Tale Weaver – #232 – July 18th – Visit – Aunty McGrandad

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There was a sense of expectation and anticipation when the family heard Aunty McGrandad was coming to visit.

Joey’s dad explained that Aunty McGrandad was his great-great Aunt and that he would have to expect a very old lady appearing at their front door.

So, when they opened the door to her knocking there stood a woman they had not expected. Aunty McGrandad was a small lady, thin and with a crop of fuzzy silver hair. On her nose was a pair of green-rimmed glasses behind which her eyes twinkled.

There was a spark to Aunty McGrandad, she stepped lithely into their house carrying a large floral bag with large handles.

Joey was immediately attracted to her. Her smile was warm, and she asked Joey if he could show her to her room. She told his parents she was on her way south, an annual trip which this year took her through their town, hence her visit. Joey’s dad asked if she had more luggage, but her reply was: “I travel light.”

Joey, who was five thought himself a big boy now he was going to school, and so led the way to the room Aunty McGrandad would be staying in.

He watched as she placed her bag on the bed and undid the large zip. She took out a floral teapot and sat it on the side table and then took out a cup and saucer and placed them next to the pot.

Joey watched amazed as she proceeded to pour herself a cup of steaming tea. Sipping it, she said: “Just the thing after such a long trip. My throat was parched.”

Noticing Joey’s look of wonder, she asked if he would like a cup as well. Joey wasn’t sure but watched as Aunty McGrandad took another cup and saucer from her bag. She handed the cup to Joey and taking her own said: “Bottoms up!”

“How old are you? “asked Joey, sipping on his tea.

“Oh, that and a bit more,” replied Aunty McGrandad, who by now was rummaging in her bag muttering to herself: “Now where are you, Wally?”

Then she held up what Joey could see was a ball of fur. It was blue in colour, and the strands of fur hung down below what he concluded might have been a body.

When he put his hand out to touch it, he was shocked when the fur ball snapped at him.

“Wally!” exclaimed Aunty McGrandad, “manners please, we are not at home. I told you to be on your best behaviour as we are visiting family.”

“What is that?” asked Joey now sitting behind Aunty McGrandad.

“It’s a Grozzel,” said Aunty McGrandad holding it firmly so Joey could get a better look at it. “There are not many left nowadays, they are hard to keep mainly because it’s the Grozzel that finds you, not like you find a dog or cat,” explained Aunty McGrandad.

The Grozzel sat calmly on Aunty McGrandad’s hand as Joey looked at it. When he moved closer, it turned a bright green and moved back from his gaze.

“He’s a bit nervous, he’ll get used to you, just sit quietly now.”

“What does he eat?”

“He loves lamingtons, and well, who doesn’t?” chuckled Aunty McGrandad. “Have you got any?”

“I don’t think so,” replied Joey, “Mum and dad like to eat healthy, so we don’t have cakes. But I think the bakery on the corner will have some in the morning.”

“Well he’ll have to make do with the last one I have,” she said reaching into her bag and bringing out a plastic container with a single dried looking lamington inside.

“Now,” said Aunty McGrandad, “I must to bed. Big day tomorrow Joey, lots to do and I think your mum and dad will be wanting to put you to bed. See in the morrow,” she called as he left her room.

“Did you enjoy talking with Aunty McGrandad, Joey?” asked his dad.

“I think she might be a witch,” said Joey.

“She’s certainly eccentric,” suggested his mother, “Now Mister you best to bed, and let’s see what Aunty McGrandad has in store for us tomorrow.”

Later after Joey was asleep, his mum and dad were commenting on the imagination their son possessed. “Witch indeed,” said the father, “Grandfather always said she was different and there was never a dull moment when she was around. But to me, she’s just a sweet old lady, and I love it that she’s come to visit.”

The Grozzel heard all this and chuckled to itself as it settled for the night.

 

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2019/07/18/tale-weaver-232-july-18th-visit/

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Photo Challenge #272 – Dad’s Last leg.

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Image: – sound-dream @ tumblr

It was a mad dash and at the worst time. The afternoon early evening traffic was building and, in some places, was at a standstill.

The call had come a good half hour ago to get to the hospital as Dad was on his last leg.

It wasn’t unexpected, dad had been lingering for some weeks now, and with the onset of pneumonia, his end loomed before me as sooner rather than later.

Sitting in traffic, I wondered if I’d make it in time. I’d sat with him every afternoon this past week and only today had taken myself off to an important meeting to discuss Jack’s progress or more his lack of progress.

The meeting had not gone well and discovering Jack was way behind in so much of his schooling was a real worry.

Then as I returned to the car came the call from my sister Janice. Dad wasn’t expected to last the evening.

So now, as I was at the mercy of the ebbs and flows of city traffic, I had time to prepare myself. Dad had been an independent man until four years ago when a stroke took so much of that independence away.

The stroke changed him, he lost his confidence and was happy to defer to me when it came to decision making.

Time and age finally conspired against him, and he was in the nursing home, where I knew he was being looked after but from where there was always only one possible final destination.

When you are in a hurry, it’s funny how every traffic light seems to be red, delaying you, increasing your anxiety levels and causing the pain of abandonment to stab at you.

Finally, the home came into view, and the traffic cleared sufficiently to give me a final safe drive into the parking lot. I raced into the foyer and down the corridor to dad’s room to be greeted by my sister. Dad had gone.

