Family Heirloom

Day 3 of my 15 day writing challenge is:

Write a story in which your character finds a family heirloom/artifact. Describe the object and its significance.


Betty couldn’t bear to have her grandmother’s house sold at auction, so she and her husband bought it.

The house was in pretty bad shape, but she loved to turn shabby things into something sheik. The first thing she and Bill attacked was clearing out the house. Her gran was a bit of packrat. Actually, the proper word is hoarder. As she and Bill were shoveling newspapers, food wrappers, water bottles, etc into trash bags Bill hit on a what sounded like a hollowed out part of the floor.

“Termites,” he said. “We’re going to have to get an inspector out here to see how much damage has been done.

It took Betty and Bill nearly three weeks to clear the place out. It was nearly restored to the house she remembered as a child. Her grandmother still had the same sofa and it still had the plastic cover on it. The cover was no longer clear. It was a yellow-brown. The dining room table was still there in all its glory. All it needed was a good scrub down and a bit of polish and it would be as good as new. Her china and silver were pristine. As Betty walked from room to room admiring her grandmother’s things she began to notice the floor dipped in some areas.

“Hmm. There must be a lot of termite damage,” she thought. But that doesn’t make sense because if there was termite damage than the living room would be in the basement, which she and Bill had completely forgotten about. She headed towards the basement afraid of what she might find. She flicked on the light and to her surprise it was immaculate. As she walked around the basement she noticed that some parts of the ceiling were higher than others. Perhaps to accommodate all the stuff.

One item stood out from the rest. She recognized it or at least thought she did. She doesn’t ever recall seeing it, but if it’s what she thinks it is, her grandmother told her stories about it. Whenever Betty’s grandmother talked about it it was as though she was reminiscing about a long-lost love. She would say in her thick Polish accent, “Before they took Mama away she shoved it my arms and made me promise to ‘take care of it, hide it so they won’t find it.” Her grandmother said  that she always wanted to get rid of it, but she always remembered her promise. And she took care of it for more than 70 years.

Betty took it from the shelf and held it in her hands. She had never seen anything like this before.  A handcrafted beer stein. It was beautiful. The detail. The carving was perfect. Betty ran her fingers across the raised images. When she held the stein up to the light and took a closer look, the people carved into it were eerily life-like. As she turned it around and took in each carving the people looked familiar.

She opened the stein to look inside and noticed an inscription. She thought that was odd, but then she remembered what her grandmother had said. “Mother said I had to keep it, protect it, hide it because our family history was in it. I never understood what she meant until I opened the lid. There in the lid was an inscription: ‘opiekun zagubionych dusz’ – the guardian or keeper of lost souls.”

As Betty looked closer at the stein she noticed one of the carvings looked like her uncle Filip who died two years ago in a car accident and another was the spitting image of her niece, Mary, who died as from sudden infant death syndrome nearly 11 years ago. There was even a carving of what looked like her grandmother who died less than 6 months ago. ‘How could this be?’ Betty thought. ‘It’s impossible. These have to be relatives from long ago.’

To Be Continued


***Note this story is not finished. I hit a wall and couldn’t get past it.

I found this site through another blogger (blabberwockying!). It’s called:
I Write Like. It’s pretty fun. I did  a few of my stories and it has thus far returned three different authors. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I guess it just means I don’t have a distinctive writing style.

This story came back as me having a writing style of:

Kurt Vonnegut

Ha! Thanks for the ego boost. 😎

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