Founded in 1865 by settlers of uncertain Latin origin, our little town of Lacuna derived its name from the Spanish word for cradle, la cuna.
Although there are conflicting arguments as to exactly why it was christened ‘the cradle’, some saying it was because it is situated in a cradle like gap between the rolling hills, while still others believe it was because it was found to be a nurturing piece of ground- good for growing healthy families and bountiful crops. However, none of that really matters- as it is in no way relevant to the story I am about to tell you.
The reason I even mention it, is because you must first be able to picture our little town as a cradle, if you are ever to understand how Miss Leddy Moores became the hand that rocked it.
Miss Leddy was born into a rather posh family living on a plush estate located on one of the hills overlooking Lacuna, that as the fates would have it, was reduced to taking up residency on the modest streets of our small town following the stock market crash of ‘29.
Settling uncomfortably on Greenbriar Street amidst a slurry of ill will and slanderous gossip, Leddy’s mother, who most, at least in private, would have described as ‘a dizzy little cluck of French descent’, escaped ‘the cradle’ not long after their arrival to the confines of a sanitarium from which she never returned.
Unfortunately for her children, among which Miss Leddy was the eldest, she was not taken ill before she could inculcate in them a rather twisted sense of “devoir” as she referred to their obligation to uphold the air of grandeur into which they had been born- despite any and all prevailing circumstances.
Her father, a brittle old gent decades older than her ill-suited mother, unable to cope with the desperate losses that had befallen him, passed in his sleep not a year after the mother jumped ship, leaving poor Miss Leddy to fend for herself, after the county assumed the care and feeding of her three small siblings.
To old to be a ward of the county, and too proud thanks to her dear mother’s rabid tutelage, to take a job in service- the only position which would have provided her with food, shelter and a meager wage- Miss Leddy was forced to take up residency in the small towns only bus stop, which she decked out lavishly with furnishings and objets d’art salvaged from the families hilltop estate.
Lacuna’s towns people not unsympathetic to her plight, raised no huff following her commandeering of the bus stop, but rather did what they could to make her comfortable.
The ladies auxiliary took charge of her feeding, while the altar society saw to her laundering needs. Once the elegance and grace with which Miss Leddy rewarded those who had rallied to her aid became common knowledge, there was not one among the residents of our small town that was not keen on becoming a part of the entourage that had formed whose sole duty, was to see to the tending of our Miss Leddy.
She was old and grey, tousled and bent by the time I was born and had the privilege of coming to know her. But I will never forget the little squeak of pleasure she exuded each time I came to call. Nor am I ever likely to forget the vast emptiness, that even as a child I saw enshroud the entire community of Lacuna the day we lost her.
She had over the course of her life truly become the hand that rocked our little cradle. The one purpose we all shared. The cog in our little wheel.
To this day we, the towns people of Lacuna, preserve her delicately appointed little bus stop home to serve as a reminder to all that see it, of the grandiose things a small town can accomplish when it all pulls together as one.
This piece stems from yet another Wordle provided by Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The word list is as follows:
4. Bus Stop
6. Devoir- duty: business: something one must do
8. Lacuna- an unfilled space: gap