WARNING: The author of this blog is a terrible copy editor. Furthermore, he has no assistant, no lackey, no trained monkey, nor magic robot to help edit these blogs. They are written and posted with little or no review. Read at your own risk!

Started as a blog, this site now is home to an ever-growing archive of stories. Most have been published somewhere, a few haven't. Personal blogs entries might still happen occasionally but it's not very likely.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Story Archive | The Old Quilt

I wrote “The Old Quilt” for one of Lascaux’s flash fiction contests and, to my surprise, I was one of seven finalists out of more than 240 entries. The story was based on a visual prompt—a color collage that looked a lot like a stained-glass window.

Originally published on LascauxFlash.com, Sept. 2012.

The Old Quilt

By Lee Wright
The quilt was made by my great-grandmother.  She turned ninety-nine the week before I was born and didn’t live to see my fifth birthday.  To me, she will always be a short, stooped, wisp of a woman with thin, silver hair, a hard jaw, and cloudy blue eyes.  Dressed always in a simple, gray housedress, she was a quiet, near-ghost, still and introverted, somewhat frightening to us children.  I never knew her as the woman who lost three sons to war, two to the mines, one to drink, and one in youth to God only knows what.  I have only vague, sometimes contradictory, three-generation-old stories of her time at the front tending the wounded.  I’m told that, somewhere, in a trunk at my aunt’s house, there is a yellowed letter from a President now decades dead thanking my illiterate great-grandmother for her service.
Remembering bulbous purple knuckles, barely capable of pinching a cheek, it’s hard for me to imagine her sitting, night-after-night, in a hand-hewn rocker, working by candlelight to assemble this quilt from the scraps of the hand-me-down and homemade clothes her ill-fated children had worn until they could be worn no more.  But, nearly a century later, the stitches are tight, the edges only lightly frayed, the colors muted but warm.
My child, born to a child, will know even less of me, but I take comfort in the fact that, before saying goodbye, I swaddled her in the colors of a hundred autumns.

© 2012 Lee Wright

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