Remember the Forgotten

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Christmas story. Have a good day!!

Submitted: November 28, 2016

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Submitted: November 28, 2016



He stood up, his knees trembling under his own weight and looked at his work.  His back was bent and bowed with the weight of the work of the day on his shoulders. Below him sat the field his father, his grandfather and their fathers before them had made with their bare hands. It was barren until his ancestors came here, now it’s a green field fit for a champion racehorse, if only he had one. A gust of wind blew across his face, he savored it like it were a kiss from a fair maiden. He walked to his jeep guiding his young sheepdog, rubbing its head after a good days work.

Getting in his jeep he switched on the headlights, illuminating the road just ahead of him. Turning on the heater to feel warmth in his cold fingertips, he felt alone on the foothills of the mountain range, their colossal stature dwarfing him, making his jeep feel like a firefly in a vast forest. He gripped the steering wheel as if the feel of it was a cause for comfort. He entered a whitewashed home that smelled of silage, it was deadly silent but for the buzzing of a broken radio. He attempted to fix it toiled with the antenna and the tuner but to no avail pulling the plug out. Opening a cupboard containing little more than the essentials, taking out scraps to feed the dog. He ate with the dog lying across his feet throwing down the bones of his meal to her. As he washed his dishes he glimpsed old photos of schooldays when he was a ragged rascal pulling pranks. He smirked on his reminiscing. Lighting the fire in the stove he sat back into his chair. Reaching into his pocket he toke out a mobile. As he scrolled down through his few contacts he met the number. Peering up at the calendar he saw rows of dates marked off with large X’s until it halted at the 25th of December. There was no Christmas tree in sight, he had no need for such luxury and his back ached when he went up to the attic for the decorations.

He sat with his phone still in his hands, brooding on his thoughts of the past, he suddenly heard the deafening silence around him, making him feel vulnerable as if a ghost would jump out of the shadows to frighten him he thought. The dog jumped up on the chair, amusing him slightly if it weren’t for the muddy paw prints he left behind. He stroked her anyway to reciprocate her friendliness. ‘Merry Christmas’ he whispered to the dog, he wondered what she thought of him in that moment, would she think he is a kind master? It was in a kennel he met her when he was no more than a young man lost in daydreaming of foreign places filled with all manners of people. He daydreamed, often resting his hand against his cheek looking out at the sky thinking of all the places he could go. The realization that he never went to many of those places did not sadden him though neither did it amuse him.

Extending his arm from his armchair he picked up a photo frame. A young man holding a laughing child in his arms. A tear rolled down his cheek, he wiped it away, scuffing at the silliness of it all. He pressed a button on his phone and held it to his ear. He instantly disengaged the phone call, holding the phone against his forehead in shame, it felt cold against his skin, everything felt cold to touch around him except for the photo. Nothing stirred in the empty house, not one thing whistled, moved or murmured. Empty he thought again. He finally built up the courage to press the button again. A dial tone was all he heard on the other end, no one answered, not even a voicemail message greeted him from his son’s phone which he saw as a divine sign expressing his son’s feelings for his father through being unable to hear his voice. Regret filled his memories involving his son throughout the years that now overtook him as he began to weep uncontrollably into his bare hands. A lump at the back of his throat grew larger forcing him to breathe heavily and frantically, was this what a panic attack felt like he worried. His thought raced through the lonely Christmas days he would have for the rest of his life without his son by his side. He had immigrated when he became a man, for pasture new, fields that weren’t intrusive in his daily life like the farm back home. It held his father’s feet firmly in the soil, never allowing him any kind of leisure, it always needed to be tended or his living would slip between his fingers like water. Suddenly his phone rang, surprised, he answered. ‘Hey Dad, I’m outside, can you let us in? The kids want to meet their granddad’

© Copyright 2018 Sean Kelly. All rights reserved.

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