Thursday, April 27, 2006

Entry #34

"Katrina’s Legacy"
by Keith Bodayla

The lamps were given to Angela’s great-grandmother by her slave owner on the day that he freed her. They had burned kerosene long ago but Angela’s mother had seen a greater future for them and had them turned into electric lamps that burned small flame-like bulbs. They were given to Angela when she got married with instructions to do the same for the daughter she would one day have.

Now the lamps were worthless. The frosted glass and bulbs broken, the shards carried miles away by flood waters. Tears welled up in Angela’s eyes and finally burst through, running down her dark cheeks.

David came over and put his one good arm around his wife. At her feet were the two lamps – the prized possessions of her family, passed from mother to daughter for generations.

“At least they’re here,” he said. “We can have them fixed.” His wife began to cry harder and he knew it had been a dumb thing to say.

“I don’t care about them. It’s not worth it anymore,” she said between sobs. Then, she stopped abruptly and looked at her husband. “I only would have cared about them if I still had someone to pass them on to.”

David thought for a moment that his wife almost smiled at the irony of it all. But the moment passed and he continued to hold his crying wife into the night as they waited for a new day to come.


Esther Avila said...

This was interesting. It did leave me with questions, though. Did she lose a child in a flood? And what was it about the husband's one good arm?

"I would have cared about them if I still had someone to pass them on to." -- that was good.

But that last graph throws me. Almost smiled at the irony of it all? I don't get it. Did I miss something?

Otherwise, I enjoyed this story.

Jeff said...

I agree with Esther. I wondered if they had lost a child in the hurricane. I'm assuming they did. I did enjoy the story. :)

Lyn said...

Agreed. Good start and plot, but maybe plant the tragedy theme (loss of child) earlier. Did he hurt his arm in the rescue efforts (and did you have to edit a bit to make the 250 mark)? Nice dialog. Hey, and being a man, what did he say that was dumb? lol At least he shut up about the loss of opportunity to pass the lamps on. Gripping scene over all. Lyndon

Anonymous said...

Keith, you wove an impressive history into a single paragraph. Not easy to do in so short a space. The impact of every word must be weighed.

High marks in pacing and technical use of language.