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Contemporary Drama Urban Fantasy

This story contains sensitive content

(Trigger warning: This story contains themes based around loss and death of a loved one. Please read with caution.)

“Aren’t most heirlooms supposed to be like a necklace or something? I can’t show this off.” Dahlia had been ranting about her supposed inheritance for the better part of the last hour. She was absolutely furious with the lamp she’d received.

Delphi, on the other hand, couldn’t stop thinking about the funeral they had just attended. Her older sister was cruel, and selfish but she’d never imagine it to be this severe. To be lashing out at their deceased relative over a beautiful piece that was simply not to her liking? Practically despicable. Delphi had received a tea set, which she intended to use every single day to honor her late grandmother, but Dahlia had hated her gift. Delphi imagined that nothing but the most expensive jewelry would have made her sister happy. Even then, it would have taken an entire case of the finest assortment of jewels to contend her sisters’ greed. 

“Delph, you’re not even listening to me!”

“Hm?” Delphi really wasn’t. She was staring at the artifacts before her, wondering who the rest of the items would be for. Her grandmother had a lot of close friends and even more admirers. Amara had been the sweetest most caring person in their town, and now she was gone and all Delphi had to remember her by were the trinkets that had been left behind in her shop. The one in her hands was an ancient family relic. She’d heard stories about this tea set and even the lamp was mentioned once or twice. It was hard for her to recall them now as any memory of her grandmother brought a storm of pain to her chest and a misting of tears to her eyes. It was too new to think about it just then. Too raw. She always knew her grandmother planned to give them all gifts upon her passing, but it had never occurred to Delphi that it would be so soon…

“Lilah, Delphi, it’s time for us to go, my sweet lilies.” Their mothers voice was quiet, filled with somber emotion as she came to collect them. The reception had been in their family estate which had been turned to a sanctuary for animals and humans alike. The old, the damaged, the helpless all came here to be rehabilitated and cared for. Just another thing their grandmother had done to support their community. 

“Gosh, what would it have been like to live here, right? Too bad old grans had to give it to all these weirdos.” Dahlia shook her head in disgust as she hauled her delicate lamp down the foyer, to the front entrance and out to their waiting car. 

“Everyone grieves in their own way, darling.” Delphi’s mother cooed as she no doubt saw the disgruntled expression on her face.

“But why does she have to be so… mean about it?” 

“Pain and fear turn people into the ugliest things. It is the job of those with strong hearts to share their love and compassion with those who…”

“Lack it?”

“Have less to share.” 

Delphi and her mother shared a knowing sort of smile. Though Dahlia could be hard and closed off at times, Delphi knew the truth beneath her armor. Though at this moment it was harder to accept, Delphi knew that her sister would come around and she’d be there to catch Dahlia’s tears when they fell. 

Delphi’s father was waiting for them just outside the main doors. Dahlia was already in the backseat of their car with her headphones on, looking out at the garden just beyond the estate. Delphi made sure to thank the employees surrounding her, complimenting them on a beautiful ceremony. They had used Amara’s favorite flowers to decorate the space; Dahlia’s and Delphiniums, no less. The namesakes for her only two granddaughters. 

The car ride home was quiet, but not completely unpleasant as Delphi had imagined it would be. She cradled the tea set in her lap and watched as the sun set beneath the horizon. It shone a brilliant amaranth red and brought tears to her eyes. She had a pot of amaranths back at home, the same way her grandmother had had pots of both Dahlias and Delphiniums in her garden. Delphi imagined it was her grandmother's final departure from this world and her arrival into whatever came after. 

Dahlia reached over and grabbed Delphi’s hand, squeezing it and holding it there the entire drive home. 

They stopped for food on their way as no one had the capacity to even think of cooking a meal at that moment and they ate in silence, in the car for a few more moments before heading inside. From the car, Delphi could just barely make out the amaranth plant in her bedroom window. Strange, however, because she didn’t recall leaving the light on.

“Delph, you forgot to switch off your lamp.”

