Glimmers – The Victual Voyager

Posted on January 26, 2011 2:12 pm under Story Ideas
Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments

Grandma’s been on a quest for new stories. Here’s my third glimmer of an idea.

I scrambled to the top of The Big Rock clutching the rough jags and scraping my hands. I triumphantly reached the top and plunked down on its small flat shelf. Letting my feet dangle over the sheer side of the rock, I surveyed the world around me. The sloped and scruffy pasture was dotted with granite eruptions more suited to mountain goats than peacefully grazing cows. The dense fence of fir trees at the pasture’s perimeter secured the boundaries of my world. I leaned back a bit and watched schools of cloud whales floating through their cobalt sea. How could everything be so right up here and so wrong down there? I fought back the tears that stung my eyes.

My grandmother appeared at the foot of the slope and I watched her approach, carefully navigating a mine field of small rocks and cow flaps.

“Scooch over a bit, child, I’m coming up.”

She easily found two footholds and reached the top without using her hands. She settled her plump frame, smoothed her worn housedress and joined me in contemplating the sky.

“Why is this called The Big Rock? There’s lots bigger ones all around us.”

“It’s the first rock that Dan and Tom learned to climb. Guess it seemed really big to them. The name stuck.”

Why did she have to mention my brothers? Tears spilled out accompanied by guttural sobs.

“Breath deep, child. Get a grip. No need for conniption fits.”

“It’s not fair, Gran. It’s just not fair. Even Bill went and he’s two years younger than me.”

“Life is rarely fair. More apt to be janky than logical. Accept that and you’ll be holding happiness in your hand.”

“Don’t you ever wish that you could go? Do you like staying here while they’re having fun?”

“Go hunting? Spend hours hunched behind a bush? Eat canned beans scorched on a wood stove? Sleep in that musty, dirty cabin? No, I don’t want to do that. I’d much rather take a pail to the berry patch and pick enough for a pie.”

“Blueberry pie? Just for us?”

“Yes, Missy. And on the way up, I spotted a few ripe ears of corn in the patch. Not enough for a passel of men, you understand, but plenty for the two of us.”

Thoughts of corn and pie chased the last of my tears away. I raced after my grandmother as she left to fetch the berry pail.

Years later, I’d look back and wonder. Was this how I learned to substitute food for adventure?


Don’t forget to head over to the Weekend Writers’ Retreat to enjoy submissions from more authors.

Three Word Wednesday. is a meme that challenges writers to create something using three selected words. This week’s words are conniption, janky and scooch. Click on the link to view other entries or submit your own.

13 Responses to “Glimmers – The Victual Voyager”

  1. Sheilagh Lee Says:

    Lovely brings back great memories with my grandmother.Truly a beautiful story .And yes I did get the food reference my grandmother and mother always offered food it was part of their love.

  2. Monica Manning Says:

    Loved the cloud whales!

    My dad went hunting every year with my uncles. Mom wasted no time in turning it into a girls’ weekend!

  3. Altonian Says:

    What a delightful story, and you fitted in those fearful words so easily and naturally. Well done.

  4. Jae Rose Says:

    What a beautiful, easy-flowing natural..and the last line so reminiscent of how we learn to wipe away the tears and keep on picking those berries in life! Jae

  5. V L Sheridan Says:

    Wow, Grandma rocks! I think you’re being to hard on yourself with the last line. Think of it as always being close to Grandma when you have a sweet piece of pie. Nice use of the words.

  6. RJ Clarken Says:

    Wow, what a totally cool Grandma! In many ways, she reminds me of my own grandmother, long gone, but never forgotten. What a gentle, sweet memoir, that was told so very poetically.

  7. Ren Says:

    Oh my goodness! I thought this story was going in a different direction until I got to the “Aha!” part.
    Great read!

  8. Kim Nelson Says:

    Love this!
    Always get a different take on the prompts here; and always look forward to them, too.

  9. Rinkly Rimes Says:

    I suppose this could be called a vignette. Such short stories often contain great messages, as does yours.

  10. uma.a Says:

    Nice.Going around and adventuring together with our grandmother is quite an delightful moment

  11. Julia Smith Says:

    What an awesome last line. A great reminiscing story that results in real insight for the character.

  12. Susan Helene Gottfried Says:

    Oh, I love this. Except for the end — I don’t buy there’s a substitute of food for adventure. Clearly, the adventure here is picking the food and having the special one-on-one time with Grandma.

    It’s all about perspective. Which is why I love Grandma’s secret to happiness. I’m going to write that one down and hang it over my monitor; there’s more than a small grain of truth in there.

  13. ThomG Says:

    An extremely delightful read. Thanks for contributing on a tough challenge.