Tag: Bequeath

BEQUEATH: My Other Mother By Nan Ressue

Word: BEQUEATH
Word Count 420
My Other Mother
By Nan Ressue
Let’s invent the perfect mother-in –law; A person who loves you because her child chose you; a person who taught by example and never gave advice unless it was solicited; someone who shared equally and never forgot your birthday card with the two dollar bills tucked inside; somebody who came to help, not expecting to be treated like a house guest; a person who taught by example; a thoughtful patient, happy, person with snow white hair and penetrating blue eyes. I don’t need to invent her. She was mine.
As a younger woman, her staggering work load revolved around seven children, a demented father, and a frequently sick husband. Her children were always free to invite friends home for supper and there were often a dozen or more sitting around the table. Big black iron frying pans filled with sizzling slices of ham browning on the woodstove cook top and an oversized brown ceramic batter pitcher waiting on the back of the stove ready to pour puddles of gold on to the griddle. Homemade bread was clearly her trademark, a dozen loaves made twice a week to satisfy many appetites and to provide sandwiches for everybody’s lunch. Homemade food came to our house in steady streams. Mason jars filled with peaches, pears, pickles and relish; fresh berries picked in season and shared generously; flower bulbs dug from her garden and planted in mine.
Her husband rarely left her side while she was cooking, sitting in the kitchen rocker with the dog under his feet, playing toe tapping tunes on his fiddle. He was her partner during tomato canning season, starting at midnight and working all night to can while the children slept due to the copious amounts of boiling water required to do the job.
Time has that habit of flying by and the day came when she began to bequeath her treasures to the appropriate new owner. One visit brought not only these lovely people to our home, but also the chocolate brown batter pitcher which now lives on a safe shelf filled with memories instead of batter. People of their generation stepped out of the wagon and into their new car with little or no driving instruction. It was no surprise when her husband innocently made alarming and hilarious statements on the subject of driving. “Herkimer has too many red lights so I don’t use them all’,” he declared during one visit. It was a car accident that took her life but not my memories. She was perfect.

BEQUEATH: Life’s Toolbox By B.A. Sarvey

Word: BEQUEATH
Word Count 500 words
Life’s Toolbox
B.A. Sarvey
Stephen grasped the tape measure in one hand, the monkey wrench in the other. They were just old tools. He assumed all the tools went to him. Why bequeath these?
Breathing in the distinctive odor of WD-40, Stephen pictured him wiping down his tools, arranging them in size-order, each type of tool with its own drawer. Remembering the tantrums over a missing tool (usually Mom’s fault) or jumbled mess (Stephen’s fault) a smirk twitched at his lips. Stephen wouldn’t miss the tantrums. The workbench stories—“Don’t think about getting away with what I did…”; his quirky theories on LIFE; his off-the-wall advice; the occasional “don’t let your mother find out,” (like she didn’t know already)—those he suddenly craved like one more piece of lobster dripping with melted butter. He swallowed down the guilty lump of surprise. Hadn’t thought he would miss anything. Thought he had had his fill of the running commentary on everything he did that wasn’t good enough, just because it was different from what he would have done.
They had grudgingly co-existed. Because they lived in the same house. Because he was his father. Now Stephen didn’t have a father. Just a bunch of old tools, a smattering of memories. Too many tools. Not enough memories.
These particular tools had come in an old wooden box, nestled atop a clean polishing rag. Mom, smiling apologetically, had presented the box and an envelope after everyone had left. “He set this aside for you.” She had that anxious, “are you okay?” hover-y-ness. Stephen had taken the box without comment. Brusquely turned away. Shut her out. Retreated to the workshop where, for three hours, now, he had pondered the two tools, their relationship to him, his relationship to his father. The accompanying letter stared accusingly at him from the table. “What are you waiting for?” barked the voice in his head. His father’s voice, or his own? Apprehensively, Stephen picked up the envelope, slit it open with a worn pocket knife, slipped the single sheet out, and read:
“The monkey wrench is to remind you someone will throw one in just when everything seems to be going right. I can’t watch out for you anymore. So plan ahead, watch out for monkey wrenches. Use the tools I tried to give you to fix your problems.”
Stephen cleared his throat, turned his face from the paper, smeared his hand across both cheeks. After a ragged breath, he continued:
“The tape measure is because you always thought I was too hard on you. You thought you couldn’t measure up to my expectations. Sometimes you didn’t. You tried just enough to get by, not ahead. Remember, there’s always room for ‘one little funny mark’ more of effort. Son, I wasn’t very good at telling you when you did measure up. And sometimes, you did.”
He never told Stephen he loved him, and he didn’t now. But for Stephen, the bequest loosened a seized-up bolt of resentment. The grief it released was immeasurable.

