The Wedding Gift

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: March 24, 2020

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Submitted: March 24, 2020

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Robert Parker was oblivious to the odd glances the other train passengers gave him as he stood on the platform. He held one of the straps of his Aunt Dot’s walnut colored leather handbag while she kept the other around her wrist. She used her free hand to unbutton the metal snap and rummaged through various items. The brim of Robert’s homburg shaded the glaring sun that peered through the upper window causing him to squint. Aunt Dot wore her black Byron hat revealing small strands of her white hair. Her brown jacket looked snug around her black knit day suit. Robert would not have chosen to wear a coat today as it was spring and the air outside was crisp. He knew she sought her pearl floral brooch as she wore it to every wedding or at least every one he remembered. Robert’s bride, Helen sported the antique no more than two hours ago under a candlelit altar. Aunt Dot insisted her great nephew’s wife should wear her most valuable possession. It was a privilege not offered to anyone else. While he didn’t want to call himself her favorite, anyone at the homestead would say Dorothy Parker thought Bobby Joe hung the moon.

Robert had not seen her since last spring when he had only just asked for Helen’s hand when Aunt Dot had become afflicted with the white plague. The disease was aptly named given her color would fade with each passing day. Many a night she slept covered in perspiration and awoke with no desire for food. He remembered the night they took her to the sanitarium, she promised him that she wouldn't be kept from attending his nuptials. She instructed him to take the brooch and keep it until the day of the wedding ensuring that it would bring good fortune.

Finally, she spotted it and pulled it out into the light. Made of silver and crafted to form a small chain of ivy leaves with a white pearl positioned at the base of each petiole. Robert had returned the brooch to her after the wedding reception sure that she would not wish to part with it as she had so much else.

The train whistled bidding all those who remained to come aboard. Aunt Dot placed the brooch into his hand and gave him an endearing smile. Robert wanted to return the expression, but the grief was still too near. She gently padded his cheek as she had always done before she would leave from one of her visits. For a day of celebration, grief was closer than joy. The same woe that befell him last spring when she was given to the earth. The brooch had indeed brought good fortune as a vessel, no longer as a piece of vintage jewelry. He would give it to Helen forging a bond that would transcend the fading train whistle. Of all the treasures gifted to him today, Aunt Dot gave the greatest gift of all.


© Copyright 2020 Augustus McCrae. All rights reserved.

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