Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Weekly winning flash fiction

 In the sidebar is a  link to The One Minute Writer. I've been going to that site most mornings for a few years  and writing a three or four sentences inspired by their daily prompts.  A little mental exercise.  On Fridays they have a fiction prompt and allow more time than one minute.  It is to be short fiction but may take longer.  Sometimes, both daily and Friday, the prompts don't suggest anything to me.  Usually I take the prompt and do "free writing" without planning where the story will go.  Now and then my piece of fiction is chosen the best for that Friday. That happened for last Friday's piece.  The prompt was "I've waited for this day."

I'm sharing it here because it seems fitting for my general theme of aging.  In fact I've never been with anyone when he or she died and I certainly don't have a wealthy grandparent to leave everything to me. What surprised me was the end that evolved. So here it its:

Today is the day I have been waiting for! I have dreamed of it as long as I've been able to understand what it would mean. This morning Grandfather died. He was a dear old man who loved me very much -- not as much as he loved mother but after mother and father's little Cesna went down in the Sierra Nevada, I have been the object of his affection. Do I sound happy Grandfather is dead? No. I am not happy. I am heart broken. He was sweet to me. When I was small he read books to me and later took me on long hikes in the mountains. Of course he paid for my schooling and everything I needed -- or didn't really need, like the Audi he gave me for my 16th birthday. Yes, I loved him.

But I always knew that when he died, I would inherit everything. What would I do with it? I used to dream about that: a trip around the world. An expedition to climb Everest, setting up a clinic in Nairobi to cure malaria. Oh, I dreamed selfish and I dreamed philanthropic. Oh, how I dreamed! All the world would be mine. Girls -- then when I grew older, I realize it would be women -- would flock to me. Whether I flaunted my wealth or was modest and did good works, I would have my choice of women. So I truly loved grandfather but I often dreamed he had died.

He has died! I was with him last night at the hospice when he breathed his last. But before that he opened his weary eyes, he hadn't spoken for a week but his eyes were as clear as ever. They looked at me, deep into me, He reached out and grabbed my knee with a skeletal right hand and clasped it like a hawk grasps a sparrow. "It's all yours. It's all maya, money is only an idea. Only life is real. Do you understand?"

"No," I said. "No, I don't know what is real."



Oh June -- this grandson has lots to learn about reality. Your words engrossed me for the "get go." -- barbara

June Calender said...

Thanks, Barbara. This genre of very short stories fascinates me and I'm glad when it holds people's attention.