Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction
A Long-Awaited MeetingA sharp metallic rap gave me a jolt. Where was I? A haze of fog surrounded me, but the smell of oil and the cement floor told me I was in a garage. How did I get here?
I took a step towards the tenor voice faintly singing "Comfort Ye" from Handel's Messiah. The haze dispelled as I walked until I could make out a large, blue tank of a car. It must have been from the 1940s or 50s. A whisp of red curl stuck out from under the engine.
"Hello?" I said, surprised by the echo in my voice.
The singer stopped abruptly after a flourishing "the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness." The whisp of red curl rolled out from under the car, revealing a comfortably plump man that shook me with familiarity.
"Kristen, I've been waiting for you," he said, wiping his blackened hands on dirty overalls. He opened his arms up to me for a hug.
I hesitantly stared back at his toothy smile and wide bright eyes that danced with joy.
"Don't tell me you don't recognize me, Kristen. I know we never met face to face, but I can't count the times Doris has told you how much you resemble me."
The mention of my grandmother's name brought me warmth. "If only Arny could see you now," I could hear her say.
"Grandpa?" I asked tentatively.
The man smiled at the appellation and rapped on the hood of the car. "See this? I bought this for Doris when your mother was born in '46. You should have seen me trying to teach her to drive. Lasted until we moved back to Iowa in '72. I promised her I'd get this thing running for her again some day."
"Grandpa," I repeated, struck by the perfect color match of our hair. "Did you really tell Grandma you were going to marry her when you were in the first grade?"
He shut the hood of the car and winked at me. "I figured it wouldn't hurt to start asking early in case I needed to wear her down."
A trumpet blasted from out in the haze. My grandfather set down his wrench with a sigh. "Choir practice," he told me with a shrug. "Michael gets sensitive about this perfection thing."
He wrapped me in a bear hug which I gladly returned. "Give Doris a kiss for me," he whispered. Then he turned away and walked through the haze, humming a warm-up scale.
I tried to follow him, but the beeps of my alarm clock dissipated the haze. I blinked to face sunlight streaming through the slits in the blinds. I sat up and picked up the phone, my fingers quickly tracing my grandmother's phone number.
"Grandma, I just had a dream about Grandpa," I said after her cheerful hello.
"That's funny dear, so did I."
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