards and stretched a veil on the floor; catching the dust upwards, underneath items and objects missed out from the nutrients of the daylight for several months. Gloria and Stephen decided while the objects and items were waiting patiently for relocation, they wouldn’t open the curtains. Neighbours curtain twitch.
Underneath the vacancy of the dustsheet next to the various objects and items tucked, Gloria’s jewel box, hinged delicately in the corner.
“There you are!” Her face pendulum an arching smile, she’d not led eyes on her jewel box since the birth of her first child. She was pleased. It had no indentations or scratches; it was not worn in any particular way. The varnish still dense in colour and heightened the grains sprouting its certified age. A bronze plate fastened in the centre of the lid. The initials read: S. P, as she’d not been the original owner, only scaled down as a custodian. Upon first viewing her eyes zoomed, and a crystal sparkle flashed in the corner. Feeling the corners; her ring less fingers lifted the lid in ease. Her eyes fluxed as only one solitary jewellery item remained inside.
“You’ve been hiding”, her husband was preoccupied carrying their belongings into the garage.
The item – her engagement and wedding ring combined; fossil an elaborate design. Her smile lengthened, showing glimpsing her pearls. She started reminiscing with a desire capacity wish to roll back the years. Impossible now, the wheel of time had motioned in concrete. The combined ring signalled the birth of her first child when her digits swelled and with her first child’s birth came daunt.
Gone inevitably the union between her and her husband when they were energetic and enthusiastic, not only about life but about each other. In a time when the curtains remained closed due to restrictions upon their energy meter. They connected in nights, at a time when their hands roamed not for the daily paper latching through the letterbox but, searching for another sensitive area on their spouse. In a time when they were still, getting to know the other and how best they preferred their conversation. Now, it was one going to bed early and the other watching the news.
“I shall keep you”, Gloria remembered, as she placed her engagement and wedding ring combined on her crumpled shrunken finger. She closed the lid to the jewel box.