Agatha purchased a mystery at the swap meet. Glued to paper, pressed behind glass in a dusty frame, were a half dozen odd things.
A lottery ticket. A feather. A bus ticket. A one dollar bill. A bit of red yarn. A bookmark.
The seller at the swap meet knew nothing.
Agatha took possession of the mystery for five dollars. The frame by itself was worth almost that.
“What do you think this is?” she asked her husband after returning home.
“Another piece of junk.”
“What do you think this is supposed to be?” she asked her visiting sister.
“Looks like somebody framed their memories. You’d have to ask the person who made that what it means.”
Uncertain where to place the mystery, Agatha temporarily leaned the dusty frame behind the kitchen blender. Out of the way, but still in the range of her curious eyes.
Whatever those memories were, thought Agatha, together they were art. They were a stranger’s work of art.
But why had it been sold?
Did the lottery ticket represent a dream of the unknown stranger? Did that dream ever come true?
And what about the bus ticket? Why did the person take that particular journey? What happened then? Did they return?
Was the feather found on a special day?
Did the one dollar bill change a life?
A bit of red yarn…
Bookmarks, Agatha mused, are found in stories that have more pages to turn.
Bookmarks are like brief moments in a life. They are like a lottery ticket . . . a bus ticket . . . a one dollar bill.
Bookmarks! That’s what these half dozen things were! A framed collection of used bookmarks!
From a story that had finally come to an end.
She picked up the frame, turned it over, opened it, and carefully removed the contents. She kept the frame and threw now useless things–the lottery and bus tickets–into the garbage.
Later that day she put a photo of her grandchildren inside the frame.
She placed the feather on her building’s front step for someone to find.
She dropped the one dollar bill in the hat of a man strumming his guitar on the street.
The ordinary bookmark she placed in a borrowed library book.
The bit of red yarn she also used.
Agatha loved to crochet and donate small things she made to charity. She’d work that bit of yarn in somewhere.