So I decided to try the Weekly Wordzzle again. And again I'm apparently too greedy to just use some of the words & have THREE stories – I have to use them all and just have one story. I think my goal next week might be to actually do at least two separate stories. We'll see. Go to Raven's blog to check out the other participants.
The 10-worder: Cleopatra, Saturday, perfume, suicide, guaranteed satisfaction, germs, stop in the name of love, Swiss cheese, cheap, luggage
The mini: gratitude, shadows, sufferin' succotash, flattery, piglet
Out of the Shadows
Saturday lunch with Cleopatra – an appointment I wasn't allowed to miss. My grandmother is a bit of a drama queen. Once, when I was leaving she sang out, "Stop in the name of love," as I looked at her in disbelief. Fortunately she didn't sing the rest of the song.
Today I was dragging – sleepless nights and dark thoughts were my travelling companions. The last thing I wanted to do was spend an hour with my nutty grandmother.
Lunch was the same as always – strong perfume, Swiss cheese and ham sandwiches, and a discussion of whether hand sanitizer really killed germs as advertised. "Guaranteed Satisfaction" was a call to arms for my Gran Cleo. She didn't believe in flattery or guarantees. As usual, she had to tell the story of how she came to the city with just some cheap luggage and a piglet under her arm (I never could figure out what she meant to do with the piglet).
She said, "Sufferin' succotash Bug, I thought I had landed in the mouth of hell itself!"
I said, "Yes, Gran, and you had to walk to work uphill, both ways, in four feet of snow."
"Well, no, Bug – that's not physically possible. But those were dark days. I felt as though I lived in shadows. I was alone with no friends & what felt like no hope for the future. In shadows and far from home."
I'd not heard this part of the story before. "What happened to make it better Gran?"
"A girl I knew from work committed suicide. For some reason that made so much sense to me. And I wondered if I would be next. I even bought a knife with a sharp blade to do the deed. But then I decided that I was just too nosy to leave this world without finding out what happens next. It was like starting a book & then putting it down half read. How would I know if the girl in 2C was really pregnant? What if I missed the flying cars & living on the moon? What if my ship came in & I wasn't there to greet it? I decided to finish the book. I shook off those shadows and went on with my life. Then I met your grandfather and he made the whole city shine like a freshly cut diamond. The diamond he gave me is what gets me through these days without him. And you – you get me through those days too – even if you don't care for my singing."
As I left that day I gave her the usual hug – but there was something extra. Gratitude for a story told right when I needed to hear it. When I got home that night I flushed my hoard of sleeping pills down the toilet and slept like a baby.