Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the fifty-first piece in this series. This week’s is a 487-worder by suspense / romance, historical and speculative fiction author Linda Rondeau. This story will be podcasted in episode 018 (Sunday 2nd December).
I was created for a noble cause. I believed this from the beginning. With loving patience, Giovani transformed me from imperfect, undefined clay into the finest porcelain urn in all of Italy. With his own gnarled hands, he molded me on his wheel for service and splendor. He covered me with oils of blues and greens – a coat of polished perfection. When persuaded what he created was worthy of completion, he put me through the final fire. With much pleasure, he inspected his work aided by the noon’s sunlight. “Good,” he proclaimed. “It is very good! Fit for a queen.”
And so I came into being. Not an ordinary earthen jar, but a vase of importance, destined to be the possession of royalty. Yet, inexplicably I remained on the potter’s shelf, hidden from the patrons in search of common ware who frequented Giovani’s workshop. As days turned into weeks and weeks into months, I pondered at the meaning of my abandonment.
I was destined to rest on a monarch’s table, bearing witness to the genius that made me. Months turned into years, and still I remained apart and secreted. Was this to be my end? Was I so delicately crafted only to decay from purposelessness?
When it seemed as if time could no longer be measured, Giovani at last appeared. He rescued me from my ruinous state, covered me with his polishing cloth, and restored my former gloss. Like an offering to the Most High, he raised me toward the upper window. Hues of aqua and marine burst into the room as the sun’s rays broke through. “It is still good,” he nodded in approval. “Rosetta will be pleased.”
Was I finally to be released from this graveyard of uselessness? Giovani cradled me in his hands, transporting me from obscurity to a long-awaited unveiling. He brought me along a cobbled path into a white, simple cottage, his home. He filled my emptiness with cool waters from his well, then set me upon a splintered table, adorning me with velvety roses.
He carried me past the thistle grove into a green meadow that stretched like a carpet before a mound of sculptured granite. Engraved with seraphim and cherubs, the stone was inscribed with a single word, “Rosetta.” He placed me on an adjacent pedestal. While a salty tear dropped from his cheek, he knelt beside his beloved’s resting place, declaring, “For you, my Rosetta, my wife, my love, my queen.”
It was at this moment I realized the truth of my creation. My destiny was not the admiration of sovereigns. My purpose was a testament to a love undiminished by death, a token of his veneration for she who held his heart. With each dawn, Giovani faithfully replenishes my contents with Rosetta’s favorite flower. Above all artifacts made by the potter’s hand, I have been chosen to bear his tribute. With honor such as this, I am now complete.
I asked Linda what prompted this piece and she said…
I wrote The Masterpiece from the depth of discouragement when it seemed my writing was going nowhere. My heart cried out to the Lord, and I believe this story was His answer to me. He reminded me that He is in charge, and has a plan for my life even though that plan may not line up according to the dreams I have for myself. Yet, His ways are always better. I do hope the story will encourage those who’ve been endowed with a gift and feel as though they are wallowing in disuse. When our talents are surrendered to God’s purposes, He will assure their best display. This award-winning story has been published in religious periodicals, and on the Internet. (I do retain the rights at this time). Please note the story is used “by permission.”
Absolutely. Thank you for sharing it, Linda.
Winner of the 2012 Selah Award for best first novel (The Other Side of Darkness / Harbourlight), Linda Rondeau, writes for the reader who enjoys a little bit of everything. Her stories of redemption and God’s mercies include romance, suspense, the ethereal, and a little bit of history into the mix, always served with a slice of humor. Walk with her unforgettable characters as they journey paths not unlike our own.
After a long career in human services, mother of three and wife of one very patient man, Linda now resides in Florida where she is active in her church and community. Readers may visit her web site at www.lindarondeau.com.
If you’d like to submit your 1,000-word max. stories for consideration for Flash Fiction Friday take a look here.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with 9/11 non-fiction author Pauline Hawkins – the four hundred and eighty-sixth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.