The Snowglobe

Thunk.

Sherri just didn’t have the fortitude to investigate the clunk that came from the den. She waited, listening. Silence. She decided to ignore it.

Pulling the blanket off the back of the couch, Sherri snuggled under it and debated turning up the heat. No. Too many envelopes sat, unopened, on her desk. Second Notice. Final Notice. Angry red letters that screamed – pay up! She wondered if the food was good in debtor’s prison. She snorted. Too bad that wasn’t a thing anymore. She was one bill away from living in her car.

Her head throbbed. Half an hour. That’s all Sherri had before her second job at the diner. Hopefully the power nap would help. It wouldn’t be enough to do anything about the purple smudges under her eyes though. God bless Revlon.

Mimi would have told her to put used teabags under her eyes. But that meant drinking the tea first. Vile, disgusting, bitter tea. Blech. God, she missed Mimi so much. Sighing, Sherri sank into the memory of her grandmother. It was warmer than the threadbare blanket.

Perched, straight-backed on the edge of her chair, Mimi refused to lean back. It wasn’t proper. Ankles crossed and hands folded in her lap, she was the image of propriety. Until you noticed the glint of mischief in her dark eyes. A small box, wrapped in blue and gold, sat before her on the scuffed table.

Sherri swallowed and forced the words around the lump of unshed tears in her throat. “Mimi. I have to tell you something.”

Mimi waited.

“So, you know how I went to the doctor’s the other day?” Once Sherri got going, the words rushed out, an uncontrolled torrent. “They did an amniocentesis. Big needle. Very scary. Anyway. The test came back this morning. There’s something wrong with the baby.” Indignant, the baby kicked. Hard.

Mimi waited.

“Down Syndrome.” The tears threatened, but Sherri blinked them back, refusing to succumb. “He’ll never be normal.”

Mimi pushed the blue package across the table. “Open it.”

Sherri peeled back the paper. Inside there was a plain brown box. She hesitated and Mimi raised her eyebrows, urging her on. Sherri flipped open the lid and fished around inside. Tissue paper crinkled. She pulled out a snowglobe. Sparkling snow drifted around a bear sporting a navy baseball hat. At the base, scrawled in childish letters – World’s Best Great-Grandson.

Mimi reached over and rubbed a wrinkled thumb over the raised letters. “He’s perfect, Sherri Lynne.”

The tears Sherri had been choking back all day, broke like a damn.

Crash.

The racket tore Sherri out of the memory. Damn, she should have never left him alone. Leaping from the couch, she sprinted towards the den, heart in her throat. She burst through the door.

Robbie looked up at her, a goofy grin on his face. A large wet splotch spread across his shirt. Glitter and glass sparkled across the floor. “Look Mommy! I got him out!” He held out a chubby fist. “It took two times. It didn’t break the first time I dropped it.” He opened his hand to show her a small bear, wearing a navy baseball hat.

Sherri’s heart lurched. A lump grew in her throat. She blinked hard against the tears. The snowglobe. It had been the only gift Mimi had ever gotten her great-grandson. They had never had the chance to meet.

Small footsteps crunched through the glass. “What’s wrong Mommy? Don’t you like him?” His lower lip trembled.

Sherri pulled her son close and whispered, “He’s perfect, Robbie.”

Somewhere, in the great beyond, Mimi smiled.

9 thoughts on “The Snowglobe

  1. You portrayed Mimi very clearly through the descriptions of her, the dialogue, and the narrator’s remembrances. Robbie was slightly less clear for me. Other than knowing he is a small child and has been diagnosed with Downs Syndrome, we don’t really get much of a picture of him. Similarly, the narrator never fully materialised for me either. It’s evident that she misses Mimi, but there are glimpses that she internalised some of Mimi’s optimism and pragmatism. It would have been good to see those emphasised a little more. I love that you chose a snowglobe; something so ubiquitous and fragile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes – although Robbie was a crucial element to the story it wasn’t really *his* story, so I definitely glossed him over by design. Disappointing that you didn’t connect to Sherri though. I’ll have to ponder how to make her stronger, should I decide to do anything else with this.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with Cyn K: it was a cool use of the prompt. I enjoyed the timing of how you wove the current action and the memory together.

    One suggestion I’d make: I think “He’s perfect, Robbie.” would be a great line to end on and that you doesn’t need the line afterward.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love the relationship the narrator has with Mimi — it’s very clear how much they love each other. I also very much identify with the narrator working her tail off for her child, as that’s pretty much what drives my every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very natural use of the prompt. Mimi is very clear in my head; and the voice of the narrator gave me sufficient clues to picture her, or maybe to liken her to someone I know who would talk like that. My one suggestion would be to do an editing sweep for repeated turns of phrase. “Lump in throat” and “choking back” were used a few times in quick succession. Otherwise, very nice work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • True enough – I noticed the lump lines after I submitted, but figured editing wasn’t fair game. I was trying for images that would bookend the similar feelings in the two sections but managed to be repetitive instead parallel. Ooops.

      Like

  5. I think you captured her exhaustion – and her reason for it – very well. I liked the difference in tone between the current action and her memories of Mimi. On a technical note, a few of your phrases are a bit cliche and repetitive, in part because they’re so close together: heart in her throat, heart lurched, lump in her throat. You might explore other ways to convey these emotions.

    Liked by 1 person

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