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July 27, 2020 / Congau


It broke because it had a potential for breaking. When it smashed against the floor and was instantly dissolved into a thousand pieces of glassy splinters, it merely fulfilled its inherent ability to transform.

Still, what had happened to the precious vase was hardly an improvement. Its value was immediately reduced to naught and even less. It had become a nuisance and a hazard for any bare feet that would venture to cross the room and thus the remains were promptly swept onto a dustpan and dispatched of forever. The end.

Yet, no deep sorrow accompanied the parting of the decorative article. Although it had been in family ownership since several Christmases back, it had never been a revered household object, and it was merely out of respect for the ancient aunt who had donated it that it was kept in such a prominent location. The mantlepiece where it had stood was indeed the center of the salon, but it must also be observed that the shelf had not offered much security. A cynic, who was of course non-existent in such a proper family, might have been inflicted with the thought that the vase had wittingly been placed in such an exposed position in the attempt to erase the memory of the said relative. The lady who had loomed over the clan while alive was still making her ghostly tentacles felt, and perhaps it had occurred to an erring grand nephew that her spying monocle somehow inhabited her gift.

Was it then simply meant to happen? When during a heated discourse on the merit of tradition versus liberty of thought, the proponent of the latter, a pimply progeny, underscored his conclusion with a convincing right hand gesture, it effectively meant the end of an era of oppression. Mrs. Columbus fell from her pedestal.

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