Objects of Power


This is a fictional story responding to a prompt by Peregrine Arc. This is the start of the prompt though I have reduced the length of the original prompt. For the original prompt in its entirety please go to the following url:https://peregrinearc.com/2019/04/27/may-writing-prompt-the-choice-of-three/


I shivered as I sat on the front porch steps of the decrepit old Victorian house, sipping lemonade, chomping on carrot sticks and massaging knots in the back of my neck. I had been pushing a rusty lawn mower in front of the house all morning and still had about half an acre of bumpy lawn and gopher holes to mow. The downpour came suddenly forcing me inside the vacant house. Standing in the doorway, glowering at the rain I heard a muffled noise coming from inside the house. The noise peeked my curiosity, I ventured further into the house exploring the rooms. I entered a room that seemed to have been an old nursery , complete with broken dolls and vacant stares. Sitting on a child’s dresser were three immaculate objects , a silver pocket watch, a gold candelabra and a strand of pearls. A small note, folded in a tent sits nearby on a rusted hand mirror, it reads:

You who so boldly enter this realm, lay down your tools and be away from this hell
But should you still keep Adams vain, stay awhile and forego your shame
An object of three you see with your mortal eyes. Which one shall be your coveted prize.
This is my addition to the prompt.

I extended my hand towards the dresser and grasped the silver pocket watch. The room shimmered and changed and I found myself pacing up and down a hallway. The house was no longer decrepit, beautiful artwork adorned the walls and a magnificent chandelier adorned the ceiling. I glanced at my watch, it was 3:00 a.m.

She was supposed to be home at mid-night. I specifically told her mid-night, no later. I paced up and down, continually glancing at my pocket watch, growing increasingly agitated. There was the sound of a carriage in the driveway and I heard laughter. The front door opened and Mary entered, swaying slightly, giving me a challenging stare.

“I specifically asked you to be home by mid-night”, I thundered.

Mary gave a slight hiccup and burped silently, ” I was having fun and forgot the time. Do you still remember what fun is or has age stolen it from you. I will not be spoken to like a child”.

“Keep your voice down” I replied “Emily is sleeping. Perhaps you should retire to your room and sleep it off. You are obviously drunk”.

” At least I had some fun”. She shouted ” You do remember what fun is. At least Johnny Thorpe is a fun fellow, I had great fun with him at the party dancing all night. You never pay any attention to me. You only married me to baby sit your brat”.

It was then I noticed her slightly smeared lipstick and the grass stains on the side and back of her gown. I stormed away, checking in on Emily sleeping peacefully in the nursery before retiring to my room.

I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, thinking of Rose. We had been extremely happy, doting on each other. Emily coming into our lives had increased our happiness and we were content. Than four years ago Rose had suddenly died. That moment still held anguish and will be forever imprinted on my soul. We had invited a fellow lawyer Thomas and his daughter Mary for dinner. We sat around the table making merry when towards the end of the evening Rose suddenly grasped the ends of the table, stood and then crashed to the floor. We were unable to revive her.

I spent the months after Rose’s death completely lost. I had no idea how to take care of a child and Emily needed a mother. It was then that Thomas approached me with a proposition. He would be willing to give his daughter Mary in marriage if I agreed to offer him a half partnership in my thriving law firm. I agreed.

The decrepit old lady shuffled towards the open door of the equally decrepit Victorian house. We’re quite the match she thought. She had never seen the door open before and it was inviting her in. She crossed the threshold and started exploring the rooms. She peered into the nursery and spied a young man sprawled on the floor clutching a silver watch. She thought he was dead but saw that his eyes were continually twitching as if in a deep dream. It was then she noticed the golden candelabra and a strand of pearls sitting on the child’s dresser. She reached for the strand of pearls.

The room shimmered and changed and she found herself sitting at the dinner table. She was entertaining guests, Thomas and his daughter Mary. She knew that her husband liked Thomas, but she always thought he had a vain and shifty demeanor. She didn’t quite trust him. She though Mary was as vain as her father and rather shallow. However, for the sake of her husband, she entered into the spirit of the evening and laughed at the appropriate moments. Towards the end of the evening some instinct, deep within her soul, made her pay careful attention to the movements of Thomas. He had been continually trying to distract her with conversations concerning the decor of the dining room. She fingered the strand of pearls around her neck while glancing at Mary flirting with her husband. Mary was batting her eye lashes and trying to draw admiring comments from him.

” That’s a wonderful painting” Thomas pointed to Mary’s left “Did you know the artist”.

Rose half turned to view the painting and out of the corner of her eye saw Thomas reaching over casually to slip some powder into her wine. Rose appeared not to notice and continued her conversation with Thomas. Discussing her views on art with Thomas, she waved her hands dramatically knocking over the wine glass and spilling the contents onto her dress.

“I’m so clumsy” she said ” I’ve ruined a perfectly good dress. You’ll have to excuse me while I go and change”.

Rose’s husband tiring of the tedious conversation with Mary took this as an opportunity to end the evening’s entertainment and showed Thomas and Mary to the door while Rose changed her dress. Later that evening Rose told her husband that she had caught Thomas slipping a powder into her wine. Her husband was furious but Rose talked him into ignoring the incident and they agreed that they would never see them again.

” What did I ever see in that blasted fellow” said her husband ” He was always nagging on about entering into partnership with me. I kept refusing and now I’m glad I did”.

Before they retired for the night they looked in on Emily sleeping peacefully in the nursery. Hugging each other closely, they counted their blessings in having such a beautiful child and each other.

The young man pushed the lawn mower over the pristine grass, detouring around the spring flower beds when required. He waved his hand in greeting to the decrepit old lady shuffling along on the far side of the road. Finishing his job he walked up to the door of the elegant Victorian mansion and rang the bell.

“I’m finished Mrs. Nightingale. Shall I come next week as usual”

‘Yes please Jimmy” replied Mrs. Nightingale ” How much more do you need to save for the camera”.

” Another three weeks, should do it Mrs. Nightingale. You are very generous”.

Emily smiled at Jimmy and closed the door.

Objects of power absorb psychic abilities that can change yours and other peoples destiny. Be careful what you touch.

12 thoughts on “Objects of Power

  1. Dun dun dunh! That ending paragraph gave me chills (literally) and I was very warm when I read this. Well done. I enjoyed the combination of perspectives you took with this and the objects you decided to pick. One wonders if the old lady could’ve been holding the candleabra at the end or if it could’ve been sitting in an open window, lit, and staring down. Oh, the imagination is fun to explore. Thanks again! ☺️☺️

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    1. Thanks for your kind comments. I was toying with the idea of having the old lady go inside and start cleaning the candelabra as an ending……but then I thought what if there is still some residual psychic power attached to the object and things started going in another direction. So I left it alone.

      Liked by 1 person

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