Price and value

You know mom, diamonds are not actually very valuable. Its all just an artificial hype. Consumerism at its best. You sure wasted a lot of money on that.

Trying to keep a nonchalant face, I look at the diamond on my finger. Big, shiny, expensive. The envy of so many. It looks so beautiful and desirable from the outside, that we often forget that if you ever took it in, it could kill you. One of the hardest materials, it makes a perfect cutting tool.

Yes, this diamond was the perfect reflection of the man who gave it to me.

Little does my son know, it’s not just money but an entire youth that was wasted on this.

I tried to slip it off, but after so many years, it was almost as if it had fused into my hand, become an inseparable part of me. It would be hard to take it off. But not impossible.

I soap up my finger, twisting and yanking. Slowly and painfully, inch by excruciating inch, I finally get the ring off. Wiping it clean, I carefully wrap it in soft tissue, and firmly shut it away in a box.

Pack up your things, darling. We are going to go stay with grandma for a few days.” I tell my precious son.


The 12th Scrivener’s Forge exercise in creativity, challenges us to write a scene in which we take two unrelated things and make one flow from the other.

I’ll admit that I am a little confused about what exactly is expected, but this is my attempt.

Ma

This is my response to the 11th exercise in The Scrivener’s Forge on point of view, examining an incident from the point of view of two different characters.

The incident is that the son, who is at college, was supposed to visit home, but didn’t.

Tring Tring…

I have been like a fish out of water all day. Why didn’t he come home? Perhaps he’s sick. Linda says there is a terrible flu going around. “Hello.”

Hi ma.” he answers in a hushed voice. “What’s up?”

Nothing really. You said that you would come home last weekend but you didn’t.” I try to keep the panic out of my voice.

Sorry ma. Got busy. Assignments. You know how it is.”

Thank God its not the flu. But he should have at least given me a call. He knows I worry. I will never understand what that boy has against picking up the phone and talking. He has all the patience in the world to chat with his friends on WhatsApp.

Ma?” he breaks through my reverie.

I miss you.”

Ya.”

Huh! What kind of a reply is that? College has changed him. No regards for his mother’s feelings. “You’ve forgotten me.”

No ma.” I can hear the irritation in his voice, and my heart sinks further.

It’s understandable, I suppose. You don’t need me any more.” I blurt out. Great. Now he’s going to think I’m needy.

That’s not true, ma. I told you I had assignments to complete. You know that my scholarship is conditional on maintaining a GPA of at least 8.”

You work so hard. Are you eating properly?” He was looking sort of skinny last week. “I worry about you, you know.”

Don’t worry, ma. I’m fine. OK. I gotta go. Bye.” he hangs up abruptly. I didn’t even get around to asking him about next week. I know he’s a grown man now, but, an ‘I love you’ or a ‘See you soon’, is that too much to expect!

***

Shit, it’s mum. I forgot to tell her that I wouldn’t be coming.
Hello,” a frail voice comes through.

Hi ma. Whats up?” Was she sick or was she just irritated with me?

Nothing really. You said that you would come home last weekend but you didn’t.”

Ah! So it’s that. “Sorry ma. Got busy. Assignments. You know how it is.” To be fair, I never did say that I’d go, just that I would try, but then she always hears only what she wants to.
Silence. Man, she probably cooked a zillion dishes, and now she’s mad at me. “Ma?”

I miss you.” comes her soft rebuke.

Now I’m feeling guilty. I really really should have at least spoken to her. I almost tell her that I miss her too, but Professor Markinson passes by, so I offer up a bland “Ya.”

You’ve forgotten me.”

What the hell! “No ma.”

It’s understandable, I suppose. You don’t need me any more.”

That’s not true, ma.” Should I tell her about the extra job that I’ve picked up, or will that just make her worry more. “I told you I had assignments to complete. You know that my scholarship is conditional on maintaining a GPA of at least 8.”

You work so hard. Are you eating properly. I worry about you, you know.”

I can almost hear the tears. How do I end up hurting her so bad? This woman has slogged her butt off for me and she deserves better. It’s good that I did not tell her about the extra job just yet.
Don’t worry, ma. I’m fine.” This is a conversation that best be continued in person. Need to sit her down and explain. “OK. I gotta go. Bye.”

I’m definitely going home soon. I miss her bad.

Rapunzel

The Scrivener’s Forge Exercise 10 challenges us to re-write a well known fairy tale from the point of view of the bad guy.
What follows is Rapunzel’s tale from the point of view of the witch Dame Gothel….


Rapunzel

I run the long golden strands through my hands, soft like silk, thick like rope, recalling all the years I spent grooming them. The many hours spent oiling, massaging, combing, and braiding, the fierce pride that I felt to behold my Rapunzel with her long golden hair.

When I first held that golden haloed cherub in my arms, and those little lips quivered and tears as big as pearls lined the edges of her baby blue eyes, that was the moment that I fell in love with her, and as I held her against my bosom, I knew that it was preordained. Rapunzel was mine.

Ensuring her happiness became my mission. All her wishes were fulfilled. I taught her to read, write, sew, play the piano. She was everything I had hoped for. Loving, smart, joyous. She filled my life with song and laughter. Oh, what a divine voice she had. When she sang, the birds and angels came by to hear.
She was barely five when she got those god-awful chicken-pox. Every scream of hers cut through my heart like a whip. It did not matter how many days and nights I had to stay beside her, I realised I could never ever loose her. Her end meant my end.
When she crossed the threshold into adulthood, I knew that she was mine to protect. What does she know of this cruel world. What does she know of the base needs of man. One glimpse of her beauty and any man would ravage her. I was not going to allow her innocence to be plundered.

I told her that. I explained to her that she needed to remain in the tower for her own good. The world was not a safe place.

But what does she do. She lets down her hair and offers herself up to the first male who comes along. I should have known. All those years of grooming could not erase her lowly birth.

At the end of it all she turned out to be as devious as her thieving father.

I cut off her hair with my own hands.

She thinks I’m a cruel wicked witch. Let her. The foolish girl does not see how my heart aches. She does not hear my silent wails of betrayal.

I shall wait for him tonight. The plunderer who stole my Rapunzel from me. My knife will steal his life before he can steal her purity.