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The Cane

Updated on September 11, 2015

I love a good challenge. Cam8510 (Chris Miller) challenged us to write a flash fiction piece;

  • No longer than 1,000 words
  • Drama
  • Including a walking cane
  • Involving a coffee shop

This is my answer to his challenge.


Sorrowful Sara

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 Cane


Sunrise Sunset

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?"

"Rebecca Ann."

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."

"You would?"


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."

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

Do strange things make you remember happy times?

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    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      Thanks Peg. Sorry I missed your comment and it's taken me so long to reply. Obviously, your comment is much appreciated.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      3 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      What a great read this story is! Glad to have found it this morning and it really is fabulous. I love the photo of the cane and the wisdom you've woven into telling the tale. Nice work, Mary.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      Thank you Deb. A little bit of Twilight Zone is good for everyone ;)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This was fabulous. You really did an excellent job and I can't imagine anyone that wouldn't enjoy this story. The twist was perfect.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      Nell, always happy to make you smile. Glad you enjoyed.

      Oh Nadine, what a lovely compliment. Touched by an Angel was such a heartwarming show.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Very Very nice. Is truly amazing how a story can cheer one up. It also reminded me of a TV series, Toughed by an angel from long ago.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      3 years ago from England

      Hi mary, what a wonderful story! and a great response to the challenge, I love these sort of stories, so it made me smile, nell

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      Thank you Manatita. So many strange things bring love and light into our world, why not a story of our own making? I'm sure yours did too.

      Genna, so glad I could make you smile. Hope the rest of your day was wonderful.

      Thank you Larry.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Wonderful response to Cam's challenge.

    • manatita44 profile image


      3 years ago from london

      A truly wonderful story, Mary. As a child I used to not only write, but tell these kind of stories, and you've done it excellently.

      Great one, little Rebecca. Love and Light.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you, Mary, for the warm smile that now rests on my face and in my heart this Sunday afternoon. :-) This story is so lovely, and a wonderful response to the challenge. Bravo.

    • manatita44 profile image


      3 years ago from london

      A story wonderful story, Mary. As a child I used to not only write, but tell these kind of stories, and you're done it excellently.

      Great one, little Rebecca. Love and Light.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      I love it when I make people wonder! I have to admit, I'm not 100% sure which Sara Sara Ann represents.....daughter, grandmother or some random ghost!

      Glad you enjoyed.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      Wow, Mary. The ending gave me goosebumps!

      This is a wonderful story. I was thinking perhaps Rebecca Ann was Sara's Rebecca reincarnated. Now I believe she's Rebecca's ghost, although she chose a younger version of herself to visit her mother.

      Great response to Chris' challenge!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      Thank you Mary. It is always interesting to see where a challenge will take me.

      Have a great weekend!

    • carter06 profile image


      3 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Great story Till, heartwarming and wrenching at the same time..loved it and you met the challenge really well..


    • fpherj48 profile image


      3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Yes! Your hubs are good for what ails me. I've completely forgotten our misogynist friend!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      Thank you MsDora. Does my heart good to know I've brought you joy from my work.

      Thank you Faith. You seem to have found the hidden messages very well. I wanted Sara to finally be happy again, whether in life or just with her memories.

      Oh GF, you warm my heart! Isn't it funny when a piece of fiction just comes together and turns out well? So glad you enjoyed. You needed something to warm your heart on HP after your "question shock."

      Thank you so much Savannah.

      Thanks Frank. Your comment is awesome! I always love seeing your comments.

      No John, thank you! I'm hoping my fiction book turns out to be half as good as stories like this one.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This is a beautiful flash fiction story Mary. You write this genre so well. Very nice read. Thank you.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      3 years ago from Shelton

      I love it too when you write fiction.. what a wonderful story, love the dialogue, and the scenes.. would have voted up and awesome so you know

    • Savannah Iraci profile image

      Savannah Iraci 

      3 years ago from Salt Lake Valley, Utah

      What an amazing piece of work!

    • fpherj48 profile image


      3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      I am speechless, GF. Overwhelmed. What an incredibly beautiful, creative flash fiction! I HAVE to tell you I'm bowled over. Yes, you're one of the best writers here but this hub stole my heart completely.

