Captive

An enormous jar of marbles sat perched on a shelf in the depths of the basement closet. In the dark, damp and musty room full of laundry soap and tools, a jar filled with perfectly shaped orbs in riotous colors was held captive in an old Ball jar. She reached in and pulled the jar into a shaft of sunlight pouring through the basement window. She was below ground, sitting on the cool cement floor and enjoying the silence.  One small rectangular ground-level window provided a view of the deep blue summer sky. Outside, the day was filled with heat but the basement was nearly frigid. She held the jar up, using the bright blue sky as a backdrop. The sunlight caused those perfect glass orbs to come alive again. Their color returned.

She marveled that inside of the dusty long forgotten jar, a bit of magic had been caught and held hostage. Inside the jar, the marbles screamed for release. For sunshine. To be held in the hands of a child. To roll across the sidewalk and click against another once again. Inside, under that zinc lid and neglected in the depths of a basement closet, they were captive and forgotten. Possessed but unloved.

She heard her mother’s footsteps on the basement stairs, “Be careful those are Ron’s marbles and they’re very old.” That was enough of a warning. To lose even one of those marbles wasn’t worth his vindictive wrath. Once he possessed something, he made it clear that no one else was entitled to touch what was his. From experience, she knew that children were not immune to his spiteful revenge.

She turned the grimy jar and marveled at the stifled beauty within, “Why are they in this jar in the basement?”  Her question was answered with a shrug and look of confusion, as if her mother couldn’t understand why it mattered. She felt a wave of aversion, realizing that her mother didn’t recognize the disservice of capturing such beauty and hiding it away. She stopped asking questions, knowing she’d never get her point across but also realizing that the marbles were his to keep confined forever. And wasn’t she avoiding just that? She constantly bucked against his masochistic need to dominate what wasn’t his. Including her. She’d given up waiting for her father to rescue her. She realized, at fourteen-years-old, that she must fight her battle alone.

Spellbound by the marbles and his need to control, she spat on her finger and rubbed a circle into the grime of the Ball jar. Through that clean spot, the marbles gleamed. She stood and walked to the washing machine to retrieve a towel and polished the grime-coated jar. Once more, she held the jar against the rectangle of bright blue summer sky and slowly turned it. Inside, the marbles knocked against glass and clicked against one another, begging for release. I can’t help you, she thought, I can’t help myself. She slid the jar back onto the shelf and closed the door on the beauty that shone within.

This is a piece inspired by the photo prompt at The Lightening and The Lightening Bug. It is a memory. I don’t know what became of the jar full of beautiful marbles held captive. I eventually escaped.

Sometimes, it’s good to write about things other than “Mommy”… I am a writer, therefor I write what comes to me. If you enjoy my odd (schizophrenic) mixture of mommy horror stories and creative writing, please deliver a click on the annoying flashing box right down there. If not, click on the box to return to regularly scheduled programming…not really, but you will find oodles of cute mommy blogs, baby gear giveaways and people who really dig coupons.

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Things we leave behind…

Well, hello!  It’s my pleasure to be visiting here today, doing a guest post, for Kelli.  My name is Patty from…Another cookie, please!    Actually, I’m quite honored to be in her Manolo blog-shoes today even though they pinch a little.    She has smaller feet than I do.

What a lovely place!  Beautifully decorated, very cozy as blogs go, I must say. There’s even an inviting bottle of Merlot sitting here…with my name on it.  How thoughtful!

Excuse me while I go and find a glass….

Kelli’s been at Brimfield, lucky lady.  I so would love to go there and step back in time, looking at all the treasures people leave behind.

Just to give you an idea of the vast expanse of Brimfield, take a look at this aerial photograph.  Isn’t it amazing?   For both antique dealers and lovers, this largest outdoor show in New England, takes place three times each year, for six days in May, July, and September.

Imagine following behind Kelli’s glorious days in Massachusetts, watching her stop to look at antique mirrors which hold ghostly images of their former owners.  Locked deep inside each mirror are sad reflections, staring back at time so quickly passing them by.

                             

Walking through the maze of tents, Kelli gently touches a set of fine china that long ago graced family tables for holidays and other special occasions.  In the distance, she can hear the timeless laughter of warm family gatherings and visualizes everyone joining hands in prayer before the start of each meal.

The gleam of delicate glassware suddenly catches Kelli’s eye and she stops for a moment to lift a goblet.  Holding it up to the light, she thinks of occasions and celebratory toasts.  With a soft ping of her finger, the glass echoes back with a soulful, tender chime.


                             
Displayed everywhere are old rocking chairs where a young mother once sat, cuddling and nursing her baby while singing soft lullabies.   As the years passed, this same woman would slowly rock back and forth, gazing out a window as the seasons changed; so much older and nearing the end of her life with each creak of the chair.

                                

Photographs, paintings and exquisite etchings, Kelli’s favorite works of art, long to be admired, waiting to again grace the walls of a home as potential buyers glance.. then quickly walk away.

                                   

                               
                                            

What will any of us leave behind, apart from words or actions, that someone will cherish and pass on for generations to follow?  Possessions, our personal treasures, which held such meaning and joy in our lifetime, packed away in the corner of an attic or one day put on display at a place like Brimfield…to become trapped ghosts of our past. 

Until…someone like Kelli comes along…and sets them free, once again.