Flour Sack Rags

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic


The coat of rainbow flour sack rags can speak to your extrasensory perception.

Submitted: December 31, 2017

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Submitted: December 31, 2017

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The secret aura which makes a story good is when the story is so vividly transporting that reading it causes you to understand how it feels to be born blind or with bilateral cleft palate and lip.

The mysterious element that brings a story to life is when the legend hypnotizes you into empathy with the little girl who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing a coat of rags that were sewn together by her mother with love in every stitch. Her mom didn’t have enough money to afford to buy a new coat for her daughter who had outgrown her old one. The dyed cloth that comes on twenty-pound sacks of flour was always saved by her mother to be used as hand towels or dish rags.

The rags were drying by the woodstove in the kitchen of the weathered clapboard shack. It was late autumn. The first snow was flying. The little girl had to walk to school because her mom didn’t have a car and there was no bus service in those days. To keep her daughter from freezing in the icy air of the deepening cold, her mother stitched the striped flour sack rags together by hand to make a rainbow coat for her dear sweet daughter to wear to school.

The little girl was eagerly hopeful about the rainbow coat her mom was so caringly creating out of flour sack rags. The little girl couldn’t wait for her mother to finish the coat so she could wear it to school to show all her classmates.

When the day finally came, the little girl excitedly slipped her small arms into the warm coat, hugged her mama goodbye, then ran all the way to school with a smile complimenting the rosiness which the biting wind had painted upon her smooth delicate cheeks.

When she breezed into the school room, all the noisy chatter ceased. There was a moment of eerie silence. You could have heard a pin drop. Breathing heavily to catch her breath from brisk sprinting, the little girl beamed with delight in enthusiastic expectancy to hear how much everyone was impressed with her elegant coat of many brightly glowing rainbow-striped flour sack rags.

After a long moment of stunned gawking, all the other students burst out in mocking laughter. They pointed fingers and made insulting remarks about how lame and ugly the little girl’s coat was. She had never been so humiliated in all her life. It was the worst day of school ever. During recess, nobody would play with the little girl who still wore her coat of flour sack rags that her mother had sewn with love.

After school the little girl moped along the wooded path toward home in heartache and solitude. The snow was falling heavier. Everywhere the cottony fluffy flakes descended in suffocating gloom and dreadful silence. She began to feel a stinging resentment toward her mom for sewing a coat out of old rags.

When she was halfway home, the little girl’s emotional mood swung back in favor of her mama. She decided she would wear her coat of rainbow rags no matter what the other students thought. Even if they ridiculed her every day, the little girl would wear the coat her mama had made for her and would wear it with confidence and a smile in her heart.

She began to feel a warm glow of love surging inside her. The surge of love was an overflowing adoration for her courageous mama. The little girl ran the rest of the way home anxious to tell her mother how much she loved her and the coat of rainbow-striped flour sack rags.

When the little girl bounded into the weathered shack, she called out, but mama did not answer. In the kitchen the little girl found mama lying face down on the floor beside the wood-burning stove. Mama was not moving. Mama was not breathing.

The little girl knelt down on the cold floor. She shook mama and spoke to her. Mama was unresponsive. One side of mama’s head had run since the day she was born. The lifelong affliction had finally burst in cerebral hemorrhage that resulted in immediate death.

The little girl removed her coat of rainbow flour sack rags and gently draped it over her silent mama, then laid down on the floor to huddle close to keep mama warm.

When a story is told with the telepathic virtuosity to place readers inside the little girl’s coat of flour sack rags, it has the mysterious ghostly essence which makes a story good.


© Copyright 2018 Sean Terrence Best. All rights reserved.

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