The Music Be The Food flash fiction event continues with round three. This time, the song is one of my all-time favorites, from prog metal master, Devin Townsend, called Kingdom. Give a listen to the tune and then read the first flash fiction piece, by R.N. Drum.
Sunday Evening in New River Valley
“What do you say, grandpa?”
“Well,” the old man chuckled. “I can tell you they looked goddamned ridiculous.”
“Oh, he’s old enough,” he winked at the boy who sat on the porch, mindlessly picking paint chips off of the old wood boards. “Aren’t you, babe?”
The boy winked back to the old man. His face was wrinkled and so tan. Mom said the tan would never go away – that grandpa had worked up in the hills for so long trying to get the air to work again and he had been burned by the sun too many times.
“What else?” he looked back down at his grandson. “Oh, careful you don’t get yourself a splinter there, babe.”
“I won’t,” he kept picking at the peeling paint, still regarding his grandfather. “Were you there?”
“Oh, yes, I was there,”
“Dad, please,” his daughter-in-law’s were wide and she was shaking her head. She mouthed ‘don’t’, but he just shook his head. It wasn’t to protect her son; all the kids started learning about the Great Northern Incident in the second grade. There were even picture books, but they couldn’t show what really happened. No, she didn’t want him to have to relive the worst days of his life just to tell his grandson a story that he had heard in school already. She also knew that questions about her husband would come up, as they occasionally did, and today had been such a nice day that she didn’t want to think about him. Even if it was only for a few hours.
“It’s okay, sweetheart,” the old man pushed himself up in his chair, looking out to his corn fields that filled a modest four acres and then beyond to the mile and a half of grassy plains, which ended abruptly at the southern foot of the mountain range that hadn’t been there thirty years before. The range, with it’s bright caps of snow and black, jagged rocks, was awash in orange light as the sun began to tuck itself away for the night. “Wish I hadn’t been, but yes, I was there.”
“Was it scary?”
“Oh, I suppose,” he bumped the boy with a foot. “Not as scary as your mom when she’s mad, though, eh?” The boy giggled, looking up at his mother who only rolled her eyes.
“My teacher says they took the air,” he looked up at the only father he’d ever known. “What were they like?”
“Who? The Cimmers?” Grandpa sat back, scratched his chin beneath his beard, and rocked the chair up onto its back legs. “Bigger than anything I’ve ever seen.”
“Yes,” he looked into the boy’s wide eyes. “Ever.”
Read more from R.N. Drum on rndrum.net.