Friday Fictioneers: Nana’s cabinet of curiosities

PHOTO PROMPT © Claire Fuller

PHOTO PROMPT © Claire Fuller


 

‘That one.’ I pointed at a stone, lumpy as fossilised porridge.

‘You know that one,’ Nana pretend scolded. ‘A pigeon from Pompeii. Ash cloud caught it in mid-flap. The bird’s still inside, beak open, feathers perfect.’

‘And that?’

‘Spinal disc of an ichthyosaur.’

My blanket was pulled round me, tucked up to my chin, the silky edge slipping over my bare toes.

Nana reached for another rock, oval this time, surface shimmering with amethyst crystals. ‘This is the best. Draco majestas regia – a dragon’s egg.’

She held it to my ear. From inside, a sound like a leather umbrella unfolding.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic and tell a tale in no more than 100 words. See here to join in and to read the other lovely stories.

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57 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: Nana’s cabinet of curiosities

    1. Thank you Chris. I need one of these cabinets – we have fossils and old coins and rocks and bits of meteorite all jumbled on shelves. A cabinet treats them with the respect they deserve. Of course, what I really want is one that has a preserved mermaid, a unicorn’s horn and a dragon’s egg in it! What’s in your cabinet Chris?

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      1. Oh, I love it. Have you filled it now and does it keep on changing? It’s such a lovely idea – I must get myself one of those. It gives the objects real weight and importance, having them displayed like that.

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    1. I do have a friend who has some very odd stuff lying about, from old bottles and clay pipes to an air raid warden’s helmet from WWII and the painter’s palettes her dad used, complete with paint. It adds up to an intriguing whole 🙂

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      1. Definitely! I aim to have a home full of hotch-potch treasures. Not really much of that yet, other than a silver trinket box from Pakistan, prayer beads from Saudi… and a white Venetian style half mask on a bamboo stem I made from paper mache for a birthday ridotto with gold braid… Other than that, it’s mainly photos and old birthday cards and my books. Nothing particularly special sadly. A wooden flower-press in a drawer. Deeply meh. 😀 I make things, but I’m in a weird phase of having acquired as much stuff of the stuff I like that I want, now comes the curating phase I feel. xx

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    1. Ah, thank you. How lovely that your great uncle had dinosaur eggs – fertilised ones are very rare you know 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to read

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  1. Two stunning points of detail in this, Lynn. The first is the silk-edged blanket (how I remember those) and the second is the leather umbrella unfolding. It’s little things that this which make me look forward to reading your stuff. Mega job!

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    1. Thank you so much Sandra – that means such a lot coming from you! I had a pink blanket with a satin edge – the colour of plasters and the stitching was coming undone, letting a length of satin trail so you could run it through your fingers 🙂 Thanks so much for taking the time to read this

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      1. Ha ha – that would explain (as one must explain when world building) why there aren’t more dragons in the world: because whatever god or wizard created them had more dramatic flair than biological understanding, and saddled them with a ridiculous way to hatch their eggs that often fails. 😉

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      2. Exactly — which leads me to the companion question, Why haven’t these incredibly powerful, huge, carnivores eaten everyone already? It’s even worse when they’re intelligent and can use magic — they would have taken over the world by now! I’m always shaking my head at fantasy writers who ignore these basic problems. 😉

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      3. Haha! Very, very true. I liked Terry Pratchett’s idea of dragons – swamp dragons, that is – that they’re squat, flatulent and produce so much gas they usually die by blowing themselves up! Not the noble creature of myth at all. 🙂

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      1. I’m sure I left some phoenix feathers somewhere. I’ll have a search. Probably down the back of the sofa – that’s where everything else goes … 🙂

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    1. Yes indeed! My Nana had cupboards filled with old toys, bits and pieces my grandad brought back from travelling in Asia, a little bust of Churchill that could puff on tiny cigars. Her whole house was a curiosity 🙂

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    1. Ah, thank you Rochelle. I take the Narnia comparison as an enormous compliment – I remember the books so well from my own childhood 🙂 Thanks for your kind comments

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