A story of wood

A conversation between Michael and his grandpa... I find it really sweet... ;) Hope you enjoy ...! :)

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1. Making a story of wood

 

"You have to try harder, son."

Michael looked at his granddad, trying to figure him out.

"I am trying really hard, grandpa!"

His granddad rocked a few times forth and back on his chair, his pipe dangling in the corner of his mouth.

He looked at Michael with his grey eyes, and for the millionth time his grandson shrank under his gaze until he started to work even harder.

Every time his grandpa looked at him like that, Michael felt like being sucked into time itself. His grandpa's grey eyes were The Time. Michael couldn't compare time to anything but his granddad's eyes.

"What do you think it's going to look like, grandpa?"

"What you make it, son. What you make it." He looked into the distance, ignoring the surrounding trees and the composed melodies of the birds. He looked sad, Michael thought, forgetting for a moment the thing he was doing.

"Doodling will not get you far."

Michael wanted to break something, but couldn't find anything to break. And he wouldn't dare to break anything, not even a little tiny ant in front of his granddad. His granddad didn't tolerate tempers and fits.

"Grandpa? Can I get a little break?"

His granddad didn't answer, but the silence was disapproving. Michael sagged a little but decided to take a break, since his granddad hadn't said no. He let the tools fall and sprinted into the trees, hiding under the majestic branches of the forest.

If only he could climb that high up. He really wanted to touch the sky. He wanted to jump on the clouds. He wanted to pick the stars down and give them to his grandpa.

When Michael thought about it, he really wanted many things. Too many things to accomplish. He ran back to the house. His grandpa wasn't sitting on his rocking chair. The pipe sat lonely on the stool beside it.

Michael started to work hard. He wanted to impress gramps. He wanted to give him a star, handpicked from the sky. If only he had a ladder.

His grandpa came out from the house, his fragile legs shaking a little under him. Michael didn't move towards him. Many atimes his grandpa had said that he didn't want help. He could manage by himself. Let him be. So Michael only looked at his grandpa, until his grandpa settled into his chair with a great sigh.

He started to work again, concentrating hard on making his grandpa proud.

"Grandpa?" he asked, sweating and trying to catch his breath. His grandpa rocked back and forth in response.

"Can I borrow a ladder from you?"

His grandpa stopped rocking. He looked incredulously at his grandson and started to rock again, "What do you want a ladder for, son? Feet on the ground is better than any other place." He puffed smoke out of his mouth and continued, "This nonsense nowadays. Flying everywhere and everyplace. Not leaving a single place in peace. Look at the world, son. What good have we done it? Getting polluted and smoky and sick. It's us, son. We have changed the world. We've killed it with our bare hands."

He rocked back and forth a few times, Michael sucking up every word and sentence falling out of his granpa's mouth, "Aye, it's a lie. We did not kill the world with our hands. We killed it with this new technology. Just look at the time your grandpa was as old as you. We didn't have electricity. We had what y'all called the poor days. But we were rich, son. We worked and we were strong. Look at all these people sitting on their computers, not moving asses nor legs," Michael blushed a little and hid a gasp. He didn't want to interrupt his grandpa, "Look at all these people getting sick and old before they're even thirty years old. Aye, the poor days were the days of wealth and purity."

The smoke filled the place around Michael and his granddad. When several minutes went by and Michael's granddad didn't say more, Michael started to work again. He wanted to be as strong as his grandpa. He hid a giggle when he remembered his grandpa saying asses, and worked even harder to hide it.

Soon, his grandpa fell asleep, letting the snores fill up the surrounding area. Michael let the tools fall again and slipped down to rest beside his grandpa. In a spur of the moment he took his grandpa's hand and put it to his cheek.

Even through the wrinkles and the hard skin on his fingers, Michael found warmth and security in that gesture. Maybe he could pick a star for his gramps. A big, shining and brilliant star, to twinkle lightly at night in his bedroom. Maybe he could find a star, that resembled his grandpa's wife, his grandma. Maybe he could make his grandpa smile more.

Yes.

Maybe he could.

He leant his head against his grandfather's leg and closed his eyes.

The smell of new sawn wood wafted through the air. In the sky, birds flew around making patterns. In the distance the sun was setting and painting the sky in the many nuances of pink and red.

It was a wonderful afternoon.

The first star blinked down at them. Michael smiled in his dream. He was going to catch that star.

He was.    

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