“I was just noticing that… but I can swear I turned it off. I actually don’t even remember turning it on at all today.” 

“Just make sure you don’t leave it on while you sleep, okay?”

Delphi rolled her eyes, “Right dad, because I would be able to sleep at all with the glaring light in my eyes.” 

They laughed softly to themselves and the air around them softened once more. It was nice to connect like this with her family, even in the relative silence. 

As they made their way inside, Dahlia 'harrumphed’ again as she heaved the lamp out of the car. 

“I can help you with that, kiddo.” Her father told her.

“Thanks…” She looked like she almost wanted to leave it outside but refrained from saying anything at all.


The end of the night came in much of a blur to Delphi. Her heart, mind and body were all too exhausted from the past week’s events. She had carefully set the tea pots and cups on her desk and was about to remove them from the box when a soft knock came to her door. 

“Come in,” she said, swiveling in her chair to face who she knew would be at her door.

“Hiya, sis. Mind if I come in for a bedtime story?” Dahlia’s eyes were newly rimmed in red and it made Delphi's heart catch once more.

She stood from the desk and rushed to meet her sister’s open arms. They hugged. Dahlia cried and Delphi soothed her. It wasn’t that Delphi wasn’t sad anymore, not even close, but in that moment she knew she needed to be the strong one. She brushed Dahlia’s hair and told her a hushed story of one of the artifacts that had been on the table back at the estate. It was a funny story, one of many that she could recall and it worked to give Lilah a reason to smile.

“Wish she would’ve given me that instead of the… the… stupid lamp!” Her smile was short lived because upon remembering the lamp she started to cry again. “Delph, I can’t sleep with that thing in my room. It’s not even that I hate it… I just… I can’t, you know? It’s too hard to look at it and I can’t bring myself to even plug it in. It hurts too much.” 

Delphi nodded, glancing toward her own desk. The tea set, though beautiful, had made her feel the same really. It wasn’t really their grandmother and it was just a reminder that they’d never see Amara again. But the alternative, to not have it at all?

It made Delphi shudder just to think about it. 

“Bring it in here, honey. I’ll keep it safe for you until you’re ready.” 

Lilah agreed wholeheartedly and jumped to retrieve it. She breathed a sigh of relief as she placed it by the windowsill in her sister’s room.

“Okay, I might be able to sleep now. Thank you baby sis.” 

“Love you,” Delphi told her.

“Love you back,” Lilah replied. 

Dahlia shut the door on her way out and Delphi had to rub a few stray tears away from her eyes before resuming her task. She wanted to clean the tea set and begin using it in the morning, so she wasted no time. She removed the cups and plates first, setting them to the side. Admiring each one individually; all of them had a floral design and she immediately saw that it was in fact a perfect representation of her, her sister, her mother and her grandmother. All of their name’s had been carved beneath the image of the corresponding flower. 

Dahlia’s was a vibrant and royal violet shade.

Her mother’s, Azalea, was a dusty pink, to match her sweet expression. 

Her grandmother’s was a deep, dark red that was both elegant and regal. Exactly like the woman who it represented.

Hers, the Delphinium, was a brilliant cobalt blue. 

Each one came with a matching plate and a silver spoon engraved with their respective flowers as the base. 

She took a few moments to admire these items before reaching in for the main piece. The kettle was porcelain and flawless, this one depicted all four of their flowers and had a spiral handle. She lifted it to her lamp and watched as the embossed gold, silver and periwinkles sparkled against the light. 

As she did this, however, there was a faint clink and whoosh noise coming from inside the pot. She put it down on her desk and carefully lifted the lid. 

Inside the pot was a note and a key. 

The note had her grandmother’s handwriting on it. A beautiful inscription of her own name.

Delphinium, the bold.

She gasped silently as fresh tears came to her eyes. Her throat warmed and closed at the sight. She first held the note to her heart and tried to regain her breathing. Without even reading it, she had no doubt she knew exactly what this note would say. 

