This is in response to a contest at Write Tribe. I’m a little late to the party, cos today is the last day the linky list is open, but I have rustled together an entry. The challenge is to write a piece/a story/ a poem incorporating the following 7 words in random order : postcard, coin, tidy, wild, help, calendar, responsibility.
Here’s my attempt at fiction:
Judith’s dead aunt led her there in a dream. Aunt Agatha had a sense of the calendar, of time, the hourglass, and watched and waited for the right moment. Under the jacaranda growing wild, Judith found coin, not gold, a leather bag of old copper bent out of shape buried deep in the dirt.
On that day the jacaranda shed its blooms carpeting the yard in blue, the blessings of wisdom, and all day long a bird sang in its branches, a bird you could see in flashes of silver, flitting about from branch to branch.
Too old to spend much time with the shovel, Judith sat resting in the shade of the tree, listening to the song, twirling the flowers and tucking them in her hair, dreaming of the mornings she refused to help her aunt tidy up the yard. Having hacked at weeds for a few hours under the sun, Aunt Agatha grew tired. This is when Judith brought out a sweaty pitcher of lemonade, making her aunt smile. They sat sipping under the porch, her aunt murmuring the legends of the Jacaranda tree in her yard, while she listened, dazed in the sun.
Tomorrow she would take the coins to the council, whatever she could carry of them. They were old, at least as old as Aunt Agatha, who was hundred and three when she died, leaving Judith the house, the warren of rabbits, the cats that preferred milk to mice, the betta fish in its bowl. All your responsibility now, Judy, she said the night before, can’t send you postcards from where I’m going.
Judith wanted to close her eyes a little, let the music of silver birdsong take her, her wrinkled skin live a little in the sun on the last day of a Southern summer.
That is how they found Judith the next morning, snuggled under a blue blanket of Jacaranda blossoms, a bag of old coins by her feet. The millions the coins fetched went to the university; the house became its library.
The Jacaranda blooms now fall on opened books and stay pressed inside, travel in the sling bags of young girls, and boys fool around with blooms tucked behind their ears. The yard has become a garden and rings with their laughter, and an occasional birdsong.
Nothing remains of Judith, or Aunt Agatha. The library plaque with their names is long gone, and no one thought to replace it.