Spellbound   Leave a comment

Cherry skipped around the corner. She forgot she was almost sixty with the joy she felt. She nearly knocked a man down in her reverie. He raised his hands to protect himself, then looked at her and smiled with a bemused look. Cherry nearly dropped the object that was the source of her elation. She pulled the package close to her chest.

“So sorry, excuse me,” she blushed.

“No worries. You look like something wonderful has happened to you. Do you want to let on about your secret?” he asked in a conspiratorial tone.

“Actually I am dying to tell someone,” Cherry replied caught in the moment. “Have you time for coffee?”

“I do have about half-an–hour to spare, as a matter of fact. There’s a nice café I know just down the High Street.”

“Well then…..”

“Francis… and you?

“Cherry, Cherry Blossom.”

She saw the way he tried to stifle his smile.

“I know. Can you imagine the time I had at school?”

“I can, because my surname is Drake.”

“Francis Drake…” Cherry mouthed to herself. “Oh my goodness, Francis Drake!”

The two of them roared out loud. Passerbys gave them odd stares.

In the café, Cherry and Francis ordered coffee and scones. Then Cherry put her precious cargo up on the table and began to tell Francis her story. She told how when she was just thirteen she had spied something beautiful in a shop window. It had captivated her, and she had just known that somehow she had to buy it, but she had no money. There and then she had gone to a local newsagent and had pleaded for a paper-round. Then she had returned to the shop and begged them to put it away for her, and to let her pay it off weekly from her paper-round. So taken were the shop-keepers with her passion that they had agreed to do this, but if she didn’t keep up the payments the agreement would be off.

Cherry never told her mother about the paper-round. Her mother had been widowed when Cherry was a baby, so money was scarce. Therefore Cherry had never received any pocket money. She knew if her mother found out about her earning any money, she would expect Cherry to give it to her. Cherry just pretended she was going to school early to study.

After many months Cherry had been able to take possession of her ‘heart’s desire.’ She had carried it home carefully and hidden it under her bed. Whenever she had the opportunity she took it out to admire and play with it. But one day when Cherry was out her mother had found it. When Cherry returned she had found her mother incandescent with rage. Her mother had demanded to know whether she had stolen it. When Cherry had confessed to the job and buying it, her mother accused her of being dishonest and wasting money on frivolous things. Then before Cherry’s eyes she had thrown her treasure out of the window where it had been smashed to smithereens on the pavement below.

As Cherry related her story to Francis she became teary-eyed.

“I never forgave her for that.”

“So what have you got there?” Francis asked gently.

As Cherry slowly unwrapped an exquisite musical-box, a smile returned to her face. When she lifted the lid, a ballet-dancer turned gracefully to a melodic tune.

“I found this today in an old antique shop. It’s just like the one I had.”

“It’s charming, just like you.”

Francis looked into Cherry’s eyes, and she knew it was her lucky day.

Posted April 28, 2015 by eileenmoynihan in Uncategorized

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