Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Inheritance of a Bonsai Tree

I entered another writing swap on If you go to the link, it explains the requirements of the swap. Basically, I was given three words (an object, person, and place) that I had to incorporate into my micro-fiction piece of 250-300 words. I had to write about a tree, an heir, and a garage. I thought for a long time on how to use those words in my story, but I finally decided to write about a man who inherits a bonsai tree from his grandfather. I enjoyed writing this piece and would definitely enter a similar swap.

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The Inheritance of a Bonsai Tree
By Candace Shultz

Robert shoved his car door open. He grabbed the bonsai tree from the passenger seat and slid out from the car into his garage. After he slammed the door closed, he stormed to his work table and pulled up a chair, then sat down. He placed the bonsai tree onto the table, then he crossed his arms and glared at the tree as though he wished it to catch fire and burn.

Grandfather had millions of dollars and he bequeathed me his little tree? Robert fumed. He had spent almost every day with his grandfather, caring for his every need towards the end of his life. And what did he get for his efforts? A bush.

Robert moved his arm slightly and heard a rustling of paper in the inside pocket of his suit jacket. He pulled the envelope out. Scrawled across the middle of the envelope in his grandfather's handwriting was the name Robert. The lawyer had given him the envelope, explaining that Robert's late grandfather had written him a letter only to be opened upon his death. Robert grabbed a letter opener from the top of the desk and slit open the envelope.

Dear Robert,

If you are reading this letter, then I am dead. Along with this letter, you should have received your inheritance. I bought that 300-year-old bonsai tree from a Japanese associate over 30 years ago, and I have cared for it every day since. Though I'm sure you feel slighted that I gave you a little tree instead of cold, hard cash, I assure you that the bonsai tree is of much more value. Instead of selling it though, please continue to care for it as I have. May it bring you contemplation and peace of mind.


Robert Abernathy Sr.