Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Cardboard Violin

The Cardboard Violin

Myrtle Beet was done making a cardboard violin.

Nobody was there to ask her about it, the long hours it

took to construct and paint and string. While it rested

like an elegant duck on her counter top, she could admire

it and breathe all the satisfaction she needed. What a

marvelous and perfect imitation, she had even detailed

the wood grain, she knew anybody looking at it would

never know. She smiled then at that. Yes, there was one

who would know. Soon enough.

She reached and pulled the heavy black telephone

across closer to her. A trembling finger found the numbers

and dialed them. It hadn’t been easy keeping arthritis and

old age at bay while she built the violin.

“Hello,” she said when the ring turned into him.

“Hello Leonard, it’s Myrtle Beet. How are you dear?” In

the pause, the clock in the kitchen wall tocked. “Well,” she

said, “Why don’t you come over here. I have a present

for you.” She smiled. “Yes, alright. See you soon.” She

hung up and watched the violin, pleased with herself.

In a minute, the apartment door started to scratch

into a couple of knocks.

Myrtle stood up slow, straightened her dress and

the apron she wore. She glanced at the violin again, she

could almost hear it already.

She put her hand around the glass diamond door

knob and turned.

The man who spent all of his time in the apartment

next door stood there. He was frail and gray from lack

of sun and wind and rain, he was Leonard the cardboard


This is a story from
Home Recordings,
Bird Dog Publishing, 2009

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