Friday, January 13, 2012

BACK THEN ~ A Short Story

It's a new year, so we thought we change things up a bit and present a short story that isn't a romance but a love story none-the-less.

Angelica Hart and Zi

August, tears squeezing past lashes, stood on the hill, watching the mourners, and knowing she should be with them. It was her gramps that was being buried this day, he of the assortment of bird-whistles and the bread making by hand not machine and the tall-tales of dragons and toads, space and infinity. So many walks through every season, so many kitchen sessions through every holiday, so many games from checkers, monopoly and chess to little league. Living in the garden cottage behind their house, he was there for every holiday, birthday and celebratory event as well as that not so great ones like the day she discovered her singing voice was so bad the choir director told her to lip sync, or when Thunder, her hamster, passed. It was Gramps who dug the hole and had given the Eulogy.

‘ere lies our true and dear friend
who ran ‘round the wheel until the end
We will miss him true and sure
And still look for ‘im dashin’ across the floor
But we will never forget the little rodent pet
we’ll celebrate your life every year on the day we met

The memory beckoned a brief smile, very brief. She should go down and be with her family. Only, they were there to say goodbye, and August didn’t want to do that. It was too final.

“Whatja doin’ all alone up ‘ere,” a familiar voice announced itself.

Like an amusement park teacup ride gone array, August spun about so quickly she nearly lost her footing. “Gramps?”

“In the spirit,” he said with a grin, and indeed he was a spirit. August could look right through him. “Gramps?” she said again, knowing her imagination must have taken on bonfire status, or was she just plain coo-coo.

“You’re not nuts, kiddo.”

He moved closer. A tree branch cut through his face, giving it a distorted look. She flopped on the ground, just like that, no warning. Shock was like that. “Can’t be…”

“Bit strange,” he agreed, holding up his hands and examining them. “But I feel great. No aches or pains, and that cold sore that was workin’ its way to full-blown pit status just ain’t there any more.”

“You’re a ghost.”

“I am?”

“I don’t believe in ghosts,” she said as if that alone could negate what she was seeing.

“Neither do I come to think of it,” Gramps said, and then laughed as he examined his hands once more. “Guess we gots to reconsider.”

“What are you doing here?” And then quickly as if knowing the answer, “I’m not going to say goodbye. Not ever.”

“That’s just it, kiddo. I’m ‘ere to tell ya you don’t have to.”

She brightened a little. “I don’t?”

“Nope,” he reiterated. “In fact, why don’t wes take a walk, you and me, out to the ole mill.”

“I’d like that,” she said, rubbing away her tears. “We haven’t been out there for at least two weeks.”

“More like eighty-five years, kiddo. Back then, we used to take lots of walks and talk ourselves silly.”

August blinked. “What do you mean eighty-five years?”

“It’s not me they’re puttin’ to rest down there. It’s you. You lived to be a hundred and one, kiddo. And when you breathed your last, you came out the other side here to your happiest age, when you and me had our time.”

The memories flooded back, fully, and she saw the faces below and knew her children, grand and great-great children. She had a good life, a wonderful one, but the time before her Gramps had past had been the best, and it seemed she was getting a chance to relive it.

With a smile, she took Gramps hand and they began their stroll into their forever afters.

We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at (Write - Blog - in subject line) and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a gift and add you to any future mailings.

Angelica Hart and Zi

CHRISTMAS EVE...VIL ~ Holidays 2012

STEEL EMBRACE by Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane
August 2011



Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I once wrote something less ghostly, but in a similar mood -- thoughtful and spiritual. (From my hospice days.)

This was a very sweet and believable story.

January Bain said...


Angelica Hart and Zi said...

Thank you Julie...never been a patient in hospice but watched loved ones last days there. It is one of those bittersweet least you get to say goodbye.

Angelica Hart and Zi said...

We appreciate your kind comment, and are tickled you enjoyed the story.

Rita Bay said...

Love the story. I won't be on a hill looking down, maybe I'll observe from a nearby oak to check out who is present to see my ashes join three generations of my family who rest there together. Perhaps I'll visit a few who didn't to set them straight. RB