Once upon a time. It’s a 6

We found Grand dead, comfortably cradled in the mahogany arms of her antique upholstered rocking chair, her beloved “Field Guide, Gateway to Everywhere” closed upon her lap, time worn hands clasped in finality rested gently upon the leather bound, pocket sized book, its 22k gold accents shimmering off the walls of her library as raging rays of sunlight pierced the windows giving the room the illusion it was glittering.

She’d been having brief bouts of dizziness, brushing them aside as vertigo “flashbacks”, her doctor wasn’t quite on the same page – “you’re not going to like what I’m about to say, Lila, but as your physician, I have to insist you stop the daily beach walks, at least for awhile.

Being the only one of the kids living nearby (our parents having long since parted this world), I spent a lot of time with Grand, no surprise as it was obvious from the start I’d been her favorite grandchild, never tiring of her stories, forever enraptured listening to tales of the old land, of woods and elves, fairies and magic, we’d forged a bond through imagination and creativity, a love for nature and an insistence that anything was possible if we believed.

The funeral service was simple – no burial as Grand requested her body be cremated, ashes disbursed at her favorite beach during the outgoing evening tide and I, and I alone, perform this final act on her behalf with the stipulation I carry her beloved “Field Guide” and read the inscription on the inside cover before releasing her ashes to eternity.

It was almost dusk on an unseasonably mild mid-October Thursday, a light barely-there breeze blowing, when I felt a strange sensation in the pit of my stomach accompanied by a strong compulsion to carry out Grand’s final wish so with no hesitation packed the cannister containing her ashes and her beloved “Field Guide”; while driving to the beach, I nearly ran off the road as my stomach dropped for the second time  – “read the inscription? there was no inscription on the inside cover of that book, I’ve opened it a thousand times…

Barefoot, jeans rolled up to mid shin, toes gripping cold, loose sand greedily, I soon found myself down beach at water’s edge in the exact spot I knew was where I should let Grand go, where I should read the words she thought were written; pulling out the “Field Guide” to honor her wishes by going through the motions, I opened the book, the world shifting as I did, my eyes staring at what I absolutely knew to have been a blank page, the following inscription – “this, dear grandchild, is my last gift for you, treasure it sweetheart as did I and discover the magic that lies within its pages, it truly is a field guide to everywhere…”

 

18 thoughts on “Once upon a time. It’s a 6

  1. Z & Z October 17, 2020 / 7:10 pm

    Oh WOW WOW WOW, Denise!!! I’m somewhat speechless, I love it so much–but I’ll try some words: brilliant, heartfelt, moving, inspirational, filled with the beautiful magic that is love and belief/faith in Imagination. EXCELLENT! My fave ‘6’ Ever 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge October 17, 2020 / 7:32 pm

      My turn now to say “wow”. Thank you, Z! Your words are so uplifting. So uplifting 😊

      Like

      • Z & Z October 18, 2020 / 12:33 am

        Oh my, you’re so welcome–Bedelia and I regard you Highly!! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. clark October 18, 2020 / 5:39 pm

    Excellent intro, glimpse, perhaps of a tale of people in a world… which surely is the highest of ambitions that anyone taking pen to paper might pursue.
    nice

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Vintage Toy Advertiser October 19, 2020 / 1:25 pm

    This is just magical, uplifting, and inhabits a special realm the protagonist is about to fully inherit. I love how it’s about a book; how it embraces nature; and the mention of “tales of the old land, of woods and elves, fairies and magic.” And even though the story is of death and loss, there seems not an ounce of sadness to be found. The inscription waiting to be revealed in the blank page at is so powerful. Bravo, D 🙂
    You know, Grand reminds me of ‘old lady Violet’ (many said she was a white witch who danced rituals in her garden, and foraged the woods for wild fruits and mushrooms). Violet used to live in the house our family moved into. We never knew her – she died. But wow could you feel her presence about the place. A good, wise and nature-loving spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge October 19, 2020 / 2:35 pm

      Thank you, V. Glad you enjoyed. I appreciate the acknowledgement that it’s not so much about loss as about love and giving and sharing the possibility always, there is magic. Grand made a very special bequest to our protagonist 🙂
      That is so totally cool. You felt Violet’s presence as in “ghost”, “is someone there?”, presence?! I’m picturing stone house, lovely gardens (with at least one fountain for the birds, of course, lol) and vast woodlands behind…oh, and rose bushes out front 😀 Is this why you enjoy writing ghost stories so much? 😉
      It was the thing that fascinated me most visiting Europe – walking cobblestone streets… being in places where so much history took place. Difficult to describe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Vintage Toy Advertiser October 19, 2020 / 5:30 pm

        Your six was magical, and I can only wonder happily about the adventures in store for a certain protagonist 🙂
        The house and gardens of Violet were much like you imagine, only quite small, and the woodland is at the front – called ‘Bog Wood’ from older times when the housing estate was all countryside. At the back is the ruins of a medieval fort and chalk pits. At the side a cemetary and farther down ponds.
        It’s not we saw her as a ‘ghost’ but felt her presence like a warmth and glow protecting the house. And it was all the little things she left behind, useful objects, a shed full of tools and gardening things. The gardens were natural; trees, wild flowers, roses as you said 🙂 and was a haven for birds. It was always lovely living there for that time.
        You’re right about Europe. Visiting old towns and cities, going to quaint villages, all that history is eye opening.

        Like

        • GirlieOnTheEdge October 19, 2020 / 10:03 pm

          Thanks again, V. Funny, my Six was a “variation on a theme” in that the original storyline I had in mind ran a bit differently. While the first sentence was the same, the original story focused on Grand, and later our protagonist, walking in the woods as opposed to the beach. There may be something afoot for a follow up if I listen closely enough 😀
          Oh, I like that the woodlands were in front. Means there was a lane that lead to the house 🙂 And the name, “Bog Wood”. Love that the property was named. Perhaps the ponds were once bogs, maybe a large wetland area? A medieval fort, chalk pits and a cemetary. Sounds quite idyllic to me 🙂 What a comfort to have a sense of Violet’s spirit as protector. You can tell a lot about a person from their possessions. It does indeed sound like a wonderful place to have lived.

          Liked by 1 person

        • The Vintage Toy Advertiser October 24, 2020 / 8:46 am

          Yeah, that’s interesting how a story can change direction and POV like that. I think it worked well making the protagonist central, as it left more of an aura of mystery about Grand. Keep listening then… you might well want to follow this tale up! 🙂
          Yes, the location was quite hilly and prone to becoming flooded and boggy in the lower parts. I remember going to the city library (old school – no internet back then lol) to find maps going back more than 100 years before it became a settled area. The ponds, cemetery, chalk pits and Bog Wood were all listed, as was the fort of course. It was weird seeing those maps of how it was back then, all countryside with the nearest properties being some farms.

          Liked by 1 person

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