The occasional inspiration
May 9, 2010 § Leave a comment
Had Mrs Mumford known how that would turn out, she wouldn’t have had bought that rare and overpriced oak shelf. Then, again, if she hadn’t bought it, this story would probably not have happened the way it did.
Therefore, we can’t really blame the bird who planted the seed of that oak tree about two hundred years ago. Nor the lumberjack that chopped the tree down for Woods & Thuds Ltd., who then exported from South America to Indiana, US.
When in American soil, we can’t really blame the furniture firm that used such wood to built the book shelf. Not only that, but we can’t blame the young lady who wanted to buy the same book shelf, but couldn’t afford it because she had just been fired from her job due to the fact that she had been accused of sleeping with her boss. Although, it wasn’t true but her boss resented that she didn’t want to sleep with him. We could maybe try to blame the seller, who being a very manipulative one and good at his job, stole Mrs Mumford from his colleague who was trying to sell her a more affordable book shelf, because he had to ‘answer a phone call, but would be right back’.
The said seller, called Paul Smith, had actually called the store and asked for Mr John Petrov since it was a matter of urgency. Mr John Petrov being the gentleman who was assisting Mrs Mumford on her search for a book shelf. Paul did that so that he could convince Mrs Mumford to buy the overpriced oak shelf – the same one the young lady couldn’t afford – because his commission would be exorbitant.
After that, Mrs Mumford would agree, the next to blame was the delivery company, who had sent a ‘suspicious young man’ – according to Mrs Mumford, to deliver the book shelf in her house.
She, on her own rights and trying to protect her precious valuables in the house, had asked him to leave the same book shelf in the living room so that he didn’t have an excuse to perambulate around her house.
Obviously, Mrs Mumford had pointed out, the middle of the living room isn’t the best place for a book shelf. In addition to that, she also had only those ‘nasty, rude and dis-likable’ neighbours , whom Mrs Mumford didn’t trust, not even when asking for help to move the book shelf to her library – previously the basement.
Even though Mrs Mumford – ‘please call me Alice’ – according to her – was a woman of 65 years-old, her body strength and physical structure were quite impressive for her age. Alice, since she insists – decided then to take down her book shelf to the library by herself. The stair to the basement consisted of 17 steps. Alice took only a few minutes to get to the 9th step, but her arms started failing her and with the help of a lump in the carpet, her shoe got stuck in the 10th step. Suddenly and rather painfully, her left ankle twisted, making her loose her balance for a split second. Well, that split second was really more than enough for all the weight and all her effort to be felt on her arms.
Mrs Mumford fell. In fact, the book shelf fell first. It fell and hit a table. A marble table, actually. This impact made the book shelf loosen up one of its sides, a rather sharp one, that by an unfortunate strike of bad luck, was in the exact place where Mrs Mumford’s chest hit.
Therefore, Alice’s lovely green dress, made of 100% cotton, was perforated, along with her left lung, a bit of the right one and her heart – which many people had claimed she didn’t have.
That was enough. Maybe if she had been 20 years younger or if someone had called an ambulance instantly, she might – a BIG might – have survived. That wasn’t the case.
Mrs Mumford body was only discovered 4 days later, when her neighbour stopped by to complain – again – that Mrs Mumford cat was attacking her flowers.
Alice Mumford died alone. As we all do, undoubtedly. No one would know that the last image before her eyes was of her living room, nicely decorated in a Victorian style with chiffon cushions, an Egyptian cotton curtain, several porcelain vases and the huge portrait on top of the fireplace of Mr Mumford wearing his best suit – the navy blue one, with a stripped tie.
Her life didn’t flash before her eyes. Alice refused to be one of these nostalgic old people who spend their final years savoring all their memories. She had always been practical and quite proud of it.
Now, on her last breath, the thought that came to her mind wasn’t of the meaning of life, or how much she loved her children, not it was that of her regrets. Her last thought was: ‘I bet they’re going to attack this house as a bunch of scavengers.’ Then, she died.
They did attack the house as a bunch of scavengers. They, in this sentence, is not only her neighbours, but also her older son and her two daughters. Alice knew that her daughter-in-law would taker her porcelain collection and so she did. Her daughters actually fought for the Egyptian curtains and the mahogany bed.
Mary Jane, the youngest daughter, took Mr Mumford portrait. She tucked it in the attic, never to be seen again.