Buying a Memory

donut dog

© Yinglan Z.

“You’ve got to be kidding.” It was Martin’s first reaction to his wife Helen’s suggestion. “You want to buy this…this thing for our three-year-old granddaughter?”

“It’s adorable.”

“It’s ridiculous, and it’s made of porcelain. Couldn’t we get her a gift that won’t break when she drops it?”

“But she’ll love it.”

“She’ll love a lot of things that are cuter, less expensive, and less fragile.”

“But Marty…”

“Okay, let’s have it. What’s the real reason?”

Helen looked down at her shoes and when she faced Martin again, he saw tears streaming down her cheeks. He put his hands gently on her shoulders.

“What is it?” His voice was calm, soft, almost a whisper.

“My Grandpa gave something just like it to me for my fifth birthday. He…he died of a heart attack a month later.”

Martin pulled his wife close and held her. “Alright. We’ll get it for her.”

“Marty? Marty, you make me so happy.”

“But we’ll keep it high up on a shelf so she can admire until she’s older.”

I wrote this for the 180th FFfAW Challenge hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for crafting a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long. My word count is 172.

Yes, I think donut dog is ridiculous, too. However, I had to think of some reason for validating this choice of gift.

My son is divorced and the visitation schedule for his two children is that they spend one week with their Mom and the alternating week with him (and us). In addition, due to my ex-daughter-in-law’s work schedule, we babysit our three-year-old granddaughter Monday through Wednesday on her week.

My grandson has favorite stuffed animals that he carries back and forth for a sense of stability, but up until now, my granddaughter hasn’t done so. Yesterday, my wife took our granddaughter to the store and bought her an “Elsa” backpack plus two special stuffed animals she can always keep with her, just like her brother. They look ridiculous, but she adores them, and I adore her.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

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If I Had a Time Machine

time machine

Bizarro comic strip for Sunday, March 28, 2017

I doubt that buying one comic book will change history all that much, except maybe that one kid who would have read it before won’t be able to now.

“That’ll be 13 cents with tax.”

I’d made sure all of the coins in my pocket were minted before 1965, so I casually reached in and pulled out a quarter.

“Here you go, pal.”

“Thanks.” He bags my purchase, puts in the receipt, and hands it over along with my change. It’s been a long time since I saw anyone calculate change in their head, or for that matter, use a mechanical cash register. God it’s good to be back.

I take the bag and walk out of Walgreens into the bright Las Vegas afternoon. I’d better get back before they come. Not sure what time Grandpa and my ten-year-old self will show up, but I probably shouldn’t meet them.

Yeah, it’s stupid. I get my hands on a time machine and all I do is travel back to the mid 1960s to buy comic books. This one is special though. Space Family Robinson issue 14. My Grandpa bought it for me. He died when I was 16 and over the years, my comic book collection was foolishly sold. The missus thought they were a waste of space but now I realize they weren’t.

spf14

The comic book my Grandpa bought me.

I get my hands on a time machine and travel back, not just for the comic books, but for the memories. It’s been decades since I’ve seen my Grandpa. Maybe hanging around for a little peek wouldn’t hurt anything.

Here they come now.

I saw the comic strip at the top of the page and I started wondering. If you weren’t a scientist, a historian, or some power hungry person bent on changing history for your own gain, what would you do with a time machine? I mean, if you had access to this thing as an ordinary person, what would you use it for?

I gave it a little thought and came up with recapturing memories.

My Dad died a little over a month ago and I saw how devastated my children were at the loss of their Grandpa. Being a Grandpa myself, I understand the unique relationship I have with my grandchildren. It makes me think of how special my Grandpa was to me.

If you had a time machine, what would you use it for? If you want, write a little story based on the concept and post your link to it in the comments here.

The Friendly Dinosaur

railroad

© C.E. Ayr

Ginny remembered her Daddy as she stood overlooking the railroad yard. She was just three years old when he showed her that first train up close. It was moving slowly; large and stately, like a friendly dinosaur. The engineer looked down at her and smiled. She waved shyly back. She’d loved trains ever since. Someday, she’d teach that same love to her children and tell them how much she adored the Grandpa they would never meet. Ginny left the train yard and went back to work in the oncology ward. She hated the cancer that had taken her Daddy.

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction with a max limit of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

Today’s story is exactly 100 words long.

Ascending Sparks

sparksThis experience, to give life, to watch it grow, to be torn apart by it, to receive pleasure from it, and to give life again—for this the soul descended from its ethereal heights.

And when it shall return to there, enveloped in these memories, it will finally know their depth. And with them travel ever higher and higher.

“Life’s Memories”
-Rabbi Tzvi Freeman
Based on the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory
Chabad.org

I’m so tired. I can’t remember when I didn’t feel exhausted. I wake up exhausted. I barely have the strength to lift a spoonful of soup to my mouth. My bladder only can hold on so long anymore before I either make it to a toilet or embarrass myself. I have a hard time remembering what I did last week or even yesterday.

I am so old.

But I do remember many things before yesterday and last week.

I remember watching “Gunsmoke” when I was five, and trying to outdraw Marshall Dillon with my toy six-shooter (I never could).

My Dad was in the Air Force and we lived in Spain near Seville when I was little. Instead of Santa Claus, one of the Three Kings from the Bible (well, not a real one) would ride the streets of our neighborhood in a horse-drawn wagon. I got my picture taken with him once.

My Dad pointed up to a shiny thing in the night sky and told me it was called “Sputnik”. I didn’t find out until decades later that the satellite couldn’t be seen by the unaided eye and what we were looking at was one of its rocket boosters tumbling end-over-end in low orbit.

I remember when we had vinyl 45s and to play them on a record player, you had to put this funny disk thing in the big hole in the middle so it could fit on whatever the little stem sticking up in the middle of the turntable was called.

I remember the one-eyed, one-horned blind purple people eater.

I remember my Dad growing roses in our yard when we lived in Spain.

I remember getting sick on the airplane when we flew back to America.

I remember getting lost after my first day in first grade when we lived in Omaha. My Dad came and found me. I was so scared. I was only six.

I remember always getting picked last for sports during recess at school because I couldn’t run very fast and I was lousy at throwing and catching.

I had a crush on a girl when I was in the second grade. I got teased about it a lot.

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