my contribution : a short story.
The clock is ticking. Sam observes the seconds’ arm click onto the next black button. The face stares back at him callously. It just records Time. No care for a petty human life.
Sam rises and brushes a lock of carrot red hair from his eye. He shuffles into the kitchen. Sets the kettle on the gas ring and fires it up. He grab his ‘Best GrandDad’ mug from the slender wooden peg. Two spoonfuls of coffee, a rush of sugar. The kettle whistles and he pours the water. Out of the window, the goat is munching at frosted grass. Beyond he can watch the white horses crashing onto the rocks. Sam shambles back into the sitting room. He reaches for his tobacco and takes his pipe from the mantelpiece. He drags on a frayed jacket and steps through the glass door. He settles on the bench, brushing droplets from the nooks of the stone.
He feels guilty at smoking while he sips the scalding drink. What difference would it make now ? The surgeon had been adamant, There was nothing left he could do. Sam had scratched down the words in his diary the day before, when he got back. ‘February 1st, only 28 days more to go’.
He taps his pipe on the fence of the compost heap. Crossing the threshold, he picks up the paper. He throws it onto the table. He won’t be reading it. Let others worry about the news. the ringing startles him. He eyes the telephone: a monster about to erupt into his gloom. he doesn’t pick it up. It seems to toll forever.
He is floating above a pine forest, snow glistening from the branches. The treetops look so insignificant. he feels a surge of peaceful bliss. The banging insinuates itself into his dream, gnaws at his brain and his body plummets back to earth. The soothing image disappears. Wrenched from his nap by this intruder, his eyes open. He stares at the damp-stained ceiling. The banging doesn’t let up. he swings his feet onto the floor and sticks his toes into his mules. he steps down the hallway, fixing the front door, clenches the knob and turns it.
Patty is standing on the mat.
She collapses at his appearance. He catches her arm and draws her in. He leads her to the settee and lodges her between two cushions.
“Is it true ?” She looks up, pleading.
Sam remains silent but his gaze expresses it all.
“Oh! Granpa, why didn’t you say anything ? Mummy was frantic with worry when the doctor told her. Why don’t you answer the phone ?”
“I…” His voice falters.
“She wanted to come herself but…”
” I know.”
“Don’t worry Granpa, I’m going to take care of you from now on.”
“How can you say that ?”
“I’ve had a good life.”
“Don’t you want to make peace with your daughter ?”
“If she needs to, she can.”
Sam’s eyes are two saphires. Patty breaks down and sobs.
“Oh, Granpa, please…”