Antique Antics ~ Family Heirlooms


In answer to the daily prompt Antique Antics:

I had sprawled on that comfortable and soft silk cushion for what seemed forever. It was comfortable but it was bordering on laziness and boredom; only no one ever cared to check on me so I grew bored, alone without anyone to talk to. I’m an old item really even though my memory is clear as one of my pearls… But today was a special day and people turned to me; I knew the stories. I was the stories. I had been here for a long time and I knew most of the family history.

I was one of few who remembered Margaret’s tenth birthday, which also was her first communion, the day when I almost was lost in the fire of the manor. One of the invited children had taken a candle and inadvertently let it fall on the velvet curtains of the library. So much was lost that day and I barely escaped it. Luckily Margaret’s mother had come back to fetch me at great risk for her safety. Books were burnt and it was a miracle no lives were lost, not even mine. The manor was rebuilt of course but so much of its history was gone.

And I was the only one left who knew that on the very day of her wedding to Maxim of Berkshire, Cecily de la Montagne had left her marital bed to meet and make love to her long-time friend and completely unacceptable lover Stephen, the lad taking care of the horses at the manor. I knew that years later after she became pregnant with Stephen’s child Cecily was shamed into being repudiated and forced to live in poverty after her lover was dismissed from the manor and they spent the following years in squalor. I had seen it for Cecily’s sister had taken great pleasure in bringing me to their place to make a show of pity and generosity by adopting their daughter into the family. She had offered a place as a servant for the both of them in her house. Cecily accepted of course and literally became a slave to her sister who was cruel and had always envied her beauty. Cecily died before she turned thirty and her story had become a cautionary tale.

And as every woman in this family was wont to do Margaret was now telling the story to her own daughter who would be walking down the aisle today with a pearl necklace lying against the hollow of her throat. I could see Margaret’s lips move from my vantage point around Amelia’s neck. I was the family heirloom passed down from eldest child to the next and always worn by the girls on their first communion and the brides for their wedding – the old item out of the four required. There were three hundred years of de la Montagne’s stories that I could tell though no one would hear me. And after tonight I would be placed back on my silky cushion until such time as Amelia’s daughter would be old enough to receive communion, unless Amelia – who had sought me out and worn me in secret throughout the years – decided that she liked to have me around her neck more often. I would like that… see the light of day more often than every ten years or so. It felt like forever and I grew bored. But not today.



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