Peanuts and Wood Shavings

This piece is the continuation (part 2) of a work found here.

Henrietta wandered into Uncle Edward’s office. Well, he called it his office. It wasn’t exactly…It was more of a workshop. Yes, that’s what it must have been, but everyone called it his office, and he himself called it his office and would only recognize it if people addressed it as such.

The floor, wide maple boards, was covered in wood shavings, as well as half-carved, defective figures of Queen Victoria.

Upon hearing a change in the atmosphere, Uncle Edward turned and faced Henrietta.

“Well, Henny…?” Uncle Edward started, but didn’t finish the question.

Henrietta locked her gray eyes onto him. She wanted to love him, but…it never came.

“Hello, Uncle.”

“For the last time, Henny, I have a name!” Uncle Edward laughed, with a chuckle that reminded her of Indian chai. He turned back to the work bench, and continued on his carving. Henrietta walked up behind him, and looked over his shoulder. He was working on a carving, not of Queen Victoria, this time it was an Egyptian. A very good Egyptian.

“Ran out of steam for Queen Victoria, my dear,” Uncle Edward sensed her question. “I get tired of it after a while. Some day, maybe I’ll happen upon her. But until then…” Here, he trailed off again, and popped another shelled peanut into his mouth, past his huge oversmiled teeth. “Henny, why have you been so preoccupied? What are you thinking about? Will you let me in on it?”

Henrietta shrugged.

Overtaken by a sense of frustration, Uncle Edward turned, and looked straight into his ward’s gray eyes. Nothing.

He’d heard it said that inside everyone is a genius. Uncle Edward was looking forward to the day when Henrietta’s genius was revealed.


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