I would not be on speaking terms with morning time, were it not for my children. Each morning, unlike the lazy lie-a-beds that run wild in the neighborhood at all hours of the night, my children wake with laughter that rings out like the pealing of bells, carried on the wind. A band of merry minstrels, they find their purpose harmonizing madrigals beneath my window, coaxing me out of drowsy dreams. If not for them, I might refuse to wake and drag myself out from under the covers at all.
It seems a thousand years ago, the accident that took my beloved artist husband George from me. The wave that swept him off the bridge carried my babies off, too. They always did like to follow where George, the delightful Pied Piper of our happy little hamlet home, would lead. I’m sure he’d have urged them to stay put, this one time, if only the water hadn’t filled his mouth and stilled his tongue before he could do it.
When the news came, unhappy and blue and brash as brass to my doorstep, the cruel earth failed to open and swallow me whole. I could have happily dug my own grave. But the mocking sun kept on shining brightly, seeping through the blackout curtains like acrid, itchy smoke from a bonfire of poison ivy. I could not stay in bed and will myself to die, but I could not think of anything better to do.
And that was when I found George’s legacy to me, his last and lasting work: six perfect little sculptures of my angels, Avalee, Ben, Chloe, Dierdre, Evan, and Frances. Their faces, their arms, their legs were shaped by his hands. The clay felt warm, almost lifelike. I hugged each one in turn, baptizing them with my tears, grateful for the too-short time we had together.
And now, each morning, just as the rosy tint of sunlight reaches the horizon, I hear them. They sing to me of the sweetness of the day, coaxing me to rejoin the living, reassuring me that they, in their infinite patience and ethereal joy, will wait. I know that George, whose epitaph reads, “Creator of My Heart,” is there, too, shaping our next home with his nimble hands.
Today’s short story was inspired by the Writing Prompt – Creative Copy Challenge #496 and is brought to you by the bolded words and phrases in the story. I toss the gauntlet to you, and to the members of Write Tribe, to create your own story and link to it, below: