First of all, Happy Easter, if you celebrate! During the month of April, I am serializing my fictional short story, “Pomegranates.” New parts are posted every Sunday morning this month (and yup, that includes Easter Sunday). Below are links to Parts 1 and 2. If you have not read them yet, please do so now:
Otherwise, please enjoy Part 3 of “Pomegranates.”
Pomegranates - Part 3
By: Shari Lopatin
Pomegranates, © Shari Lopatin, 2019. All rights reserved.
Thanksgivin’ came and went, and soon Christmas would arrive. The holiday was maybe two weeks away when Helen had her first garage sale since I moved in.
“Where’d you get all this stuff?” I asked, crossin’ the street to examine her multitude of trinkets, crafts, and quilts.
“I made it,” Helen said.
“All of it?”
“You better believe it.”
Baby Ruth wandered up to say hello, and I reached down to scratch her chin.
“She’s taken a liken’ to you,” Helen said.
“Well, she is a cute little thing. How’d you meet her?”
“Found her in my garage when she was a kitten. Her momma’d been attacked by coyotes and dragged her to my place. That poor mamma, she died a day later, so I bottle-fed Baby Ruth back to health. She’s been by my side ever since. That was what—ten years ago now?”
“What a great story,” I said, and knelt down to Baby Ruth’s level. She hopped onto my knee and I found myself gigglin’.
“She only does that when she’s really fond of someone,” Helen said.
I pet Baby Ruth and reveled in her gentle purrs. When she jumped off, I stood again. “Do you mind if I look around at your work?” I asked. “Maybe I’ll buy somethin’.”
“Sure, take your time.”
I began pokin’ through Helen’s garage and found myself tantalized by her crafts. Beautiful scarves knitted with expertise, wall-sized quilts stitched with scenes of sunsets and Saguaros, finely painted birdhouses, bronze-welded windchimes. It went on and on and on.
“Where did you learn to do this?” I asked, fascinated.
“My momma encouraged it,” she said, but didn’t reveal more. “The Mexicans, they like to come here on Fridays and buy in bulk, then sell south of the border.”
“You ever been to Mexico?”
I waited for an answer, but Helen only winked at me. “How are those pomegranates?” she asked.
I wished she’d answer my question, but I didn’t want to be annoyin’, so I let it go.
“They’re delicious,” I said. I could tell Helen took pride in makin’ others feel good and accepted. “I’ve been using them in salads. I’m goin’ to bake you some banana bread soon, as a thank-you.”
“No need. Just glad to bring a smile to your face.”
I spent more time meanderin’ through Helen’s crafts before settlin’ on the red-and-white birdhouse that hung from a yellow string. When I went to pay for it, Helen held up her hand.
“It’s yours,” she said. “A gift. You go on now and feed those baby birds.”
I wanted to hug her, but somethin’ in the way Helen spoke told me she wasn’t the huggin’ type. So I thanked her once again, and walked across the street back to my place.
I will publish the fourth and final part next week. If you don’t already, subscribe to my newsletter, Rogue Writer, and don’t miss the conclusion of “Pomegranates!”