Edna sat down at her favorite bench, giving silent thanks that it was open. She had seen it occupied at other times of the day, but it was always open for her late morning breakfast and had been for years.
How long had it been?
She thought back. She had started to come down to the park the year after Ed died. Let’s see, that was in ’98. And it was two years later that she settled on that one bench.
So there it was, 18 years of sitting there with her lunch every day.
She spread some crusts out, as always, before getting up and doing her the bit of walking she did every day.
There were a few paths that curved around the lovely garden that she loved to take. Her favorite, though, went through a little hidden grotto. Not a cave, just a little nook in the wall.
But what a magical place!
In one corner there were always interesting objects placed about. They were what she called “found art”. Perhaps a bead or an ancient pull tab from an old soda can. Perhaps a bottle cap or lost key. Some were natural, like random leaves, berries or feathers. The one thing they had in common is that they didn’t belong in that little spot.
She called them her little tokens, and, if nobody was looking, she often reached down and snatched one that struck her fancy. Sometimes it was just a feather, or perhaps an early autumn leaf. Once she took an ancient key. Another time a fresh flower.
She admired her secret little spot and decided to grab a button. As she was reaching for it, she saw that rock out of the corner of her eye.
The rock had always been there, the one little unchanging bit, but she never paid attention to it. For some reason, this time it caught her attention.
It did rather look like the back of a head, didn’t it? She had often thought so, but never investigated.
For whatever reason, she reached down and picked it up.
She turned it in her hand and dropped it,
But it landed so it seemed to be staring at her.
She staggered back, unable to take her eyes off of the stone.
There was a pain as the rocky eyes bore into her.
She fell, here face near that carving, her eyes looking into those eyes, those eyes on the stone that was a perfect replica of her face.
“What happened to the human who has left us food for generations?”
“I don’t know. She the last time she was here she looked at our tokens and fell. She never got up and other humans carried her away.”
“Too bad. I hope she knows how much we appreciated her giving us food since my grandmother’s grandmother’s grandmother’s day.”
“She saw our shrine and the tokens of our appreciation, so I’m sure she did.”
This was written for Sue Vincent’s writephoto challenge. Sue provided the photo at the top of the page and the key word “Token“.