Saturday, November 8, 2008

Short Story Saturday

Sitting directly under the Eiffel Tower, and looking up into it's metal intricacies, Emer contemplated her next move. In theory, she had plenty of money, but it was all tied up with a large amount of red tape back in the United States. To get it, she would have to go back, and talk with the trustees of her parents will. Something she did not want to do.
In reality, she had about 13 euro in her pocket. That was enough, possibly, for a Croque Monsieur, and, if she was lucky, a plastic glass full of red wine from the umbrella stand located in the nearby garden. She'd been traveling for the entire three years since her parents died, and her soul still hurt when she thought about them. So she didn't.
Hearing footsteps on her left hand side, her hand immediately went to her hidden money pouch, where her remaining Euro's and her passport were located. To her shock, they were gone.
"Looking for these, dearie?" said a diminutive woman, with lavender hair, and strange, purple-green eyes. In her tiny hands, was everything that Emer had.
"How did you.. why did you.. Oh hell" said Emer, feeling defeated.
"I took them for your own good, my girl" answered Ava, briskly. "Now, get on your feet, you urchin, and come with me."
"Why should I?" answered Emer, resentfully.
"Because I delivered you into this world, I have your passport, and I know where the best Croque Monsieur's are" answered Ava, brooking no argument from the girl. Spinning on her heel, she strode as fast as her little legs could carry her away from the Eiffel Tower, towards the bridge that led to the other side of the Seine. Reluctantly, Emer got to her feet, and followed her. Except, when she caught up with her, nearly at the bridge, somehow, they weren't in Paris anymore, and Emer found herself crossing the threshold into a small cottage, where a kettle of hot water was steaming merrily on the stove, and all the makings for a ham and cheese sandwich was sitting on the sideboard.
"Sit down" said the tiny lady.
"Who are you?" asked Emer, doing as she was told.
"I am Ava, the midwife who delivered you" was the answer she got. In a short amount of time, a sandwich, and a cup of tea was plunked down in front of her. Ava would not let her eat until she washed up, though. Finally, Emer sat down, and ate. And ate more. After three sandwiches and four cups of tea, she was finally full. And very sleepy.
Bathroom is up the stairs, first door on your left. Your bedroom will be immediately to the right. Shower, then bed. In the morning, I will deal with you" instructed Ava. Once again, Emer did as she was told.
Emer got up in the morning, and put on the same old clothes she'd been wearing for the last month. Only, they were suddenly clean, and new in appearance. Tiding the room, out of habit, and good manners, she could not help but think of her mother. Wiping the tears that fell, she finished, and made her way downstairs, to find a small table set with her breakfast, and a note. Finding that she was very hungry, she sat down, and devoured the blueberry scone and glass of milk. She picked up the note, and read Ava's request that she meet her in the garden. Shrugging, she went out the little door, and followed the path into the garden. Ava was sitting at a small table, with a scrapbook in front of her, slowly turning the pages. Seeing Emer approach, she smiled, and nodded at the seat next to her.
"Tea, dear?" she asked the girl.
"No thank you" Emer stammered, looking down into the scrap book into the smiling face of her mother.
"She was lovely, wasn't she" said Ava. "I wonder what she would think of her daughter, now?"
"What do you mean?" said Emer, suddenly defensive.
Ava turned the page of the scrap book, and Emer looked into the eyes of her father.
"I mean" she continued after a time "What would your parents think of their only child, the daughter they loved so much, wasting the potential they saw in her, not ever finishing school, aimlessly wandering with no purpose or direction? You have not even been to visit their grave site since the day they went in it. Do you have such little respect for them?"
"It isn't that easy" said Emer, hanging her head, knowing what Ava said was true.
Turning the page, this time to reveal a picture of the whole family, taken long ago, Ava said "nothing good comes easy, my girl". Emer barely heard her, she was too caught up in the emotion of seeing the pictures of her then happy family. Silently, Ava turned the pages. Page, after page. Eventually, all the pictures were just of Emer, in all the places she'd been since her parents died, including Paris.
"I never posed for those" she said, shakily, when Ava was done.
"No, you didn't" agreed Ava. But I have them none the less. I've watched over you your whole life, Emer. Your parents were aware of it. They encouraged it. I know they would not be pleased with the fact that you quit college, and gave up your dreams. They were so proud of you."
"I know" answered Emer, upset. "But how do I do it without them?'
"You use the lessons they taught you and live the life you were supposed to" said Ava. You are at a crossroads. You may not continue on the way you were. Yet you are not the same girl as a few short years ago. There is a choice to be made, by you. At sundown tonight, I will either leave you back in Paris, where you will die inside of two weeks. Or I will leave you at home, where you can pick up the pieces of your tattered life and finally forge ahead. Or you can stay here, with me, and become, fully, one of us."
Standing up, Ava started to move away from the table, leaving Emer alone, with the scrap book. "You have until sundown".


sybil law said...

Niiiice! :)

Jo Beaufoix said...

MIe I really love this one. It could be a book, really truly. I think it's my favourite so far. I want more.

Bubblewench said...

I really hate when I'm into reading and scroll down and there is NO MORE...

Daryl said...

Oh boy .............