Thursday, August 1, 2013

AWOL

It is mid-morning, on a Sunday.  My phone rings.  It’s Mrs. Leslie.

You’re grandma didn’t answer her door this morning when I stopped by to pick her up for church.

Her high-pitched cartoon voice trills into my ear, belying her generous size.

I sense panic behind Mrs. Leslie’s message.  It’s contagious.  My grandmother is as reliable as an atomic clock.

My head begins swimming with worst case scenarios.  Mrs. Leslie, fortunately, seems to be calming down-her long forgotten Red Cross training kicking in.

I’m calling the police.  And then I’m coming to collect you.

We arrive at my grandma’s house 15 minutes later-two policemen already on scene, as well as a clutch of curious neighbors, probably puzzling over what my well-mannered grandmother has done to warrant a visit from local law enforcement. 

Mrs. Leslie hurries off, returning several minutes later towing one of the officers.  He tells me what he’s just told her.  As next of kin, I will need to enter the house and make the necessary identification.  Of course I burst into tears.  Mrs. Leslie clucks like a mother hen, and pulls me close to her massive frame.  For a couple of seconds, my face and Mrs. Leslie’s ample bosom band together in a show of strength before I break away, fearing I might suffocate.

My grandma is not inside (thank goodness) but she has left a note on her dining room table.

 

Louise-

Sorry to do this to you, but I just couldn't face another sermon about sin.  It only makes me realize what I’ve been missing out on for the last 78 years.  That nice retired dentist Mr. Sandy has taken me to Portland for the day, so I can have some cake (and eat it too!)

If you are going to quilting circle on Tuesday, I’d like a ride.  And next time, you should come with me.  It’s a shame to let that bosom of yours go to waste. (Mr. Sandy has a couple of eligible friends.)

Helen

 

Something a little frivolous from me at the 11th hour.  This is partially based on a true story, too.  My grandmother did go missing once, but not with any retired dentists.

http://writeonedge.com/2013/07/write-at-the-merge-week-31/

http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/2013/07/trifecta-week-eighty-eight.html

35 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful and entertaining story. Great writing.

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    1. Thanks so much, lum. I'm honored to have you say that!

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  2. Oh, Valerie, this was delightful! I was all set to be weepy--in fact I did tear up when the protagonist is told she's going to have to make the identification--but you've left me smiling and cheering for the absconding grandma. That has to be the most awesome use of the prompt I've read so far--"my face and Mrs. Leslie’s ample bosom band together..." Delicious!

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    1. Kallan Annie-thank you so much! I was hoping the first part of this story wouldn't cause too much anxiety-because the ending was a happy one. When my grandma really did pull almost the same stunt I remember how awful the thought of having to go into her house was. I remember her purse was gone, and so I knew she was ok, even though I didn't know where she was:)

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  3. Great job at misdirection, Valerie! You had us all set for a death and, instead, you gave your character ample life. Wonderful job! Thanks for linking up this week and leaving such a terrifcally uplifting story in your wake. :)

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    1. Tom, thank you! I really and truly appreciate that comment!!

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  4. Oh my gosh, this is too funny! I was getting worried until the note. Great feeling of suspense in this one!

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    1. Thanks Tammy! I'm so glad you liked it!

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  5. oh Valerie! Wonderfully written! I also agree with Kallan Annie completely - yours is the most awesome use of band that I've read!

    Such a lovely fun twist on what I was sure was going to a very sad and emotional ending.

    Still smiling!

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    1. Thanks Jo-Anne! I'm glad to have made you smile-I'm glad to return the favor:)

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  6. Sweet, I love a feisty grandmother (My grandma was one!!)

    I think that when we finally let go of our inhibitions it's the best place to be. WHAT great fun this was Val, I really liked it.

    thank you for linking with WOE and Trifecta!

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    1. Kir-thank you! And it was my pleasure! I'm always so flattered by your sweet comments, too:)

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  7. I think I'll start my comment with 'oh' as well as that seems to be order of the day here!
    Oh... great story! Loved it. Go Grandma!

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    1. Thanks Laura! I truly appreciate that! :)

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  8. I love how you changed directions on the reader. I found myself hoping for a good ending to something so panic-inducing.

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    1. Roxanne, thanks so much for reading! I'm relieved at how I ended this one too;)

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  9. A lovely switcharoo! I was a little anxious, but ended with a smile. I hope to be so spunky at that age!

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    1. Morgan-me too! My grandma was such an inspiration in that respect! Thanks so much for your wonderful comment!

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  10. I want to BE this feisty lady someday. This line killed me "For a couple of seconds, my face and Mrs. Leslie’s ample bosom band together". Now that's a visual! Loved the ending so very much!

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    1. Gina-I know what you mean! I admire women like that! I laugh when I recall Mrs. Leslie's ample bosom-I really was afraid she might smother me;) Thank you so much for your comment!

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  11. I like this grandmother! I'm so glad it wasn't a death, but we'll see what Louise does to her when she gets back!

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    1. Janna-there will be some explaining to do! Thanks a million for reading this! :)

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  12. Ha! Ha! I loved this piece. Wonderfully engaging and clever. Great build-up. Love this Grandma :) Can't wait to read more!

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  13. Oh Valerie! I don't know what it is about your writings; be it the era or the words you use so perfectly for the period, but you are always reminding me of my Mom and her era and her attitude on life.

    How do you do it?

    I love it, but you don't know my Mom. Yet you are spot on each time.

    My Mom would disappear from me at times during her elder years, just by way of going off to a store late at night without fear or worry. I would be calling her for hours and finally drive to her home 2 miles away to only find her just arriving back, scolding her lovingly and then returning to my home wondering what I wanted to tell her in the first place. LOL

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  14. Hahaha Lightness is appreciated!
    Love Mrs. Leslie's ample bosom, and what you did with it. *grins widely* (or is there an icon for a huge, wide grin?)

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  15. That's who I want to be when I grow up :) (That spirit; I'd like to keep my husband around for some of the fun.) I like that you set it up carefully and let the tension build until finding the note. (And I loved the description of Mrs. Leslie's voice... and her bosom.)

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  16. Good for her! I really enjoyed reading this - flowed so easily and full of personality :).

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  17. I read your story yesterday. I wanted to give thought before I replied of what it was I wanted to convey. I was captivated by what your story had to say. OMG, I can relate to everything, no coincidence, or could it really be? Your story reminded me of something similar that happened to me. Unanswered doors and policeman, galore, had no note of relief not even one of love forlorn.

    Please Google: Lucy Pruett Sun City Center, Florida

    I was relieved that your story's letter had a happy message!!!

    One of the cutest things for my eyes to behold is an elderly couple, walking, hand in hand, in love.

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  18. Hahahaha! Love this Valerie! So clever, so fun. Great characterization of the neighbour. :)

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  19. Good for her! I also love that the letter is addressed to the friend and not the Granddaughter. Spunky indeed. Lovely pacing and humor. Especially the suffocation line!

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  20. There is a gigantic smile on my face after reading this. Yep, you're definitely one of my faves! :) I loved the descriptions, loved the twist, and loved grandma's plucky spirit. I wanna be her when I grow up!

    Keep 'me coming!

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  21. Oh what fun reading. Love the surprise note.

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  22. Valerie, I remember that day!! Love the twist you put on it. LOL is cliche' but I am definitely LOL-ing. So many memories. I'm not really anonymous but it's easier for me to comment this way until I decide how to set up an account. Love ya, Martha

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