The KingofHearts enjoys writing.  He also has a bunch of friends who like to write.  This I can get down with.  I dig writing too.  But they like writing fiction. And mostly fiction of the fantasy genre.  Anyone who knows me and has heard my feelings on Twilight can probably guess how that sits with me.  I don't really read fiction, is the thing.

It's not that I'm one of those people who looks down her nose at lovers of Piers Anthony and J.R.R. Tolkein and states piously, "Oh... I only read non-fiction."  I'm under no illusion that the non-fiction I read is somehow better than the fiction they read and write.  If anything, the books I read are trashier.  It's more a matter of my short attention span.  Non-fiction, for me, is easier to get through.  The books tend to be shorter.  Chapters tend to stand on their own.  I can read it in short bytes of time.  I can put it down for a few days then come back and remember where I was or still care about the characters.  But if I'm reading fiction, I tend to let anything distract me and I have a really hard time getting back to it.

I used to read fiction all the time.  In high school, I was obsessed with reading the classics and got through more of them than I intend to admit which delighted everyone at school but my math teachers.  I loved books and stories and really enjoyed reading them.  But since I've become an adult, I don't know, something has changed.  I think part of it might be that I tend to do a lot of writing and editing at work at that's all professional writing and therefore very boring and very dry.  I approach everything now like it's a project and I pick it apart.  I can't help it. 

I guess what I'm saying here is that work has ruined me for everything enjoyable in life.

Anyway, The KoH and his buddies get together once a week to write fantasy, talk about writing fantasy, read each others' fantasy writings, and talk about the fantasy they wrote.  They like the fantasy stuff.

I generally stay away from these groups because, well, he deserves at least one thing in his life that I don't horn in on and if it's something I don't really care about it's easier for me to leave this one alone.  But last week I happened to be around when they were doing a writing exercise on flash fiction.  Since I was probably one of the only sixth graders who carried around Poe and Rod Serling books, this one appealed to me, so I joined in. 

Here's the thing about flash fiction:  It's short, five hundred words or less usually, and it tends to have a twist at the end.  We were given those requirements for this exercise, a few prompts to choose from and forty-five minutes.  We all started writing.

Minute thirty-two:

Me:  ::throws hands up from computer:: "Five hundred words exactly, title and all! EAT IT SUCKAHS!!" 

They:  ::look at me and blink:: *cue distant sound of crickets chirping*

Apparently, it wasn't a contest to see who could finish first or get closest to five hundred words.

Anyway, here's the story.  Because what else am I going to do with it?


Everlasting Love

“Grandma, what’s next?”

“Let’s see…” Grandma looked over the 3x5 recipe card, “looks like butter is the next thing. Can you get it from the refrigerator, Bobby?”

Bobby hopped off the chair he’d pulled up to the kitchen counter and loped over to the ancient icebox that stood in the corner. He pulled the door open, quickly located the shelf where the butter was kept and brought it back to her, slamming the door behind him.

“Here you go, Grandma. These are my favorite cookies ever. I love it when you make them for me.”

Grandma leaned over and hugged him. “Well, I love making them for you, honey.”

Bobby hugged back and tried to bury the thought of another woman who used to hug him long ago. “Grandma,” he hesitated, “Do you remember my Mom?’

She paused, then answered quietly, “Yes.”

“Will she ever come back?”

“I don’t know, Bobby. She’s been gone a long time.”

“Why did she leave us?”

“Well, I don’t exactly know. I guess she wanted her independence… maybe to see the world… She said we were keeping her from that, so she left. Shortly after that, we lost contact with her.”

“How long as it been?”

“A long time. Here you go.” She handed a Bobby a wooden spoon.

Bobby picked up the spoon and began stirring chocolate chips into the batter. “I’m glad you were here to take care of me though, Grandma.”

“Bobby, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love you. I’ll always be here for you. We’ll always be together, right?”

“Right Grandma, I’ll never leave you.”

Suddenly, the squeal of brakes outside the house made Bobby’s head jerk toward the window. He climbed off the chair as he grabbed his backpack and slung it over his shoulder.

“There’s the school bus. Gotta go!” Bobby shouted as he headed toward the door.

“Don’t forget your cookie,” Grandma called after him.

He turned around, ran to the kitchen and reached for the single chocolate chip cookie in a clear plastic baggie. He shoved it down into his pocket. “Can I have two cookies with my lunch tomorrow?”

“You know the rules, Bobby, only one per day. You don’t want to have too much of a good thing, do you?”

“No. I guess not. I meant what I said, Grandma. I’ll never leave you. Besides, you make the best cookies!”

Grandma followed Bobby to the back door and watched him disappear around the side of the house. She waited until the bus drove away and then descended the long, stone staircase into the cellar of the old house. She came up a moment later with a small, ceramic jar and brought it into the kitchen near the bowl of cookie dough. Carefully measuring a small amount of the fine, white powder, she sprinkled it over the cookie dough in the bowl.

"No, Bobby will never leave me," she thought to herself.  "He’ll always be mine," and she stirred.