Song of the Thorn Bird

Song of the Thorn Bird

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Remnant

She was standing in a war zone that had once been a marriage. The tantrum was over and everything was lying in shambles. The china and crystal once gifted to a doe-eyed couple blinded by love. The promises and sacred vows shattered into a thousand shards, each ready to slice any hand trying to piece it all back together. The dream of their twilight years to rock on the veranda, reminiscing the past while surrounded by their future, all ten of them, russet-haired, hazel-eyed charmers. All of it gone, seemingly destroyed, except for a single china plate ensconced in her tight grasp.

After all the raging tears and a tirade of words vomited out in anger, a single remnant of hope remained. Her great-grandmother’s Chinese treasure had endured the Great Quake, the Great Depression, two World Wars, and 71 years of marriage to a cantankerous bastard, and, now it had survived this great quake and this great depression. Perhaps this was a divine sign that all had not been lost between them after all these years. But how could that be possible?

Once upon a blooming youth, she would look into his eyes only to be swept off her feet, into his heart and into his bed. As in any marriage, over time the chemistry waxed and waned with the seasons of life; the bills came, the children came, and the disappointments came, all as youth faded into the beige of the walls of a two-story house with the white picket fence. The eventual apathy that grew from routine and repetition was hard to endure. However, it was when mutual contempt took residence in their hearts that a silent war began.

No longer did either strive to edify the other or offer shelter when life’s tempests came. They would rather give the other the finger than to give a helping hand. One day, the pair simply woke up to find a gauntlet, deftly stitched with broken promises and unfulfilled dreams, had been thrown. For an entire decade, their marriage had become a series of petty battles and callous calculations. A line had been drawn. Someone was going to win with the other plummeting to absolute defeat, but with both lives in absolute ruin.

Or was this the only possible outcome? The plate in her arms was still intact. Perhaps just as this piece of fine china had survived destruction, death, and a lifetime of disappointment, so could the single thread that held these two souls together…

Probably not, so she just lets go…lets go of the plate and any hope with it.

Photo provided by and story inspired by Magpie Tales.

21 comments:

Paul C said...

The china plate survived through so many difficult times. The heartache and the hope is well done.

inciteme said...

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of broken diaries, she rises to a new day; of which, her path lay better paved from yesterdays ☼

Brian Miller said...

ouch. this one stings...cant give up hope...it leaves me with little else...

nicely written lisa...stirs the emotions...

Helen said...

I love how you used the history of your great-grandmother's plate as a link to what was happening in real time. Nice job & thank you for coming to visit me.

Nes said...

Very good! Excellent writing, can't wait for more!

Tammy said...

I love your descriptions. Raw and vivid.

sheri... said...

incredible work, simply marvelous magpie! so full of volcanic eruptions and dreams of better days to come, abruptly coming to an end once gravity took hold of that precious plate. this was magnificent and so well done!

Berowne said...

So downbeat, but beautifully done.

Lisa said...

I really appreciate all the comments. I do realize just how downbeat this is. My original story did not end this way. I spent hours writing this and editing it. It was during the last edit that my mysterious muse whispered into my ear the last line. When I first heard it, I was shocked and rebelled saying I would not write it. But alas, I am bound to my muse and write it I did.....

Heather said...

this makes me so sad. if there isn't hope in love, what DO we have hope in? such a beautiful, heartbreaking description!

Chrissy said...

Lisa, it may seem downbeat but then again.. She let go of the plate which to me, means a fresh start.. No bad/sad memories of that plate... A lot of keepsakes can also hold one back in moving forward especially if they keep going back and looking at them..

Suz said...

wow youre a writer, girl!
So many wonderful phrases and images
and the ending....what a great muse you have
can I borrow her sometime
last lines in a short short story a twist...love it

joanny said...

Every thing has it's opposite while love is kissing you
hate is asleep in your bed..a powerful tale there milady very powerful indeed.

Remains me of the intensity that the 1989 movie 'The War of The Roses' with the married couple try everything to get each other to leave the house in a vicious divorce battle. No winners!

willow said...

Touching story. Super opening line! Well done.

sheri... said...

gorgeous header you've chosen!!

Tumblewords: said...

Superb!

Jingle said...

remarkable tale!

Patience said...

Superb Magpie. I understand maybe the marriage was over, but too bad about the plate! i like how you raised the readers' hopes that maybe it would work out cause the plate was intact and then, well,broken plate so maybe not.

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Thanks for taking us on a nice journey through a life. Excellent take on the Magpie Tale.

Pam (The Reader) said...

Lisa,
I was horrified that she let the plate fall but it is a GREAT ending! I wouldn't change it. :D

Do you rent out your muse? Mine is such a grouchy wench. (haha)

Tim Keeton said...

Jingle has an award for you here:

http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/awards-from-wordwand-trisha-and-more/

Great job!

Tim Keeton
(Undead)Poet / Wizard / Teller-of-tale