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|Strange Deeds Under A New Moon (standard:science fiction, 6895 words)|
|Author: Crews||Added: Dec 03 2005||Views/Reads: 1917/1420||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A mystical legend encourages 1930's teenagers to do drastic things, with amazing results.|
The moon was waning as the cool winter day began. A cold snap had made its presence known even though spring was fast approaching. Bundled up in my favorite coat, I made my way down the street to the nursing home at the corner of Main and Elm. My grandfather had called me the evening before and asked if I could come and see him. I usually saw him on the weekends but his request sounded urgent enough for me to make a special trip. Even though the nursing home had a beautiful white porch and brick facing, it always seemed bleak to me. It was probably the knowledge of how death always lingered in the hallways more than the building itself. My grandfather always called it the “death house,” but as he aged he reluctantly realized that it provided the care he needed. He always said that the best day of the week was when his only grandchild could stop by and see him. It was the best part of my week, too. Grandpa was in a cheerful mood when I arrived. He was sitting in his wheelchair at the window. I saw him through the glass as I walked up the steps to the porch. We waved at each other and then he stuck his tongue out at me. I could not help but smile at his playfulness. At every visit he tried to do something to cheer me up. He would never know how much it was appreciated. Ten years ago Grandpa lost the love of his life. My grandmother, Grace, was one of the mildest and loving people I have ever known. The woman loved to cook. She could make any bland meal the envy of the world's finest chefs. I believe the only thing she loved more than cooking was Grandpa. Of course, there was plenty of love in her bosom for her only son, my father, and her only grandchild, which was me. But she and Grandpa had a special bond that only they could fully understand. Their love never wavered and when she took sick, he waited on her hand and foot until the day she died. Grandpa thought that was the worst day of his life, but events led to even more sorrow. Three years after Grandma's death, my father and mother were killed in a car accident. I was thirteen at the time and felt the weight of the world as I buried my parents. My father, Russ, had violently swerved his car to avoid hitting a deer in the road. A nearby truck driver witnessed the wreck as the vehicle struck a ditch and then veered head on into a giant oak tree. My father had just retired from baseball and he and my mother were going on a much needed vacation. They had asked me to stay home with my grandfather and help look after him while they were gone. We were devastated when word came that they were both killed at the scene. My grandfather said no parent should ever have to bury his children. As for me, many nights I cried myself to sleep wishing that deer was dead instead of my father and mother. But in one swift moment my grandfather and I were left with only each other for support. Nurse Rachel, Grandpa's favorite, was finished with tidying the room when I walked in. Grandpa insisted she give him a hug before leaving. After Rachel left the room I smiled and said, “I believe you really like her, Grandpa.” He looked at me and raised one eye brow, “Oh, she's all right I guess.” And then with a gleam in his eyes he laughed, “Of course, you know she wants me!” I laid my coat on his bed and handed him the bag of chocolate chip cookies that I had brought. “Ah, contraband,” he smiled as he smelled the aroma from the fresh baked cookies. After some more chitchat Grandpa's demeanor turned more serious. “How is this weather affecting your hand?” he asked. From birth I had a withered left hand. The fingers were small in width and only half the length of a normal hand. The doctors said that I could expect arthritis to develop as I grew older. “Oh, it's a little stiff in the mornings,” I surmised. “I take an aspirin and keep on going.” Grandpa looked out his window and then said, “Well, spring will be here before long. Maybe the warmer weather will help.” I agreed with him and then he turned to face me. “I've never told you the story of my best friend that I had in school, did I? His name was Russ.” For a moment I thought I had misunderstood him. “He had my Dad's name?” I asked. Nodding his head Grandpa said, “Yes, he did. In fact, we named your father after him.” With growing interest I pulled a chair close to him and sat down. “It's the story of Russ, Gracie, and me, Alex,” he continued as he leaned forward and spoke in a hush tone. “I think I would love to hear that story, Grandpa,” I said realizing that this was the reason he wanted me Click here to read the rest of this story (585 more lines)
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