(Sep. 17, 2022) — The old washerwoman limped up the incline, away from her work in the cold, rushing river. Trembling, she set aside the tools of her trade and plopped down nearby, under the wooden bridge. She needed a moment to rest and warm herself before making the walk home. But this story isn’t about the washerwoman, as you would suppose, nor is it about the gossip that surrounded her among the “respectable” ranks of society. No, this story is about her bar of soap.
The wet bar of soap shook itself, sending bubbles flying. He smiled as he watched them float away. He then addressed the washing stool and wooden beater beside him. “Have I ever told you about all the places I have seen in my travels around the world?”
The beater rolled its eyes. “Not again! You and your tall tales. You, and we, have never been any further than this river. The washing stool and I were there at your creation, and can attest to that fact!” The stool agreed, although it did so in a more timid manner than its work partner.
But the wet linen in the basket, being from different households, had not heard the soap’s stories; also being very young, they eagerly asked the soap to go on, much to the chagrin of the stool and beater.
The soap puffed itself up a bit and began its stories. “Well, you see all those bubbles blowing away on the breeze? Those bubbles came from me! While the solid substance of myself must remain stationary, and is at the mercy of the washerwoman’s will, the lighter parts of me are carried away on the wind, free, and servant of no one! Through these journeys I have seen many things. I have been in the palaces of kings and seen them weeping in their inner chambers, surrounded by their gold. I have drifted into the dirtiest hovels and have seen there the greatest joys and the deepest of loves among man!”
The linen listened to the soap in awe and wonder as the wooden beater spoke low to the washing stool, “You should never believe the soap; it’s full of lye.” Little did the beater know, everything the soap said was true, proving you should never judge anyone by what they appear to be or by the label that someone else has placed upon them.
Sarah Earlene Shere is an author, actress and cosplayer in her native home of Southern California. In the early 1990s, Sarah fell in love with storytelling at the age of eleven. As she’s grown closer to God and fallen in love with Jesus, her stories have become biblical and allegorical, reflecting her favorite authors, John Bunyan and Hans Christian Andersen. Besides Amazon, Sarah’s stories and writings can be found on Facebook and WordPress under Hosanna Heralds. Her fairy tale flash fiction stories can be found on Instagram and Facebook (#FairyTaleFlashFictionFriday). Since 2018, Sarah has been acting with Long Beach based Masquer Theatre Company. In 2017 she started volunteering with a local cosplay non-profit, Kids Can Cosplay. She prays her stories are a blessing to you!