The Hope Chest

Martha side-steps her way past the busy work tables toward the back of the wood-shop. “Tom, where are you? Tom!”   

“Mom, you’re early.”  

“I know, but we gotta go. Pew, it smells in here,” says Martha brushing sawdust from her sleeves.

“That’s the tung oil wood finish reacting with maple. It’ll dissipate. Wanna see what I made?”

“Maybe next time,” and Martha suddenly gasps when she sees the exquisite hope chest with birds, hearts and the word ‘MOM’ engraved on the lid.


 “It’s something for you to store your hopes in Mom, so you won’t ever lose them.”


I wrote this in response to Charli Mill’s April 27th Flash Fiction Challenge. In 99 words (not more, not less) write a story that includes oil. As always, she suggests we go where the prompt leads us.

10 thoughts on “The Hope Chest

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  1. What a sweet story! When you mentioned the wood oils and varnishes, I instantly thought of smell. I’m pleased to see that came out in the writing, as did the loving act. We could all use a hope chest!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Charli for your kind words! May we all be able to hold onto our hopes. We may change them, let some go and add new ones, but may we never lose them all.

      Liked by 1 person

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