Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Envelope

Janna posted a writing prompt a couple days ago based on a photo of a letter. I thought I'd share what I wrote. It's inspired by my gramma, who's still very much alive. :)

The Envelope

The handwriting caught my eye, and my hand froze over the book. The tattered envelope stood upright between the open pages, beckoning to me. I peeked inside. Would it still be there after all this time?

The brittle seed slid out of the envelope, and I smiled as the scent of roses surrounded me.

As a kid I leapt with joy when a new letter arrived. It wasn't her words that I looked forward to, it was the surprises she'd tuck between the pages. Pieces of cinnamon gum, stickers for my notebook, and my favorite – the helicopter seeds that came from the tree in her backyard. Over and over, I'd throw the seeds into the air, then tilt my head back as they showered down around me, the scent of her roses still clinging to the paper-thin husks. When they'd scattered too far to collect, I'd unfold the letter and feel her presence wash over me.

I wish I could be there with you.

All my love,
Gramma


The surprises changed as I grew older. Five dollar bills replaced the gum, gift cards replaced the stickers. But every so often an envelope would arrive stuffed with helicopter seeds, and I'd race outside to throw them in the air, imagining her by my side.

The letters stopped, as I knew they one day would. Sometimes I'd pass a tree with the seeds still clinging to the branches and I'd lift my face towards them, hoping to bring her back.

19 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

I can picture the helicopters floating down around me!

Great job.

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Janna. My gramma really used to send me those. :)

Robin said...

I love it! You're gramma was pretty creative. That was a cool thing to send you.

Turkey Lurkey said...

Beautiful post! I like your entry. (Looks guilty for not writing one) I love those seeds too. I make paper ones for the kids, but it isn't the same. Thanks for sharing this. She sounded like a wonderful woman.

Robin said...

(He Robin) You're a very talented writer. I can't wait to read your book.

spyscribbler said...

Wow, Melanie! I really admire flash fiction, especially this one! It's perfect, so heart-touching. It feels like poetry.

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Turkey. Do you happen to know what they're really called?

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Robin. :) It's coming along, sloooooowly...

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Spy!

I should re-emphasize that my gramma is still alive and reads this blog!

Melanie Avila said...

Ooh Robin, I skipped over you. :) She sent them for YEARS!

colbymarshall said...

That's so sweet. I still have a coat f my grandmother's with peppermints in the pockets she kept there. I refuse to take them out, because it just feels like keeping a bit of her with me.

Great story!

Melanie Avila said...

Colby, have you mentioned her coat before? That sounds familiar to me. I wish I really had one of her envelopes - maybe I'll have her send me one this spring. :)

Turkey Lurkey said...

I believe Sycamores and Maples make seeds like that.

Melanie Avila said...

Ahhh.... I believe she had a maple in her backyard, so that makes sense. Thanks. :)

WendyCinNYC said...

That was nice. Great job.

Missing grandma now.

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Wendy. :)

gypsyscarlett said...

Really beautiful, Melanie.

Fantastic.

Nadine said...

I loved it!! I could really feel all of it - You are so talented!!

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Gypsy & Nadine. :)