Grandma

‘I just can not believe he would do such a thing! I’m so angry…’ her voice trailed off. I had been eavesdropping for three minutes and I still did not know what made mum so mad. I knew it had something to do with Dad, it always did. She was talking with Grandma but I could only hear her voice. Grandma was soft spoken, even in regular conversations you had to read her lips to understand what she was saying. From where I was standing, on the landing I could only see Mum, the living room door was barely open. 

The phone rang suddenly.

‘Hello. Yes. Speaking. I would be right there’ Mum hung up. ‘That was the Police’ she said frantically. I could see mum pacing around the room likely looking for her hand bag. ‘Take care of Elsa for me.’ She said hurriedly, the front door shut loudly behind her.

I tip-toed back upstairs, but Grandma was already at the living room door trying to make sense of why I was walking funny. ‘What are you doing up at this time?’ She whispered.

‘I-I just wanted some water, good night Grandma.’ I started for the stairs again, running through them in twos.

‘Elsa darling, since you are up you might as well have some tea with your favourite Granny’ She said looking up at me.

I knew what ’tea’ meant and I did not want to be a part of this.

‘Err I don’t want tea.. you were right I should be asleep’

‘Nonsense my child, come come back down Elsa’ she motioned with her hands  ‘ I’m going to put the kettle on’.

Grandma seemed so small looking down at her from the top of the stairs. Something in her eyes made me scared of disobeying her quiet order.

I began the descent one step at a time. Grandma watched me patiently with a weird smile. She held her left hand toward me. When I reached the final step, I took her out stretched hand and looked into her eyes and that was the last thing I remembered.

 

I could hear the toads croaking and see the birds flying indistinctly from tree to tree. I could barely see, I was lying on dirt in my pyjamas under a tree. The sun was not out yet but the forest was awake. I searched around for Grandma, she was not with me. ‘Grandma’ I got on my feet, my head was spinning, it was difficult to focus. ‘Grandma’ I shouted this time. I looked up at the tree I was under and realised that I knew it, it was not far from the house. Getting my skewed bearing in check, I began walking in the general direction of the house. I could not understand what was I doing here, how did I get here? I soon noticed that the ground became really wet, and uncomfortable, I looked down and realised I was walking in mud. I panicked and I tried to run back to the tree but I could not see it. So I stopped. I considered the possibility that I was dreaming. I slapped myself and pinched my nose and closed my eyes, nothing seemed to wake me up. Suddenly, I saw the torch light. ‘Grand Ma?’ I whispered walking toward the light.  

‘Elsa, Elsa’ I could hear her old raspy voice. She pointed her torch at me. It felt like she was holding two torchlights. I used my elbows to block out the light. ‘Oh my goodness Elsa I thought I had lost you’ Grandma picked me up and gave me the tightest hug. Just then, I realised Mum was standing next to her, ‘Elsa you cannot just run away like that’ Mum yelled, she seemed upset and not as pleased to see me, something was wrong. ‘I did not run away Mum, Grandma… she brought me here, and, and…’ the more I explained the more I felt stupid, I could feel Mum’s burning stare on me. ‘What Elsa is trying to say is that she is sorry and would not behave like that again, would you Elsa?’ Grandma cut in. I looked back at Grandma. I could not understand what was happening, why was she lying like she was not the one who brought me to the forest, how did she get back to the house so quickly, how many minutes had I been knocked out?

‘Grandma why did you bring me here?’ I raised my voice at her and she just stared at me like I was crazy. ‘Let’s get you home Elsa, we would talk about this in the morning’ Mum said holding my arm tightly and pulling me away from Grandma.

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I decided to try my hands on thriller. I have come to appreciate that it is hard to gauge fear. There are just too many questions a Writer has to ask, the most important I think is, ‘how lost do you want your reader to be?’ I usually enjoy leaving the end of my stories as open as possible- incase I want a sequel, or to elicit various interpretations from the reader. With ‘Grandma’ I am still undecided, I’ll leave it to you, would you want a sequel, were you confused? I’ll really appreciate your comments.

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Daily Prompt: Use it or lose it

The engine went dead, and so did my heart. The car rolled down the hill faster than I anticipated. I tried to restart the engine but it didn’t budge. I hit the break hoping for a miracle; the car slowed down only a little, but not for long, the hill was too steep.

My rear mirror showed more trouble; two cars were racing up the hill, oblivious of my situation. I horned repeatedly but they kept coming toward me.  I turned the steering wheel attempting to get the car to steer into the other lane; thankfully it worked. I tried to slow the car a little more, tapping on the breaks gently.

It was only a few seconds before traffic streamed into my lane; the motorists  horned furiously at me in unison. With every second I kept searching for a way to crash the car into a pavement, but it was moving too fast. I also thought of ditching the car and jumping out like James Bond would.

I had reached the bottom of the hill; People could finally see what was happening. I suddenly could hear screams as the car headed toward the busy intersection.

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!”

“Lola. Lola. Wake up.”

I was sweating all over. My eyes were wet from tears. It was so hard to believe I imagined it all; as I trembled on my bed.

“You will be fine honey, these are the temporary side effects of…”

I couldn’t care less what the nurse was saying. All I really wanted  was to stop shaking. I knew it was only a dream, but I wasn’t certain it was. What if this was a memory?

I shivered some more finding it extra difficult to stay calm.

“Would you like some more pain killers for your arm?”

I looked down at my arm , then looked back at her trying to decide once again whether I had just imagined the car incident.

“What happened to my arm? Did I really do it?”

She held up some tablets and a glass of water, “oh, my dear I thought we’d never come back from that one.” She watched me carefully and continued, “Just drink up, you’ll feel better I promise.”

I did as she asked, without a protest.

“Don’t push yourself Lola, your memories would come back to you”