This is a story that I wrote for one of the recent Bath Flash Fiction competitions. The criteria for the competition is any genre or topic within 300 words. Trying to tell this story, which is quite emotive was difficult to do.
I think the lesson I learnt is that some stories cannot be chopped and dissected so much without losing the heart of the story. It is much better to submit a story that feels finished around 275-300 words. Maybe that was a reason why I didn’t win. No, it’s not the reason. There are many fantastic flash fiction writers around at the moment and I am still learning my craft.
Today, I wanted to share with you the full version of this story. I may on another occasion share the abridged version.
THE PROTECTIVE GRANDSON
George had spent a great day at school. He’d scored the winning goal in his first game for the under 8’s football team. He was bursting with excitement and eager to share. Blue and red lights startled him as he came round the corner. He ran as fast as his little legs would take him, burst through the door just as his mum was replacing the phone on its docking station. She’d been crying.
“Where are they taking Grandad?”
“Calm down George, he’s going to be fine. It’s his breathing. He needs to spend a few days in the hospital.”
George felt like the luckiest grandchild alive because his grandparents lived in the same street. He could always be found there eating his granddads’ homemade apple pies, helping him in the garden and fishing together. George loved his granddad.
“I’m not letting him go again!” With that, he turned on his heels, flew up the street, jumped through the open door and successfully dodged his Nan’s arms as she tried to scoop him up.
“George,” she shouted, but he paid no attention. George grabbed the handrail and bounded two steps at a time. As he reached the top, he swung around the bannister post with his left hand which catapulted him along the landing. Two podgy arms outstretched, he burst into the bedroom and past the two paramedics.
“Leave my granddad alone!” George kept running, past the paramedic turning the knob on the oxygen bottle and threw himself into his grandfather’s chest. “You’re not taking him this time.”
George’s grandfather had been making constant trips to the hospital recently, each trip getting progressively longer. He looked up from the bosom position, glassy eyes, and quivering lips. His grandfather was wearing an oxygen mask. “Do you have to go? I don’t want you to leave me, not again.”
“You don’t have to leave him.” a voice behind him said. “If it’s ok with your Grandad, you can come with him in the ambulance and you can help us take care of him.”
“Can I Grandad?” his glassy eyes now sparkling with excitement and pride.
His grandfather placed his hand on the side of George’s head, held him tight in his arms and gave him the biggest hug he’d ever had.