Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pickle Jars And Power

Estella had a glass jar full of secrets. She kept it inside of a shoe box in the darkest corner of her bedroom closet, lest they escape. The sources of her secrets were every bit as closely-guarded a mystery as the secrets themselves. The old woman had told her she must never, ever reveal her ability to anyone lest they become jealous of her. 

She suspected there was more to it than that but didn’t willingly question Mama Delilah. If you questioned or doubted her, she sent you away and never again would offer you her special oatmeal cookies nor the wisdom contained within her wrinkled, old head.

Estella knew that Mrs. Rodriguez was doing naughty things with the milkman, Dave. She knew Mr. Johnson had a box in his garage where he kept pictures of things no person ought to do to another person. She knew Reverend Stephen had no right to be telling anyone how they ought to behave given his clandestine carryings-on.

Estella knew all of these things and she stored each one away in an old glass pickle jar just the way Mama Delilah had taught her to. She knew, because Mama had told her, that knowledge is power and that power can, sometimes, be a handy thing to have when you need it.

Estella had a glass jar full of secrets she would treasure and covet and protect until the time was right for her to open it up and take the power she deserved. She only hoped Mama Delilah couldn’t see into her secret jar to learn how many of Estella’s secrets came from her and how very, very much Estella looked forward to using those secrets.

Truth be told, she didn’t really like oatmeal cookies and, though she’d asked Mama to make some other kind, she never had. Mama would be sorry for that someday. But, for now, that would remain Estella’s secret. 

This story was written for the weekly Five Minute Fiction prompt: Estella had a jar full of secrets.

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