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.