Writing prompt: You have found …

Today’s writing prompt and my response.

You have found something that will mean you’ll never be poor again – but there’s a catch

The woods aren’t normally a place to find treasure. Not of the material kind in any case. There is of course much natural treasure there, in all seasons. Spring with carpets of bluebells and budding pale green beech leaves translucent against black, rain-drenched trunks. Summer’s lushness and autumn’s red and gold glory. Even winter can have its charms when snow covers the trees’ nakedness and heavy frosts harden the mud. And then there is always the chance of spotting deer, a huge-antlered stag, a rounded boar or striped hoglets. Birdsong too, a sensurround  experience complete with fresh air.

magic lamp

It was winter when I found the material kind of treasure. Down a barely used forest path, over old felled branches, past brown, weeping bracken. The sky was grey with pending rain, the air cool but not freezing. I walked head down, careful of each step so as not to trip and land face down in wet scrubby grass or a puddle.

Which is why I saw it, half covered by last year’s sodden, rotting leaves. A pink glove, filthy, wet. I picked it up, held it by a grubby finger. Made of soft leather, with the letter L on the back formed from pale blue and white gems in an exquisite, curling pattern. Not the kind of glove one normally finds abandoned on a forest path. Someone must be missing it.

I slipped it into my backpack and continued my walk. My mind filled with thoughts of the jewel-encrusted glove, drowning the sorrowful, furious thoughts over his betrayal, which had been consuming me earlier. Where had it come from? Who had lost such a once-beautiful item? I would advertise my find on the local Facebook page, see if someone claimed it.

And that was my intention. Until I pulled it from my backpack and discovered it was now pristine, clean of all forest muck. The letter L glittered like a thousand trembling fairy lanterns, filling the dark hallway with a soft blue-white glow. I laid the glove on the hall table and straightened the fingers, which had curled into the palm, to discover they were clasping a golden coin inscribed with tiny letters. That coin hadn’t been there when I picked the glove up.

I had found a magic glove! Excitement swept through me. Was this an Aladdin’s lamp? Should I wear it and have all my wishes granted?

Some instinct made me hesitate. Better, perhaps to read the lettering first, see if the glove came with instructions.

I fetched my reading glasses, turned on the strongest lamp and read:

‘Lucky finder, wear this glove
Your halls will fill with gold
But be aware there is a cost
If you should be so bold
One dream which is forever lost
And that is faithful love.’

Faithful love? My lips twitched. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. I slid my hand into the pink leather, and laughed out loud.

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