where the prompt given was:
I was looking in your desk drawer for some photographs I thought might be there, but I was surprised to find…
which, slightly modified, was the perfect opening for a story I was already plotting out.
(See the end of the work for notes.)
“I was looking in your desk drawer earlier today for some photographs I thought might be there,” eleven-year-old Evie said to her fourteen-year-old sister Janella, “but I was surprised to find”
“You snooped in my desk?” Janella broke in. “What right did you have?”
“What right did you have to have a rosary in your desk? We’re not Catholic.”
“We’re not really anything.”
“True, but when do go to church, it’s one of the Protestant churches.”
“That’s not the point. The point is that you had no right, none whatsoever, to go into my desk drawer without asking!”
“I couldn’t ask you,” Evie argued. “You weren’t home.”
Janella wondered if she should pray a silent “Hail Mary”, but since she wasn’t a Catholic yet, and didn’t know if she ever would be,
she decided not to. Years later, she would be glad that her very first “Hail Mary” hadn’t been prayed in anger.
She went to her drawer.
“Where’s my rosary?”
“I took it.”
“That’s worse than snooping! That’s stealing! Now you can just give it back to me!”
“I can’t,” Evie said with a defiance that was meant to cover up the uneasiness she now felt.
“Oh yes you can, and you will!”
parents came in just then from visiting their next-door neighbors, and soon knew all about it.
“Now,” their mother said, “you will give that rosary back to your sister. If she’s interested in Catholicism, that’s her business.”
Their father added, “But first you will apologize to Janella.”
“I’m sorry, Janella, but I can’t give you back the rosary.”
“Why can’t you?” Janella asked.
“Because,” Evie admitted reluctantly, “I cut the cord and made the beads into a necklace and bracelet set.”
“Why?” three voices demanded.
“For my classmate Donna. She’s having her birthday party in her mother’s rose garden next Saturday if the weather is nice, and the whole class is going.
And the beads are blue, and that’s her favorite color and I want to give a good present, and she likes handmade”
“Oh, stop rambling!” Janella interrupted.
The girls’ parents exchanged looks, and, without a word, came to a decision.
“You’re not going to Donna’s party,” said the mother. “You’re grounded for two weeks. And now you will restring that rosary and give it back to your sister.”
When Evie gave the restrung rosary to her sister, she said bitterly, “I’m missing the best party of the year because of this stupid rosary.
I hope I never see another rosary as long as I live!”
But she did. In fact, ironically, Evie was the first one in her family to be baptized into the Catholic Church.
This is very loosely based on a true incident.
Someone did snoop in my drawer years ago and find a rosary.