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Saturday, January 12, 2013

January 12, 2013 Short Story Challenge_Incomplete!

Note; this is today's response to the prompt, but it is NOT A COMPLETE STORY YET!

Let's Write in 2013 

January 12, 2013 Writing Prompt:

"A teenage girl's dead grandmother starts appearing in her dreams and revealing family secrets."

My kind of prompt-whoo!

Gram Flo had been dead for a year and a half by the time June rolled around again, bringing Mairee’s seventeenth birthday on the Solstice. It had been just around Christmas of December a year before, when Flo had collapsed Sunday in her rocking chair in her cottage at the rear of Mairee’s family’s property, clutching at her chest, and grimacing. Mairee had been sitting cross-legged on the floor, listening to Gram spin stories while she knitted, and leapt to her feet shrieking. Later she was glad that at least she had the presence of mind to yank her cell phone off her belt and dial 911, rather than trying to run back to the main house and find Stepdad Peter, or Mom, or her older brother Jameson.

In the end, it would not have mattered anyway; Flo was gone and gray-faced within moments. Later Mairee found out that she hadn’t been felled by cardiac arrest, after all, but by a massive unexpected stroke, and that if the stroke had not taken her life it would have rendered her a vegetable. “A blessing, this way,” Mom said; but then she had never really been close to her mother-in-law. It was only for the sake of Mairee and Jameson that she allowed Flo to continue to live on the property after Flo’s son Wilford passed away in a one-vehicle bridge accident on a rainy night in February, the same year that took Flo.

Mairee’s mother wished to plan a big shindig for her daughter’s seventeenth birthday, no matter how much Mairee demurred. But when Stepdad Peter (which is what Mairee always called him) was offered a two-week “getaway” at a private inland lake in Northern Wisconsin, a “family vacation” given to him because of his exceptional litigation work for the Northern Corporate Trust, Mom immediately packed up all four of the family, and off to the Lake they went.

So on the Solstice, the family had scattered: Jameson had met two boys, 18 and 16, whose parents lived in summer diagonally across the lake; they had a boat, and he was out with them for the day and evening. Mom had driven into town to stock up at the liguor store, in case they entertained; Stepdad Peter was, as always, at work in the home office. Mairee took a boat cushion and went out to the pier to sit and ponder, to think about the Grandmother she so dearly missed. Today was her second birthday without Gram Flo, the woman who had been in Mairee’s life since birth, her guide and elder.

While she gazed at the sunset across the lake, Mairee remembered the last conversation with Gram Flo:
“You’re fifteen and a half now,” Gram had said from her rocker. “Almost adulthood. It’s time I started sharing with you the Past.”
Mairee could hear the capitalization in Flo’s voice.
“There’s things you don’t know about this family.”
“Your family, Gram? Dad’s?”

“That’s right, Precious.” Flo had called Mairee Precious since birth. Funny she had no such pet name for older brother Jameson, a very stern, stolid, BMOC fellow, too intelligent to really fall into the “jock” sterotype, but very popular nonetheless—probably a future brain surgeon, Mairee guessed. She tried now to remember if Gram had been able to continue, or if it was at that point that the stroke took her, but as she puzzled at it, she suddenly realized that she could no longer clearly see the beautiful oranges and reds of the sunset above the trees on the other side of the lake—because in front of her, hovering like an almost transparent mist above the water at the end of the pier—was her Gram Flo, larger than life-size and for the first time ever, looking stern.

Through Gram’s apparition, Mairee could see the gentle lapping blue waves of the lake, and she could hear the boys’ laughter and the jet-ski engines around the bend. Yet none of that distracted her, as she continued to gaze in awe, and some trepidation, at her Gram.

--January 13—
“Mairee!” came Gram Flo’s soft voice, yet it seemed to Mairee at such a volume that the lake’s coves must echo with it.
“Time to tell-you—“
Maire cried out through her tears, “Gram, I miss you so much!”
“I know, child, but now you must listen and I must tell—
I had a son, before Wilford. He was three years older, and just three when he died. I had gone to the hospital in the next town 20 miles away to give birth to Wilford, and left Ronnie with my sister Jeanne. My husband was, as always, away from home.” This was accompanied by a frown.
“Jeanne was probably gazing out the upstairs window, as she so often did—and Ronnie, left unattended, tumbled down the stairs. So I left to give birth to a son and came home to find I had lost a son.”
“Daddy never told me.”
“Your Daddy never knew. Now what else I need to tell you is this: watch out for Jameson. He is your mother’s but not Wilford’s. Your mother lost a fianc√© in a terrible accident many years ago, and she went to the donor bank where he had committed his deposit, because they planned to wait years before children. She insisted the doctors inseminate her, and while she was newly pregnant she found Wilford, and persuaded him that he had fallen in love with her. They married early enough along that Wilford thought Jameson his-she bewitched him, you see, bewitched him. Then two years later you came along, the treasure of my life, Wilford and then you. You are so much like my Ronnie, not in features, of course, but in your adventurous personality and your devotion to me. So much my Ronnie.”
Jameson is not your grandson.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! I liked this prompt. I should not read your work before I've done my writing. :) You put ideas into my head. LOL