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Possession Is 9/10TH The Law

Love Who You Love

By Kelli Sheckler-AmsdenPublished 3 years ago Updated 2 years ago 6 min read
Possession Is 9/10TH The Law
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

She always felt like a possession.

Not like a valued, prize, or priceless possession that a person might risk their entire lives to protect. Rather, more like a single flower planted alone, kept in a small vase on an entry table. Set perfectly, to complete the illusion that there are happy lives being lived in this house. Far too busy for her individual needs and attention –

Uprooted and moved, weekly.

Shared, but not fully desired, by two separate households. From babysitters and nannies to travel companions and pre-paid care givers. Holidays, birthdays, every other weekends spent between her mother and father’s houses. Summers split up, at the lake with dad, and the next with mom and her new family. Back and forth routinely. Like a well-earned, special ordered gift, all but wrapped in brown paper package and tied up with string, delivered without delay, from Amazon.

She never knew anything different.

To be frank, there was a part of her that liked, even thrived on the temporary situations this kind of freedom opened for her. She found out quickly that she could get away with most anything and she used it to her advantage. She was never held responsible any real chores or other responsibilities since she was never in one place long enough. She was able to skirt by with little to no attention- when or where or what she was up to. No one checked up on who she was interacting with. She never had any expectations put on her. She came and went as she pleased, and everyone was happy.

Her friends also liked the freedoms that came with hanging out with her. Out every weekend, parties, new clothes, cars, trips. However, her friends changed as quickly as she changed her mind. She blew through them like fire trucks through red lights. As soon as she had a disagreement or challenge, she moved on. After all, that is what she learned. Unhappy? Replace it! Hurt feelings? Replace it! There wasn’t one thing that she valued enough to salvage, she would simply get another one.

Being in and out so frequently, she was able to get others to get things done for her. She learned that people were willing to throw money at the things they just couldn’t be bothered with.

She just happened to find herself being- one of those things.

Now don’t get me wrong. Her parents did not intentionally throw money at her to get rid of her. They found it just made things easier for them if she was as calm, content, and compliant. That is just what they had become accustomed to. The money was easy. She was not.

You would think she would be happy, she had it made. But, deep down, there was a part of her that longed for something permanent, something with substance, that she could depend on. Something, someone who was constant. Someone who cared to really know her, for her.

She decided a test was needed. Some reality. Somehow, she needed to know exactly what they would do without her, so, she crafted a plan.

Years earlier, when on vacation in California, she had met a man on the train. After talking for some time, they began to discuss ways someone might be able to pull off crimes to get the most amount of money for the least amount of trouble. He had mentioned a few ideas that she thought would be the quickest way to see just how valuable she was to her parents. How much money would they be willing to throw at someone to get her back in the event she was missing? Though most would have cautioned her that this was an extremely poor idea, she did not bother to mention it to anyone. She went through her phone and dialed the number to the man she met, saved in her phone only as “what if”.

“Hello?” a male voice answered on the other end of the line.

“Hello, I am looking for what if, “she said, you could hear the sarcasm in her voice.

“Yes, this is what if, who is this? He asked, slyly.

“This is, I’m really sure, do you remember speaking with me a few years ago on a train in California?” He became quiet. “hello, are you there, what if?”

He said, “I know who you are, if you are sure, really sure, you know where you should meet me. I won’t say any more on this call. Pick up the items I am about to send you and discard this number and your phone, immediately! Am I clear?”

She hesitated for a moment and giggled, yeah sure, whatever!”

As she hung up, a text came through. “Do not deviate from this list, I will need it all to complete your request, any attempt to call me or cancel, will be considered a break of trust, and I will become untraceable. Come alone, come prepared, come resolved and don’t mention this to anyone.” He signed it, “what if”

*prepaid burner phone



*10 small brown paper boxes


*a small flower

*ceramic pot


*I miss you card

*I am sorry card

* 1 red bow

She smiled as she read the message. She scheduled a ride, grabbed her bag, and out the door she ran. As she climbed into the car, she gave directions to the driver - and like the chance to change her mind, was gone.

The driver noted to the police that he had brought her to the local dollar store, and then to the airport where she collected her things, threw a couple hundred dollars at him, and disappeared into the crowd. He was asked to stay in town for possible future questions.

Colette’s parents were numb.

It had been 2 weeks since they received the first brown paper box containing one of Colette’s fingertips with a ribbon on it. Attached was a card that read, “I miss you!! The red the ribbon is to remind you what a treasure a child is, it seems as if you need some reminding. Wait for more to come. What if “

It wasn’t unusual for Colette to sneak away from time to time, and her parents held out hope that this was just some sick prank. Forensics, however, was able to prove that the finger belonged to Colette and estimated it had been separated from her hand approximately 12-24 hours earlier. As they were trying to figure out their next move, a second package arrived, no one could be prepared for what was coming.

When they opened the second package, they were incredibly anxious. They found, folded neatly under one of Colette’s beautiful floral silk scarfs, a news article from a San Francisco paper. It was an article of a missing woman, from a well to do family in Washington, begging for help and the safe return of their daughter. Money was no object. They went cold as they read the “I am sorry” card attached, that said, “I am sorry to once again have to be the bearer of bad news.” As they turned the article over, they found the obituary of the missing girl. Colette’s mother screamed. They would receive 7 more, 1 for every day of the week. Children, missing, simply ignored away.

A few days later, on Colette’s birthday, they received what would be their final brown paper box.

If not for the horror they felt in receiving it, was incredibly beautiful. It was wrapped in the most delicate lace and the ribbons were a soft pink and pastel gray. Inside was a hand written note, by Colette’s hand, it said, “I’m sure you have some special plans for today, I really hope you think of me, I love you and I am sorry I made you feel that I was too hard to love. Your beautiful flower, Colette <3”

A single flower sat on the table in a plain gray pot. The dirt was so fresh, you could smell it. Engraved in the clay were these words.

“There once was a girl, who wanted to be loved, She sat like a flower in a pot. She gave her petals away to everyone she met, and this was the answer that she got. We love you, we need you, we're just too busy for you now. Come back again, on another day, and we will be happy to hang out. Now, she is at peace and as beautiful as ever, a little water, sun and love is all she needs. Don't forget about the promises made to her today, her ashes mingle with the soil bearing new seeds. She once was yours to have and hold, but you chose to give all that away. So here she rests alone in this pot, that has now become her grave."


About the Creator

Kelli Sheckler-Amsden

Telling stories my heart needs to tell <3 life is a journey, not a competition

If you like what you read, feel free to leave a tip, I would love some feedback

Find me on twitter @kelli7958958

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Comments (3)

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  • Kenny Pennabout a month ago

    Wow, Kelli, this story is awesome! Beautiful, horrible, and pulls at the heart all at the same time.

  • Christy Munsonabout a month ago

    Haunting writing! I find this palpable and tragic. Far more than a stranger danger warning, this is symbolic on a whole other level. Brilliant.

  • Test2 years ago

    I really like your concept for this one. I also loved the opening bits comparing Colette to a potted flower (you did it beautifully), and the way you brought that idea back at the end.

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