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Rated: 13+ · Non-fiction · Biographical · #2251057
The forces of Man and Nature cannot be denied. No Dialogue contest May 2021
It's an ordinary weekday morning. I'm sitting in front of my computer, sipping on my first coffee as I browse my favourite internet people and places. Right in the middle of a most interesting post, early morning sniffles happen from the steam of the coffee, and I grope hopefully in my dressing gown pockets. I really don't want to have to stir from my comfy spot, one leg propped on the knee of the other (in sternly ordered, precise typing pose as taught, way back when… uhrr NOT!), to get a tissue from the other room.

I'd lay down valuable odds pockets will be empty… but I'm wrong. There IS something. It IS a tissue. One solitary, ever-so-slightly used tissue. A flimsy and most unlikely scrap to build a story from, surely? And yet, memories are stirred, and like a breeze through autumn trees, ideas — like those gorgeous leaves, start to fall around me. Think I'll take a moment to swish through them, as though I'm a little kid again.

Floating along on my gurgly grey matter comes the time Mum and I went to a morning movie session at her local suburban picture theatre. A generous morning tea, home-baked by the local Red Cross Ladies auxiliary (or maybe the Country Women's Assoc. They took it in turns back then, both producing equally delicious delights!). This delectable routine preceded the main event — this time, a BIG screen showing of 'The Horse Whisperer'.

As a rescuer extraordinaire of animals from time immemorial (and only too well remembering all the dogs I 'rescued' out of their driveways on my way home from school, describing them to my Dad the butcher, as poor lost, starving souls in desperate need of meat scraps, a bone maybe?) My attraction to EVERY animal pic. or story was irresistible, with none too traumatic for me! Heck, I'd fairly 'teethed' on my brother's book of Famous Dog Stories when I was left as custodian to them and his dog when he enlisted in the Navy. On this day of THE movie, the trouble was I totally forgot the practicalities of bringing adequate mop-up supplies for what I correctly guessed would be a super sniff'n sob'n story.

When the film's shocking accident happened SO early in the film and the appalling damage to young woman and beast became apparent, the eyes naturally filled and overflowed, and the sniffles began… in earnest. Already imagining what was ahead, the agony was acute.

Mum saw my lack, and sought to solve my plight, by fossicking in her pockets AND handbag, to finally come up with the princely treasure of ONE. WHOLE. UNUSED tissue. Phew! I blearily nodded and grasped my lifesaver thankfully. In the flickering reflections of the horrific disaster, my dear old Mum's eyes unmistakably expressed great amusement at witnessing the return of her chief Drama Queen!

By some amazing stroke of serendipity, or fate (or as I gratefully felt… 'divine intervention'), we survived the teary swim-through, my mother and I, with my puffy, now-naked-of-makeup eyes and that one tissue affording her what I viewed as bizarre and unfeeling entertainment.

It was quite some time in the future before she shared with me her great joy in telling the story far and wide, embellishing it NOT a little… and always ending with a statement about her wildest dreams not imagining one small tissue could hold SO many tears.

This morning in front of my computer, my confidence is renewed that I can confidently make one small blow for man, one giant hurricane for tissuedom.


(600 words)
(include the word 'joy')
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