New Story Contest: Transformation - Mary K. - 03/29/19

Contest: Winners

New Story Contest: Transformation

Submitted by: Mary K., age 14, East Aurora, NY

Morning dawned gray, dreary, and dismal—a pattering of rain against worm-covered pavement. From the left side of an ancient four-poster bed, Carmella scowled. Always irritable was old Carmella, ever since her husband passed away three long years ago. She’d rather not remind herself of him, though—it would only add another wrinkle to her growing collection.

Carmella clonked down the stairs, squeaked across the floor, and withdrew a porcelain bowl from a tall cupboard. Just as she reached for the muesli, there came a pat, scratch, tapping at the door. She stiffened. Her last visitor had been a mischievous teenager on a dare, and she didn’t care to revisit that episode.

Cautiously, Carmella slipped her hand onto the brass doorknob and peered out. At her feet sat a lanky calico cat, tapping his stubby tail patiently on her doorstep. Oh dear.

“Shoo, you little brute!” Carmella yelped, recoiling as the beast rubbed its fuzzy head against her slippers.

Shaking the animal off, Carmella scampered—as much as her rheumatism allowed—over to the bookshelf. Surely there a was something here about pest control! Instead of a novel on extermination, however, her hand fell on one particularly dusty volume. Without even looking, she knew the sappy title: Our Happily Ever After. How ironic. Gingerly she withdrew it, letting a faded photograph fall into her lap. A windblown, rosy woman united with a tall, kind-eyed man, who was beaming with the joy of a child. Grudgingly, she let a smile dance across her lips. But then her gaze fell on a tiny detail in one folded corner. And her heart almost stopped with her eyes.

For there in the background lay a familiar tiny, spotted kitten with a stub for a tail.

Here was the closest she had been to her husband in three years, yet she couldn’t stop crying. Even though Jonathan was gone, even though he would never again fill the right half of the four-poster bed, he would never really leave her heart. And that was worth celebrating—maybe even with a new cat.

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