The Wrong Color

The Wrong Color

A Story by Erin Lee

A silly little story just to get my writing fingers warmed up. (Maybe the beginnings of a children's book).


The Wrong Color

by Erin L George

She wore a lime green scarf. She'd knitted it herself, long ago, when the children were still young and she was silly enough to make time to daydream.

She bought the yarn for it from the old woman at the Sugar n Spice thrift shop - the one who worked herself through the cluttered aisles in her wheelchair. She'd always wondered how the woman had come to find herself in that chair. Visit that thrift shop as she did each day, Sarah never had the nerve to ask her. Instead, they swapped pleasentries about the weather and the price of things in this economy. They did this nearly every day for more than seven years. And each day, just as Sarah was leaving, the old woman would compliment her on her "colorful" scarf.

Sarah was a quiet woman. She prefered the simple things in life. Lemonade on the hammock in her back yard, a quiet novel with the promise of adventure, and an old collection of tea pots. These were the things that made her smile. But oh, smile, when she did, it made the clouds and sky wink back. Her pearly teeth and thick lips were contageous to all who knew her.

It was only a few days before her 40th birthday when Sarah got the news. She'd made her way over to Sugar n Spice to just in time for Friday's half price sale. Her neice was getting bigger now. She'd been admiring Sarah's lime green scarf for years. And Sarah had promised to knit her one of her own.

Sarah knew the old woman, whose name she'd never learned, would have just the yarn for this. And knitting was how she would spend her weekend. She approached the old shop and was surprised to see a handwritten sign on the door: "Closed until further notice."

Sarah couldn't have been standing there for more than a few seconds before the woman from the bakery next door hollered to her.

"That place ain't gonna be open today, dear!" she called.

"Okay. Thanks!" Sarah shot her a smile and turned away from the door.

"Marjory ain't feelin' well and they took her to the hospital!" the woman, with a violet sweater and large dangle earrings squealed. "Don't know if she'll ever come back!"

Sarah dug her toe into the doorjam. Marjory was the old woman's name. Why didn't I know that?

Sarah stopped by Sugar n Spice every day for months. The note on the door was ragged and torn now. It had curled at the edges and was slowly making its way down the door. The woman from the bakery peeked out to give her updates some days: "Naw! She's still not doing well." and "Yep. It's gonna be some time, now, hunny."

Sarah stopped knitting all together -  refusing to pay full price for yarn the old woman had so freely sold to her. As weather got warmer, Sarah continued to wear the scarf, even with her white tee shirts and denim shorts. She gardened in it. She cooked with it on. She even slept with it. Had anyone been paying attention, they might just have thought her mad.

Sarah wrote stories about Marjory, the woman she'd known, but not known at all, for so many years, in her mind. She created wild adventures where she and Marjory went sailing together on high seas and stopped off at ports for botique shopping. In these fantasies, the pair were best friends and Marjory was no longer in that chair. She was making time to daydream.

It was August - just as the pumpkins were coming up in her garden, when she saw a light on at Sugar n Spice one afternoon. Sarah all but ran over the bakery lady as she parked her car and ran to the door. Flinging it open, her smile lit the place right up.

"Marjory? You're here?!" Sarah exclaimed.

The woman looked up from her seat at the counter.

"Yes, dear. I'm here. How are you today?"

"Where have you been? I've been looking for you. The lady at the bakery next door said you were sick. Are you okay?"

"Martha? Don't you listen to her! I'm perfectly fine! I've been on a trip. A great adventure. I've been looking for new yarn," Marjory replied.

Sarah stared at the old woman with her mouth wide.

"You've been where? But you already had yarn!"

"Well, yes, dear. Of course I have yarn," she said, holding up a bawl of violet hemp. "But, you see, it was the wrong color!"

© 2010 Erin Lee

Author's Note

Erin Lee
If I ever do anything with this, which I probably won't, I'll expand on the travels Marjory and Sarah take together in Sarah's imagination to make it into a cute picture book.

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this is wonderful thank you for sharing

Posted 9 Years Ago

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Added on April 27, 2010
Last Updated on April 27, 2010