Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Three Stories

Three Stories by different Authors. Which one do you like?

The Old Leather Chair by Joe

The sun was just setting behind the hill when I got home. It had been a long tiring day with all that had to be done, so throwing off my jacket and tie I collapse into the old leather chair in the corner. This had been my Grandfather's chair that we kept after he was gone. Mom used to say that she felt close to him when ever she sat here watching the sun go down. Now it was my turn to try and understand what there was about this space. I could remember falling asleep here the day of his funeral. I was too young then to fully understand but I missed him dearly and when my Mother told me to get ready for the funeral I said I didn't want to go. I had curled up in his big black leather chair from where I refused to move. Mom just told the others to leave me alone as they all were going out the door. Finally I heard the car start up and drive away while I was left alone to face my grief.

If I placed my nose against the leather I could just smell the lingering scent of bay rum that was my Grandfather's favorite. I tried to snuggle up to that scent but the normally warm leather felt cold and unyielding. So I cried out the pain of my loss as the dry cold leather soaked up my tears. If my Grandfather had been here it would have been his handkerchief and not the leather of his chair that caught my tears.

But now is a different time and a different place but the old long wearing leather chair is still here. After my Grandfather passed it on to my Mother she would often set in it for hours as she knitted or crocheted. I would often find her here when I got in from school or after a late date. At times the light from the setting sun would be unbearable so we had to put up curtains and blinds to protect it from the bright light. But that doesn't matter now as the sun sinks low behind the trees. The clouds look like fiery coals all red and grey in a dying fire of fading color. I needed to be here in this spot, at this time, so I could catch one last touch of my Mother and to say good bye.

You see, I just laid my Mother to rest today and I miss her dearly already. As the burning tears come I wrap myself in the brown and tan afghan that she had made. I bury myself down in the old, worn, leather chair as I cry for my Mother and the life we will no longer share. Placing my nose against the leather, hints of lilac tickle my nose and I'm wracked with great sobbing tears. Then a strange sense of peace comes over me and in my mind's eye I see my Grandfather and Mother, hand in hand, walking towards the fading light. At first I'm confused by this but then a warmth begins to emanate from the old leather chair and I know that it is now my turn to share in its secret. Closing my tear swollen eyes, letting the warmth engulf me, I drift off into a troubled yet gentle sleep.

Wolfie by D.

It didn't look any different than the other envelopes Kat had received in the mail that day. Only her lawyer's return address and the thickness told her it was what she'd been waiting for. She slumped onto the breakfast bar stool and let her bag slide to the floor. Kaitlyn Sue Harper was on her own. She opened the envelope.
The rest of the mail slid to the counter unnoticed. Her hands shook slightly as she poured herself a glass of wine to celebrate. She was on her own. She picked up the mail again and flipped through the bills, not really seeing them. Her mind was still repeating the phrase "on her own". Of course, that meant on her own financially. But, she grinned. That also meant no one spending her money. No one wanting to know where she was every minute of every day. No one calling her at work as if to check that she was still there. No one making sure she got home ten minutes after she left work.

Kat felt something brush against her ankle. Smiling, she reached down to pick up the cat. "Hi, Kitty." She scratched his ears and let him down again. "Don't worry. I won't forget to come home and feed you."
Kat sipped at her wine and wandered through her sparsely furnished apartment. When she'd left Tom, she hadn't wanted anything other than her books. In the six months she'd lived on her own, she'd bought a couple of chairs, a baker's rack, a beautiful wooden dining room table and a couple of cushioned bar stools. She had plants to brighten the bookcases and a small television for noise at times when she needed it. But for the most part, her little one bedroom flat with hardwood floors, colorful rugs and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the freeway, fit right in with her plan to start over. In fact, Kat thought, she'd have to let Alicia know that the divorce was final. Kat smiled to herself. Steve, Alicia's husband, was a realtor and had been looking for a house for Kat to buy. It was time to get serious about it.

She felt restless as she wandered her apartment. The divorce papers seemed to be saying the starting gate was open but Kat was stuck. Somehow, during her married life, she'd allowed herself to become alone. Without any friends of her own. She'd have to change that. Celebrating was no fun alone.
She wasn't the bar type. Didn't really like crowds. But, Kat knew where she wanted to go to dinner. She changed into jeans and a blouse, slipped into sandals, grabbed her purse and keys and walked out the door. Grinning widely, she set off for a neighborhood tavern that she had found not long ago.
She had liked the atmosphere in the out of the way grill and tavern. It had a nautical theme with well polished cherry and oak paneling and brass chandeliers that were shined to a mirror finish.

Their Place" Dave

On all the trips Nicholas had made here with Annie, they'd never seen another person. He was grateful that nobody would come nosing around. He eased the old pickup along the rutted forest road, searching for the spot they'd been to a hundred times before. Despite the early September frost up here at eight thousand feet, he kept the driver's window wide open, with just the floorboard heater to warm his toes. Here we go, thought Nicholas, as he stopped the truck and backed into a small clearing. The sudden quiet when he shut the engine off surprised him, as did the realization that he was alone in their place.

Nicholas hobbled out of the truck on old achy legs, then poured himself a cup of coffee from the thermos, touched up with a little morning shot of brandy. He savored that first sip, black and smoking hot, the way he liked it. His face relaxed into a slight smile, missing how Annie always scolded him when he doctored his coffee. He wondered what she would think of all this.

They had shared so many seasons and so many memories in all their years together. He took some comfort in knowing that Annie had passed quickly, and he hoped mercifully, after the sudden pain came on. Her voice had gone, but he spoke for both of them in refusing the treatment proposed by doctors who pretended to care. She was ready when she let go, snug under their thick old comforter at home.

That same old comforter now lay rumpled in the pickup bed. It shared the morning sun with a few tools, some scattered bark flakes, and his battered old rucksack. Nicholas reached in and pulled out a shovel, then set to work digging. He dug for the better part of an hour, then stepped back and looked at his work. Even with the chilly air, he paused to pull his old felt hat off and wiped his forehead. There, that should do, he thought.

He walked to the truck, scooped up the comforter and carried it over to the hole in the forest floor. With old hands, bent and calloused, he gently laid it place and opened it. He gazed down, surprised at how tiny and peaceful she looked, and all at once he was empty and full and lonely and loved.

The ethereal notes of a lone hermit thrush spiraled upward. Aspen leaves rustled in a sudden updraft of wind. Nicholas scraped the soil back in, lovingly patted it down, and scattered the leaf litter back over it. He slowly rose to one knee, and then stood all the way up. He looked up, past their names carved on the tree trunk from years ago, through the treetops, beyond the old volcanic peak, and into the sky. He hoped she was at peace up there now. He knew it wouldn't be long before he joined her, and they'd be together again, in their place.  

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