Friday, April 18, 2008

Short Story

Hey Blog Reading People!
Something cool happened yesterday! I won a writing contest! I'm pretty excited, so please excuse my bragging (but hey, what else is a blog for?). I sent in my entry on the given theme "Jars of Clay" from the verse in 2 Corinthians. I kind of forgot all about until my dad told me I had won first place. I was surprised but pleased. Ok well that's enough boasting, now judge for yourselves and read my story.

A Short Story by Lucy Till

“Briiing!” the timer signaled that it was time to take her pills again. She feebly stretched a long bony arm across the bedside table and reached for her pills. As she drew her arm back, pills in hand, she knocked against the clay pot that had been balanced precariously on the edge of the table. It toppled to the floor and shattered, spilling it’s contents of soil and a single flower onto the floor.
“Oh!” she cried out in alarm, “Not my violet!” As quickly as her weak limbs would allow, she crept out of bed, careful not to pierce her bare feet on one of the shards. Slowly, she knelt beside the heap of dirt and picked up the tiny, frail plant. Fingering it’s delicate leaves she brought it up to her nose and breathed in it’s scent. She inhaled deeply, hoping the smell would somehow transport her back to the day she had received the violet as a gift.
It had been one of the days when she hadn’t felt well enough to sit in the garden. Though the blinds had been pulled down to block the sun, somehow it’s rays could not be stopped from poking mischievously through the cracks. Her husband had snuck into the room while she had been dosing off. “Dear, are you awake?” he asked in his low crumbling voice,” I have something for you.” She rolled over to face him. He held out the violet, with it’s roots dangling and damp clumps of earth still clinging to them. “I decided that since you can’t go to the garden, that the garden should come to you” Smiling sleepily, she took the plant and brought it to her nose to inhale deeply. The warm, earthy aroma of spring filled her nostrils, stronger than the musty smell of sickness and rubber gloves that filled the room.
Again she drank in it’s scent, remembering how she had then asked her husband to bring her the clay pot her son had made for her. Making pottery had been one of his “phases”. He had had a carving phase and oil painting phase too. He could never decide on one medium for his artwork. He was forever experimenting with something new. But her favorite phase had been the pottery phase. Although his pots and platters were often lopsided, she had carefully kept each one and wrapped them in tissue paper. She had lovingly patted the soil around her violet, tucking it safely into the clay pot her son had made.
Now she saw that same pot, it’s pieces scattered on the floor as if a careless child had been playing, and suddenly losing interest in his game, left them there. She picked up a shard of the pot and traced the places where her son’s fingers had molded the clay and shaped it smooth. It had been so long since she had seen her son, but she could still remember his tiny hands as a baby. How there had been a crease of baby fat around his wrist. She thought about how over the years his hands had elongated and grown bony with prominent knuckles and veins. He was no longer her baby when his wide long hands could easily envelope her own freckled hands. She hadn’t seen those large knuckled hands for a while now. Ever since her husband had passed away, he hadn’t made much time to come see her.
She rose, flower in hand. Oh well, she thought, my pot was never going to last forever anyway. She still felt a pang of sadness for it. But look: a glass of water already stood on the bedside table as if anticipating the accident. She breathed a faint sigh of relief. At least her flower would live. Though the pot had been homely and rather misshapen, her son had made it after all. He had used those great hands of his to fashion it especially for her.


  1. Yay! Congratulations, Lucy! That's really cool, I loved the story. Way to represent Frydlant - it'll be fun for you, Patrick and me to go down for the "awards"!

  2. So proud of you, author-daughter. love, your mom.