Runic Rhyme


#FFC52 Prompt 28 is up at thaininvain. I’m heavy this week, but the feels of this flash wouldn’t allow the cuts. I think I’m a little screwy on the tenses and I could’ve used another 500 words to do this justice. Here’s my 520 words:

Clear plastic and cardboard obstruct my vision. When the veil is lifted, I see a family staring at me. The adults stroke my sides and the children sit on the floor looking up at me. My arms were immobile, but now they have free motion. It’s good to stand here with my back against a wall.

* * *

The children are almost teenagers now. I watch them run to and fro. The oldest runs a cloth over my face and bonnet. It seems I used to be a bigger part of their lives, but now it’s almost perfunctory. I still cherish every interaction, no matter how small.

* * *

There’s a lot of crying and somberness. I suspect I knew this would happen. The oldest had had too much to drink. She stepped on my toes while jostling me. My face points in a different direction now and I can see mourners in black. I know it’s not my place, but I fear the growing layers if dust on my bonnet will continue to compound. I wish someone would right me, the view I have now us just too sad.

* * *

The remaining child is getting married tomorrow! Oh, the years of sadness were long, but as with everything, we all eventually healed. Margaret met a boy… I suppose he’s a man, but she will always be that little rapscallion drawing on my toes – quickly scolded by older sister and promptly cleaned up.

The joy in the house now is such a stark contrast from the sadness. I selfishly worried about my condition, but Margaret walked up to me a few months after the incident and ran her fingers lightly on my arms. She must’ve wanted to honor her sister, because the next day I got a cleaning including the most wonderful wood polish for my sides.

But, I digress. Today isn’t about me. It’s about Margaret. She breezed by me in an elegant white gown. She made it down three or four steps before turning, bounding up the steps to run her hands along my chain. Her eyes were moist and I new they were tears of joy, but still it saddened me. She opened my door and gave my pendulum a poke. She whispered, “I’ll miss you…”

* * *

This house seems to have ups and downs. I’m afraid today is a down. The mother had been ill for a long time. When she passed, there were the same mourners, but it was different. Then, the husband died a week later. I heard it again and again – “Poor man died of a broken heart.”

* * *

There’s a sheet covering my face. I’ve been moved from storage and am eager to see what I can see.



The sheet it pulled from me and I don’t recognize the house I’m in. I do recognize my lovely Margaret. She must weigh more than I do! She and the boy she married stand side by side, her hand resting on her protruding belly.

“I love this old clock.”

“I know you do, dear.”

She smiled and patted her belly. “I hope our child loves it too.”

About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior. View all posts by Mark Gardner

15 responses to “Runic Rhyme

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