Could she open it now? Did she have enough strength left in her heart? It could only break with love so much, right?

Of course, the question was void the minute it appeared in her head. She would not have passed this opportunity for anything. 

She kissed the script and flipped the edges open, unfurling the note within. 

Her grandmother’s written word was the most beautiful thing her eyes had ever read. Each swoop and swirl of her pen seemed magickal and thoughtful. It took her eyes a few moments to actually focus on the individual words.

“My dearest Delphinium,

If this kettle had come to find you then it is with great love and admiration that I pass it on. Your love of our tea parties has filled my life with joy and wonder. I hope that you continue on our tradition with your mother, sister and other loved ones even if I am not there to attend them. I know you will be graceful and loving in your life, of this I have no worries. But please, my dear, do me one favor and be kind to yourself.”

Delphi had to pause here to let out a choked sob and wipe at her eyes. 

Her grandmother was kind hearted and caring even from the afterlife.

“You are the most beautiful flower in the world, and don’t you dare share this with your sister. I of course think of both of you girls as beautiful and amazing in your own ways, but you my dear are the other petal to my stem. You are the spring breeze which carries the earliest flower blooms and I am so incredibly proud of the woman you are becoming. 

Your sister is no doubt furious with the gift I have left for her and I do admit it causes me some joy to know that I can ruffle her feathers even from afar, but in a few days, if she hasn’t made you irate with her again, let her know that within the lamp shade there is a secret pocket filled with some of my favorite jewelry. Keep some for yourself my dear, though I know she’ll be loathed to share them. 

I have carried on long enough now, so let me get to my point.

The tea pot is a gift for you, yes. Because I do hope that our tea parties brought you as much joy as me, but the real gift is the key I’ve placed along with this letter.

It is the key to my shop, that will now be in your name to do with whatever you please. Your mother has told me one too many times that she has never wished to inherit such things and you have shown such a willingness to learn from me that I hope you find this gift in good heart. You do not have to keep it, just make sure you gift it to someone who will care for those old walls. And if you decide that you want to follow in old granny’s wake, then return to the estate and try the key in my bedroom door. It will open and give you access to most of the items I had left to sell. Whichever way you decide to take this, my darling Delphinium, I know you will walk your path with grace and love. Be sure to make an adventure out of it.

I only wish I could walk this path with you, and in some ways I suppose I will. 

Let your petals dance in the winds of the unknown, my darling.

I will see you on the other side.

With love and wonder, 

Your grandmother Amaranth de Abascal.” 

Delphi continued to stare at the page before her. Rereading the beautiful script. 

She couldn’t believe her eyes as the words finally sank in. 

Fresh tears came to her eyes and her heart must have swelled up seven times. She was so full of joy and excited anxiety that she was almost certain she wouldn’t be able to sleep that night. She clutched the letter to her chest and picked up the key. 

It was an old, unassuming copper thing but this delicate piece of metal was the start of her one-too-many dreams.

Her grandmother's store of oddities and such things had raised her. She’d been forever fascinated by everything that lay within those walls. It was in the center of her town beside a scenic park and the thought of owning it was almost too much to stomach.

“Make it an adventure,” her grandmother had said.

And though she was a little afraid, Delphi knew in her heart that she would make this shop her life’s work and honor her grandmother with all that she could.

So maybe her gifts hadn’t been jewels worthy of showing off, but she now had a place of her own to continue the work that her grandmother started.

Jewels were overrated any how, the true inheritance she had been left with was a heart made of gold and an eye for the odd things in a life so delightfully wicked. 

July 11, 2022 03:54

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1 comment

L. E. Scott
13:27 Jul 22, 2022

I liked it. I did notice you called dahlia lilah twice and wasnt sure if this was intentional, but it was a little confusing. Apart from that it was a beautiful tale. I think maybe Delphi was a little harsh with dahlia at first, but loved that she came around. I also like that the grandma was as snarky as she was sweet. That was a nice touch.


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