Antique vase 537 words FCA

Fine dust rose from the wooden box as Daryl opened it. He unwrapped the shreds of heavy cloth from around the object. It was a tall, slender vase, packed well, much better than the usual junk he and his step brother, Mark bought sight unseen from storage compartments.

Buying the storage containers became the only tangential link between the two who were on different trajectories through life.

Money from the units floated enough to barely manage Mark’s heroin habit. Daryl scraped the money together for rent on the exhausted bungalow he shared with their mother and bought her meds with the extra cash. It was hit or miss but it maintained the thin trail of blood between them.

“A couple of moth-eaten kimonas.  Junk,” Mark swore, rifling through the box.

“Could we have them cleaned? Some people like to display them like on the wall. God, they stink.” He watched Mark shake out the heavy, patterned silk. They had been beautiful once

“Maybe, who knows.  We can try. What have you got?”

“Porcelain, old but it’s got a crack.”

“Can’t catch a break,” Mark breathed out. He raked his knuckles across his eyes.”I won’t have enough money from this to make my week.”

“Looks like I’ll be selling some plasma this week,” Daryl said. Did it make him happy that Mark couldn’t get his fix this week? Daryl tried to bridge the chasm between them but his empathy stopped short. There were treatment options.

“I can’t even do that. Who saves a vase with a crack in it?” He turned the fine thing over in his hands. Daryl saw a tear drip from his cheek.

“The crack is supposed to be filled with gold or something precious,” Daryl told him, taking the vase. “To heal a rift between two people, diametrically joined.”

“Stop your crap,” Mark scratched at one thin dry arm. “You don’t know what it is like. I don’t want to be this way.”

“Yeah, bad life choices. Let’s go see what we can get for this junk at that resale place next to the treatment facility.” Daryl rewrapped the vase while Mark scooped up the musty kimonas.

“You know I love you anyway, right?” Daryl slung an arm around his brother, pulling the gap between them closed.

“Man, that’s gotta be tough. All the things I’ve done. I stole from you guys, got involved with mugging someone. Just crappy stuff you and mom don’t deserve.” Mark shook his head and pulled closer to his brother, closing the last breath of space between them.

Mark stopped in front of the resale store and piled the kimonas on Daryl’s arm. “Here you take them. I’m going this way,” Mark pointed to the treatment center. “Maybe this time it will take. Use the money for mom.”

Daryl watched as Mark disappeared behind the glass door. He brought the vase and the kimonas to the resale guy.

“Wow this is really rare, the crack on this vase is filled with ruby or something.” The proprietor said, “This should go to auction at one of the big houses. I got a guy I can call,” he rushed off to find the number.

Daryl wiped a tear from his eye.

Published by dixiejarchow

I'm the author of two published books under Daisy Jerico: The Love Thief and Sparks Fly, and three published as Dixie Jo Jarchow. I’ve proofread for the Surgeon General’s office, a physics textbook and a terra cotta textbook. My passion is to write and help others write. Write on! And have a normal life with GDP.

46 thoughts on “Antique vase 537 words FCA

  1. Powerful. It’s easy to blame or pass judgment on others, but family is family. I hope this is a real turn for the better for this family.
    Nicely done! Thanks for sharing.


  2. I love how you close the gap between the brothers, Dixie. I love its power.. Just enough for us to find sympathy for both. I really hope the treatment works, the vase provides enough and more for a better future. From darkness to light.

    Thanks for participating in WEP again Dixie. A sharp, pithy story for us to embrace.


  3. That was a powerful, well-written piece. The slippery slope of addiction is exceedingly difficult to overcome but those who have supportive family and friends have a better chance. Hatred never heals anyone whereas love helps and waits patiently for a change. Thank much for sharing that.


  4. Hi,
    You never know what has been packed away and turns out to be gold in its disguise. I like the positive turn of your story. That Mark decided to try a treatment center and that Daryl found empathy toward his step brother again.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia


  5. That’s a sweet story. A bit of luck for the brothers, and maybe something extra special about that vase, that it pulled them together again, and maybe got Mark off to a better life. We can hope.

    BTW, the 8th paragraph up from the bottom you have Daryl where I’m pretty sure it should be Mark.


  6. Beautiful tale Dixie. So well brought about. The dialogues are precise and authentic. Your descriptions also really give us a sense of what each character is feeling. Well done.


  7. Addiction is such a difficult condition to contend with. I hope he is successful. Wonderful story!
    ~cie from team netherworld~


  8. You paint a dire contrast in your opening, Dixie, which makes me pray for a long-term resolution rather than respite. I like the way you write the interaction between the step-brothers. And the crack in the vase analogy is powerful. As is the ending. Tears indeed.


  9. Oh, I hope the happy ending comes for both the brothers. Good characterization–in such a few words–that they both came across as empathetic. Nicely done.


  10. Bleak story with a note of hope at the end. Loved the kintsugi metaphor. Great take on the prompt.


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