Tag Archives: love

Flash Fiction Friday…

Since I have a welter of writings scattered here and there I thought I’d start a series, culling various pieces from piles of papers. There is no set word count here; it could be from 100-1,000. I believe this simple exercise will allow me to free up the writer’s block that sometimes plagues me. (Especially now, since I am engaged in NANOWRIMO.)

Anyway, here is my first post of flash fiction, fashioned from my own prompt. It just came to me out of the blue one night, right before bed.

Thank you for stopping by.

The Cornfield

Effie was barefoot and giggling as she sprinted ahead of me, down the dusty dirt trail, wearing her usual summer clothes, frayed cutoff jeans and a billowing white shirt tied at the belly, her long curly auburn hair flowing over her shoulders, running just ahead of me past the bend, and me only knowing you left the trail by the broken stalk to my left, sticking out of place, as though the unity and wholeness of the cornfield was somehow breached, now broken.

I stopped at the break and, in the distance, I heard your laughter. I plunged into the fragrant stalks, breaking my own fair share, laughing to myself as I sought you through the dense vivid green foliage, the tasseled ripening corn tickling my arms as I raced forward, searching for that unseen mirth. I ran, wondering how you could be so far ahead, marveling at your grace, your speed, your ebullience, your loveliness. Yes, we were only 14. Well, you were; I was 12. But I knew, deep down, that I felt something toward you, something inexplicable, something warm and comfortable and pleasing.

And you were out there, somewhere, laughing in the wind, nothing but vast fields of brilliant blue spread out above, us running and slapping at lush green stalks as we raced through the field, me winded and excited and wishing to just gather you in my arms, to hold you, breathe you in, to fall amongst the shattered verdant limbs and let the full sun embrace our youthful giggling madness.

word count: 257

 

Copyright, Paul Grignon – 2017 All Rights Reserved.

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Rendered Speechless…

Sometimes I have to travel more than thirty miles in my car, for my other part-time job. Usually I deign to take back roads as I’m never quite sure if my car will explode.

I had bought this car, a 1995 Pontiac Grand Am from a colleague at work, for $375. She had inherited a newer car and graciously allowed me to pay such a paltry sum for the vehicle. I was grateful to have it.

But soon a few problems became apparent; the car would suddenly red-line, the temperature gauge rocketing into the red zone, and it began to leak copious amounts of coolant. For some unfathomable reason, these two problems ‘sometimes’ presented themselves and other times, nothing. Perplexing to say the least.

So that was why I fretted whether it would simply disintegrate en route to wherever I was heading. In fact, the car was old enough that when I went shopping anywhere, I could remove the key while it was still running, get out, lock the door, and go shopping. Sometimes I’d go to several stores, performing the exact scenario. It consumed a lot of gas, but I didn’t want to chance the car venturing into the red zone after starting it

This went on for months, never quite sure what to expect when I turned the well-worn key. It became nerve-racking. Which brings me to the speechless part.

My wife, Julie, totaled her car, a Pontiac Torrent (maybe that’s why they don’t make Pontiacs any more) and needed a new car. She had been driving a rental but found a good deal on a Toyota Rav 4; 2011 with 64,000 miles. Not bad at all.

She opted to sign the papers herself and said that I did not have to go. Why didn’t I just stay home and write instead, she said? And that’s what I did.

Hours later she called me, saying that I needed to come in to sign a few papers, sorry that she had to bother me, especially when I was wary of my own quirky car. Reluctantly I drove to the dealership, parked my car—left it still running, mind you—and found Julie. We walked to her car, with the dealer in tow, and a wonderful man named Dave Brown, Julie’s ‘auto advisor’.

I looked at the Rav, impressed by it’s clean, sharp design. The dealer, Tomi, I think his name was, then turned to me and said, “And that is for you.” He was pointing at a sparkling white Nissan Frontier, a beautiful little pickup.

As any reasonably incredulous person would say I said, “What?!”

He replied, “It’s yours, here’s the keys.”

I was astonished, unbelieving. “Come on,” I said. “This is a joke, right?” Julie and Dave were laughing nearby. Tomi again said, “No joke. It’s yours. Take it for a ride.”

I looked from him to Julie to Dave and back at the Frontier. I was, indeed, rendered speechless. Julie had, for the past week or so, been dealing with Dave, not only for her car but to find me something that was safe and reliable.

I could not believe it. “How? What? How can we afford it?”

But Julie said she had worked out all the financing with Dave and yes, it was true, that that was to be my next vehicle.

I remained stunned, unmoving, astounded by this sudden, unexpected, wonderful gift.

“Happy birthday and Valentine’s,” she said.

I am a very lucky man. It was an incredible act of kindness and concern and love, and that is why I am truly married to the most amazing woman I have ever known. Besides having the gift of my Beloved, the Frontier was the second best gift I have ever received.

