General Fiction posted September 11, 2014 Chapters:  ...2 3 -4- 5... 

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Lucille begins to clean out her parents bedroom

A chapter in the book FRIDAYS

Friday, Sept 8th (Part One)

by Fridayauthor

A reclusive school teacher, recently freed from an ailing mother, is talked into keeping a diary by a caring priest. He feels for her assumed grief but she is content with her new-found freedom in her
     Friday Number Four, September 8th  (Part One)
     Hurray for life! It is indeed sweet! It's difficult to explain that I'm two months behind in reading my National Geographic, my house is becoming overridden by ambitious spiders whose cobweb construction is unparalleled, and my garden cries for attention. Dust balls rumble beneath my bed while my mop lays idle. Nevertheless, I'm unconcerned. At least I'm taking time to pen these pages lest I leave this book with the opinion the writer is always as maudlin as last Friday. This is another week and I am another Lucille Peabody, giddy with joy!
     On Saturday I rose at dawn and went directly to my parents' room, beginning my dreaded task of cleaning it out without the fortification of either breakfast or coffee. I bit my lip and entered the forbidden territory, their hallowed quarters, as if it were as common as the kitchen.
     I tackled the dresser first. Perfume bottles, dried to a brown stain on their bottoms, sat upon a lace doily. The mirror was entwined at the top in a decade of dried palm fronds, remnants of pre-Easter Sundays long since passed, while small funeral remembrance cards were tucked in the edges like a halo. And the bell.
     In her last months, Mother would summon me with the tinkle of this small brass bell. I am looking at it now, this thing that kept me chained to a dying bed so long and so often. It stands about six inches tall and its handle is in the form of a rooster. Years have tarnished it to darkness but in no way diminished its obnoxious, demanding ring. I've failed to include it in either my pile of trash or my stack of donations. I can't answer why. I surely hate the damned thing and want it out of my new life. It stands as a reminder of the past and perhaps, if I become strong enough, my ability to put those days behind me.
     Amy has called upon me to fling the bell as far as I can. On one of my seaside walks, I carried it along, tinkling in my purse. But try as I might, I couldn't move myself to pitch it into the sea. I have stripped it of its small clapper, forever silencing its inpatient ring. Little Lucille is making progress, albeit sluggishly.
     I cautiously opened the dresser drawers. They smelled of Yardley's Old English Lavender and moth balls, but contained little. There was ancient underwear, slips and bras unused for ages, not to mention scores of carefully wrapped trinkets and glass figurines.
     Mother was a hoarder of knick-knacks. A lifetime of little glass pitchers and statues cluttered our house, with the excess packed away in every nook and cranny. They were the fallout of numerous Christmases, birthdays and Mother's Days. Their sole purpose appeared to be giving my mother something to do; dusting the mass of junk at least weekly, as long as she was able.
     “It’s Thursday, Lucille. Dust.” Though in my thirties, I’d dutifully drop what I was doing and comply.
      Now, with the turning of my new leaf, the collection is history. I packed all but the few of the items in boxes and donated the lot to Whitcomb School on Saturday afternoon. The soccer team is having a sale and my offering should make them Olympic contenders! Thus, more memories left Hawthorne Street, in the dust of a retreating Radio Flyer, towed away by the happy kickers.
     You might ask why I am so willingly divesting furniture and trinkets on a gratuitous basis when I am obviously not wealthy and the items would fetch at least a modicum of garage-sale dollars that might be put to good use. While I am not tight with charity, neither am I overly frivolous with my limited funds. These household items presented another problem. To sell them acknowledged their value, while my chief aim was to quickly bid them good riddance.
     My concerns about the room proved to be unfounded. Why the premises were so sacred for so many years seems silly now. Even the closet held no secrets beyond dusty coats, moth-eaten sweaters and more carefully wrapped glassware. Aside from the glass, nothing I’d even consider for charity.
     Mother had specified in her will that Emily and I should share her clothing, going so far as to specify some of the more prized items, valued in her mind only, and listing which of her daughters should have them. When I suggested to Emily after the funeral we should perhaps share the task of going through the clothing, she laughed out loud as if I were joking.
     “Only if you need help in pitching the junk in the trash,” she chortled.
     A dozen closet boxes contained old Christmas cards, decades of them. I wondered if some of my early crayon-drawn offerings were saved among them but I wouldn't look. I heaved the lot in the trash. Other containers were stuffed with stacks of papers, all of which seemed boringly mundane. Important documents of our household had always resided in a parlor desk and none of these papers looked important. I put three of the boxes with less identifiable contents aside for later study and chucked the rest, just before Mr. Gold, the scavenger arrived. I'm seeing a new room emerge, a place devoid of death and darkness, brighter now with open blinds and absent its furnishing. I’m looking forward to utilizing the space for my study.
     By Sunday I had recovered from my blue-funk-mood, ready to face school with my usual enthusiasm and, by gum, I did. I've spent the past week at Whitcomb Elementary, amid furniture scarred with eighty years of initials. Above me stared George Washington on one side and Abraham Lincoln on the other, while I played and cavorted with my new little charges, packing their eager brains with a wealth of knowledge! It was a fine week indeed! I barely gave a thought to the prospect of another Friday night.

Earned A Seal Of Quality

Lucille is age thirty-seven and a near-recluse. Her mother has recently died. Lucille is redoing her lifetime family home in an effort to be rid of the ghosts of the past. A friendly priest has strongly suggested she record her thoughts and feelings in a diary. She reluctantly accepted having Friday evening dinners with a church acquaintance, Mr. Anderson.
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