A Short Story: The Porcelain Bear

Weekly Writing Challenge: Backward

This week’s challenge from The Daily Post is to write a story starting from the end. I don’t think my stories are usually this sad. But here goes…

The Porcelain Bear

I sat on the edge of my bed staring at the shattered pieces on the floor. I hugged my knees to my chest, watching them glint in the sunlight. How could I have broken something so precious to me?

It was given to me as a present when I was nine. Every weekend my mother would take me to my grandma’s house. We’d set out early on Saturday morning, and she’d pick me up on Sunday afternoon. I’d get so excited that I’d almost throw up on the car ride there. It was a long journey, about two hours. Well that seemed like a long time for me when I was young.

My grandma would always be waiting for me in the front garden. She’d be weeding or planting flowers, wearing gloves that were too big. I used to take them and pretend I had giant hands, dancing round the garden.

Her house always smelt like dinner. She’d make me a big Sunday dinner on a Saturday, then again on the Sunday before my mother came to pick me up. She said I needed feeding because I was a growing girl. She said boys didn’t like skinny little things.

I didn’t like boys. They were dirty and smelly, and played too rough.

My grandma didn’t have a TV so I’d sit on the floor in the living room and draw pictures for her. The fridge was covered in drawings of trees, flowers, and princesses fighting dragons.

She’d put the radio on while she cooked, and I’d dance around to music I’d never heard of. The dog liked to dance with me, but the cat didn’t. The cat would look at us like we were crazy. But we didn’t care.

But I’d always be careful to stay away from the glass cabinet. I was only allowed near there when I asked my grandma to show me her collection of pretty things. As a young woman she had travelled all over the world collecting things that she thought looked interesting or strange.

She’d take them out of the cabinet one by one, and tell me where they’d come from – which country or town, a little shop, or sometimes she’d have just found them at the side of the road.

My favourite was the tiny porcelain bear. It was chocolate and shiny, standing up on its hind legs. Sometimes my grandma would let me hold it if I was careful. I adored that bear.

Then on my ninth birthday there is was, in a small box wrapped in tissue paper. There was a little note from my grandma that said: “A little piece of treasure for my little treasure.”

I took it home and placed it on my shelf with my books. I looked at it everyday, cupping it in my hand. I was always so careful placing it back on the shelf.

When I was 19 my grandma died. She was old and went peacefully in her sleep my mother told me. I kept that little bear statue so she would always be with me. When I moved out of my parents’ house I packaged it up with bubble wrap. Then I put it proudly on the fireplace with a picture of my family – my mom, my dad, my grandma, and me. There it stood for almost two years.

But today I was missing my grandma immensely. It would have been her birthday and I wanted to be near to her. So I decided to move the bear into my bedroom. It didn’t look right on the bookshelf, so I stepped forward to adjust it and I don’t know what happened. Everything went in slow motion. Somehow it slipped out of my hand, off the shelf and onto the floor.

Now it was broken, smashed into a million pieces. It may as well be my heart lying there shattered on the carpet.

All the stories I found related to this post were so sad :(.. so if anyone has a happy one I’d love to read it! But I did find this beautiful photo – Love & Hope Through the Darkness | Broken Light: A Photography Collective

Also, any thoughts on my story are welcomed.

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3 thoughts on “A Short Story: The Porcelain Bear

  1. Pingback: Weekly Writing Challenge: Backward | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  2. Pingback: Weekly Writing Challenge: Backward | Joe's Musings

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