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Friday Fiction: 100 Word Challenge

Friday Fiction: 100 Word Challenge

Friday Fiction: 100 Word Challenge

A quote: “God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.” ~~ James M. Barrie

I’ll start with a story …

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We wanted her to feel at home, not like a guest. But you could see in her eyes she was lost. The half-smile, the nod instead of an answer.

I passed her a favorite food, but she waved it off. Brother asked, “Would you like music?”

She just shrugged.

Then Dad leaned over and set a perfect yellow rose on her favorite blue plate and her eyes lit up. She looked at all of us “I’m Rose.”

She turned to Dad, placing one hand on his cheek “I love you, dear. I need to say that before I forget again.”

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Now, it’s your turn.
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. featured image, cropped, Adobe Stock standard license

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4 Comments
  • msa says:

    Your “I’ll start with a story …” brought a tear to my eye…

  • Cameron says:

    The gathering is noisy, the food plentiful. Family both of blood and friendship are gathered around and everything on the table has to get sampled. The little ones are off at their own tables and they are having just as good a time as the grownups.

    After the last drink is finished and the final cannoli is consumed, the kids are sent upstairs to sleep or play games. The grownups look at each other and remember what it cost us to free our country. And as one, we raise our drinks in the last toast of the evening: “Always remember.”

  • Leigh Kimmel says:

    Here at Sparta Point, New Year’s is the big winter celebration. Not surprising when you consider that Spartan grew up in the old USSR, where Christmas wasn’t exactly welcome.

    But I’ll always think of the tree we put up as each year draws to a close as a Christmas tree. And I’ll always remember when I was a little kid and we’d visit Grandma and Grandpa Woods for Christmas. We’d hit the road early on the 24th and get to their place just in time to watch the Peanuts Christmas special with the cousins. We’d sit right beside the tree, casting sideways glances at all the presents, stacks that got taller every time another aunt or uncle would show up with their brood.

    Aunt Mary was an artist, and she’d always have really cool presents like the handmade bracelet I wore until it fell apart, or the set of hand-carved and painted wooden horses she gave my big brother. But Uncle Bob would always manage to get drunk on the Christmas Eve wassail and start telling off-color jokes, so us kids would get sent upstairs to bed early.

    We all slept in the attic, which was sort of halfway finished, like Grandpa had started converting it into proper rooms and had to stop midway. There was a floor, so we didn’t step right through the ceiling of a second-floor bedroom, and there was plywood over the rafters so we weren’t in the insulation and the roofing nails. But there were still open beams that never would’ve passed muster in any city building code, and the boys would string hammocks between them like astronauts at the moonbase. I wanted to sleep in a hammock like them, but Mom insisted that I’d sleep in a camp cot like everyone else on the girls’ side of the tarps Grandpa hung to divide the space into two rooms.

    We’d still end up awake half the night, like a great big co-ed slumber party. We’d joke about sneaking down to catch Santa Claus filling our stockings, even though we all knew it was Grandpa and Grandma. But most of it was telling each other stories until we were too tired to keep our eyes open.

    So we were a bunch of little sleepyheads when Grandpa came up to tell us Grandma had breakfast ready. We’d all troop down, trying not to look like we were ready to fall asleep in our plates full of old-fashioned country breakfast.

    Then it was time for us kids to have our stocking stuffers. They were usually funny little things like puzzle boxes, or Chinese finger traps, stuff to keep us busy while Christmas dinner was getting ready.

    And what a dinner it would be. There would be a whole turkey and a roast ham, both with all the fixins, four or five salads, three or four veggies, and cranberry sauce. With so many people in the house, we couldn’t all fit around even Grandma and Grandpa’s big dining room table. So us kids all got to go down in the basement and sit around folding tables borrowed from the church. So of course we cut up and played with our food the way we’d never be allowed with grownups watching.

    Then it was time for the wrapped presents under the tree. Just to make the anticipation even sharper, all us kids had to wait until the adults opened their gifts. And of course each present had to be admired before the next could be opened. So it took most of the afternoon before we could finally play with anything. And that was assuming we hadn’t slipped and betrayed any disappointment for the gifts of certain elderly maiden aunts whose opinion of their talents with needles far exceeded their skill.

    I’m not sure when the gatherings declined. Maybe about the time toys and games gave way to practical gifts. Or maybe it was just age making it harder for Grandma and Grandpa to hold the big gathering, even with help from the younger generations. I only know that those early ones from when I was in grade school are the ones that still burn bright in my memory.

    I wish I could take our kids back out east for one of those Christmas gatherings. But even if they were still happening, the political situation makes it impossible. So I do my best to give them the best memories I can of holidays here, memories to last a lifetime.

  • Dupin says:

    Thanksgiving again. All the family gathered. Everyone brought something, whether college junior John’s Hawaiian rolls, Aunt Grace’s homemade wild blueberry pie or Greg’s homemade ice cream.

    No arguments this year so far. And the food looked delicious, as always.

    Someone jostled me, and I woke, my bed being raised for dinner. It was Thanksgiving, but they were all gone, even John in a landmine in Afghanistan. The kitchen had separated out the dishes, each pureed to a proper consistency so I could suck it in without choking…aspirating. Maybe this was my last. Perhaps I’d finally join them at the table again.

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