Lavender Ribbons

The mice watched as the woman, no longer young, removed the small black piece of flat plastic from her machine. She tossed it into the drawer with the others then slumped sighing back into her chair. She seemed more tired than usual this day, though the well traveled paths of her solitary life had not at all altered. She stood and turned to go kitchen- ward for tea and toast as she always did after writing. But on this day, as weak sunlight slanted across the floorboards, she fell and did not rise.

She was discovered soon enough, before the mice had found courage to approach too closely and before the odor of the room was much more than over-sweet.

There was a brief stir; people coming, people going. A very large man in blue giving orders to everyone in a too loud voice that grated on the ear and was ignored. She would have snubbed him thoroughly, with such needle-fine delicacy that he wouldn’t have realized that he was bleeding. Then soft heatless cursing as her black pieces of plastic were discovered. Several tried to read them on the machine she had always used. But she had instructed them to keep their secrets from prying eyes and they would not relent. So they were discarded, still locked, with the wastepaper and removed.

Only the mice knew the beauty and power they held, gone now. And only they knew that she had always called her black plastic pieces by the name, strange even for her, of “lavender ribbons”.

Word Count 265

26/June/1999

What if Emily Dickenson had been writing on a computer?

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