Fantasy Adventure

"It’s different," Melody said, rotating the crisp manila envelope over on its back.

Gramps wasn't amused.

“Well, aren't you going to open it?"

"What is it?" Melody asked, peeling back the lip and peeking inside.

“I guess I could use a good placemat.” Melody chuckled.

“It’s special. They don’t make ‘em like they used to anymore." “That’s the problem with kids these days, never have good taste,." Grandps muttered as he got back in the truck.

"What's special about it?"

“I guess you’ll have to listen to it to find out.” he said, with his usual straightforward expression. He started up the pickup truck and headed back down the dirt road.

“I guess later is as good a time as any,” Melody said. A few hours later, Melody shut off the pasta sauce, as it reached a steady boil. A little bland, but she was pleased with how it turned out. She headed into the living room and began surfing.

There was nothing on. She threw her head back against the recliner and dumped the remote on the cushion next to her. That’s when she noticed Gramps envelope on the table.

What did you leave me, Gramps? She thought, tapping her fingers. She peeled a vinyl record from the envelope. About halfway out, a 3x5 card fell to the ground. It read:

I hope this album helps you unwind. Just sit back and let it take you back in time – Grandpa. She dug through the half-empty boxes in her living room.

I know it's around here somewhere.

The first box was odds and ends. The second was a ball of loose clothes. Inside of a fourth box, hidden at the base was a vinyl record player.

Thank you, Marci!

She blew a wave of dust from it, lifted the needle, and put the record on the spindle. She pressed ever so slightly on the center, lowered the needle, and the sound of violins filled the air. Her head relaxed into the back of the cushion as she closed her eyes. A baritone voice began over the violins.

"And now sit back and relax, to the sweet sounds of the hottest event in Middleton high. It's that time of the year again folks. Time to pick a homecoming queen."

Suddenly, there were voices all around her. She was standing in the middle of a hallway amidst a flowing stream of students.

"Watch where you're going?" said the Senior, knocking her forward, as she continued down the hallway. A familiar voice caught Melody's ear. She recognized the strawberry blonde in the plaid skirt and sweater.

Is that grandma?

“Brian Charles Williamson!”, said the strawberry blonde, with a drawn eyebrow. Brian Williamson was busy brushing through his already coifed hair, an unlit cigarette dangled from his mouth.

"Janette. Long time no see."


"I got a reputation to uphold. What are the boys going to think?"

"You can ask one of them to the prom."

"Are you serious?" He asked. "Nobody turns me down"

With that, she yanked the cigarette and stuffed it into his shirt pocket, and stormed off.

Definitely grandma.

"Janette, are you going

“I don’t know Jake. Let me think about it.” She said.

“Sure," let me know.


They drove

to her favorite spot.

"It's a surprise."

“I’ll be right back.”

“What are you doing?” She giggled.

After a short struggle, he emerged from the bed of the pickup, lugging a heavy box to the base of the mossy tree. From it, he pulled a turntable and started it.

"May I?" he asked with an outstretched hand. She met him on her feet and the two of them danced to the music.

"Where did you get the --?"


"You didn't?"

He smiled.

"I was wondering why the bike was gone."

"Took me weeks."

She smiled, resting her head on his shoulder.

"Was it worth it?"


July 09, 2022 03:53

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RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

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