BEQUEATH: A Proposal To Bequeath By Ray Shearer

Word: BEQUEATH
Word Count 467
A Proposal To Bequeath
By Ray Shearer
It was a large house of gray stone, perched on a cliff overlooking the sea. A tall iron fence encompassed the land. The house belonged to Lenny’s boss, Mr. Decker, the owner of the Admiral Shoe Factory. Lenny and his fiancee enjoyed walks passed the mansion,and talked about one day living in such a place.
“It looks lonely” Dianne remarked. “So big and no children.”
“We could fill a house with children.” Lenny replied. In a few years, I could be plant manager. We may not afford all this with servants, and the like, but we will have a pleasant home with a family.” They held hands, taking in the magnificent estate.
A man in formal wear called from the house. “Excuse me, sir, young lady. My employer wishes to offer you some refreshment on this hot summer day. If you would be so kind to follow me.” The large oak doors opened into a sun filled room that somehow seemed void of warmth and left the impression of a museum.
Mr. Decker sat at the table on the sundeck. He appeared delicate, almost wasted away. “Thank you for joining me.” He rose, extended his arm, and waved his hand motioning to the
unoccupied chairs.
“I believe you work for me young man.”
“Yes sir,” Lenny spoke. “I’m a line manager.”
” Would you someday like to live in this house?”
Dianne spoke up. “I don’t think we could afford the upkeep.”
Mr. Decker turned to Dianne. “Would you live here if it were possible?”
“Absolutely!” Exclaimed Dianne.
Mr. Decker recounted his family history, the death of his wife and no children to entrust his estate. “I have a proposition for you. My health is failing; I might not see the end of the year. If Dianne were to be my wife, she would get everything that is mine. You should talk it over. I would expect an answer by the weekend.”
All points argued, with Lenny having the last word. “A chance of a lifetime. Keeping an old man company, how long? Weeks, maybe a few months. It’s what we dreamed about.”
Mrs. Decker sat at a long dining table while Mr Decker placed a silver chain holding one diamond around her neck. “Happy anniversary dear.” He kissed her. “One year and glad for every minute.”Each year another diamond. Twenty-five in all before he passed. The service was small. Mrs Decker and a few plant managers. A young man approached and extended condolences. “You know my father, Lenny. Like me, he’s one of your plant managers. I’m Tom. I live just down the road from your home. I’ve always fantasized about life there.”
“Do you think you could live in that house?” Dianne asked.
“Yes,” came a quick reply.
“Tom, I have a proposition for you.”

BEQUEATH: The Jewel Box By Sally Madison

Word: BEQUEATH
Words: 498

The Jewel Box
Sally Madison

“Did you send for us father?” asked Sarah, as she and her sister entered the massive library. Slowly and softly he greeted them. “Hello girls, come and sit here by me,” he requested. They sat stiffly in their starched pinafores, as they were unaccustomed to being summoned. “I have something for you.” Nervously, the girls examined the taught pale skin over his arthritic knuckles trying to see the wooden box on his lap that was covered by his hands. His voice quivered. “As you know, my dear sister, your aunt, has passed away. She was taken by that dreaded ‘spotted fever disease’. We don’t know how she contracted it.” He paused. His voice elevated into angry and frustration, while lifting his fist, “if I knew who did this to her. I would thrash them completely.” He gave a great sigh and calmed back down to his pervious remorse, as he realized the foolishness of his statement. “Of course, we don’t know who infected her. It could have been a servant, a diplomat or even one of her women’s committee members. There have been thousands who have died of that horrible disease.”

“When she broke out with the spots, she was hopeful that it would pass, but when her breath became labored, she knew that it would soon be her time to go.” He hesitated a moment to take a breath. “Having no children of her own, in her final moments, she thought of you girls.” Unconsciously, he began tracing his finger through the engraving of lilies and her name, as if he could summon the ghost it represented. They could see his face soften and a faint smile appeared, as he remembered seeing his sister running in the rose garden when they were children. He pictured with amusement, the nursemaid dozing off, while the children played, until their laughter woke her. Returning to the present, he continued, “She has bequeathed these gifts to you. The mahogany box was a gift from her husband. It matched her desk, and she loved lilies. She wanted her namesake, you, Mary, to have it. For you, Sarah, is the content of the jewel box, a family heirloom. She said that she only used it once, at her husband’s inauguration ball. She hoped you would employ it for your first cotillion.” Excited by the gifts, the girls smiled, and he melted inside.

