Of Fathers, Ghosts, and Beans

Lotus had no idea what she was looking at. That is, it was very clear that she was sitting in a giant’s castle, looking at a golden harp with her father’s face carved into one side. She could see where the gold leaf had flaked away on one of his cheeks. The pale wood underneath looked like a tear streak running down his face.

Behind her, heavy footsteps sounded. Lotus had to make a choice. The harp was too heavy for her to carry. But her father had been a pragmatic man and he’d raised a pragmatic daughter. Lotus slipped away and climbed down the beanstalk to the world of flowers below the world of clouds.

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Plant beans. And do not mourn me. They were the only two commands her father ever gave Lotus and they came only a few days before he died. She was never able to follow either command. Because, as it turns out, in the real world we don’t get to choose who and how we mourn. It just happens, and Lotus found that it happened to her quite a bit.

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Kate and Tate were Great

Trying to find the right time to make the announcement felt impossible. Our last concert? What if it ruined the magic for the audience that night? It wouldn’t be fair. Should we say something early so that anyone who’d wanted to make it to one of our shows could try and scrape together a last minute ticket?


But the show was already sold out and scalpers were already skyrocketing prices, if it was known this was going to be our last concert, we worried that more people would be likely to get taken advantage of.


And it’s not like we’d known in advance that we were for sure never going to perform again. It had always been a hypothetical one day with encroaching certainty that it would be this tour. But if we announced it, then we couldn’t ever come back from it.


So we said nothing leading up to the show. We performed that night as if it were the last concert of our tour, not the last one of our lives. And if we cried a little bit more than usual? If we came back for encore after encore long after we usually would have stopped? Well, no one in the band faulted us. And we let the crowd believe it was because we wouldn’t be performing for a while.


But things had to end and mom was there to remind us it was past our bedtime and shut the show down. We bid the audience a final, tearful goodbye. Our last farewell as Kate and Tate.


And then the world didn’t hear from us again.

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Farewell

To all the things we leave behind,

The broken hearts, the dying dreams

The gravestones and the unknowns.

 

Is it better to be the one who’s gone,

Or the one who’s left behind?

To be haunted by the ghosts of death,

Or the ghosts of unknown Fate?

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December Stories at the Confabulator Cafe

Hello, dear readers. Welcome back to the Confabulator Cafe for our final month of stories for this year.

Our prompt for this month is “goodbyes.” We bid this year, and all of you, a fond farewell.

Here’s the schedule for December.

Monday, December 2: “Farewell” by Isabel Nee
Monday, December 16: “Kate and Tate Were Great” by Eliza Jaquays
Monday, December 30: “Of Fathers, Ghosts, and Beans” by Dianne Williams

 

The Tower

I had tried every alternative, yet nothing had worked. The room lay silent as I paced, light swirling around me, lush velvet floors whisper soft beneath my boots. A key fashioned from your own bone, the prophet had said. But whose bone? Those of the entrapped, or those of the one who wish to enter? The prophet hadn’t answered then. The room offered me no answer now.

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