Found time to write this week!!! I have sat down and started a flash fiction challenge in the past only to be disappointed in myself. Not this week, I checked out terribleminds flash fiction challenge this past week.
1 Story under 1500 words
Use one of the randomly generated titles listed on the site: I chose “Mist & Light”
Due: Friday, June 8, 2018 noon EST
Mist and Light
“Grandpa, Grandpa, tell me again of your days on Cieslik?” Marymay bugged. “It’s just the grandest story of anyone in our village.”
“Not now, Marymay.” He sunk down into his comfortable arm chair. While it was true that he was the only one from their small village that travelled to the Land of Milk and Honey, the planet Cieslik, he hadn’t returned the hero.
“Daddy says you haven’t told me everything.” Marymay tugged on his hand. “And I want to hear everything.”
Marwood laughed at her eight year old impatience. “What does he say that I have left out of the story?”
“All the good stuff,” Marymay said, crawling up into his lap. She snatched his mug off the side table.
“Oh, be . . .” Marwood began.
“That’s bad!” she wiped off her tongue on the back of her hand and when that wasn’t enough she scrubbed it on his rough plaid shirt.
“Marymay! What on Verhelle are you doing?”
She smiled up at him, “You taste better than that horrible stuff in the mug!” It wiped the smile from her face again. “How can you drink that?”
“I acquired the taste on Cieslik. Everyone there drinks it all day long.” A longing for times past hit him squarely in his heart. Would he never forget? Thirty five years plus, he was still unable to move past his greatest success and failure. Some days he struggled to decide what was a success or the failure.
She picked the mug back up, eying the contents with a look that made Marwood laugh out loud. He remembered the first time it was offered to him in the lunchroom at the Cieslik’s summer camp for disadvantaged youths. He signed up to work with a humanitarian group to work with the kids in the poorest city on Cieslik, Mahe. He taught himself to drink it, to fit in. Now, he drank it on days when the memories called the most.
“Marymay, you didn’t like it. So, don’t force yourself to change to fit other’s ways.”
“But Grandpa, when we get to Cieslik, I want to fit in.”
“I am sorry, child, I am never allowed back there.” Marwood saw confusion enter into her warm brown eyes.
“But I thought Daddy said. . .” Marymay clamped her tiny pink lips shut.
Marwood hated her silence, rolling his eyes. “What is the best part I keep leaving out of the story, Marymay?”
“Your first love!” Marymay clapped gently, “It’s my favorite part.”
“A romantic at heart are you girl?”
Marymay rolled her eyes, “How old are you grandpa? Nobody says things like that anymore.” She thought for a minute. “At least not here on Verhelle, maybe on Cieslik, but tell me the story, please.”
“So, you want to hear the story of grandma and me?”
She playfully swatted at his hand. “No, silly. You and grandma hated each other.”
“Who told you that?”
“It’s okay, Grandpa. Daddy explained everything.”
“Not always,” He interrupted. By everything that’s holy, Marwood hoped not. His son, Marson, knew how much Liese thought he was a failure. No matter how many times he explained to her. There was no way off Verhelle for him. She thought he wasn’t trying hard enough. Unfortunately, he hadn’t realized her motives in time to stop his disastrous marriage. Looking into Marymay’s eyes, he wasn’t sorry. She had Liese’s eyes, but held a compassion that Liese’s never did. His son had chosen more wisely than himself, although, in honesty, Marwood left his heart on Cieslik.
Marwood felt a gentle pat, pat, and pat on his whiskered cheek.
“Grandpa, where did you go?” She giggled, “One minute you were looking at me, then you were gone.”
“I seem to be getting lost in the past, Marymay.”
“Is it a good place to go?”
“Sometimes,” Marwood said smiling faintly.
“Please wait until I’m not here.”
Marwood smiled, holding a laugh in. “Yes, ma’am.”
Turning around in his lap, Marymay curled into his side, “Now, tell me your love story on Cieslik.”
“Where do you want me to begin?”
“Where did you meet her?”
