Write A Story About A Writer.
This story is the thirty-first in a series of explorations for my upcoming novel, Still Nameless (Kifo Island #8) , which I will be drafting in July.
Today marks the final story in my expedition to learn more about my pending novel’s characters. So it seems fitting that we’ve come full circle, all the way back to what began this series – a postcard of a tropical beach, written in lavender ink, and carrying a shocking, presumably impossible message.
It’s time to meet the author of that postcard, and learn something of the reason for it…
But, before we do that, please let me take this moment to thank everyone who came by to read some or all of this story. Things got a little crazy between physical and fictional realities, and I haven’t been as prompt at responding to comments as I’d like to be.
I’m going to take a few days of (relative) rest, though, and, during that time, comments will be high on my agenda, because I really do love reading and responding to them.
And now, I present…
Ophelia tapped the edge of the postcard on the play table. She looked at the clay, the sinks, the tools, the paints. It was all bright and lovely , and she had it pretty much to herself – the young woman who ran the place was out on the attached beach with her husband and twins.
She hated being here. It was so much like home. But so poisoned, to her mind, by everything that had happened here, ten years ago.
She had to know.
There was no way that Lavender could be alive. She’d held her while she died, while Marilyn was off in the bathroom shooting up her last-ever dose of opioid poison. She’d always wondered which of them had died first, or if it had been at the same time.
She also wondered why that mattered to her. Dead was dead; the end.
Unless, somehow, Lavender was alive.
The bells at the door tinkled, and it opened. A girl who looked barely into her teens came in.
She was blonde, blue-eyed – and she was wearing lavender – a sundress that slipped gently over new curves. She had a wide sunhat with a lavender band, and she looked around the room, then, apparently noticing Ophelia, she came right up to her table.
“I see you got my postcard,” she said, softly, ducking her head. “I wasn’t sure you would come.”
“Why did you write this? Who are you?”
“It would be easier to show you. Can I sit down?”
Ophelia nodded. She hadn’t expected a child – or someone who looked almost like Marilyn brought back to life the way she’d looked in some of those old family portraits in that mausoleum of a house where she’d grown up. Maybe she should be on her guard – but this girl could be Lavender – if Lavender had been a quick developer…
“I brought you a little gift. Maybe that will help me explain.” The girl reached into the handbag slung over her shoulder – it was made of denim, and trimmed with embroidered lavender flowers. She pulled out a long box, gift wrapped in silver paper with lavender hearts, and tied with a satin bow, also lavender. It seemed a bit like overkill, until Ophelia remembered being this age, and how forcefully she’d identified with certain things.
She took the package the girl offered. “Thank you.” A pause, and the child ducked her head. “With all my heart. Please open it.”
Ophelia did as the girl asked. Inside was a bed of – what else? – lavender tissue paper. When she lifted it, she discovered a purple stethoscope.
“I don’t understand. I’m not a doctor or a nurse.” She didn’t add that she also didn’t see what any of this had to do with Lavender.
“But you had a baby niece. Ten years ago. She died.”
“How do you know this? And why did you write this postcard?”
“I – didn’t know how to meet you. And I wanted to.”
“It’s been ten years. I thought you might want to hear your niece’s heart beating.”
What does the girl mean by that?
Who is she?
How does she know about Lavender?