Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Rattled (05/09/13)
TITLE: The Trailer of Tears
By Andrea Van Ye
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She wasn’t quite sure when she started or even exactly why, except that somehow, storing them safely, made her feel better.
They were her tears. Each time she cried, she found a bottle, and gathered her tears until she cried dry.
Over the years, she collected bottles of all different sizes and shapes. Each one she filled with tears of sorrow or disappointment or loneliness or rejection or loss. She only collected unhappy tears.
And she placed the glass bottles in to a trailer that she hitched to her heart.
Everywhere she went, the trailer followed.
Sometimes, she could see the trailer in the rear view mirror of her past. At all times, she heard the glass bottles rattle against each other, assuring her that her tears were real, and not forgotten.
In time, the young woman met a man.
He was a kind man, a gentle man, a different sort of man, and he became her friend.
He noticed the trailer hitched to her heart. He was the only one who ever noticed.
One day, he asked her,“What do you have there in that trailer, my dear?”
“These are my tears. I collect them in glass bottles. They don’t matter to anyone else, but they matter to me.”
Often, the man and the woman walked together. She continued to bring her trailer everywhere they went. Some days, they would talk about her tears and other times, they would just walk together quietly. Always present was the rattle of the bottles in the trailer that she hitched to her heart.
Before long, a new sorrow came upon her, and she cried fresh tears.
She frantically looked about for a bottle, but she could not find one.
The gentle man standing close reached in to his pocket and pulled out a small, crystal vial. It was decorated with fine etchings of flowers and fields, and on the front of the vessel, was her name.
He carefully reached forward and held the bottle close to her heart, catching each falling tear.
She could not speak. She only cried.
And then she stopped.
“What is this, sir?”
“It is the bottle that I have for you. Here, look carefully, I wrote your name on it. I’d like to collect your tears, for you. Each tear I will take and protect in my breast pocket, close to my heart. You do not need to cart your tears around any longer. I will keep them safe because I cherish them. This one little vial can contain them all.”
And so that day, the woman and the man reached in to the trailer, and pulled out each bottle from the past, and together they poured the tears that she collected over the years, in to the vessel he held in his hand.
And when they were done, they unhitched the trailer that no longer held her tears.
A peace came over the woman. She no longer had to cart her tears, for he carried them for her.
Now, the rattle rested, and so did she.
Through the years, tears came from time to time, but the gentle man was always there, catching her tears in the finely etched bottle with her name on it.
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