Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Jar: A Short Story (Part 2)

If you missed Part 1 of "The Jar," click HERE. The conclusion will be posted tomorrow!

The Jar
By Amber Stokes


What is a medium-sized jar that once held rutabagas good for after said vegetables have been removed? Alice was just as unsure as you and I for a time, but a few days after Randy had left on his way to Vietnam, Alice was given some change from the grocers. Just some pennies and a couple of dimes. Instead of putting them back in her purse, she put them in her pocket. And when she got back to her trailer, she approached the jar glistening on the windowsill, twisted the lid off of it with a satisfying pop, and dropped the coins into it. Clang, clang, clang. Why, it was almost like music!

A new note, a new drop of copper or silver, was added to the jar each week. Sometimes it was change from the grocers. Sometimes it was a penny she had found on the sidewalk in front of Gottschalks. Once it was a quarter she found in her couch.

By 1975, the jar was as full as it could be and Alice was 87 years old. And then one Sunday, she heard Randy’s parents tell the congregation that he would be home soon. He might even be in church the following Sunday!

So Alice went home and searched all about her trailer for what she was certain must still be there somewhere. Back too many years ago to count, she wore a yellow ribbon. I never did learn the details, but I’ve heard that she might have used it in her hair on her first date with the man she married. Whatever its original use, that yellow ribbon now had a new purpose, just like the jar, if only she could… Aha! She found it in the top drawer of her nightstand, tucked inside a book of Robert Frost poetry.

As you might have already guessed, she replaced the lid on the penny jar and tied the yellow ribbon beneath the lid. When she saw him next Sunday, she wanted him to know that she had been thinking of him all those days and weeks and months and years – those moments – when he had been in Vietnam.

To Be Continued...


Unknown said...

Aww, I love that Alice tied a ribbon important to her to the jar she intends to give to Randy! Anxious to read the conclusion! It's a great story, Amber!

Amber Holcomb said...


It's amazing how something that seems so small can really be such a meaningful gift! I'm excited to share the conclusion with you tomorrow, and to share the inspiration behind the story. :)

Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words!


Hutt-Write Voice said...

Looking forward to read the rest!

Amber Holcomb said...

Thank you, Linda! :)


Faith said...

Lovely story :) Sorry I didn't stop by yesterday. But I read both parts today and I can't wait to find out what will happen :)

Amber Holcomb said...


Awww, thank you! And no need to apologize! It means a lot to me that you took the time to stop by today and catch up on it. :)

Part 3 (the conclusion) to be posted at midnight!! :D


Bonnie Way aka the Koala Mom said...

May I suggest that you go back into these posts and add links to the next part of the story, now that it's all posted? For people like me, who come late to the story and want to read it all? :) Thanks.

Amber Holcomb said...

Koala Bear Writer,

Thank you for the suggestion! I suppose if you did just find a random post that's connected to other posts, it would get a bit confusing. :)

I actually do have links now to some of my story/poetry posts on my "About Me" page, which should have all of the links in order:


And if you click on the "short story" link in the Labels section, they should all be one right after the other. :) Feel free to check out the various Labels!

I do have the links to the previous parts on the conclusion post, too, so I hope that helps!