LISP 4th Quarter 2020 Official Selection, Flash Fiction, Spoonflowers by Sheree Shatsky
The girl pulled an old spoon from the garden. Tarnished and bent with a hole in the bowl. Her grandfather with his old world ways quickly blessed the odd spoon and reburied with one new, an offering to hungry spirits who placed the spoon in his granddaughter’s path, a plea for sustenance in the cold afterlife. When he died the winter of the hard freeze, the granddaughter slipped two soup spoons inside a sleeve of his funeral suit, in case he needed a spare.
She did the same years later with the death of her young husband and every anniversary of his passing, buried a spoon from the wedding silver with the planting of the spring bulbs. Tiger lilies, tulips, double bloomer daffodils, a silver spoon for ghosts in need. The demitasse marked her first seven years a widow, the tea spoons the next sixteen and the elegant long-stemmed iced tea spoons eight widowed years more. The spoons dwindled to a single sugar and a smattering of serving, enough for six years future. Knives and forks spooned unused inside the cedar storage box. Dinner set duets. Pastry forks, butter knives. Fish knives. A single lemon fork with tiny tines. The fancy carving set mongrammed S. Sterling plenty to satiate starving souls the next quarter century. The widow tied a note to the cake server, her wishes should she die spoonless. “One can’t do without the other,” read her daughter to her daughter the first day of them without her, “so bury both the knives and forks together, in pairs like man and wife; but hear me, when my final day comes, the berry spoon and the jelly spoon wrapped and hidden where the sweet iris bloom will slide nicely inside the sleeves of my best dress.”