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Tuesday, August 2, 2011


TUESDAY TALES are short stories written by a variety of authors around one them or prompt word. Today the prompt varies by author, J. Gunnar Gray and I used NECKLACE, J.F. Jenkins used WEDDING RING and Kay Springsteen used ROCKING CHAIR. My installment of  "Mint Chip" is at the end:

Click on the author's name to go to the blog where the story resides.

J. Gunnar Gray 
The rolltop was not locked. Inside were the usual nooks and cubby holes, pencils and Aunt Edith’s embossed stationery, even an old ink well and fountain pen, both dried. Nothing looked as if it required a six-pin tumbler with serrated top pins.

J.F. Jenkins 
Most people are surprised when they find out I’m a morning person and an evening person. Truth be told, I’m a bit of an insomniac. 
Kay Springsteen
Emma sat on her front porch in an old rocking chair, the one she had used to rock her babies to sleep back when she’d been needed.Next to her was the walnut table crafted by her husband, Sam, right after they’d been married.

Chapter Nine

            “I’ll read Annie while you do Gordon,” Nina said.
            Clint read the words he wrote for Gordon, the father, to say to his daughter. Nina read the daughter’s words. They read the speeches several times but neither one was pleased.
            “Something is missing,” Clint said.
            “There has to be a special connection between a father and daughter, something that happens…a symbol. We need a thing here, I think.”
            “I only have a son and two brothers. No sisters. Guide me on this one, Nina. What would there be between a father and daughter, season tickets to their favorite team?”
            Nina laughed.
            “Maybe, but that’s not very sexy.”
            “You said that word. I told you not to say it, but you did,” he said and leaned over to kiss her.
            “Okay, okay. I’m thinking here, Clint,” Nina said, gently pushing him away.
            Clint got up and put on another pot of coffee. It was almost time to break for lunch but the work on the play, “Happy Family” about a family that wasn’t, was rolling along beautifully. Nina’s brow furrowed as she sat deep in thought on the sofa wearing nothing but one of Clint’s big shirts. She chewed on the end of a red pencil as her  mind worked.
            “We could use a family necklace…”
            “Family necklace? Like an heirloom?”
            “Tell me more,” he coaxed.
            Nina’s face clouded up and her eyes got bright. Clint watched her as the coffee pot gurgled and hissed its way to a fresh, full pot. She sat in silence trying to compose herself.
            “What’s wrong?” he asked.
            Nina shook her head as if to shake the tears from her eyes and the pain from her heart.
            “A bad memory.”
            “Tell me about it. Maybe we can use it,” he urged.
            She looked sharply at him, then smiled.
            “Some of the best stuff comes from real life, at least real emotions, Nina. You told me that yourself.”
            “I did. Don’t know if I’m ready to have my painful past trotted out on the stage.”
            “We’ll doctor it. Come on. Tell me,” he said, slipping his arm around her.
            With Clint’s big arm pulling her into him, she felt safe and her reticence melted away.
            “I lost my virginity on the young side…”
            “Ooohh, tell me more!”
            “Clint!” she said, punching him lightly in the arm.
            “Sorry, sorry. Go on.”
            “I was in love. He was my high school boyfriend, a darling guy, very sweet. Not unlike you,” she said with a mischievous glint in her eye.
            He beamed at her.
            “We did it in my room. Clay climbed in my window and we did it when my parents were away. My grandmother was staying with me and my little sister. We were quiet as mice and she’d never have suspected except we fell asleep in my bed. In the morning my grandmother came in and discovered us, naked in my bed.”
            “Wow! Must have been some fight.”
            “There was and my grandmother never forgave me. She looked down on me after that, refusing to speak to me for a long time. She told my parents, too. My mother wasn’t as shocked as Grandma because Clay and I had been dating for over six months. She liked him. But Grandma didn’t agree. It caused a rift in the family as my grandmother no longer felt comfortable in our house.”
            Clint looked at her and took her hand.
            “The big blow-up came…the last time she ever came to see us. It was at Thanksgiving and I was home visiting from college. My mother had a beautiful garnet necklace she had been given by her grandmother. I always coveted that necklace and counted the years until it would be mine. My mother decided since I was 21 it was time to pass the necklace to me.”
            “A necklace…across three generations. I like that,” Clint put in.
            “You might think so. Grandmother was there when my mom got the necklace and came into the living room. As mom fastened it around my neck, my grandmother yelled an unpleasant word at me and ripped the necklace from my neck. She ranted about me not deserving it  as the necklace broke and the lovely garnet stones scattered across the floor.”
            “Oh my God!”
            “She called me a whore and stomped out of the room, got in her car and drove away. She refused to visit if I was there and my mother refused to invite her if I wasn’t. She died about three years later.”
            “What happened to the necklace?”
            “I gathered up all the stones I could find and my mother had them restrung with pearls in-between each one. I still have it and it’s one of my favorites. I wear it often.”
            “What a story,” he said, hugging her tightly to him.
            “You can have it if you want,” she said, closing her eyes.
            “Maybe not exactly, but it gives me an idea. Do you mind if I use a necklace between Annie and her dad?”
            “Not at all,” she replied.
            “Good. Coffee’s ready,” he said, opening his arms to release her.
            She sat back feeling weak as the painful memory slowly left her mind. When she turned around, Clint was standing next to the sofa, handing her a cup of coffee.
            “Just the way you like it,” he said.
            She smiled up at him and took a sip.
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