It has been two days now since we both have the newer cars parked in the back lot. I am still dumbfounded by the whole affair; her traveling for miles to different destinations, working in tandem with Mr. Brown to hammer out the details, all the while it was eating her up, finding it distasteful to keep this subterfuge in play. It worked. I was clueless

I remain speechless by the incredible selflessness of both Julie and Dave, the latter working tirelessly to put the deals together, for going above and beyond his duties, and presenting us with the best possible solution to our vexing transportation problems. I salute you, Mr. Brown!

I am still rendered speechless by the magnanimity of my Beloved, of her immensely beautiful heart, her love and support for me. I am one incredibly lucky man. Julie is…is a gift to me from the universe, a wonderful soul who gives me so much love, comfort, and happiness.

This is just one (albeit huge!) example of her generosity and genuine spirit.  For that am I exceedingly grateful and continue to marvel at my good fortune in life.

I am truly blessed to have Julie as my bride, to wake every morning with her by my side, and gaze into the visage of heaven.

Thank you so much, Julie. You are truly my Beloved, and I love you..infinitely.

©Paul Grignon, 2016, All Rights Reserved.

 

Cam, the Magna-ficent!…

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This past weekend we braved the infestation of fleas at the world-famous Brimfield Flea Market where, on any given day, over 120,000 people throng to gawk at gewgaws, baubles, and tchotchkes alike.

We wended our way along the Pike to the DCU Center in Worcester to honor Cameron, my stepson, who was graduating from Worcester State University. He was one of 1,100 fellow graduates who received their bachelor’s degrees but, as we found when his name was announced, that he had graduated Magna Cum Laude, with a 3.79 grade average! And it was just like him, not to brag or even mention he was receiving such a high and wonderful honor.

Over the past four years, which passed as a blur, he was always meticulous; his desk in his room was always tidy, with notes about upcoming classes and tests neatly placed. He was a diligent and hardworking student and it shows, not just by the level of degree he attained, but by landing an internship at EMC Corporation prior to graduation.

Soon, he will be leaving our little nest, to reside in Westboro with two friends, to begin a new chapter in his wonderful young life.

If it appears that I am bragging slightly about him it is because he is like my own flesh and blood, my own son. I am so very proud of him. Both Julie and I are proud and happy parents to this smart, handsome, well-adjusted, young man. We have no doubts that he will go far, in whatever endeavor and career he so chooses.

To you, Cam, I salute you! Despite all the varied tribulations you have witnessed over the years, your tenacity, intelligence, and wonderful humor has shone, bathing all in your brilliant smile.

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May this new beginning bring you much excitement and happiness!

We love you, Cam.

With much love,

Paul Harry & Julie

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2015, All Rights Reserved.

Christmas Presently…

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Tis true, today is Three Kings’ Day, but twelve days ago it was Christmas.

A time of remembrance, of warmth, of gatherings near a healing hearth. And all of that was present this past Christmastime, a holiday spent with family.

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Our Nightmare-Before-Christmas sort of snowman greeted all who crossed our threshold. There is nothing more inviting than entering a dwelling from frigid conditions and witness a plethora of radiant candles, beacons of welcome and comfort.

Our simple residence was festooned with an eclectic selection of holiday trinkets, from antique ornaments to slightly kitschy gewgaws scattered about.

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Reindeer, Santa, and  glistening balls covered sundry surfaces, all giving a festive glow to the interior.

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Nutcrackers held sway from above, their solemn gaze impenetrable, like the Moai from Easter Island, the former regaled in wondrous costume.

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In other recesses, various St. Nicks’ peered from candlelit corners, admiring the walls bedecked in Christmas attire.

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Wassailers perched under laden boughs, wishing all a healthy holiday season and new year.

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Other characters wishing the same huddled in darkled corners, while a wan candle allowed a semblance of warmth.

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May the warmth of our simple home provide you all a glimpse into comfort and calm in the New Year and may much health and happiness be yours.

Copyright, Paul Grignon, All Rights Reserved.

The Fault of our Feelings…

I just finished watching the movie, “The Fault In Our Stars”. It immediately brought back feelings of when my Dad died, at the unexpected and premature age of 78.

This movie, based on the novel by John Green, is absolutely wrenching.; heartfelt, loving, in-the-moment-kind of storytelling, the kind that tugs…no, wrenches your heart. There is no way this relatively unknown film can NOT pull at your heart strings.

And personally, why would such a flick hold so much resonance for me?

Well, because my Dad—my father—died four years ago.

“Yeah, big deal, he died, Paul. Get over it.” “It’s been four years. Geesh!” Yes, that may be the outlook of certain siblings. One of indifference, of complacency, of “…who the hell cares? He’s gone! Deal with it.”

Yeah. Deal with it. The death of my father, my Dad. My Beloved father who I love so much still. Still, after four years.

Still does he speak to me.

