Tag Archive | stories

Bridget: Eire She Goes

Bridget Bridget sat on the bench and cried.  Not three hours earlier, she waved goodbye to her parents and grandparents as the ship left County Cork.  She didn’t know what to expect when she arrived in America.  Had no clue whether the photos her aunt and uncle sent were accurate representations.  She was going to care for her young cousins, be their nurse and caretaker.  Her aunt recently got involved in societal organizations while her uncle worked very long hours.  

It didn’t take much convincing for her parents to agree to their daughter emigrating to America.  In fact, they’d have one less mouth to feed, body to clothe, and person to house.  She’d miss them and they her, but this was best for all involved.  Didn’t mean she wasn’t terrified of the choice she’d made.  As she sat alone on the massive ship and stared out at the water, she wondered if she’d chosen correctly.  

“Bridget Keily.”  

The brash male voice stumbled over a last name that was common in Ireland.  It will take some getting used to, she realized.  She clutched tight to her woven satchel and walked toward the stairway.   

“It’s Kelly,” she explained.  

“What?” the man replied, clearly uninterested.  

“Kelly.  It’s pronounce Kell-ey.  Not Keel-ey.”  

He merely looked at her over the rim of his glasses and jotted down a note on his pad of paper.  “This way,” he said.  

Bridget noticed every detail of the damp, cramped stairwell.  Dark and dreary, the light faded more and more with every descent.  The wooden stairs creaked and the boat swayed, causing the young emigrant to grab hold of the cold, metal banister.  

“In here,” he instructed.  He pointed towards a stark, white room filled with cots and medical equipment.  “Hand the woman at the door this,” he said as he put a folded paper in her hand.  “Then, wait your turn until the doctor calls for you.  When you’re done, someone will direct you where to find your luggage and then your room.  Safe travels.”  

And with that he was gone, as distant a sight as the homeland now so far away.  Bridget sensed the emotions building inside of her and shook them away.  She was seventeen years old.  Old enough to get married, according to her grandmother.  Definitely old enough to travel by herself to an unknown land.  “You’re pretty enough,” her grandmother told her before she left.  “You’ll marry someone decent.  Just don’t ruin your reputation before then.”

 Bridget laughed at her grandmother’s “advice”.   “Marry someone decent,” she repeated with a shake of her head.  She walked towards the door and slammed right into a handsome doctor.

 

 

The Key to Marie’s Heart

Marie's Key

Marie sat on the wicker chair and stared out at the Atlantic Ocean.  She knew unquestionably that this beach house was home despite the fact that her residence was situated an hour away.  The vacation neared its completion, yet she was comforted to know that she’d be returning next month.  As time passed and everyday stresses worked on her nerves, she longed for the beach.  There’s something so calming and melodic while watching the waves splash against the pebbled shoreline.  The rhythm frequently lulled her to sleep while creating imaginative scenes in her mind.

Though not an artist by profession, Marie revels in art through music, theatre, and a knack for being crafty! As she gazed at the beautiful sunset, she felt a connection more powerful than any other time in her life.  The rays of light kissed the water’s surface and twinkled with every movement.  She allowed the daydream to take its course, so she closed her eyes and rested her head against the interlaced chair.

Magic.  Beauty.  Imagination.  The carnival music resonated from the pier even blocks away from where Marie stood.  She stared at her painted toenails that stuck out of the bejeweled, khaki-colored sandals.  The cotton dress that flowed from her recently larger frame could use some adjustments.  Regardless of the ample room, the dress remained one of Marie’s favorites.  An ocean-blue background with ivory trimming.  The necklace that brushed against her collarbone reminded her of how precious each moment is.  The key-shaped pendant with a fleur-de-lis center symbolized love in its truest sense – the key to unlocking your heart resides in the most mystical of places.

Marie opened her eyes and wiggled her red-painted toes.  Reaching for her wine glass, she heard the front door open and the beautiful sounds of her boys’ laughter filled the air.  She raised her glass towards the sky and toasted to the joy that filled her heart.

*I purchased the lovely pendant from jewelry artists Bob & Kristi Dengler.  They have a variety of other beautiful pieces.  Please visit their website, www.RobertKristi.com, to peruse their collection.*

In Bloom

She entered the museum, her face still wet from crying.  This was supposed to be a joyous event – her honeymoon, in fact.  Instead of lounging by the pool and touring European castles, Millie now sought solace as far away from the scene she just encountered.

 What she saw couldn’t have been real.  That’s what she kept telling herself anyway.  However, the vision remained at the forefront of her mind, plaguing her with doubts and questions.  Everything she believed to be real now shattered in the span of just seconds. 

 “Can I help you, ma’am?” asked the lanky man with a strong Jamaican accent.

 Though her legs wobbled she remained steady and smiled.  “The hotel clerk told me about a painting here, and I wonder if you’d know which one it might be.”  It wasn’t entirely a lie, she had been wondering about the image when its existence was mentioned this morning.  “It’s a single flower, orange in color and in bloom.”

 “Ah, yes,” the gentlemen replied with excitement.  “I know just the one.”

 She chuckled at his jovial nature and followed behind her guide.  She perused the artwork adorning each wall as they ventured through corridors of white.  The vivid colors nearly jumped out of the frame, piercing her eyes and mesmerizing her senses.  As they entered the next room, Millie noticed the bronze nameplate at the top of the doorway: EN FLEUR.  “In bloom,” she murmured. 

 “Oui, Madame,” her guide responded.  “Vous parlez Francais?”

 She laughed and shook her head.  “I speak very little French.  I’m surprised I knew that much.”

 “Sometimes, Madame, we recall what we need to.”

 His reassuring smile reminded her of why she had been so adamant that they vacation here.  She just had a feeling, a very strong feeling, that it would be the perfect start to their new life together.  She didn’t understand why she felt so strongly, but Ian always agreed to her requests, so she wasn’t surprised when he relented rather easily.

 The gentlemen who led her in, swept his arm toward the opposing wall, and she followed her gaze accordingly.  It was even more beautiful than she’d imagined.  Walking as delicately as the flower depicted before her, Millie soaked in every detail.  The midnight blue background twinkled with the stars spaced across the canvas.  Despite its beauty, the setting paled in comparison to the coral-hued flower that blended with the evening sky behind it.  Directly in the center of the five-petal design, a silver moon glowed with brilliance.

 Millie could all but stare at the sight in front of her.  How can one person be responsible for so much beauty?  How did they know at the start that the finished product would turn out as expected?  She closed her eyes, rubbed her hand over her slightly bulged belly and wondered what kind of mother she was going to be.  The only other question that remained was, “Who was the father?”

Flower pendant with pearl, coral-colored beads and silver accents

Flower pendant with pearl, coral-colored beads and silver accents