Short Story: After the Adventure

Genre: slice of life

 

He looked down at the rock in his hand with a puzzled frown.

“What’s this?”

She grinned. “If you figure it out, it’s yours.”

Well, it wasn’t like he had anything else to do.

Borrowing his younger-but-older great-nephew-uncle’s tool shed, he tinkered with the lump in between random visits from the people he travelled with on his now completed quest. Even with his leisurely pace, it didn’t take him long to find out what the lump was.

“Aluminium ore,” he said.

“Correct. What about this?” She handed him another unknown lump.

So began their new routine. Some took longer than others, but he took pride in the fact that he always found the answer in the end.

Somewhere between his ninth and fourteenth challenge, someone else approached him for help in identifying something that was found in an inherited attic. He treated it like just another challenge, and returned the item with his best guest on what it was.

After that, word must have spread, because more people started presenting him with items to identify. Some even travelled to pay him for his service.

Before he knew it, he was running a full-time business. But he still made sure to make time for her latest challenge.

“Bituminous limestone,” he said to the dark rock in her hand, identifying it in a glance.

“Correct.” She smiled and put it in his hand. “It’s yours. And that’s it from me. I don’t have anything left for you.”

She turned away from him to fiddle with some leaves. He slipped the limestone into one of his many pockets.

“How do you feel about your life?” she asked.

“No complaints.”

“Do you feel like you have something to look forward to?”

He thought about the work waiting for him back at his workshop.

“Yes.”

From the side, he saw her smile.

“That’s good. We were all worried about you, you know? You lived so long for one purpose. We were scared you would stop living once you finished your quest. I’m glad you found something new.”

For the first time, the thought struck him that her challenges had been more than just a friendly game between them.

He reached into a pocket and pulled out the first thing he found.

“Your turn.” He took her hand and flipped it palm up. “If you identify it, it is yours.”

She grinned.

“Challenge accepted.”

~End~

 

Short Story: Through the Ages

Genre: tragedy

 

At age 5, he learnt that pets didn’t live forever.

At age 9, he learnt that the elderly wouldn’t always be around.

At age 12, he learnt that just because someone didn’t have grey hairs yet didn’t mean they couldn’t disappear.

At age 13, he learnt that there were children who would never become adults.

At age 15, he learnt that he could lose his loved ones at any time.

And feared.

At age 18, he learnt to protect those he held dear.

At age 26, he learnt that no matter what he did, some things were just out of his control.

At age 37, he learnt what it truly meant to fear for the fragile life in his arms.

At age 50, he lost his other half.

At age 96, he was the last one.

At age 107, he was ready. He closed his eyes.

And let go.

~End~

 

I Am Blessed

Not long ago, I celebrated my birthday with a party, and it was a day of warm, fuzzy feelings.

I am blessed to have family and friends willing to take the time to help make the party happen.

I am blessed to have friends willing to take the time to celebrate me.

I am blessed to have friends who care and know me enough to give me gifts I would actually love to use.

I’m recording this here because it’s easy to feel blessed and loved now while the memory is fresh, but there will be darker days in the future. Days when I think:

No one cares about me.

God has forgotten me.

When that happens, I can look back to this and remember that I am so loved, by people and by God.

If you have moments like this, I encourage you to write them down, because it’s easy to forget the good times when you need them most.