Adventure Historical Fiction Fantasy

I sat there in the confines of my cabin, more like comfort of my cabin now. Surely a safe haven from the icy weather. It started out as mere drops of snow, highly expected, I mean, it's winter. But some two hours ago, it seemed to increase with fervour. So much so that the power is out, the internet is down too. And silly me, I'd forgot to pay for phone service before driving all the way out here. 

Now snuggling in my comforter, I choose to enjoy this harsh weather by escaping to another world, living the life of mere fictious characters. My only source of light is the lantern I'd kept here a few years ago. My grand daughter got it for me on one of her visits to wherever she decided to go. She's a travel blogger, always on the move, that one. The tall red and white lantern now hung on the wall directly above my head. It is sputtering incandescent light, enough for me to make out the words on the pages; dim but still visible. 

Some minutes pass and yet, my heart and mind is miles away from the wiles and beguiles of the Corleone family. I've lost interest in my novel and it's not the fault of Puzo for he is a most sterling writer, quite skilled in the art if I must say. Looking up from the brown pages, the flickering shadow from the lit lamp, dances before me in glee. The clattering window, reminding me of the beast outside. Even the crackling sounds from the fireplace at the far end of the room is not left out. All living in their elements, a constant reminder that I am but an estranged old man. Yes, a lonely man indeed. 

I close my book and slowly placed it beside me. My eyes are still transfixed on the reflection before me. Almost a show of mockery. Dance, joy, something that is lacking in this dying soul of mine. 

The memories like bad dreams, came flooding back. The burnt car on the bridge that evening; I watched as the fire devoured my better half, swallowing her flesh until it had it's fill. It left me with scars, subjecting me to a lifetime of guilt and regret. It should have been me not her. I relive the very minute those murderers showed up at my doorstep in their creased uniform with a flag; my son was gone, another grave yard behind my house. 

I tried raising my son to the best of my ability, still grieving the lost of another. The rents had gone up, we were just recovering from the aftermath of the war, the sun was just about rising on all of us when he ran away, my son. Then I was certain, God was punishing me. This is what I get for my ugly deeds in the past life. But that is what it was, past life. 

Two weeks later after tirelessly searching for my boy, I came home that day to see a letter on my doorstep. It was from my boy! The joy in my heart held no bounds. He was okay. Apparently, he fled home because of me. I had turned into a stranger to him, a shadow of my former self. But how could he understand? Life had hit me where it hurt most. 

Till this very day, even as my hair turns thinning grey and my skin folds into wrinkles, my aging eyes have never set eyes on my boy again. But I know he's doing well. Tales and stories from my granddaughter tells me that much. My granddaughter. She is my most prized possession and she knows it. I made certain of it. As a matter of fact, I believe she takes advantage of it. 

I reach over to my bedside table and opened the first drawer. I got out the letters and placed them in the bed. 

I had found out through the papers my own son was to be married. His distance throughout the years was a clear indication that I wasn't wanted in his life. I got the message loud and clear. But when the papers heralded of the mayor's coming child, I knew I couldn't stay away anymore. I had respected his wishes all these years but his child? My grand child? No! 

Immediately I wrote to him. I was going to see my daughter whether he liked it or not. I got a response the following day, he didn't like it. But he was going to let me see her on his terms. That was the closest I'd come to feeling alive after so long. The first day my eyes met her, my heart skipped in trepidation. My word! She was a spitting image of her grandmother. Her eyes, a shade of hazel, her skin like alabaster oil, and that smile! I knew at that moment that my boy will never separate her from me. For she was my redemption, my greatest achievement, she had my blood thundering through her veins. I saw her every week, on his grounds of course. Before my very eyes she grew into a charming, young lady. And then when she was three years old, he decided to move half way across the world. Of course with my granddaughter. He told the staff to inform me. 

It was the worst news I'd received after a long time. He was going to take away my treasure, my only ray of sunshine. I couldn't bear it. My heart couldn't take it. I left their stately home that day, a dead man, my joy snatched before my eyes. 

But as defiant and dauntless as her grandmother, my granddaughter refused to cut ties with me. So the minute she learnt how to write, she began writing all these letters to me. Her very first letter saw me shout in gladness. And the first picture she ever sent, I carry with me always. It's in the locket around my neck. However, the days she visits, life resurfaces in my bones, my heart beating stronger than ever. Like the dawn of a new day, she comes in, smiling down in radiant beauty.

The light begins to wane out, like my memories. It draws me back to reality. I get up and search for a new wick. 

January 22, 2021 00:06

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