“Please dress for dinner. Tell your governess to sup with the cook. I want you to dine with me from now on. They rose. He held his arms open. Apprehensively, they moved to him. He clasped them tightly to his chest crushing their slight bodies. Their eyes widened with surprise. “I couldn’t stand for you not to be with me.” Releasing them, he offered the box to Mary. The girls examined the box closely as they left the room. With eyes filled with tears, both of sadness and gratefulness, he vowed to hold tight those who meant the world to him.

BEQUEATH: Harmony By Sharon Collins

Word: TRANSFORM/BEQUEATH
Word Count 197

Harmony
By Sharon Collins

Cuddled in the soft elbow of a shallow stream, the graveyard of St. Just-in-Roseland lies summer lush and full of lark-song. Within its chapel’s ancient walls, a hive of lovelies, the ladies of the Altar Society, dress her for a weekend wedding. Evergreen garlands reminiscent of medieval Yuletides and pert nosegays which Cobweb or Peasblossom might have gathered for Titania, grace arch and niche. A tourist, She feels an interloper, welcome but a nuisance nonetheless, so she makes her curtsey and retreats to the stones
. Here the hum of different hive invites her to softly sing familiar words, “Amazing grace how sweet the sound…” but the melody sounds strange, unfamiliar, slightly medieval. The words are right, but the rhythm is wrong. She shakes her copper curls and starts again, and yet again, a trinity of attempts, her offering to the souls veiled in weathered stone surrounding her. Compelled, she finds herself singing someone else’s song, “And did those feet, in ancient times…” words and music melding. Woven into the dappled sunlight, Her voice and Their song transform the stones, and They step forth. Four phantoms, add their ancient harmony to Hers in a melody bequeathed by angels.

BEQUEATH: A Proposal To Bequeath By Ray Shearer

Word: BEQUEATH

Word Count 467

A Proposal To Bequeath

By Ray Shearer

It was a large house of gray stone, perched on a cliff overlooking the sea. A tall iron fence encompassed the land.   The house belonged to Lenny’s boss, Mr. Decker, the owner of the Admiral Shoe Factory.  Lenny and his fiancee enjoyed walks passed the mansion,and talked about one day living in such a place.

“It looks lonely” Dianne remarked. “So big and no children.”

“We could fill a house with children.” Lenny replied. In a few years, I could be plant manager. We may not afford all this with servants, and the like, but we will have a pleasant home with a family.”  They held hands, taking in the magnificent estate.

A man in formal wear called from the house. “Excuse me, sir, young lady. My employer wishes to offer you some refreshment on this hot summer day. If you would be so kind to follow me.” The large oak doors opened into a sun filled room that somehow seemed void of warmth and left the impression of a museum.

Mr. Decker sat at the table on the sundeck. He appeared delicate, almost wasted away. “Thank you for joining me.” He rose, extended his arm, and waved his hand motioning to the

unoccupied chairs.

“I believe you work for me young man.”

“Yes sir,” Lenny spoke. “I’m a line manager.”

” Would you someday like to live in this house?”

Dianne spoke up. “I don’t think we could afford the upkeep.”

Mr. Decker turned to Dianne. “Would you live here if it were possible?”

“Absolutely!” Exclaimed Dianne.

Mr. Decker recounted his family history, the death of his wife and no children to entrust his estate.  “I have a proposition for you. My health is failing; I might not see the end of the year. If Dianne were to be my wife, she would get everything that is mine. You should talk it over. I would expect an answer  by the weekend.”

All points argued, with Lenny having the last word. “A chance of a lifetime. Keeping an old man company, how long? Weeks, maybe a few months. It’s what we dreamed about.”

Mrs. Decker sat at a long dining table while Mr Decker placed a silver chain holding one diamond around her neck. “Happy anniversary dear.” He kissed her. “One year and glad for every minute.”Each year another diamond. Twenty-five in all before he passed.  The service was small. Mrs Decker and a few plant managers.  A young man approached and extended condolences. “You know my father, Lenny. Like me, he’s one of your plant managers. I’m Tom. I live just down the road from your home. I’ve always fantasized about life there.”

“Do you think you could live in that house?” Dianne asked.

“Yes,” came a quick reply.

“Tom, I have a proposition for you.”

