The death of a school and her resurrection. My first contest entry.
| 623 words.|
A brief description: This story is written in the fantasy genre. A three room school has been demolished to make way for a modern school. A young boy visits her as she lies in the dust. Sadness and memories overwhelm him as his eyes touch her. These are his thoughts on her demise, and perhaps also the memories and thoughts of the school herself. When the two of them walk away as one, the school knows she has survived her destruction. She will live in his heart forever.
The Dustbin of Memories
There she sits. In her present state she is unable to welcome me. All that remains of her is the dirt which has sifted through the cracks in the porch floor to be deposited beneath her and a few small shreds of her body. But as I stand here, I sense the beat of her heart and smell the dust of another time as she exhales. The disassembled footprints of hundreds of long ago children hover over her as she strains to retain her memory, to remember my face.
She thinks as she cries and catches her tears in her palms so no one will see them. There he stands, one of my children. Once, I knew the names and faces of all the children of my heart, but that has all been altered. Here I am, one slip away from falling into the dustbin of forgetfulness, trying to resurrect the features of a young boy's face. I am trying so hard to call his name and tell him how much I love him. But my voice is useless now. You see, the men arrived on a Tuesday morning, wearing their yellow hats, and by four o'clock I had been demolished. Despite this event, I am still clinging to life. Can he see me even though I am now a ghost beneath the pale moonlight? I am ashamed for him to see me like this.
As I stand here among the scattered parts of her, the old, three room school sits in my mind. There beside her the 1949 Nash poses, seeming to be ready to spring from its haunches and carry Mrs. Hall away when she brings the key. I hear it sputtering to life. The ding of the cowbell taken from its nail and rang for the recess is a far sound now. Tears gather in my eyes and begin to walk down my cheekbones. I remember her. She was my first love.
How can I tell him my feelings? What can I say, and how can I say it? Yes, I recall him now. He was the boy who wadded up his schoolwork and stuffed it down one of my knotholes. I see your blue eyes sparkling, Jamie. It's so good to see you again. How have you been, and where have you traveled? I have missed you. Look over here, Jamie. Please don't go. Don't leave me here alone. May I come with you, Jamie? Please?
I will do it. I will make him hear me. I still linger here even though I am broken. I don't want to stay here any longer. Please help me, Lord. Despite her despair the once magnificent lady somehow bends her head, and her last tear evades her palms and falls upon a wadded up paper nestled among slivers of plasterboard and cobwebs. The closeness of her breath wafts the paper into motion. The boy sees it. He walks over, picks up the paper and unwads it. Peering out of the creases, his own name stares upon his face. The boy smiles. He stretches his hand toward the lady, and side by side they exit the dustbin of memories.