[This was a short story written for a writing prompt on Phantom Sway with the photo of the suitcase below. The prompt is for 100 words exactly. This one is a little longer.]
Suitcase of Memories
He was sifting through the last of her things in the Attic. Three months had gone by since his mother had passed, and he had been sifting for the last two. He had finally made it to the attic, experiencing a lifetime of emotional baggage attached to her things. It was there in the back corner under the eve, that he found it. His mother’s suitcase. Her mother’s before her, it was leather with silk interior and brass clasps; the kind that lasts forever. He opened it and memories spilled over him. How he would sift through his grandmother’s underwear for hidden presents as a child. His mother bringing it home after his grandmother’s unexpected death. The time she took it, full of baby clothes to the hospital in labor, and they both came home empty. And it went with her to the other hospital when she couldn’t stop crying afterward. She took it on her occasional solo trips out of town, getting away from the family for a weekend. Then she took it on her trip around the world after his dad’s death when he was in college. He had longed to be that suitcase, which went with her everywhere he couldn’t. It smelled of freedom and adventure, grief and love. It smelled of her. In the end it was the only thing he took from her house. An empty suitcase, stuffed full of memories.