My grandfather was a mechanical man. Not just the physical part of his inventions and messy workshop, but because of his complicated mind. Two weeks ago he was sent to an asylum, one week ago he died. The machine had shut down. Today as we honor his life we like society may disregard him as mad. Like many things in life maybe we couldn't understand him, maybe someday we will find he is the most brilliant of us all.
I fold up my speech for the funeral, I put the crumpled paper in my black trench coat pocket. Light rain putters on my balcony, its to gloomy to be a spring morning. My mothers voice rings through the hallway. \"Marie we have to leave now.\" I check my wrist watch 10 am perfect timing as always. I grab my purse and head to the kitchen. My mother is already in the car, I sigh and pour myself some orange juice I quickly gulp it down and run out the back door. Wind hits my face and my blonde hair whips around my head. Great. I pull my coat together and run down the driveway, my mother unlocks the door and I get in the passenger side. She turns to me and her shoulders drop, she sighs and reaches her hand out to my hair, and smoothes it down. \"Marie, did you even brush your hair?\" She turns back to the steering wheel. \"Actually I did mom, why do you always insist on perfection?\" \"I don't you should at least look decent, now lets have a good day, or at least try your grandfather wouldn't want you to argue.\" She says driving through the rain eyes fixed on the road. I look down at my hands, like you ever cared about what grandfather wanted. We drive for about 15 minutes until we reach the gravesite, we get out of the car and join the few people who showed up. We all gathered around the casket and a few relatives, stood up and spoke a few words they had tears running down their faces. I finally got the chance to go, but by the end I was crying to. My Aunt Claire ran up and gave me a hug and I started to sob on her shoulder. At the end we all tossed a handful of dirt onto his coffin, and say a closing prayer. Everyone there attended the wake, we all told our favorite stories and memories of my grandfather. My mother socialized with a couple of friends, but my aunt and her haven't talked for the past month. Everyone stays for about an hour then people start to trickle home. My aunt and my mother stay to help clean and I do to. We pick up the plates and tablecloths and pay the caters. Aunt Claire turns to me \"Marie you have spring break next week right?\" \"Yes I do, and thankfully to.\" \"Well your grandfathers belongings need to be packaged up and that way we can sell his house.\" She says sadly I know what shes proposing \"Would you like me to help Aunt Claire?\" Her face lights up a bit \"That would be great we will start monday okay?\" \"Ya, sounds fine I will be there.\" I smile back at her. I know how hard this has all been on her, she was very close with my grandfather and he was one of her best friend. She had no other man in her life, but she was very pretty her auburn hair and pale skin were probably her best features and she was the kindest woman I knew. I had no idea why she was so lonely. We left and when we got home we put the unused supplies into a bin for the next event. The rain had stopped, and the wind had come to a gentle push. I run upstairs to my room and throw my bag onto my bed. I take off my funeral clothes and put on jeans, a T-shirt, and light jacket. I go downstairs to our front door and slip on my riding boots. A loud call comes from the kitchen \"Marie, your father will be home soon don't be gone to long.\" I roll my eyes \"Okay mom!\" I run out the door and to the field that is behind our house, deep dark evergreens surround half the property and wild flowers pop-up in random patterns on the grass. I run to the barn, and slide open the barn door freezing rain-drops fall from the door and land in my hair. The smell of damp earth and hay fills my nose, my pinto horse, Bruce stomps in his stable and neighs. \"Hey there, Bruce how you been doing?\" I say in a sweet baby-voice. I pat his nose, and open the stable door. I grab a nearby bridal and it takes me about twenty minutes to fully saddle him, he's deciding to be mischievous today. I put my foot into the stirrup and swing my other leg over his back. \"Come-on lets go.\" I say in the same sweet voice. I tap his flank and he bolts out the barn doors, we are flying down the moor and break through the forest line of evergreen trees. I've taken this path before, Bruce is energetic, and knows the way by heart, branches snap against my legs and my hair is getting tangled from the wind. We reach a clearing that has sunlight beaming on it through the dense branches. A creek flows through it, and Bruce takes a drink before I lead him through the forest getting deeper and deeper. We break through the trees to a field, golden wheat sways gently, little drops of water hang from the thistles. I gallop Bruce to a lone tree that is larger than any of the others in the forest and far older, at least thats what grandpa said. I dismount Bruce, I look up to the top of tree, a small treehouse is hidden by the branches and barely noticeable. I dig my foot into the base of the trunk and start to climb, it takes me awhile to reach the top. I stand up in the treehouse. Dang its been forever since I was last here. I look out the window, twilight is beginning to set in, the wheat in the field has gone purple with the dusk. I brush away the cob webs, and look around the one room tree house my grandfather had spent time building with me. Our names are carved on the door frame, he was like a father to me, since mine wasn't around much. I sit on the floor and open one of the built in drawers, a couple bolts and a string sit in the bottom of it, a blanket of dust covers them. A picture of my grandfather is also in the drawer, his cheeky smile and bright blue eyes gave life to his work. The woods begin to draw darker and I check the old fashioned clock in the tree house, 11:18. Damn, I cant go home now its to dark. I grab a candle stick and look around for some matches, I find one on the floor and strike it against the tiny desk. The bright flame illuminates the room and I light the candle. I crawl out of the tree house and take the saddle of Bruce, and drape his blanket over him. I go back up to the tree house and lay the saddle on the floor. I zip up my jacket and sit the candle on the window sill, I lay my head down and drift off into a cold sleep. Bruce's sharp whinny wakes me and I sit up fast. Bam. My head hits the desk hard. I jump up and look out the window to see what is wrong, I look down and Bruce gazes up at me. Damn horse he's just hungry. I rub my head and look over to where I was sleeping. I notice something strange a compartment on the belly of the desk has crooked open. I run my fingers of the edge of it and try to pry it open, I pull back on it with all my strength. Clunk. It falls open and inside the compartment rests a dusty old box, a latch is the only thing holding it closed. I moved the hinge aside and it jumped open, filled to the brim in old letters. Bruce neighs again, I sigh. Grrr fine I will just bring this with me. I grab the old box and rush down the side of the tree, I re-attach Bruce's saddle and put the box in the saddle bag. Dawn is just starting to rise over the green hills, I give Bruce a light kick on his flank and were off, running at full speed for home.
© Copyright 2016 Nora Allen. All rights reserved.
Book / Literary Fiction
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