Monday, November 16, 2009

The Teacup in Andersen's Shop, Story #8

As last week proved, plans go awry. My ankle is on the mend, but I was limited in what I could do last week. The second time I ever sprained my ankle was during my first week of work at my first librarian job. It was a very bad sprain. I had to go to the hospital for X-rays, and was out of work for two days without accured sick leave. I managed to ditch the crutches by the time I returned, and felt I had to ignore all doctor's advice to rest the ankle. I was a new employee, I didn't want to get a reputation as a hypochondriac, and there was no way that patrons were going to accept me pointing to an area of the library instead of hopping off of the chair at the information desk and guiding them to the decoupage section. As a result, it took quite a long while for that sprained ankle to heal.

But I digress.

Here is the story I wrote right before I sprained my ankle. I don't usually write stories about inanimate objects (dolls in dollhouses don't count!). This was an experiment for LoStoWriMo. The goal for LoStoWriMo has changed, too. I will write a short story for every day that I can do so. If you'd like to leave a comment indicating that you have read the story, something along the lines of "Marked as read" or whatever works for you will be something I appreciate but not expect.


Andersen started to tell a story about a teacup that fell in love with the sugar-bowl, but then changed his mind and decided to tell a story about a tin soldier and a paper ballerina instead. However, it was too late. At the mention of its name, the teacup awoke into consciousness. Once the teacup knew it was a teacup, it was impossible to return to its previous state of dormant servitude.

The teacup had no illusions as to its status in the realm of Things. It knew it was but one of three other mismatched teacups in Andersen’s shop, one of which had recently met its fate at the paws of a cat intruder. It had no chips or fissures running through its form to indicate a life of mystery and allure. It was plain, round and unpretentious. It held tea when Andersen wanted it, and sat on the edge of the table with the other dishes when Andersen didn’t.

Once the teacup knew itself to be in love with the sugarbowl, something stirred the teacup to make its intentions known rather than simply look with longing across the table. That “something” happened to be a spoon. “You do know that the sugarbowl fancies you as well,” the spoon said as it dipped into the teacup and twirled a few times.

“Truly?” the teacup asked.

“Yes, truly,” the spoon said. “The sugarbowl admires your quiet dedication to the art of keeping the tea warm.”

“Please tell the sugarbowl how much I appreciate its generosity in the flavoring of the tea,” the teacup replied.

The teacup peeked at the sugarbowl from across the table. The sugarbowl sported a pattern of pale blue flowers and wore its lid in a jaunty fashion. The teacup wanted to wave, but of course it had no arms. The teacup had to depend upon the spoon to carry its messages.

All the while, Andersen wrote in his notebook while pairs of shoes lay in piles, murmuring, “Mend us, patch us, we who have walked so far through mud and over stones to get here.”

The teacup called down to them, “Do not fuss. You are the lucky ones. At least you have traveled, and once you leave Andersen’s shop, you will travel again.”

It was hard to be alive yet stationary and have to rely upon a spoon to carry messages of devotion and esteem. Nonetheless, it was better than oblivion, and the teacup was grateful for the words that had brought it to life and bestowed upon it the ability to love a sugarbowl.


Lone Star Ma said...

That is absolutely wonderful!

tanita davis said...

Ah, yes, Spoon. As Mother Goose later chronicled its romantic exploits with Dish, I should be unsurprised at its matchmaking. It is well acquainted with the finer feelings...

adrienne said...

“The sugarbowl admires your quiet dedication to the art of keeping the tea warm.”

That is my favorite line.

Kathleen said...

Love it.

Saints and Spinners said...

Thank you!

Angelina said...

lovely, lovely, lovely. I think we all can empathize a bit with the spoon, trapped in our own orbit of self looking out on a wide world with longing --- unable to step into it.
Thank you for your lovely gift. I so enjoy reading both of your blogs.

diana said...

Lovely. As usual.

Phil said...

I like this one a lot, too.