The Fake Diamond Lizard Brooch

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A short time ago, two of the writers in the Daydream Journal thread decided to try a short story experiment: they agreed on a character, a location, and a couple of objects. The stories they came up with were different, but intriguing. They've agreed to share them with the Post. It's all about that lizard brooch. Or is it the Buddha?

The Fake Diamond Lizard Brooch

A Buddha in a garden with a lizard brooch.

I am sitting in my upstairs writing room, watching my neighbour Margery Anderson pottering around in her yard.

She looks up and waves cheerily. She likes it when I'm here. She hopes I'm writing a story about her, which I am.

It is a lovely September afternoon, green and gold with a light breeze.

Margery isn't a gardener but she has a few herbs in terracotta pots, from which she removes snails.

'Nature is a mystery to me, dear Dorothy,' she once protested. 'Why don't snails go and live in the country? I don't understand such interest in a few scrawny herbs in a suburban back yard.'

The central feature of the yard is her five-ft bronze Buddha, which sits on the small patch of grass. She lets the dandelions and daisies grow around his feet, and talks to him often.

All the neighbours love Margery, with her mischievous engaging countenance and cropped grey hair. Also, she bakes the best victoria sponge cake in the town, and possibly even the world.

'Dan Finlay and Dorothy are coming over to tea,' whispered Margery to the Buddha. 'I'll have to wear the dreaded fake diamond lizard brooch. I think we'll sit out here with you. Can you work any magic? I must lose that brooch.'

Margery and Dan are friends, nothing more, she tells me a little too often.

'Just because we're neighbours, both in our 70s and single, and the fact that he is rather otherworldly and charming, doesn't mean we're going to get together. So please don't start writing any peculiar sub-plots.'

Dan had given her the fake diamond lizard brooch a few months ago, which was a setback.

'To repay you for the best cake in the universe' he had said. Margery decided at that moment to give up baking, but we all talked her out of it.

There is something bleak about the brooch. The fake diamonds reflect the light in a dull dreary way, as if its been kept in an attic that hasn't seen light for about two hundred years.

We assembled for tea. Dan seemed a little on edge. Suddenly he stood up and said that he could no longer be dishonest in the presence of the Buddha.

The Buddha watched us, the sun glinting off his bronze head.

A snail made its way up the side of a terracotta pot.

'It's the brooch, Margery,' he continued. 'I know how much you love it, but I must take it back.

You see, it belonged to a lady I once knew, a psychic. She found it in a bargain bin in a junk shop. For some reason it gave her insights into the spirit world, although I have to admit I can't possibly see how. When she passed over, I said I would keep it forever.'

Margery looked at the Buddha. She wanted to celebrate wildly, but decided that some emotions are best kept to oneself. So she graciously removed the brooch and handed it over to Dan.

We drank our tea, content in the green and gold September light.

'Perhaps in my sub-plot, Margery has a turn and borrows the lizard brooch to wear at her wedding.' I thought, trying to hide my smile.

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