Saturday, April 09, 2005

Magister Mecanus worked in the Destiny Department predestining love. He selected a pendant from the girl pile and one from the boy pile, placed them next to each other, and examined them closely with his magnifying lense. The match was aesthetically pleasing to him even in the minutest of details. His highly trained fingers felt the flat metal likenesses for affinity static and dangled them millimeters apart, one in each hand, to test the magnetism. Finally he reached for the abacus on the corner of his desk and computed the time the boy and girl would share. His computation worked out to just over eighty years. The rest of their lives, in fact. This made Magister Mecanus very happy. It was always sad when the pendants came back to him so soon to be melted down again.

Story #193

Note: Thanks to all who contributed stories this weekend. They may be viewed all in one place at


The Mushroom said...
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The Mushroom said...

Gretta went through life without the burden of having children. She was quite happy with her life and never wanted to have kids for as long as she could remember. Even when she'd play house as a little girl, the dolls were representative of friends coming over for tea, not a family. She was active and healthy, had travelled the world and worked for everything she got, and she enjoyed every whirlwind romance she had had yet was always the one to make sure that her men knew she was a freebird and couldn't be caged. Life was good to Gretta. On her 55th birthday she applied for entrance into a senior community, not because she felt the need to either retire or be shelved but because the expenses were lower and yard responsibilities fewer than living in a house on her own. Plus she figured she might meet some mature men at their functions, though she wasn't done with the younger men yet.

A month or two into her residence at Wayland Madrona Estates, after she'd become acquainted with the other residents and had pegged who was still a live wire and who was waiting patiently for Death to rap on their door, she started to feel a pang. At first she couldn't quite place it, and thought maybe that the negativity of the death-waiters was rubbing off on her, but then at a cribbage game she realised what the problem was: it all came clear when three of the ladies pulled the grandchildren photos out of their little black purses and started basking in the stereotypical banter, such as "this is my son William's boy Tommy, he's 8 now and in the third grade, oh he is such a prodigy..." She still didn't feel any sort of guilt or resentment about her choice to stay a butterfly, but she did detect that this was what was bothering her... that she didn't have grandchild stories, and that made her the odd-woman-out. For the first time in memory (or since the beginning of college ages ago) she felt alone, like she didn't quite fit in. She didn't like that feeling, and that night after cards she spent some time thinking about what she could do to elevate herself.

The next afternoon, when she'd finished serving coffee at the Senior Center, she took a drive to an estate sales dealer in a rural community fourty miles away. She enjoyed the drive, and how the scenery along the way lended to the ambiance of her destination. After browsing around at the tulle 'country clutter' and having a sample of their homemade cherry jelly in the General Store section of the shop, she wandered through the antiques and dead people's kitch to the jewelry counter. Inside the case, to the left of the paste & rhinestones and to the right of the abandoned wedding sets were the keepsake pendants on necklace chains. Two of these pendants looked like her style -- a bit tarnished but in excellent condition, they were "loved" as the woman behind the counter said. She asked for and was handed the two pendants to have a look inside and test the latches & hinges. Both were functional, and by sheer luck both already had photos in them. "I can take those out," the woman said, but Gretta replied, "No, thank you, those are what I came here for." Gretta bought the two pendants and a jar of pear butter, and went home with a song in her heart.

She wore those pendants whenever she would go to events at the Estates, small like card games or large like mixers, and she felt like she was in good company again. Other people would sometimes ask with a smile about the teens hanging around her neck, and she'd tell stories -- they didn't have to be intricate or exciting, she discovered, just spoken with pride and happiness, and they could be recycled almost infinitely -- about how Brandon and Tanya were the prettiest and smartest kids in their high school.

Anonymous said...

A definetely naughty little girl was Elina, that had managed to sneak into her mothers personal belongings once more. No wonder why her mother used to call her Devilina! This time the nine year old girl, which was always ready for the next mischief, found in the cellar a box with romantic letters and two chains with two pictures attached to them. Proud at the new discovery, Elina called her older brother to show off her treasures. Her young mind did not
bother to try to make out who the young teenagers on the pictures were. Nevertheless, Alexander, who was five years older, immediatelly had a happy suspicion and created a brilliant plan! The persons on the pictures were obviously their parents. Wouldnt this be an ideal way to make their wedding anniversary filled with memories from their romantic youth? Elina and Alex placed the letters and the chains on their parents bed and waited patiently for them to return. At about 23.00 they heard the door open, and quickly hid under the kitchen-table that had a good view to the bedroom. When their
parents enter their room they were taken aback with surprise! They lovingly smiled at each other making the kids shake hands under the table
for the succesful plan.
I expect grammatical corrections :D LOL.


The Mushroom said...

...the shriek heard for three blocks within seconds of their happy handshake was from Mother's secret past being revealed. She'd loved both of the people in the pictures intensely. Eduardo was her first love, the one who made her from a child into an adult, and everyone back home thought they looked perfect together -- and Imelda was the one who turned her from a girl to a woman, and a few people suspected 'something' but others just presumed they were sisters of different mothers because they looked so much alike at age 16. Father knew none of this. Until now.

(not to taint a great story, Allmagica, but I just had to say it...)

Indeterminacy said...

Thanks Mush and Allmagica for writing and continuing to write. You two even make a great corroboratory team!

Mush! You're making me look bad, such a long story and all I came up with was a paragraph. I kind of thought you might make a found photo story out of this, if anything.

Allmagica: I'm so glad to hear from you again. I still remember the cool story you shared with me long ago before I even started blogging. Hope you have lots of time to stop by.

The Mushroom said...

Indie: When you think about it, I did make a found photo story out of it. Gretta needed to find a couple photos so she could fabricate history and be at peace with her surroundings. It's a step beyond what I do with my collection (make up stories simply for fun) but I have toyed with the idea of creating a history of my own choosing -- if ancient cultures could create their own gods then worship them, why can't she create her own past and live in it? No toilet-training, no living through cartoon character merchandising trends, no fender-benders during Driver's Ed, no waiting up all night for someone to come home after curfew. She had a happy life and by damn she could keep it happy AND make it fuller. :)