Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Forties Club Finalist #58

by Gina Langridge

Kate reached under her bed, the duvet brushing against her hair, and dragged out a wooden chest.

"You promise you won't tell?"

Anna waved her hand over her tee shirt. "Cross my heart and hope to die."

Kate opened the box and pulled out the tissue paper from the top. "Look." She held out a shiny piece of wood. "It's silver."

Anna took the twig in both hands. "Where did you find it?"

"In the woods." Kate was vague. It was her treasure and it wouldn't be special if everyone had one. She rummaged through shells, pebbles, and a feather looking for her favourites.

"This one's a real diamond." She held up a jewelled ring, its clear stone the size of her thumbnail. "I got it in a cracker last Christmas."

Anna swapped the birch twig for the ring, which she slid onto her finger. "Can I keep it?"

"No." Kate reached for it and after a small hesitation Anna handed it back.

"Oh, and there's this." Kate drew out a ring of some dirty brown metal, engraved with two joined hands.

Anna glanced at it without interest.

"I found it when Daddy was doing his digging in some old ruins. He said, 'Don't touch anything,' so you mustn't tell. I know it's not really treasure," Kate said, "but I kind of like it."


PJD said...

Wonderful to see you here, Gina! I like these girls a lot, with the birch twig and the "real diamond." I'm not sure whether I'm supposed to recognize the other ring she took from Daddy's dig, but I love that she has it. It's very sweet, I think.

fairyhedgehog said...

Hi Pete, and thanks!

I wasn't sure if the bit about the old ring came off; I just had the feeling it was really old (I looked up Roman rings online) and that it was the only real treasure in the lot!

I'm staggered to be here.

Unknown said...

Hi Gina!

I loved the girls together, exploring the treasure box.... the unimpressive ring the only true treasure...

Love the last paragraph altogether!

Nice take on the prompt!

Dottie :)

fairyhedgehog said...

Thanks Dottie!

PJD said...

Knowing a little about you, that's how I took it. And that's why I find it sweet--the daughter likes it even though she thinks it's just junk dug up from some old ruined place. But it reminds her of Daddy and his work. Some other writers (ahem, me) might try to over-clever it and get distracted. But I love the way you've kept it simple and thereby made it honest, true, and real.

And one day Daddy will find the ring, and I am smiling thinking of his reaction. :-)

fairyhedgehog said...

Oh my word, when he does find it!

Old Kitty said...

Oh Gina Langridge!

I love this story! I love the innocence of the two girls rummaging through the chest of treasures - there's something shared and illicit but totally pure in what they're doing!

I think the ending is just perfect - again innocence shining through real treasure.

Well done you!
take care

fairyhedgehog said...

Kitty, you're always so sweet! Thank you!

McKoala said...

What a lovely story; the real treasure is the less obvious!

JR's Thumbprints said...

How genuine and innocent! You've done a great job with the interaction of these two girls.

Aimee Laine said...

Oh to have swiped something and keeping secrets among friends. ;)

SzélsőFa said...

it's refreshing to see a children-oriented piece in this competition.
i liked how realistic the conversation is. take for example when anna suddenly looses interest or kate's monologue in the last paragraph. greatly written.

fairyhedgehog said...

Thank you, McK and JRT!

Aimee, this was a real wish-fulfilment story for me.

Szelso, thank you!

Sameera Ansari said...

A nice slice of life!

Whirlochre said...

Reminds me of the tin of old buttons my gran used to have. Yes, there was TV, chess, cards, a garden, but I always asked to rummage in the tin of old buttons.

And yes, the wv is UNDIES.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

With her luck, it'll probably be really valuable or something. LoL

I love the thought of keeping treasures-this was awesome. :)

JaneyV said...

Gina I echo all the comments. This is a perfect piece because it captures the innocence of childhood with such a light hand. I could hear you tell it as I read (you have to read this for our next voice thingy) and I felt transported back to a time of secrets and imagination that made my early years. The ending - as with all of it - was *simply perfect*.

Well done!

fairyhedgehog said...

Thanks, Sameera!

Whirl, my Mum used to have a button box like that as well. We used to tip it out on newspaper and sort through it occasionally and it was so interesting.

Oddy, I'd like to think it really was valuable! Thanks for your kind words.

Jane, I'd love to read this for the next voice thingie! Thanks for such lovely comments. I think when you've met the writer it changes how you see their writing.

Joni said...

A neat little package. I liked it very much. Great writing.

Anonymous said...

I hate commenting after Pete and Whirl do because there's nothing clever left to say.

I love the magic of this piece and the gentle "aha" moment of what's truly valuable.

Precie said...

I wish Kate were one of my childhood friends. Love what her collection says about her!

Laurel said...

I love everything about this. The innocence of the girls, the sentimental attachment to something Daddy found, and the intuition that it is truly special.

Fresh and sweet.

fairyhedgehog said...

Thanks, Joni!

Aerin, that's so kind.

Precie, that makes me very happy.

Laurel, I'm so glad you like it.

Thank you everyone for your kind comments.

bekbek said...

Nothing new to say here except it's going on my list of faves. I can tell you that I thought the ring (the last one, not the cracker!) might be a precious artifact, but I think you stay clearly in the realm of its importance to HER, and let the rest of it stay to our imaginations. Well done.

Aaron Wilson said...

Kids. Why won't they listen. Nice work. I believed the story.

Deb Smythe said...

You really took me back. I loved hunting for "treasure" in the woods as a kid. Nice job.

fairyhedgehog said...

bekbek, thank you! I'm glad the story worked for you.

Aaron, they never do.

Deb, glad it took you back to happy memories.

Michael Morse said...

Nothing like rummaging through your treasure box looking for your favorites! I loved that line, and still do stuff like that, only my treasure box is now filled with tools.

Don't cry for me, though Argentina...the next time I'm rummaging around for a Phillips head screwdriver I'll be thinking of that ring!

Sandra Cormier said...

Some of my childhood treasures are simple like that. I have a pewter ring that doesn't hold its shine as long as I'd like, but the Algerian hand symbol speaks to me.

A sweet, charming story!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Wonderful job, Gina!

I love the treasure hunt through the box, looking for her very favorites amongst her favorites. I also loved that it's what's important to her that makes it a real treasure and not what "value" it might have in the adult world.

Took me to the place that the ring is cursed and that will be the rest of the story.

fairyhedgehog said...

Michael, thank you! I like the idea of a tool box full of treasures.

Sandra, thank you. The silver birch twig was an actual treasure of mine when I was little.

Sarah, thanks! You have a wonderful imagination, I would never have taken that next step and thought of a curse!

J. Elis Morgan said...

Love how she presented the last treasure as an afterthought when it's actually the valuable one.

Despite that, kids always know what the true treasures are - the ones with the memories attached. Well done!

Vincent Kale said...

I liked the clean simplicity of this story. You really got me with one simple moment: when Kate reaches for the diamond ring and Anna hesitates. In that briefest of instances, I know what Anna and Kate's futures are going to be like.

"All that is gold does not glitter."

Great story!

fairyhedgehog said...

JEM, thank you! I've just popped over to your blog and I love the look of it!

Vincent, thank you! I hadn't thought of it like that. By the way, I like the celebration of punctuation on your blog!

Catherine Vibert said...

Oh, this brought a great smile. I love the scene you painted, and the ending is delicious. Someday when she grows up, she's going to realize what she's got. Let's just hope she hangs on to it!

fairyhedgehog said...

Thanks, Catherine. I'm glad you liked it.

Love the pictures on your blog!