A new Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie challenge has come on the scene:
“I, Dylan, will happily be taking on every other Friday’s prompt within Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. This prompt will alternate with another on Fridays. I would like to continue the first line tradition of Lorraine’s Finish Off Fridays, so with little ado…
I’ll provide the first line, you get to write whatever comes afterward. Length, genre, and structure is completely up to you. You have a week to write it, enjoy!”
So here goes. with Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday
“The music box sat on the shelf for years until he walked in.” The phrase stuck in my mind, I had to remember it so I repeated it often, “The music box sat on the shelf for years until he walked in.” until I knew it by heart. I’d been on one of my sort-of regular hikes and could hardly wait to get home and tell Jean, she was the literary half of the family. I was just a math teacher at the same highschool. She led the drama department, and the facilitator of the drama club.
As I came in from the garage Jean rushed up, “How was your hike?” and threw her arms around me.
What a greeting, so I reciprocated and just blurted out “The music box sat on the shelf for years until he walked in.”
With that opening she looked quizzically at me, but in the all the years she’d know me it was about what she expected. “Tell me more, but first I have a question for you. How would you feel about being married to a grandmother?”
“What kind of question is that? Are you saying what I think you are saying?”
With a big smile she said “Yes, I heard from Brian, Suzzy is expecting! We’re future grandparents. Now tell me about your hike and the music box, I guess they are related.”
I started the story, “It was getting on to mid day, and I was getting hungry and needed a pit-stop. I came across a trail I hadn’t seen before, other years I’ve made this hike it’s been late summer, when all the leaves are out, but since it’s only late March now I had a whole new vista. Anyway, I’d walked a few hundred yards off the main trail when I came to a clearing wuth an old stone chimney and some stone steps. After I finished the pit-stop I went back to the steps and had lunch. That was the best sandwich I’ve ever had. What was in it?”
Jean grinned and said, “I’m not telling, it’s my secret.”
“So I have to keep you around, I’m not going to trade you for anyone else even if you’re a grandma. Your lunches beat anything. Well, back to the chimney. As I sat there eating I noticed some leaves bunched up on a ledge over the fireplace. Curiosity got the best of me, so I climbed up for a look. Under the leaves, and some old nest was this box. At first I thought it might be a music box or maybe a treasure-chest. But no, just a rough box.”
“Show me!” Jean was excited.
“It’s in the bottom of my pack. Let me finish the story first. It was a rough box, I could build better in my shop with power tools, but it looked old. Inside I found two things scratched” I said.
“I love you Gran” and “B ’37”
“That’s all?” Jean asked?
“Yup, that’s it. I’m wondering what the ” ‘ ” is replacing, 17, 18, or 19″ It could be very old, the outside of the box is in pretty bad shape, rot and mold. It could be made of Osage Orange or Locust – those woods last almost forever.” I replied.
“And that made you think of that line?” she asked.
Nodding in the affirmative, “Well I first thought of it as a Music box, I may not have been first it’s been there for years, and I was hardly coming ‘in’ but I thought you might be able to have your students use it in one of their writing assignments.”
“Hmmm ‘The music box sat on the shelf for years until he walked in.’” Jean repeated, “It has some possibilities. I like it. I have some steaks and wine ready. Now you get cleaned up. Then let’s have dinner.”
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