BEQUEATH: I Bequeath To You… by Maggie Robertson

Week 13:  BEQUEATH

Word Count: 479

 

I Bequeath To You…

Maggie Robertson

“Once Upon A Time…”

“Yes, it really does begin like that.  Once upon a time there was a young girl; a girl much like you, My Dear, hopeful and shining bright, with eyes that see past the folly of humanity.

This girl lived and breathed color.  She loved white snow, blue sky, and red cardinals.  Green grass with yellow dandelions lit up her world in spring.  The summer gardens that surrounded the palace had flowers of all shades – they were like rainbows that grew from the Earth.  The fiery hues of autumn warmed her being.

Then came the day that etched away a hint of her soul.  A caller to the Queen presented the girl with a box of ribbons for her hair.  She marveled at all the different colors.

“Which color is your favorite?” the caller asked

“I like all of them”

“But which one do you like the best?”

 

The girl puzzled over this.  She had never thought about a favorite color, or a favorite anything else, for that matter.  Different colors were good for different things.  Red belonged on a cardinal, and yellow belonged on a goldfinch.  Some days felt like sky-blue, and others felt like chocolate-brown.  Her orange dress cheered her up, and her purple pillow brought her comfort.  Every color had its unique value to her world.

She began to notice that people chose favorites for almost everything, and expected her to do the same.  She was supposed to have not only a favorite food, but more specifically, a favorite fruit, a favorite vegetable, a favorite dessert!  People would ask her:

“What is your favorite dress?”

“Your favorite game?”

“Your favorite thing to do?”

“Your favorite toothbrush?”

 

“Who is your favorite person?”

 

A-ha.  There it is.  Out of all the people in her world, she was asked to pick one she loved more than others.  She refused.

Like her colors, her people all had individual value, and were good at different things.  Her Mother was good for bedtime stories, and her Father was good for playing games.  Uncle Joe was good for baking cookies, and Grandma for finding cool bugs.

She decided that choosing favorites was not always a good thing.  It led to judgments that some things, and even some people, had less value than others.  Even, and perhaps especially, at her young age, she knew otherwise.

This girl grew up to always seek the fairness in an unfair world.  As Queen, she reigned with compassion, and knew that each person had their own intrinsic value, even if she didn’t like them very much.  Her wisdom and her serene power were endowed to her daughters, and to their daughters, and their daughters, on down through the generations – now to you.

And so, My Dear Girl, I bequeath to you our legacy, for you are among the daughters of the Wise Women.

BEQUEATH: ‘Twas Bequeathed By Claire Robertson

Word:  BEQUEATHED

Word Count: 269

 

‘Twas Bequeathed

By, Claire Robertson

 

“Where is everyone?”  Frozen Flame asked.  “Out somewhere.” Was the reply.  “Everyone?”  “Mostly.”  They then saw a girl about nine sitting on a rock.  Her hair was snowy white, and her skin almost as pale.  When she turned towards them, they could see that her eyes were a very light blue-grey.  “This is Spirit Seer.”  Frozen Flame said.  Spirit Seer said nothing, but looked at Saphria, a wondering look on her face.  “Come on.  I’ll show you where you can stay for now!”  Annalaya led them to the second to last cave on the right.  Once they were all in, Spirit Seer turned to Saphria, all traces of doubt gone from her face, and said “You have something.”  Her voice was whispery but strong.  She seemed to have trouble getting the words out, as if a thousand ghosts were saying what she wanted, but at the same time a thousand more were also trying to speak through her.  “Something old and powerful.”  Frozen Flame turned to Spirit Seer.  “You are certain?”  Spirit Seer nodded.  Frozen Flame looked at Saphria sharply.  “What do you have?”  Nervous, Saphria took the ring out of her pocket.  Frozen Flame started to say something but Spirit Seer cut her off.  “Shush.  They’re trying to speak.”  “Can you hear what they’re saying?”  Annalaya asked.  Spirit Seer closed her eyes and appeared to be listening intently.  At last she opened then again.  “Nothing.  Just a name.  Saphiria.  There’s more, but it’s too hard to hear right now.  I believe they are your ancestors.” She said, addressing Saphria now.  “I believe this ring was bequeathed to you.”

BEQUEATH: Bequeath by Anne Nassar

Word: BEQUEATH

Word Count: 471

Bequeath

By Anne Nassar

He woke up and at first he couldn’t identify the sound that caused his heart to race. After a few seconds, though, he realized that it was his cell phone buzzing.

He knew it could be his older daughter, or the nursing home. So he got out of bed.

