Jacob sighed; he was struggling to find the perfect birthday gift for his wife. It wasn’t helping that his 8-year-old twin daughters were helping him shop. With his mother-in-law’s sudden illness he had to bring both the twin with him because his wife wanted to take care of her mother.
It had been a hard year for his wife. First her father past without warning and she lost her dream job as the top writer for the city’s newspaper. Now eight month later her mother was sick with little hope of getting better. He wanted to find the perfect gift to cheer up his wife.
“I know what mama wants.” Cleo said tugging on her father’s sleeve. “She would love a doll.”
“No, she would want chocolate.” Angela smiled as if she had known the answer. She picked up a chocolate heart.
“I am pretty sure your mom would rather not have a doll and I would like to get your mom something more creative that a chocolate heart.” Jacob told his daughters.
The three of them had just looked at their sixth store and the twins were getting tired. Cleo was slowing down and had started naming off everything she saw as a possible gift idea. Angela on the other hand was trying to pick the best gift for her mother in order to one up her sister.
“What about this?” Cleo picked up a pastel floral tea set.
“Mom doesn’t like tea.” Angela told her twin sister in a know-it-all tone. “She likes coffee.”
“You should have asked Aunt CeCe.” Cleo added tiredly to her father.
“I have known your mother for over 16 years, and not once have I had to ask Aunt CeCe for help finding your mother a gift.”
“What about a typewriter?” Angela said quietly looking up at a typewriter sitting in an antique store. “Mama loves writing, and she doesn’t have one.”
Jacob turned to look at the typewriter Angela was talking about. It was an old typewriter, but it looked almost new. The black paint on it shined, which is what caught Angela’s attention. The keys were a bit warn, but still looked to be in good condition.
“I’m not sure.” While Jacob knew his wife loved to write she had not been able to write since she lost her job. “It could be what your mom needs to write again.”
“Let’s go look at it.” Angela said as she grabbed her father’s arm.
They went into the antique shop and went straight to the typewriter.
“It’s a special typewriter.” An elderly lady walked over to Jacob. The lady had dark grey hair that went pass her shoulders. Her eyes were brown with golden specks. She was dressed in all black. “It’s magic.”
The twins giggled when the lady said the typewriter was magic. “How is it magic?” Both the twins asked at the same time.
“This typewriter brings good luck to whoever uses it.” The old lady smiled at the girls. “The last owner of this typewriter had their book published.”
“Well that has nothing to do with the typewriter. The last owner must have been a really good writer.” Jacob told the girls and the old lady.
“You won’t be disappointed with this typewriter. You can bring it back if you are unsatisfied with it, but I don’t think you will.”
“Please dad.” Angela and Cleo begged at the same time.
“Well if you girls both agree it’s a good gift then I guess I will have to get it.”
“Do you want me to box it up and wrap it for you?” The lady picked up the typewriter and took it to the counter.
On his wife’s birthday Jacob and the twins made her breakfast in bed. The toast was burnt, the eggs were to runny, the bacon was barley cooked, but the coffee was just the way she loved it, creamer and sugar.
“Thank you.” Linda, Jacob’s wife, smiled. She kissed Jacob’s cheek and then hugged both the twins. She took a bite of the burnt toast and then took a sip of her coffee.
“We got you a gift.” Angela told her mother as Cleo ran out of the room to get the neatly wrapped present. “I picked it out all on my own.”
“Why don’t you girls help me unwrap it.” Linda said when Cleo brought the box in.
Cleo and Angela jumped at the chance to unwrap the box, which they did within seconds. They handed the now unwrapped box to their mother who was still sitting in bed next to her husband.
“A typewriter.” Linda said surprised.
“A magic typewriter.” Cleo smiled.
“Magic typewriter?” Laughed Linda. “What is so magical about a typewriter?”
“The lady said it brings good luck.” Angela pipped in.
“What lady?” Linda whispered to her husband.
“The lady that sold us the typewriter told us that it brings good luck to whoever uses it.” Jacob whispered back. “She was probably just saying that to get us to buy it.”
“Why don’t you use the typewriter now.” The twins said at the same time.
Linda looked at the typewriter siting in her lap. “Sure, just let me think about what to write.”
The twins left the room to let their mother write. Linda went into her office and placed her new typewriter on her desk. Jacob picked up his wife’s half eaten breakfast and her empty mug that had held the coffee. Jacob stopped when he passed Linda’s office and he saw her looking longingly at the typewriter.
“What are you thinking Linda?” Jacob asked his wife, startling her.
“I can’t write honey. I have tried for months now, but no words are coming to mind.” Linda ran her fingers through her dark brown hair. “Maybe I can’t write anymore.”
“Just start typing and see what happens.” Jacob put down the plate and mug he was holding. “What about that novel you always said you wanted to write? Why not try writing that?”
Linda looked up at her husband. “I can try.”
Once Linda started typing on the typewriter the words came to her. Within three weeks she had finished a rough draft of her novel. Within a few months she finished her novel and sent it to a publisher. By the end of the year she was working with the publisher on getting her story publish. By the next year she was finishing up her next book.
Linda, like her daughters, believed in the magic of the typewriter. The twins grow up, and never stopped believing in it’s magic. Even when they were adults with families of their own, they told them the story of the magic typewriter. Jacob on the other hand never truly believed in the magic, but he pretended because he didn’t want to take away the magic his family felt.
When Linda died at the ripe age of ninety-four, the typewriter went to Angela. Angela used the typewriter well and, in the time, it was in her possession she went on to write many stories that she never had published in her lifetime. It was Angela’s choice to never have her stories published while she was alive. The stories did get published after her death, when her daughter found them hidden with the typewriter.
The story along with the typewriter continues to be passed down passed from generation to generation in that family.