With gentle force, she pulled the tattered sheet off the ornate dresser. A cloud of dust plumed into the air, swirling around the wooden beauty. It was full of curves: soft to look at, but hard to the touch as she traced her fingers across each hand-carved detail.
She imagined her grandmother’s perfumes that once were displayed upon it: potent and flowery. Its finish had been worn from it being opened and closed, battered and bumped, over the years. It was her plan to give it life, once more.
She opened the smooth plastic container of chalk paint, and a new, clean smell filled the space. Gentle brush strokes covered each camber and cranny with paint. Once the paint dried, she used the coarse edge of her sanding block and found her rhythm. Sweat dripped down her forehead and onto her temples as she distressed and sanded each edge to perfection.
Once she was done buffing and shining the sticky wax, she stopped to stand and marvel that something old was new again.
Photo courtesy of Nathan Anderson/Stocksnap.io
The space between us is a canyon that has been weathered by storms of time.
Days gust past with dust from yesterday’s squall and I reach to you; my fingertips grasp at nothing but the breath from your lips. The crevasse is so wide, my voice couldn’t reach you. Shouts come out sounding like warm breeze.
I’ll fill this canyon with tears and I’ll swim to you, no matter the swiftness of current. I’ll pray for an earthquake to shake the soil beneath our feet, reminding us of our journey.
I love you, no matter where the dust takes us.
Photo courtesy of Kalen Emsley/Unsplash
Bitter air nibbles the back of my neck. I pull the worn cloth on my coat closer to my ears and sit down on the splintered bench, next to the quiet, dark-skinned girl. Her name is unknown to me, though we travel this same path daily.
We come from the same dilapidated street and, judging by the rags she wears, we are haunted by similar stories.
The doors of the bus open and warm air thieves the rawness from my cheeks. I nod and she boards first.
She smiles, takes my walking stick, and guides me to the last seat.
This is my take on the this week’s Yeah Write Prompt taken from The Write Melony’s essay titled The Case.
Photo courtesy of Alex Wong/Stocksnap.io
The cool air pressed firmly against her skin between the layers of warm cotton. Despite the mountain’s familiarity, her teeth still clanked together from more than just the cold.
“I can do this,” she said.
Exhaling, she watched her breath form a tiny cloud in front of her face. She pulled her Burton mittens farther onto her hands and strapped her feet into place, heel after toe, with two loud clicks.
Using her poles, she pushed towards the wooden seats rotating up towards the sky. Her confident posture returned, gliding on the snow.
Ready for first chair of the season.
The War was over.
After deliberation, a patterned cotton dress was chosen to wear. Blond curls were begrudgingly folded into place and complaints were made against the necessity of clean teeth.
In the end, we hugged. I straightened her backpack and she boarded the bus joyfully.
I let the warm grains of sand sift between my fingers and float toward the ocean with the breeze. I’ve never been here, but I know this place well from her stories. I close my eyes and listen to the rhythmic white noise of water colliding with the beach. Filling my lungs with air, I notice the brininess. No wonder she loved it here.
I open my eyes and shade them with the palm of my sweaty hand, watching as the dancing specks of sea glass disappear against the ocean. I imagine each is a moment she lost to cancer. What would today look like with her beside me, if sickness hadn’t taken her so swiftly?
Despite the heat, my arm hair rises like hundreds of tiny waves and blood crashes against my veins. I know she’s been here before, because she’s told me. But I can also feel it.
Maybe she’s here with me now. A cream-colored shell slowly washes up to shore and stops before my feet. I bend to retrieve it, examine its smooth edges, and toss it in the pink bucket with the others.
Maybe that same sand now floating off to sea once sat beneath her brown legs. I picture her feet stretched out in front of her while she rests under the brazen sun. She’s laughing with friends and casually sipping a rum and Coke (not Pepsi) over ice. Maybe she walked along this very stretch of beach to collect shells as souvenirs, like me.
I imagine her happy, healthy, and young.
A friend once told me that the beach ends where the ocean starts, but that line isn’t distinct. There are still bits of water on the sand and bits of sand throughout the ocean. Maybe that’s life. Maybe our beginning and end are not as abrupt as we think. Maybe there are still bits of her here.
I dust the sand from my hands and blow her a kiss good-bye.
That’s how I’d like to remember her. On a warm beach with a beaming smile and sand beneath her feet.
Before I lost her.
Photo courtesy of Jakob Owens
Photo courtesy of Llywelyn Nys
The rising sun had yet to meet the sky, and hues of pink changed the clouds to delicious cotton candy. She shut the door quietly, trying not to wake her father, then flipped yesterday’s braids behind her, and tiptoed quickly off the deck.
Wet grass slipped between her bare toes as she ran toward the towering tree.
Once there, her small hands tugged at the ropes, pulling herself to sit on the wood, hand-carved by her papa. She tipped her head, purple nightgown soaring behind her like a cape. Her toes touched the coveted sky.
Often, she dreamt of flying.