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I love a good challenge. Cam8510 (Chris Miller) challenged us to write a flash fiction piece;
- No longer than 1,000 words
- Including a walking cane
- Involving a coffee shop
This is my answer to his challenge.
Sara and Joaquim had been married for sixty years. They'd lived in this big, old, Victorian house their entire married life. Sara looked at the lace curtains and realized that they had always been on the windows in the sitting room. When she thought about it, lace curtains were on all the windows in this old house. Most of them were close to sixty years old.
Looking out the window, Sara would sit and think about their daughter Rebecca. How she missed hearing her laugh and seeing her bright smile. They weren't happy when she married that Rogers boy, but she said she loved him and he loved her. They did laugh a lot and more than once Sara caught them stealing kisses in the hallway. How could they be killed in a car accident on the way home from their honeymoon? She asked herself that question over and over. It was so difficult for her. Joaquim had never spoken Rebecca's name again after the funeral. It was like she never existed.
Sara's life was filled with sorrow and emptiness. She couldn't remember the last time she was happy. She thought getting out of the house would help cheer her up. She told Joaquim she was going into town and he nodded as he usually did. She called for her driver and he brought the car around.
The Coffee Shop
She told him to take her to that new coffee shop in town. She loved coffee and no matter how hard she tried it never quite measured up to the coffee she could buy at the coffee shop. She thought a nice hot cup would cheer her a bit.
When she walked into the shop a little girl was sitting by the window. She appeared to be alone. Sara got her coffee and asked the little girl if she could sit down. Without looking up she replied,
"I guess so. No one's sitting there."
"What's your name little girl?"
Sara's heart fluttered at the mention of her daughter's name. In fact, this little girl reminded her a bit of Rebecca. How nice to see a little girl again, but why was she so glum?
"You look sad Rebecca. Is everything all right?"
"I have no friends here anymore, they're all gone."
"I'd like to be your friend."
They began to talk and before she realized it Sara had been sitting there for over an hour. She told little Rebecca she had to get home, but she would love to visit with her again. Rebecca smiled the sweetest smile Sara had seen in a long time.
"I'd like that. Will you meet me here tomorrow?"
"I'd like that too, and yes of course I'll meet you."
Sara was as happy as Rebecca seemed to be. When she went home she went straight to her bedroom to look for something nice to wear tomorrow. She couldn't wait for the day to pass so she could spend time with that sweet little girl. How wonderful to have some light in your life she thought. She met little Rebecca every day for several days.
One day when Sara returned to the coffee shop and sat down, Rebecca said she had a gift for Sara. She handed her a beautiful walking cane.
"Oh, its lovely Rebecca, but I can't accept it. That is too fine a cane to give to a stranger."
"But you're not a stranger, you're Sara. The cane belonged to my grandmother and she used to tell me it was magical. She said if you made a wish while you were holding the cane your wish would come true. I wished for a friend, and then I met you."
Sara's heart was warmed by the innocence of this lovely little girl and her memory was jogged as well. She remembered her grandmother's cane and her grandmother telling her it was magical too. In fact this looked like her grandmother's cane, with the carved monk on the handle. Her grandmother's name had been Rebecca. They named their daughter after her. Her daughter had liked the cane too. Isn't life strange? She hadn't thought about her grandmother and her cane in a very long time, but the memories were happy ones.
"It's okay Sara. All things are meant to be. Sometimes we need to remember the past to be happy in the future."
What a sweet, but odd little girl. She had to admit she was happier than she'd been in years. She accepted the cane and agreed to meet the little girl again the next day. She was looking forward to things again, something she hadn't done in a very long time. She was even wondering if there were other little girls who needed a friend to talk to. She would certainly like to do that.
"Remember Sara, happiness comes from within. You don't need anyone to make you happy. It is a decision you make and a path you follow yourself."
She was amazed at the little girl's wisdom, but realized she was happy. They agreed to meet the next day, but when Sara arrived at the coffee shop Rebecca Ann wasn't there. She waited for half an hour and no Rebecca. She waited an other half hour then finally went to the counter and asked the girl there if she had seen Rebecca.
"I'm sorry lady. I've seen you come in here every day, but I've never seen a little girl sitting with you."
"But I have the cane she gave me!"
"It's a lovely cane, but I've never seen the little girl."
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