Still.

I miss him terribly.

I miss you, Dad.

I love you.

Generous Souls…

Have you, perhaps, in your life thus far experienced the generosity of someone, a person who goes above and beyond any preconceived notion of what generosity is all about?

I mention this, because I know two people who have, over the course of my time knowing them, have done just that, and in an incredible fashion.

I am talking about my brother-in-law and his lovely wife, Steve and Meghan, and their two beautiful and beguiling daughters, Danielle and Jacqueline.

These folk have helped us out time again, over the course of many years, and for that am I, and Julie, exceedingly grateful for their extreme largesse and kindness.

‘Bald tires on your battered Pontiac Torrent? Here’s some Christmas money, for four new tires.’ That was one gift we received one past wonderful holiday respite to their warm and inviting residence along the coast.

What, your landlord’s stove doesn’t work? Here. Here’s a brand-new stove, Just put the other one in the garage.

What’s that you say? Your same Torrent seized up and you need a new engine? Here you go. Just go get it fixed. We’ll take care of it.

Short on rent because you’ve fallen on hard times? Don’t worry; we’ll help you out until you get back on your feet.’

These examples, and countless more, have these kind people bestowed upon us. And you know what? No questions asked. None. Just simple, honest, gracious giving. No strings attached.

What a true blessing to know such wonderful folk, people who help out others when circumstances appear dire.

Julie and I, and our boys, are eternally grateful for their support, for their concern, for their love. I, for one, cannot imagine anyone else being so generous, so thoughtful, so kind—without strings—than these people, my extended family.

I just wanted to jot down these few words, to let others out there know how thankful we are to have angels such as these to help us out during such trying times. We owe them a lot. But you know what? They do not expect anything in return. Nothing. They simply wish us well and want us to get back on our feet financially.

This then, is a tiny blog that speaks to their huge heart, to them and Phil (my father-in-law) and Joel (my other brother-in-law), four wonderful people who have allowed us to maintain a modicum of calm and provide a window to placate harried nerves.

Thank you. Those two words cannot possibly do justice to the magnanimous gestures they have given to us.

Thank you so much. We can only hope that other people out there, others going through strife and worry, may have benefactors who can allow a semblance of peace to enter their own home.

To Steve, Meghan, Phil, and Joel, we salute you.

Thank you. We remain eternally grateful.

©Paul Grignon-2014 – All Rights Reserved.

Birthday Boy…

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Cameron

I first met my stepson when he was just 10 years old. I was at a friend’s house, in the town where I grew up. His mother was stopping by to pick him up. Cam was playing with my friend’s son, so this would also be the first time I met Cam’s mom.

A young Cam

A young Cam

When she arrived and rounded the kitchen corner, how can one not have become instantly spellbound? I beheld a most exquisite, beautiful, intoxicating woman, and I was transfixed. Alluring, delightful, humorous…and those eyes. I was held captive under her gaze.

Mesmerizing...

Mesmerizing…

But this is about my stepson. And his 21st birthday. He is no longer the birthday boy, but a man. And in those subsequent 11 years, since his mom and I forged a union, I have seen this young man in various stages of his life. My only regret is that he is not my own son. How I would have delighted in seeing this man as a young child, to hold him, to experience his wonder and exuberance, to teach him sundry things about the world.

For his 21st birthday, I made a collage of him, photos taken from a young age, to the present. I hope that as he peers at these images they bring back fond memories, of each of those years and moments in time.

collage-001Now, come this fall, he will begin his senior year at Worcester State College. He has made Dean’s List every semester. His last report card was straight A’s. He is one smart, funny, intelligent, very humorous fellow, and I love him as though he were my own son.

And those eyes. He possesses the same fantastical, incredibly beautiful eyes like his mom, arresting orbs that can hold folk spellbound. (And his brother, eight years younger, has the same stunning countenance.)

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Jace

Cam is now a man. For his 21st birthday, he traveled to Beantown, to partake in a pub crawl with friends. He returned, not sure of what establishments he partook, but at least he made it home safe and sound.

My stepson is now a man, and I wish him nothing more than much happiness, good health, and laughter wherever his life may lead. Along the way to adulthood, there have been a few bumps and potholes, but with age comes maturity, and he has displayed that to a remarkable degree.

He has seen quite a lot in his brief time upon this planet, and through such trying times he has prevailed; stoic, quiet, strong, even-keeled, and present, to all who have needed help and his love and support. He is truly a one-of-a-kind human being, and I am a lucky man to be the stepfather to this remarkable, stable, stalwart man.

May your travels and adventures take you far and wide and varied, Cam, in good health, safety, and with much laughter.

I love you and wish you nothing more than peace and prosperity wherever you go. And you will go far. I have no doubt.

You truly are a wonderful stepson.

Happy birthday.

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Copyright, Paul Grignon-2014– All rights reserved.