Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Excerpt, anyone?

Would you like one? Here's one from The Celtic Fan.


     I pulled the top box out and carefully removed the lid. Yellowed tissue paper concealed the contents, and I placed the box on the dining room table, pulling back the paper from each side to examine the treasures.
     It was a tiny outfit, a white dress with the tiniest pink rosebuds, and a narrow pink bow at the neck between the sides of the rounded, lace-trimmed collar. The little ruffled panties underneath it were lined with rubbery plastic and carried the same rosebud design as the dress. With them was a pair of tiny socks, white nylon cuffed socks with pink lace sewn delicately around the edge of the cuff. In the bottom of the box was a tiny gold ring with a long length of the same narrow pink ribbon tied to it, just like the neckline bow. I pulled out another box, and found it held a pair of miniature blue jeans, a little elastic belt, and a tiny crewneck tee-shirt on which was emblazoned “Daddy’s Boy.” Lying flat inside the same box were a pair of size one high-topped tennis shoes, Nikes, their little shoelaces tied neatly, and a pair of baby-sized athletic socks, complete with red stripes around the calves. Her babies’ clothes. There had to be a dozen boxes, but I didn’t pull out another one. I wrapped the little garments as I’d found them and placed them back in the boxes, taking care to make everything look exactly as it was before, with the card on top of the boxes.
     There was a sudden, sharp pain in my gut, the pain of a woman who’d never held two of her children, and had only been able to cuddle and love a third for less than six months. It was a horror I couldn’t even imagine. Guilt swept over me, and my chest ached. I couldn’t snoop anymore. I decided if I needed to know anything else, I’d just ask. Knowing what had happened to her family made the sacredness of her belongings too intense, too personal. I dropped onto the sofa and picked up a couple of the pictorial books, thumbing through and reading the captions. That kept me busy for a while.

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