Carolyn descended the three cement steps into the dusty garage. A space of about four by seven feet had been cleared of boxes and debris and swept clean. In the center of this space was a stack of three empty pet carriers, a basket of dog toys, and a dog bed with a sleeping speckled dog sprawled in it. Behind her followed an older gentleman, her father. When he came beside her he reached past her shoulder to pull a dangling cord turning on a long fluorescent light that hung over a workbench that ran the length one wall of the garage.
“So if we could just make a little more space out here, I could take in more fosters and you wouldn’t have anything disturbed in the house.” As she talked Carolyn adjusted her hold on the five day old kitten she carried. It mewed in complaint until she got it better situated against her body and returned the little baby bottle.
“Where do you plan to put everything?” His skepticism about this whole project dripped from the question.
“That’s what I was hoping you could help me with,” Carolyn began. “This stuff has been in boxes since I was little. You don’t use any of it. Could we maybe. . . get rid of. . . some of it?”
Her father looked at her, then at the wall of boxes. He said nothing.
“Look, Dad.” Carolyn set the baby bottle down on the workbench and shoved the kitten into her father’s hands causing a surprised sputter from him and an angry mewl from the kitten. She reached into the nearest box and pulled out a dusty metal tool that had two holes and a plate that could slide back and forth. “This thing for example. I’ve never seen you use it. Why let it sit out here taking up space? Is it so important to keep?”
Dad was still trying to figure out how to hold onto the squirming, now unhappy kitten as Carolyn waved the tool at him. He settled on cradling it in both hands against his belly. He looked up at his daughter. “That is an antique Colt bullet mold from 1862. No, we are not getting rid of it.” The kitten was attempting to climb up his front in search of its missing bottle, letting out frustrated little meows all the while. He assisted the tiny body by bringing it more up to his chest, but still trying to contain it in his hands.
Carolyn didn’t seem to notice his distress with the kitten. She regarded the bullet mold thoughtfully. “Well then, maybe we could just use it.”
Her dad snorted. “Making bullets seems to go against the spirit of your animal rescuing thing.”
Carolyn rolled her eyes. “No. I mean maybe. . . “, she turned to the workbench and popped off the nipple of the tiny baby bottle, turned it over and stuck it into one of the bullet mold holes. “There. Like that.” She held the mold/nipple combo out for her father to see.
He looked at it, then at her, again saying nothing, but with a hint of an eyebrow raise.
“When we wash them, they could go there for drying.” She smiled.
By this point the kitten had found one of Dad’s pinkie fingers and latched on. The dog stretched in his sleep, rolling out of the bed and waking himself. He got up wagging to see people out here with him and approached Dad with a rope toy and a hopeful expression.
“Ok,” Dad said. “Tomorrow you can help me go thought some of these boxes. There might be a few things we could get rid of.”
Author note – Following a writing prompt from the Writing Excuses Podcast, I asked my Facebook Friends to send me photos of random objects. I would use 3 of these photos to make a story. These were the first three photos sent: