50 Word Stories: King Alf

The sword stood embedded in a rock larger than a sheep.
He knew it his destiny; it was an unavoidable truth. Merlin had told him so. He tugged. Nothing happened?
"Pull, Arthur," encouraged the ancient wizard.
"My name's Alf, not Arthur."
"Damn, I really should magic a new hearing aid!"

Drifting on a Dream

Drifting on a dream. I’m drifting on a dream. I remember you from somewhere, but I’m drifting on a dream

Grandma was old, ancient, in fact. With skin like Norwegian fjords, one could trace her beginnings through history right back to the day she was born. I often wondered what she was like as a child: carefree; headstrong; determined. The one I would never have credited her with was lost. Not as lost as she’d become, anyway.

Drifting on a dream. I’m drifting on a dream. I remember you from somewhere, but I’m drifting on a dream

Gran, I called her, though she preferred Grandma. She would take a desperate swipe at my head whenever I lost her suffix, then grin when I dared meet her eyes again. They sparkled then, her brilliant, blue eyes, not grey like a fogged over meadow. I always thought she possessed the kindest, most intelligent eyes of anyone I’d ever known and wished for mine to be the same. They are the same now, which saddens me.

Drifting on a dream. I’m drifting on a dream. I remember you from somewhere, but I’m drifting on a dream

Grandma went into hospital on a Thursday. It was easy to remember because I was putting my wheelie bin out when I received the phone call. I rushed to ward six and there she lay all alone. From that moment on the pragmatist was gone, the fixer of frayed clothes and recycler of everything, the spendthrift and creator of newborn’s bank accounts.
I sat at her side for three days, smiled whenever she opened her eyes and hushed her when she forgot where she was. I lost her the moment she entered that sterile box of a place, but found the real her again just before she left. She opened her eyes and smiled, placing her translucent hand in my own. Her lips pursed together as I leaned in close and she whispered…

Drifting on a dream. I’m drifting on a dream. I remember you from somewhere, but I’m drifting on a dream

Maybe she was more of a dreamer than I’d given her credit for, maybe even more so than me? She’d be able to tell me one day. I’d look forward to it.

A Short Post on the Human Spirit

Author's Note: Every word is true.

My wife, sister and I visited my ninety-five-year-old Nanna this week. No big deal, you might say. For us, it was.
We don't own a car, and my sister doesn't drive. So, we borrowed a family vehicle, collected my sister, who lives forty miles away, and then drove the same again to the York residential home where my Nanna lives. She has dementia, can't walk, and is in a secure ward, but we love her dearly.
Planning such a trip in our situation is never easy, so we never promise a visit in case we can't. Hence, our arrival was a surprise.
To cut a long story short and to get to the point, Nanna was shocked at us turning up but soon recovered her composure. We chatted non-stop about the past, memories and life in general. We had the same discussions about ten times each as she forgot them within five minutes. It didn't matter; she was happy.
When we eventually got up to leave, Nanna tried too. We begged her not to, so she sat again. However, as the three of us traipsed away, we heard a noise. Nanna had stood up, made it to the door, and was waving. She did so right up until we couldn't see her. A miracle!
We were so lucky to see this especially as a nurse was in the room opposite so we knew Nanna was safe.
People said she couldn't stand or walk, but she did.
If she only remembered our visit for a day it was worth it. Somehow, I expect she'll remember it much longer than that.
The human spirit is astonishing. We must never forget such things.

Thank you for reading
Richard