A scratchpad for photographic and literary ideas

You are currently browsing the archives for September, 2010.

10/1/10 – When Sorry Works (part 1)

Beverly didn’t notice that she had stopped breathing. She didn’t feel her legs going weak and slowly folding beneath her. She didn’t realize that she was sitting on the floor where a moment earlier she had been standing.


She heard a voice, small and far away. Someone. It didn’t matter. What did matter was the glass fragments spread like stars on the black marble tiles.

Her own voice, a single note resounding through the empty space between the stars in front of her, “Oooooooooooo…”


The voice does not belong to the empty.


It belongs to Doug… Doug… “Doug!”

“Mom, Mom are you OK?”

She looks at her son then back at the shattered crystal on the floor. No bluebird and now no nest. She should sweep up the pieces before someone cuts them self but she only has enough energy to sit and look.

Moments ago, her father’s bird’s nest glass sculpture was sitting on a high shelf. The nest was half of a piece that he called The Bluebird of Happiness. She had his sketches and, if he had lived long enough to finish, it would have been exquisite.

He died after completing the nest but before starting on the bluebird.

The sculpture was to be a gift for her, a single mother who worked hard to provide for her son. Whenever she complained about things in her life her father would remind her of the story of the happy bluebird. The sculpture was to be his constant reminder.

No day passed when she did not look at that empty nest. The love it held lightened even her worst days. Seeing it shattered took everything out of her.

“Doug, what happened?”

The boy tries to speak through his tears. “I-I-I was trying to h-help.”

She looks around the room and notices the paper towels, the Windex and the ladder leaning at an odd angle against the shelves.

“I was going to w-w-wash the w-w-windows. The l-ladder s-s-slipped …”

“Did you fall, Doug? Are you alright?”

“I’m f-fine, Mom… I-I-I’m s-s-sorry.”

As Doug speaks the air in the room begins to vibrate silently. An electricity, like an impending lightning strike, causes the hair on their arms and on the backs of their necks to rise up. Light and sound begin to slow as if time itself was taking a deep breath and holding it.

Glass fragments begin to tremble and glow from within. A soft wind moves through the room carrying the scent of springtime rain and the sound of distant wind chimes.

Their skin tingles as the sounds swirl around them.

In a single motion, pieces of glass rise up, swirling and shimmering like a school of needle fish. Round and round, faster and faster, sending out rainbow colors of reflected light.

Chimes come together in a single chord and as time exhales the glass sculpture reassembles itself inside a spray of pure white laser lights as it moves back up onto the shelf.

To Be Continued…