      I simply love this story. Effer

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      3 years ago from southern USA

      Mary, I love it when you write fiction, and your joy in writing fiction shows! I am so happy Sara found joy. I thought at first it was her daughter, but then introducing her grandmother's cane was interesting as if she came back in spirit to cheer her with her memories of when Sara was just a child and time spent with her grandmother. Beautifully and heartwarming story.

      Congrats again on your Hubbies.

      Blessings always

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      3 years ago from The Caribbean

      First, Congratulations on your Best Avatar Award! Perfect for you.

      Then this story is so refreshing--transforming the sadness of a mother to a magical experience of joy. It even gave a boost to my good feeling, Well done!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      No problem Randy. It is so much fun to see how each of us handles the challenge. Glad you enjoyed!

      Thanks Chris. Perhaps Sara had the cane all along, hmm. It was certainly my pleasure to participate.

      Good suggestion Austinstar, however, I tied her name in with Sara's grandmother as well. Glad you enjoyed it anyway.

      Thank you Will! I love that it gave you goosebumps.

      drbj, I am so honored and rest assured I'll keep your secret. Thanks for the congrats, Mother Goose thanks you too.

      Mike, I'm embarrassed to say this was one of those "pops in my head" stories. That's why I was a little hesitant about it. Glad I could get you thinking.

      Thanks Ann. It thrills me that I could lead up to the outcome without saying so. Thanks for the hubbie congrats.

      You made my day peachpurple! I finally got a hook!

      Thank you Jackie. A thoughtful, happy ending.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Loved the story; so much love in such few words. Beautiful.

    • peachpurple profile image


      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      awesome story, The first paragraph caught me hook

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 years ago from SW England

      Wonderful story, Mary! Congratulations on your hub award too.

      This story was warm and hopeful and I guessed not long before the end what the outcome might be - perfect!


    • mckbirdbks profile image


      3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Mary. Thank you for entertaining us this morning. Your presentation to the challenge certainly is on the mark. Did you polish up a previous story? Anyway, you know how to spin a tale and get us thinking.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      I read every single word of your fascinating story, Mary, and I do not always do that for some folks. Don't say anything though - I wouldn't want to hurt their feelings. This was an excellent, creative response to the challenge. Well done, m'dear, and congrats on your well-deserved Hub award.

    • WillStarr profile image


      3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Goosebumps! Well done, Mary!

    • Austinstar profile image


      3 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

      Mary, this is a lovely story. I thoroughly enjoyed it. When you mentioned that something was missing from the story, I think I realized what it was.

      Rebbecca is presented as both a child and an adult (returning from her honeymoon). This created a conflict in my head. I think it would be less of a conflict if the reader never envisioned Rebbecca as an adult. It makes more sense to me thinking of Rebbecca as dying as a child too.

      But still, a great story and I loved how you worked in the cane bit.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      3 years ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Mary, Isn't it fun squeezing a story like this into not more than a thousand words? The background was so very sad, which contrasted well with the happiness Sara felt when talking to Rebecca. I knew there was something odd about the child the first time she was introduced, which shows that you introduced her well. Was it Sara's imagination or memory? Such things don't produce magic canes do they? Well done. I am so excited about your story and all the stories in the challenge. Thank you for participating.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 

      3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Nice response to the challenge, Mary. And congrats on the Hubbie award. Sorry I was late responding to your comment on my response but somehow I overlooked it. Glad you joined in. :)


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      Ah dear Bill. Your TWO Hubbies make us all proud! Our sensei and teacher extraordinaire, not to mention friend!

      My book is almost finished. I keep re-writing the ending so until I get that right, it waits.

      I like fiction because I can take all the freedoms I want. I wasn't sure about this one because it seemed as if something was missing, but as I told Ruby, your feedback tells me I might be wrong.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Fiction is definitely your thing, Mary. Well done. I hope your book is coming along well. Congrats again on your Hubbie. I love it when some of my favorite people are recognized.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      Thank you Ruby, you made my day. I had my doubts about this one, but guess it's not all bad. Blessings.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Oh what a beautiful story! It warms my heart this early morning. Your writing is so believable. Can you tell I'm impressed? You met Cam's challenge and then some. Peace..


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