Posted Sunday March 20
As children, we wondered what went on inside his shed. Grinding, sawing, the hiss of sandpaper on timber. The scent of pine and the heady smell of lacquer.
Every Christmas the children of the village received little painted wooden toys in their stockings. Santa made them we were told. We didn't know they came from the old gentleman's shed.
The years passed and we had children of our own. The tradition of the toys was enjoyed by a whole new generation. He worked until the day he died.
On the day of his funeral, several of us were invited to visit the mysterious shed. Everywhere, hammers chisels and screwdrivers. Pots of paint lined up like soldiers. A lathe, and saws of every shape and size. In the middle sat a coffin, intricately carved with smiling faces, cars and animals. Atop, a wreath of wooden flowers.
Later at the chapel, each of us took one of the toys he'd made for us all those years ago. We placed them on the lid of his coffin. I'm sure I heard distant sounds. Grinding, sawing, the hiss of sandpaper on timber. The scent of pine and the heady smell of lacquer.
(Word count 200)
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