Story Is a State of Mind: Prompt

Prompt: Write about a character who has an interesting collection.

Sharon ran her hand across the dusty shelves, breathing in deeply. The musty scent of time couldn’t mask the odor of decaying eggs that permeated the room. At the very end she picked up a broken egg shell and peered deep into the murky interior.

“This was my Herona,” she told the small boy trailing behind her. The many shelves of hatched eggs unnerved him beyond anything he’d previously thought possible.

“So, why was it boarded up?”

The shell cracked ever so slightly in her hand. “It was done by those who do not understand. Who think they know so much of life and death but have no knowledge of birth and love.” In the following pause, she seemed about to say something.

“They won’t… they…” The boy’s voice got too small to continue, but Sharon turned a pitying gaze on him.

“No, the dead do not return. Once gone is always gone.” She returned the broken shell to the shelf and then stretched to the tip of her toes to reach the top. “But this one…” Dust fell in fits from her searching hand as she sneezed and squeezed her eyes shut. A sigh of relief was broken by a dusty cough as she pulled something down and hid it in her robe.

“Let us be gone,” she said, moving quicker than she had all morning. At the entrance to the room, she looked back over her shoulder one last time and mourned her collection. Each hatched egg had once carried a cooing companion, alive with warmth and color. Some feathered, some scaled and some a mixture of everything imaginable. All long dead in the purging, even their memory smudged by the Fathers. But not quite gone, never forgotten by Sharon and those who had known the creatures best.

At the entrance to the now-buried house, Sharon considered hiding the evidence of her “trespassing.” Hard to seriously call it that since it was her house to begin with. She decided to do nothing about the evidence of forced entry. With what she had taken from the ruined home, everyone would know what she had done soon enough.


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