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Friday, January 7, 2011

The Pocketwatch

The following picture is photo prompt #41 over at  Thursday Tales.  It is called Pocketwatch by Kiara.  More of her work can be found here over at Deviantart.  Please drop by these links to explore more of other artists' work and for other tales.  The following short story is my take on this prompt...

Pocketwatch by Kiara

The Pocketwatch
I fumbled with the brown butcher paper as I unwrapped the small package that had arrived in the mail earlier that day.  Inside I found a small box and an envelope with my name on it.  I opened the small box and found a beautiful gold pocketwatch cradled in black velvet lining the inside.   Then I opened the letter...

Dear Corrine,
                  I am writing to you today to share the enclosed heirloom that was to be a gift to your father upon his return from the war.  As you know, now that you have grown into the beautiful young woman that you have become, your father never returned from the war.  Just days before you were born, the family was notified that he was MIA, a soldier lost to the unknown evils of war.  This gift was to be given to him as a young man, from his father, whom also did not return from the same war.  This, of course, can be one of the evils of military families, however, it is also one of the blessings, having such a love of our beautiful country, that one family could pass the honor of serving from generation to generation.
                  But alas, you are well aware of the family history, the history of the heroes that we have lost.  Your grandfather had wired me while he was overseas, knowing that his son would return before him, to secure this small package from our father, so I could insure that he would receive it upon the day of his return as a young man, a proud soldier.  I did as he asked, having our father send it right away with the enclosed letter along with it.  I have cherished this over the years and have waited for just the right time to pass it down the generations.  I believe that you will totally understand its meaning, and that this is the correct time to pass it on.
                                                    With love always,
                                                           Your great-aunt Corrina

Inside of this letter from my great-aunt was another envelope, one that had hints of yellowing as does paper over the ages.  The outside of the envelope showed only my father's first name... Collin.  As I opened this second envelope, my hands trembled, goosebumps running the length of my arms.

Dear Collin,
        I am writing this letter just hours after you have come into this world.  It was just this morning that I saw you for the first time, lying there in your mother's arms, our beautiful son.  I asked my father to select this pocketwatch for you (as you know, he was a clocksman, a keeper of time-pieces).  I have always held his fascination of time deep within my heart and look forward to being able to share this love of time with you also.  I have asked him to set it to exactly 7:51 for the moment you were born.  I shall hold this safe over the years, and when the time is right, I shall give it to you, just as he gave me his coveted pocketwatch when he felt I was old enough to understand its special meaning to this family.  Until then my beautiful son, I will hold you forever in my heart.
                                                             With all my love,
                                                                       Your devoted father, William

The tears flowed freely now from my eyes, a single tear landing on the yellowed paper just below his signature.  I sat down and stared blankly at the pocketwatch I was holding in my hand.  'Thank you Aunt Corrina, yes... yes I do understand the meaning this has had throughout the generations of our family.  Thank you, thank you.'

Written by
Petrina Lesko
January 2010

I am linking this tale over at Thursday Tales.  Thank you Yamini and Leo for inspiring us to share these wonderful shorts for all here in blogland.  And a special thanks to Kiara for lending us such an inspiring piece of art.


Friko said...

You do write some lovely stories.
I wonder, are any of them based on reality?

ds said...

I am crying now, too. Beautiful story. Thank you.

Jehanne said...

oh what a sad lovely story.

Rachel Hoyt said...

Ah, what a sad but lovely story. I wish it ended with her looking up to notice that she had read the letter at 7:51...

Vicki Lane said...

Something a little magical about timepieces! Nice story!

AleMaho said...

Yes, it's a bitter-sweet story.
Nice work!

Margaret Bednar said...

A fine tug at the heartstrings, this one. It feels "real".