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[personal profile] scatterjoy
 “Thanks for the dinner, Grammy. It was delicious!” I waved as I walked out the front door. Pappy followed me outside to the porch.

“You doing okay with your geometry? Need any money for supplies or anything?” I smiled up at him. “No, I’m doing okay. Don’t be such a worrier!” I laughed as he enveloped me in one of his bear hugs, all but squeezing the air out of me.

He followed me down the stairs and across the grass to where my car was parked in the driveway. “Huh,” he said, leaning over to peer at my windshield. “Looks like you’ve got a crack there.” He pointed at the glass, one gnarled finger that shook ever so slightly.

I peered with him. “Looks like,” I replied. “I’ll take it to the shop this weekend and have them fix it.”

I got in and buckled my seatbelt under his watchful eye. Waving, I backed out of the driveway and headed home, content and happy in every part of my body.

. . . . .

“Hey Mom, I’m home.” The house was dark, only the ticking of the clock and the snoring of our dog breaking the silence. I walked into the living room and started to turn on the light.

“Leave it off. I’ve got a migraine.”

I peered through the darkness at the dim shape on the couch. “Oh. Can I get you anything?” I asked, hoping to make a quick escape to my room to work on my history assignment.

“You were over at your Grammy’s?” she asked. “Did you think to bring me any dinner too?”

“Yes, I did. Grammy sent home a bunch of leftovers and two slices of pie. Want me to fix you a plate?”

Silence answered me, so I just shrugged and went into the kitchen to warm up the plate of leftovers. I was mixing a bit of butter into the sweet potatoes when I heard footsteps behind me.

“They weren’t always such good people, you know.” Mom leaned against the sink and watched me, her arms folded across her chest. “Your grandmother used to be addicted to Valium. She’d take pills and lay on the couch all day and smoke her menthols, only getting up when it was time to fix supper.”

I turned to look at her, not sure what she was talking about.

“And your grandfather …” Her voice trailed off for a long moment. “He used to come into my bedroom at night and pull down the blankets and touch my breasts. I would lie there awake, but with my eyes closed, too scared to move.”

I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t move. Was she talking about Pappy? I just stared at her.

“I told my mother once what he was doing. She just slapped me and told me not to ever say anything like that again. So I didn’t.”

I swallowed. “Did he … did he ever…?”

“No, it was always just the touching. But it happened night after night, until I was a teenager. And then he just stopped.”

I stood there, silent, until she turned and walked away, shuffling back into the darkness of the living room.

I fled, grabbing my car keys on the way out the front door. I had to move, had to think. I got into my car and started it, then just sat there, staring blankly. After a few minutes, I turned off the ignition and opened the car door to get out again. A glint of light caught my eye and I stared at the crack on the windshield. It had grown even longer, splintering off into two jagged lines.

Date: 2011-02-20 12:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snarkerdoodle.livejournal.com
Sad story, but a wonderful use of the prompt in a multi-layered way. Well done!

Date: 2011-02-20 12:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imafarmgirl.livejournal.com
Sad story. What shocking and unexpected news. The emotion really came through in this piece.

Date: 2011-02-20 03:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] comedychick.livejournal.com
God. That'd be a huge shock to the system for sure.

Date: 2011-02-20 05:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] basric.livejournal.com
Beautifully written. A tragic story. One has to wonder why she waited till you were older to destroy your image of your grandparents. If he molested her as a girl it seems you should have been warned when you were a child. Was she never afraid for you. Did she think you loved them more than her so had to shatter the image?

Well done. My vote.

Date: 2011-02-20 11:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ecosopher.livejournal.com
omg. I'm not sure how I would cope with that news, either. A very powerful entry.

Date: 2011-02-20 10:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] myrna-bird.livejournal.com
What shocking news. The creeping crack makes me think there is more to this story than meets the eye...

Date: 2011-02-21 12:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amazingwriter23.livejournal.com
Wonderful story telling. Sad too.
BTW, love the sunflower icon. AW

Date: 2011-02-21 02:26 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-02-21 03:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] so-small.livejournal.com
What shocking and hard news :(

Date: 2011-02-21 03:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hammaboo.livejournal.com
I am glad to see this tagged with fiction!

But what a shock to the system that relevation would be.

Date: 2011-02-21 09:29 pm (UTC)
shadowwolf13: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowwolf13
So sad :(

Date: 2011-02-22 02:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] team-jessie.livejournal.com
REALLY glad this was tagged as fiction. Phew, what a story!

Date: 2011-02-22 03:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] faerie-spark.livejournal.com
Excellently done. I admire authors who can say so much in so few words. The windshield is a great metaphor for the settled and secure feeling deteriorating into cracks. Nice work.

Date: 2011-02-22 06:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marjory.livejournal.com
I'm so glad that this was fiction. Amazing twist in the tale.

Date: 2011-02-22 07:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joeymichaels.livejournal.com
First, unrelated to your entry, it is interesting what names we choose for our grandparents. Grammy and Grampy were my dad's parents, Nanny and Pappy were my mom's. So it was interesting reading Grammy and Pappy being the names of the couple in your story.

Second, on the entry itself, when my mother told me that her mother used to beat her, it was sort of devastating. We think grandparents are infallible but, of course, they were just people like everyone else, just as likely to have been awful as good. Its easy to dote on your grandchildren, even if you were sort of a terrible parents.

Date: 2011-02-23 05:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ckocher.livejournal.com
My grandparents were Nanny and Papa but it didn't feel right to use their 'names' in this bit of writing.

There's a kernel of truth in this story but I fictionalized it. And yes, it's devastating to hear. I think it's a part of growing up, to realize that the people we revere were just human, and some of them made some really horrible mistakes. And few of us ever see our grandparents in the same light as our parents see them.

I've heard too damned many stories like this.

Date: 2011-02-22 09:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellakite.livejournal.com
And that makes it painful to read: because I know even if this is technically fiction, it's been a true story for someone.

Nicely done.

Date: 2011-02-23 03:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] intrepia.livejournal.com
So sad. I think you do a good job of portraying the shock and disconnect of receiving news like that.
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