Today’s Blogging 101 prompt suggested we come up with a series. I decided to start posting fiction on Friday’s, probably mostly in the flash fiction category. But be warned, the concept might still change. Here is a story I wrote last Easter.
“Luanne, I must tell you something. It is about my brother, Elias. The one who died long since.”
The words were stifled and seemed to hesitate on the shrunken lips before being forced out. Once so formidable, Grandma was reduced to a frail body on the hospital bed. The tulips I had picked from my garden seemed ridiculously cheerful in this room, reserved for dying.
“Nowadays, they’d call him autistic. Back then, they just thought he was crazy. But he was a good boy, really.”
Grandma took a deep breath.
”It was Easter, 1934. Elias was fourteen, I was eleven. We were about to eat boiled eggs that Ma made every Easter. She kept ’em warm under a kitchen towel. They tasted more delicious than anything I knew. We were to have one each.
Elias gulped his egg down, shell and all. After that, he grabbed mine, and took a big bite before anyone could stop him. I screamed, and tried to wrench the egg from his hand. Pa jumped on Elias, mad as hell. Ma was shouting for Pa to stop.
Elias hated shouting. He screamed and broke away, dropping the squashed egg on the floor. He ran out of the house, flapping his hands like a chick trying to fly.
I cried and cried. The egg was no longer white and pretty, but a dirty mess. Pa said he was gonna strangle that boy.”
Grandma stopped, holding her chest.
”You should rest now, Grandma.”
”No. I’m not finished. The next day, some girls were fooling around outside our house. One of the girls kissed Elias, joking I guess. He smiled, flattered, maybe. I don’t know. You never really knew what went on inside his head.
Right then, Pa walked by. He saw what they were up to. He was at our Elias like a thunderbolt. Smacked him over the head. The girl didn’t want to be caught out, so she said Elias’d forced her. Pa asked me if it was true.
I didn’t think about it. It just popped out like them eggs pop out of a hen’s behind. I said yes.
After I’d done that, I couldn’t go back. I don’t know if it would’ve mattered, anyway. Pa was fed up with his antics. He said to Ma, this can’t keep on. He’ll end up killing someone.
When the men came, they didn’t have to force him, they just walked him to the car. I never told anyone what I’d done.”
Grandma squeezed the bridge of her nose between her fingers and closed her eyes. When she lifted her face again, I saw the tears in her eyes. Grandma never cried.
”That was the last time I saw Elias. I never got to tell him that…”
I took Grandma’s hand.
”Don’t worry about it now, Grandma.”
After fifteen minutes, she finally drifted off to sleep. I got up, rearranged the tulips and pulled the duvet over her legs.
Two days later Grandma died peacefully in her sleep.