Followers

Monday, May 16, 2011

Magpie Tales 66, her grandmother's bookcase

Photo prompt provided by Tess Kincaid


Wikipedia photo



She had inherited her grandmother’s love of reading and, later, inherited her grandmother’s bookcase, full of all the treasures over which they had pored, together, for many an hour during her childhood and youth.
News photo May 16, 2011
Yesterday, when the 7,000 residents of the town of Slave Lake, Alberta, were evacuated as fire threatened to engulf the area, she was forced to leave the bookcase behind, and only had time to grab eight books of the many volumes its shiny shelves had housed. She had work to do, and no time to spend at home after news of massive damage at the Town Hall reached her. 

Later, at an emergency evacuee reception centre in the town of Athabasca, she told everyone the fire had claimed no lives, and there were no reports of injuries. The relief she felt for her friends and neighbours was real and heartfelt, but so was her grief for her grandmother’s books and bookcase. She had to hide her own grief, however, because, after all, she was mayor of the burnt town.

*

Tess, at Willow Manor, provides a prompt for Magpie Tales every week, and invites us to make of it what we will—a story, a poem, or even just a well-crafted sentence. 

For my submission this week, I have incorporated yesterday's news of a devastating fire in northern Alberta. My apologies to Slave Lake's mayor,  Ms Karina Pillay-Kinnee, for any suggestion that she put herself or her private possessions before her mayoral duties because, of course, she did not.

To see how others responded to Tess's photo prompt of books on a shelf, a subject of interest to all writers everywhere, please click

14 comments:

Jingle said...

very sad, books are treasures.

lovely tale. you make us wonder.

anthonynorth said...

A sad but excellent write.

Leslie said...

I wonder what I would choose if I had to...

Martha Z said...

I think you told it well. It is heartbreaking to loose the heritage passed on by one's grandmother but she rightly put her towns welfare first. That doesn't lessen her own loss.

Mara said...

I was so hoping it was a complete work of fiction!

If books burn due to an accidental fire it's one thing, but when people start burning books on purpose I wonder about them and their sanity.

~T~ said...

Oh, that would be so hard! I'm glad the people are safe.

Kristen Haskell said...

Heartbreaking tale, very well crafted and I love the idea of taking something that actually happened and incorporating a little fiction.

Friko said...

How would you ever get over this?
Is it true?

Kay L. Davies said...

@ Friko — It's true that the town of Slave Lake, Alberta, burned yesterday and last night. Today's reports say 40% of the town is gone. I admitted (see red italic paragraph) to fictionalizing the mayor's grandmother's bookcase, but only in an attempt to illustrate the losses suffered by the townspeople.
— K

jabblog said...

What a dreadful disaster. Thank goodness no lives were lost.
I like the way you incorporated it into your story. How sad it would be to lose such treasures.

Ebie said...

Nice take on the theme.

But sigh for the town. It would take years to rebuild it.

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Sad - and sent a shiver down my spine. Hope it's not true.

Anna :o]

Jinksy said...

A telling tale...

Sue J said...

It's always sad when books are burnt.