The phone was in his jeans pocket. He couldn’t remember where he took them off.

So he crawled around the laundry-strewn floor in the pitch black darkness, trying to find his jeans by touch.

The buzzing stopped abruptly.

He cursed, because now he was wide awake. He knew he’d never be able to go back to sleep without taking a pill.

He found the light switch and turned the light on. He found his glasses and put them on.

His jeans were hung on the back of the chair. He checked his phone, to see who had called.

It was his ex-wife, Tessa.

He cursed again. A call in the middle of the night meant that she was drunk and despondent.  He didn’t want to listen to her cry. She deserved to cry, in his opinion. So, he didn’t call her back, and he turned off his phone.

He laid back down and tried to get comfortable, despite the pain.

He tried to empty his mind of thoughts, to focus on the dark. But it was no use.

Turning his gaze towards the window, he saw that the streetlights were out, and clouds blocked the moon. The wind howled, the waves crashed into the dock, and he could hear the rumble of thunder far off. We’re in for a storm, he thought.

There was a scraping and scratching at the bedroom door. Mitzi let herself in. She jumped up on the bed, as though she didn’t know any better. She snuggled in close to him.

He petted her matted fur absently. She smelled like she’d been playing with a dead fish.

When the lightning cracked, Mitzi whimpered.

Tessa was afraid of lightning, too. He wondered if she had called because she was alone and wanted him to come over. He wondered if her 65-year old “boyfriend” had gone back to his wife and left her to fend for herself in the chintzy little apartment he’d rented for her.

He said to Mitzi, “Let’s call your mom.”

When he turned his phone back on, he saw Tessa had texted him.

It said, I want Sophia to go Wells. I want Ella to get the surgery on her back, I’ve done a lot of research and I really think it’s the best thing. Make these things happen. I trust you. I bequeath Mitzi to you.

His heart thudded against his ribs. He wanted to get up, but he couldn’t. He tried to call out Sophia’s name, but there was no breath in his lungs.

BEQUEATH: The Jewel Box by Sally Madison

Word: BEQUEATH

Words: 498

 

The Jewel Box

Sally Madison

 

“Did you send for us father?” asked Sarah, as she and her sister entered the massive library.  Slowly and softly he greeted them. “Hello girls, come and sit here by me,” he requested.  They sat stiffly in their starched pinafores, as they were unaccustomed to being summoned.  “I have something for you.”  Nervously, the girls examined the taught pale skin over his arthritic knuckles trying to see the wooden box on his lap that was covered by his hands.  His voice quivered.  “As you know, my dear sister, your aunt, has passed away.  She was taken by that dreaded ‘spotted fever disease’.  We don’t know how she contracted it.”  He paused.  His voice elevated into angry and frustration, while lifting his fist, “if I knew who did this to her. I would thrash them completely.”  He gave a great sigh and calmed back down to his pervious remorse, as he realized the foolishness of his statement.  “Of course, we don’t know who infected her.  It could have been a servant, a diplomat or even one of her women’s committee members.  There have been thousands who have died of that horrible disease.”

 

“When she broke out with the spots, she was hopeful that it would pass, but when her breath became labored, she knew that it would soon be her time to go.”   He hesitated a moment to take a breath.  “Having no children of her own, in her final moments, she thought of you girls.”  Unconsciously, he began tracing his finger through the engraving of lilies and her name, as if he could summon the ghost it represented.  They could see his face soften and a faint smile appeared, as he remembered seeing his sister running in the rose garden when they were children.  He pictured with amusement, the nursemaid dozing off, while the children played, until their laughter woke her. Returning to the present, he continued, “She has bequeathed these gifts to you.  The mahogany box was a gift from her husband. It matched her desk, and she loved lilies.  She wanted her namesake, you, Mary, to have it.  For you, Sarah, is the content of the jewel box, a family heirloom.  She said that she only used it once, at her husband’s inauguration ball.  She hoped you would employ it for your first cotillion.”  Excited by the gifts, the girls smiled, and he melted inside.

 

“Please dress for dinner. Tell your governess to sup with the cook.  I want you to dine with me from now on.  They rose.  He held his arms open.  Apprehensively, they moved to him.  He clasped them tightly to his chest crushing their slight bodies.  Their eyes widened with surprise.  “I couldn’t stand for you not to be with me.”  Releasing them, he offered the box to Mary.  The girls examined the box closely as they left the room. With eyes filled with tears, both of sadness and gratefulness, he vowed to hold tight those who meant the world to him.