Friday, August 2, 2013

The Bottles on the Top Shelf

1st Writes Photo

Over the years, Helen had dusted the shelves for her Great-Aunt Elspeth.  At first Helen could reach only the bottom shelf, and Aunt Elspeth had praised her. 

“Oh, what a magnificent job you have done!  Someday,” Aunt Elspeth had pointed to the very top shelf, “you will reach that shelf!  I will let you choose the bottle you love the most!”

Each time Helen polished and cleaned the shelves, she gazed at the bottles so far out of her reach.  ‘Someday…’  One time Helen would favor the green bottle, but the next time she dusted, she desired the pink bottle.

Years stacked up in numbers as Helen grew and she could dust the next shelf, and then the next.  Which one would she choose?  The blue?  The violet?  So lovely, so hard to decide.

When Helen could just almost reach the shelf, Aunt Elspeth dropped dead right in front of her. 

 By this time, Helen was now grown as much as she ever would; she was a mother with a small child.  As she closed the eyes of her now-deceased aunt, Helen smiled gently.

Then Helen found a sturdy stool and a box.  She stepped onto the stool and stood level with the shelf.  Gazing fondly at each bottle, Helen sighed.  

Reaching tentatively, Helen spoke, “One?  Hell, I’m going to take them all!” 

This is a re-post of one done in 2011.  Click on the site beneath the photo to visit the creative blogger who posted this photo as a prompt!

14 comments:

  1. I loved this, wondered what she was going to do!

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    1. Thanks, Carole. I wondered what else she could put in that box.

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  2. It sounds like Helen had enough of that dusting bit.

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    1. One can dust only so much before reaching a limit.

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  3. Dusting is such a pain, maybe she'll send that out in messages in each bottle

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    1. Well, I would have their value appraised...

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  4. Look around Helen, there's probably a lot more she baited you with all those years.

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    1. Most likely. Elspeth was a wealthy lady who probably tempted her niece.

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  5. I have a friend who coveted a blue bottle from her mother's collection. When mama died all the sisters, and they were several, gathered to divvy up. Being the 9th child my friend was low on the selection pole. The blue bottle did become hers by selection, however. On the way out the door she dropped the bottle. Only the large blue glass stopper escaped. For years the stopper was in her window. I admired it and she gave it to me, with the story. I've passed it along, with story, to someone who admired it. Well, the comment is long enough. I'll leave the moral go.

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  6. Thanks, Susan, fascinating isn't it. I give talks to the W.I. The history of Children's Literature, and the books reflect the same attitude - that children were seen as small adults until well into the 19th century.

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  7. Darned right she is going to take them all. She earned them with all that dusting. And who is going to stop her?

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    desert.epiphanies@sasktel.net
    Bears Noting
    Life in the Urban Forest (poetry)

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  8. I would take them all too, then rearrange the things on the other shelves so that some are on the top one. Because it would look odd empty.

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  9. Interesting piece. I adore colored glass, so I'd take them all as well. :-D

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!