Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nails in a Shed

It's time for Magpie Tales again!  I'm sorry I didn't get around to reading anyone's Tales last week, other than Willow's--I'll do better this time!  Here is mine for this week:


Dry leaves crunch underfoot as he approaches the shed in the back yard. The old padlock on the door rebels against its key, but a bit of determined jiggling by the man does the trick after a minute or so.  It's a good thing, because he doesn't have much time. He enters, stepping over a threshold beginning to rot, and hears the familiar creak of the plank floor.  There are weathered shelves along the back wall, and the rest of the space holds things too numerous to mention, the detritus of forty years of living and gardening in suburbia. 

It is the shelves that most interest him now.  He searches each one, scanning the cobwebbed machine parts, Mason jars full of marbles he'd loved as a kid, and other things he can't quite make out in the growing darkness.  The light fixture has been out of commission for quite some time, so he steps carefully as he moves closer.

His hand gently explores one end of the top shelf and soon pulls down the box of nails. He recalls why some of the nails are missing: the treehouse he'd helped build for his ten-year-old self and a stack of Hardy Boys.  He holds the box, pours out a few nails in his hand, considers producing a few nostalgic tears, but returns to his task. The red velvet bag stuck in the bottom of the box is what he is after; he's sure his grandfather would want him to have it--he'd said as much.  

He opens the bottom end of the box and lifts the treasure from the spot where it has lain compacted and hidden for so long. It occurs to him that he should have asked his grandfather why he would stash a diamond ring in a shed.  He can feel the ring through the aged fabric, and he smiles.  He knows it's the very essence of cliché, but there is a girl headed to the airport--a girl who will fly away and start a new life if he doesn't intervene, quickly. If he makes it in time, he hopes his great-grandmother's ring will begin a new life of its own. 

10 comments:

joanny said...

I was rooting for the young man to find the ring before the young lady fly's away. Bit of nostalgia throw in with the new -- nice how you did that weaving or linking of the generations through the diamond ring --

Joanny

willow said...

Now I'm hearing "leavin' on a jet plane". Lovely tale.

Lynn Hamilton Rutherford said...

This was beautiful ... and I loved every ethereal, nostalgic moment of it!! Very sweet ... I'm rooting for him! :)

Catalyst said...

A lovely love story!

tori said...

for a moment I was in my grandfather's old shed. great story!

Angie Muresan said...

A nostalgic love story.

Brian Miller said...

wonderful love story...bet his heart is beating something fierce. smiles. nicely done.

SUN DANCE HILL said...

Lovely and nostalgic, well done with the photo prompt. Thanks!

The Bug said...

I was braced for something less than pleasant hidden in the box of nails - I got a nice surpise. Thanks!

The Hausfrau said...

Thanks, everyone! Bug, I did almost take this one to a darker place!

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