“Half way through my career in the exclusive Upper Secondary School of Mahe, Miriam was a transfer student from the city of Delamare. Her dad was high up in the administration.”
Marymay whistled. Delamare was the wealthiest city on Cieslik. “But you were the fake adopted son of Wentz and Lenora Muir, by this time, yes?”
“I am not proud of that you know?” Marwood scowled. “I didn’t expect deception in the people of Cieslik. They were golden people who had all the opportunities. They didn’t need to lie or cheat to get ahead. Little did I understand. Then I didn’t know how to get out, which I wanted but I didn’t want to leave school. I had friends, success, and a future. For a few minutes anyway.”
“Grandpa, get back to the love story, please.” Marymay asked.
Taking her face into his hands, “Marymay, it’s never okay to lie and cheat.”
“But daddy said I had to today.” She frowned.
“Never mind, I need you to tell me the rest of the story. No lectures! Please grandpa?”
Marwood didn’t like to see her face worried like that, so he continued, “Miriam was smart, funny and beautiful. I had never met another girl who glowed like her. I thought she had everything.” He chuckled quietly, “She had her own struggles. Because her dad was high up in the government, she didn’t know who liked her for her or wanted something from her father. Her mother was extremely involved in her two brothers’ lives.”
“That doesn’t sound so bad.” Marymay chimed in.
“Human nature says all problems are big ones.” At Marymay’s eye rolling, Marwood continued, “The school had a Verhelle Language Study program. Rausch, my best friend, and I headed the study group.”
Marwood enjoyed a few private memories. “Miriam was a quick study of Verhelle Language. Soon she and I were talking circles around the others.”
“How did your talking lead to you spending time in jail?”
“Remember how I told them I was a lot younger than I was. My relationship with Miriam wasn’t appropriate for her age.”
“But you loved each other. How is that wrong?”
A knock on the front door interrupted their conversation. Marymay raced to answer the door. “Yes?”
“I. . . I . . . I . . . am looking for Marwood,” The lady looked down at the crumpled paper in her hand. “Trombley. Do you know him? Or where can I find him?
“I know you. You have talked with my daddy.” Marymay said, stepping out of the Marwood’s way.
“Miriam?” Marwood stood, slightly stumbling to the door. “After all this time, is that really you, Miriam?”
Somehow they met in the middle of the room. Marwood stared into those blue eyes from so long ago. “It really is you, Miriam.” He just stood. Did his mind just go? He was seeing Miriam. “Why are you here?” Marwood cried.
“To take you home with me,” Miriam said, cradling his bearded face between her hands. “They issued you a full pardon.”
Tears filled his eyes. Marwood knew that he couldn’t leave his son and grandchildren.
“Marwood, it’s okay.” She pulled him into a full hug.
He saw Rausch standing behind with a tear filled smile. Marwood’s tears fell harder. When he finally stopped crying, the three friends that hadn’t seen each other thirty five years sat in the comfortable chairs.
“How long have you two been married now?” Marwood asked.
Rausch cleared his throat. “That’s right we haven’t communicated since we made that stupid mistake.”
Marwood looked between the two. It had crushed him when they married but he knew that Rausch would be able to take care of her. He had given them his blessing and it had been the last time he talked to them. The next month he met Liese.
“Oh, Rausch, don’t be so dramatic.” Miriam smiled sadly. “We did share a love, but it was a love of you. But we don’t regret it. We have two wonderful sons that you’ll get to meet when we get back to Mahe.”
“And my wife, Sarah. She has heard so much about you. She helped Miriam and me get you a pardon.”
Tears threatened again. “I am an old man. My family is here now.” Marwood waved his arms. “I would love to come for a visit though.”
“My dear sweet Marwood,” Miriam said, “We were able to secure spots for you, your son and his wife with their children.” Miriam winked at Marymay. “In fact, Marson and his family have been very helpful.”
Marwood looked around the room then at all the faces in the room. When had Marson and Annemay arrived? “Okay, when do we leave?”