A/N: This was the second (and so far, last) exercise for the online creative writing group. It was written in April, 2008. The prompts were: a library, something or someone French, a river, and a glass bead.
Genevieve likes the library. It's calm and mellow and full of books she can't yet read. But that's the point, she supposes, of the visits to her family in Provance, the family that keeps hoping she'll speak French like the rest of them do. She was born in America and the first thing she thinks of when she thinks of a river is the Mississippi, not the Rhone or the Loire...and about the only French she remembers are her grandmother's cradle songs, not something that comes in handy for general conversation. She's taken French in high school, but it's not the Provencal dialect they teach, and even in class, she's ashamed to admit how little she knows of her family's tongue.
But she keeps trying. Every summer, her parents send her to her aunt's and every summer, the words come a little easier. Then it's back to life in Chicago where the only French she uses is the croissant she orders from the bakery on the corner. And in the necklace that her aunt gave her, the necklace of colored glass beads, each one strung on a summer's memories of lavender fields and sibilant vowels.
So she gets her coffee and her croissant and toys with the necklace and thinks that next summer, she'll be able to read the books in the library.
1 month ago