I stood there, letting the news sink in, feeling empty, wondering what there was to do.

My sister led me into his room and there on the bed was a figure who was not my father. Even though the name above his head was his, the body before me was if a foreign entity had taken over the once vibrant man I knew as my father.

I sat and held his hand, still warm, as I had done this past week, told him I loved him and inside felt a sigh of relief, knowing his pain and misery was now over.

 

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2019/07/16/photo-challenge-272/

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #35 – Uphill to Nowhere.

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My aged companion, Crisp, left me a note saying she was taking a break for a week and I’d have to fend for myself. I went back to bed having noticed her suitcase was gone.

What was I to do I thought? She’d left a brochure on the dresser.

It was headed “Country Walks” and detailed walks in the local area. As I knew Crisp was a woman of her word, I decided to make the best of the bad situation I found myself in.

I estimated there were seven days in a week so I needed seven things to do during my isolation.

Walk one was called ‘Uphill to Nowhere’ so I decided as I didn’t know where I might go Nowhere was as good as being Somewhere. Oddly enough the second walk on the list was just that, ‘Downhill to Somewhere’.

 

Written for: https://crimsonprose.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/crimsons-creative-challenge-35/

 

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Tale Weaver – #230 – Eulogy – July 4th

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He was a good man.

It was generally agreed.

Not the brightest spark you’d find in the tinder box

But he had talents.

(There was a second of silence,

As if the speaker was lost for further comment.)

He was good at turning up.

Very punctual, he was.

Today of all days, he was on time,

Here before most of you.

In life, he was a quiet soul.

Not one to say a lot,

He kept to himself and rarely made any waves.

He was content you might say

With the lot, fate had chosen for him.

So, as we lay him to rest we remember a man

Who wanted to be known as….a man

Who did his best.

His contribution to mankind was more negligible than positive

But of course, where would we be without people such as him.

He knew his role in life was to make the rest of us look competent

And he certainly excelled at that.

 

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/tale-weaver-230-eulogy-july-4th/

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #34 – Eunice Smith

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Crisp, my aged companion, decided after a morning of rain that now the sun had come out there was a laneway she wanted to explore that led to an old ford.

We found the ford set in a shady grove and having packed our afternoon tea we settled down on the grass to enjoy both the location and our tea.

Then Crisp saw the cross leaning up against the tree. Scratched into it was Eunice Smith, murdered on this spot, June 2 1937.

“I wonder who remembers her?” asked Crisp. She had a thing for lost souls and Eunice Smith was going to be one of those.

“She was probably going home minding her own business when her life ended. Someone loved her enough to put up the cross,” she said reflectively.

Later I found her head down in the local archives trying to find out who Eunice Smith was.

 

Written for: https://crimsonprose.wordpress.com/2019/07/03/crimsons-creative-challenge-34/

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Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #20 – Halting Time

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Image: Geralt@pixabay.com.

Muriel had a thing about time. She was obsessed by it.

Her attraction was best described as a desire to purchase as many time pieces as she could in the mistaken belief that owning so much time might allow her to control the passing of it.

Her house was a virtual monument to time, clocks of all sorts of shapes and sizes littered every room.

In one room, she had a cabinet, securely locked in which she had the most magnificent collection of wrist watches, all in working order and ticking away the minutes as she watched.

Muriel was bothered that time was robbing her of life. From childhood, she worried that time was passing and she was showing the effects of that passing.

Now in middle age, she had long given up the pursuit of denying birthdays, her family arrived each June 23rd, a cake and candles in hand, a casserole dinner and a few bottles of red to wash it down and make her forget she was a year older.

It was a matter of watching the wrinkles and creases around her eyes spreading as the years went by, and such was her concern she removed the mirrors from every room in her house.

On Wednesdays, she went around and stopped every time piece in the hope time could be stalled if only for a day.

Thursday was her day of hope, a day where she had denied time it’s inexorable ravaging of her good self.

She wondered if it worked so well for one day would it produce the same but greater benefit over two days?

She tried it the following Wednesday only to suffer the strange fate as a chair in her street* had when she wasn’t watching the Number 47 bus coming her way.

 

* https://summerstommy.com/2019/07/03/sunday-photo-fiction-june-30-2019-great-aunt-alices-chair/

 

Written for: https://fivedotoh.com/2019/07/01/fandangos-flash-fiction-challenge-20/

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Sunday Photo Fiction – June 30, 2019 Great Aunt Alice’s Chair.

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Image: Pexels from Pixabay

I was finding it frustratingly bothersome that the chair I inherited from my Great Aunt Alice had a bad habit of finding its way out into the street.

Great Aunt Alice had been an eccentric in so many ways, and her furniture seemed to have attained the same attitude.

It was as if the chair was making a stand, which in itself was ironic as it was a seat.

This behaviour went on for weeks before I decided to leave the chair where it clearly wanted to go and see what happened. My basic philosophy on life.

Sure, enough I was awakened by a crash out in the street. My street was mostly quiet until 2am when the Number 47 bus came by on its way to the depot.

I rushed out to find the chair in a poor state, looking many things but not a chair. The bus had not stopped to apologize for the destruction and so chair bits were left across the road for me to clean up.

Like my Great Aunt Alice, I laid the chair to rest in the back yard though the occasional chair leg protruding from the ground does worry me.

 

Written for: https://sundayphotofiction.com/2019/06/30/sunday-photo-fiction-june-30-2019/

 

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