Friday, 17 April 2020

Stories

 by NT Franklin

ginger beer


“Oh Lord, he doing it again,” Katy said.
“That where the kids are?” Karen asked.
“Yup, downstairs in rapt attention to ‘Grampy stories’ as Randy calls them.” Is that where little Tommy is, too?”
Karen rolled her eyes. “Yes. Every holiday it takes weeks to ‘unlearn’ the lessons from Grampy.”
“Yeah, but Tommy isn’t speaking yet.”
“Doesn’t mean he isn’t listening.”
“Karen, should we go rescue the kids before it’s too late? I had to explain why hood surfing is stupid and dangerous to Caleb–he’s a 6 year old–last Christmas.”
The girls looked toward the sound of a herd of elephants coming up the stairs. “Mommy, mommy, mommy,” three voices cried out in unison. “Grampy told us more stories. He promised even more after supper.”
“Wouldn’t you guys rather watch television tonight?”
“NO,” three voices replied. Little Tommy just giggled.
“Oh Lord,” was all Katy said.

Karen was cleaning up after supper in an empty kitchen while the wee ones were in the basement listening to Grampy. “Could be worse. At least we only visit for holidays.”
“Yeah, I know,” Katy agreed.
“Do you want to talk to him about it this time?”
Katy shook her head, “Nope, I did last time. See how well that worked? Your turn.”

Karen went downstairs to confront Grampy. Again.
“But there is nothing wrong with those stories. Good clean fun. Might be good to let the boys live a little. It’s not like they’re harmed walking in the woods. Just as dangerous on a city street, I figure.”
“Dad, Katy and I have been over this with you before. They’re young, impressionable children. They don’t live like that.”
“Might do them some good.”
“Are we done now? Don’t make me tell Mom we can’t visit her anymore. Don’t make me do it.”
Grampy nodded, but that was all.

All Easter plans were cancelled with the coronavirus mayhem. Everyone sheltered at home. But the epidemic moved extraordinarily quickly in some areas, even before alerts were issued. For some, the alerts were too late. Grampy caught the virus from a healthcare provider and didn’t make it two weeks.

Two Christmases later, Katy and Karen travelled to Grampy’s house. Their boys wanted to hear Grampy’s stories. Everyone settled for a picture album of the multiple generations.
Little Timmy pointed to a photo of Grampy and asked, “Who’s dat?”
Karen cried.

About the author

NT Franklin has been published in Page and Spine, Fiction on the Web, 101 Words, Friday Flash Fiction, CafeLit, Madswirl, Postcard Shorts, 404 Words, Scarlet Leaf Review, Freedom Fiction, Burrst, Entropy, Alsina Publishing, Fifty-word stories, Dime Show Review, among others.

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