The Amaranthine Coinpurse

She carried that amaranthine coinpurse everywhere.

It always lurked in the bottom of her handbag, a handful of coppers or random pieces of foreign change clattering around in its tattered leather confines. She had carried it with her everywhere since the day her grandmother handed it over to her, smiling at the toddler who grinned so widely.

When Jenny Hailes accused her of stealing her ring in second grade it was emptied onto the desk to prove her innocence. The coins bounced loudly on the cheap pine, a thousand mini hammers on anvils. She swept all the contents back in once exonerated (Tommy Smith had taken the ring) and placed it carefully back into her satchel.

When she paid for the tickets to her very first rock concert – a show by the Manic Street Preachers – she unzipped the worn steel teeth with difficulty to withdraw the hefty wad of cash to pay the tout for two tickets. She and Jenny Hailes danced the night away. The purse jingled merrily in her bag to the sound of ‘Australia’.

When Tommy Smith forgot the condom on the night they decided to go ‘all the way’ she tentatively withdrew the purse from her pocket and pulled a prophylactic device from its pinkish-red folds. Tommy pulled the purse away and tossed it carelessly aside as she prepared his manhood. She didn’t remember the frantic fumbling and nervous romping fondly.

When her bag was cruelly snatched from her shoulder whilst walking down the busy boulevard, she wept for the loss of her heirloom more than for the loss of credit cards and a phone. When it was recovered a few days later and the purse lay inside, none the worse for its ordeal and still rattling with loose change, she felt as if a part of her very being had returned.

After the Buick skidded into her and she flew through the air, the purse fell to earth and bounced along the asphalt. The old leather miraculously stayed strong as Kevlar, not yielding its contents to the road. The zipper refused to budge at first to the EMT, almost wary of being opened by an alien hand.

She carried that amaranthine coinpurse everywhere. It lay on the bottom of her coffin, a lifetime of memories rustling around beneath its worn fabric.

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A very quick piece of writing for a ‘Flash Fiction Challenge’ from Chuck Wendig.