Writing Outside the Lines – Prompt 37 For the week of April 17, 2016
Some people collect books and have personal libraries, Joe collected suitcases. She had a special room … more of a closet really, to house them. Each shelf built to specifications for the exact measure of each precious antique suitcase. Her editor began calling it Joe’s Suitcase Library about a year ago when she received the pictures of the finished room. Emily was encouraging Joe to write an article about this collection for an upcoming publication. Not sure she was ready to share her prized collection with the outside world, Joe kept putting Emily off with … later … there will be just the right edition for sharing, but not yet.
There was a secret to all Joe’s suitcases. A secret no one knew and she felt sure it would go to her grave with her. Should that secret get out, Joe was sure she would be locked up as a loony old woman … and at times she wasn’t sure this whole thing with the suitcases was lunacy.
The secret began with one antique suitcase purchased at a local auction. Others followed also from auctions and/or Estate sales. Each purchase seemed meant to be because they were acquired for reasonable prices and rarely any competition during bidding at auction.
Then there was the secret … each and every suitcase contained another piece of that puzzle as if they were waiting for her to find them … and in order. No apparent numbers, but each secret inside had a specific date, which Joe soon realized were chronological … going back twenty odd years. The secret was for her eyes only and not to be shared, hence the reason Joe kept putting Emily off about an article about them.
There was an empty section in her Suitcase Library, one that had not been personalized for specific size and shape of future purchases. Joe didn’t know how many more there were, but she did know that when the empty section was filled in the secret would be finished. Fear crawled down her spine at what the meaning of completing the library would mean. At her age, Joe was afraid completing the library might mean her impending death. Then what? Would someone coming in to dismantle her life after her ashes were blown to the four winds uncover the secret? Or … would the secret held within each suitcase disappear along with her ashes?
In typical Scarlett O’Hara fashion, Joe decided that would be dealt with another day. However, she did think perhaps she needed to write about each suitcase from the first to the last purchase … just in case the secret remained after her death. Then Emily could have her article and publish when she pleased.
That decision made, Joe made an appointment with her lawyer to update her will. Adding in a clause to leave the contents of a specified vault box to Emily and the contents of her Suitcase Library as well.
Copyright © 2016 Annie Original Fiction
Always…I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you Love.
As Ever, Annie
Another installment for Joe’s Suitcase Stories which began in the fall of 2015.