"Small" writing challenges for my small writing talent. Hotel note pads are the only space allowed. Let's see if I can strip it down and tighten it up to learn something. Improving my skill of weird fiction.
My grandmother knits an enormous story with every visit. She can make every one of them last a whole week if we stay long enough. My mother and I call them, ‘Grandma’s big balls of yarn’. It’s not all fluff either, there’s substance. Last week I drove from college to her house, surrounded by pasture, rented from a farmer. We weren’t half way through baking cookies in the kitchen amongst the tall white cabinets before she began winding up the next ball. This one was pretty big.
“Remember Alice? My dear friend Alice,” And that would be the end of catching up about school and my boy-friend problems.
She stood tall and slender with good posture while weaving on and on about her best friend of the time and their trip to Tibet, culture, Sherpas and mountains. I couldn’t believe her. This sounded too incredible for my grandma, anyone’s grandma, to talk about. Grandma, on top of Everest. Right.
“Take a look at this one,” she said, walking me around the corner to her living room wall and it’s ever expanding collection of framed photographs. Family and places were well represented. Pointing to the corner of a black and white picture, she tapped lightly on a short and stocky man with, I swear, a killer smile even by today’s standards.
I asked, “Who’s that?”
“That’s Yangji,” she said with inflection, “He was such a cutie!”
“Well, he was!”
“What about Grandpa?” I said, turning to look at him.
Grandpa had been sleeping in his recliner under a book since lunch. My mother keeps telling me to pay attention because whenever he tells something about his past, it could be something we haven’t yet heard. Usually he talked about hunting in Alaska and paying pilots in moose meat to fly him someplace. The book on his chest taught Swedish boat building-written in Swedish.
“She told me he became a Gompa,” Grandpa mumbled dryly, as he turned to his side, “They’re monks, or, something celibate.”
Grandma raised an eyebrow to me, “This was before your grandfather, dear.”
She smiled at the picture and guided my shoulder back into the kitchen. Over a glass of milk and fresh macadamia nut cookies, she wove a finish to the tale. Each story is harder to believe than the last. But on that wall is a picture, somewhere, making her balls of yarn hard to resist.
(Author’s notes) February 7th, 2016: Minneapolis.
This is my 51st post! I can’t believe it really, but plugginng away and what you do can have a body of work beore you know it. Not that I have anything that deserves the name, ‘a body of work’ but it’s a collection of things at least.
During tonights Super Bowl, I recovered from walking all three rings of the cuircus known as The Mall of America. It’s a big place. I turned the TV on a few minutes innto the game and let it run as background, then searched some relaxing forum tidbits. This started an hour or so ago as a prompt for a contest that I missed the deadline for. Flash fiction. “The world’s biggest ball of yarn” I thought about a big yarn about…. Get it? It was this story or one about a super hero grandma that threw hypersonic yarn balls at villans. I think this is much better, yet I’m now interested in that superhero version…