I missed the last time we did Flash Fiction on the Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop, so when it was my turn to decide a topic I assigned it again.
Write no more than 500 words using these three words: grandmother, freckle, giant.
I just finished reading "Madam, Will You Talk" by Mary Stewart, which is set in the south of France. Maybe that was a partial inspiration for this little story.
The giant sunflower waved and bobbed in the breeze. The stalk supporting it was almost a thick as my wrist. Even in this field full of its siblings it stood out from the rest.
My grandmother stopped beside it and peered up at the enormous blossom. “My,” she said in her soft, accented voice, “aren’t you a tall fellow.” She reached out and patted the fuzzy stem, her age-freckled hand trembling with the Parkinson’s that ravaged her body.
“Do you want to go any further?” I asked. “Or are you tired?”
She answered with a dismissive snort and continued up the row of flowers. We had had to leave her walker in the rental car so she was using her cane, and we walked slowly, but given the heat of the Provençal sun that was just fine by me.
When I was a child, Grand-mère hold told stories of her own childhood growing up in the south of France. It had seemed a fairy tale land, haunted by the ghosts of Roman soldiers and renegade Popes. We would pour over maps, planning our travels while she spoke to me in French, insisting I would only fully appreciate the experience if I immersed myself in the language.
As I grew older, we still talked about the trip, but it got lost in the anxiety of high school, the flurry of university applications, the drama of boyfriends, the minutia of life as an adult.
Then Grand-père passed away, and Grand-mère was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and I broke up with the man I thought would be my forever love, and in a fit of rebellion and rage against life I bought us two tickets to Paris and presented them to Grand-mère as a fait accompli. She’d demurred at first, but when I’d told her the tickets were non-refundable and I couldn’t afford to not take the trip, she lifted her chin and said, “D'accord, let’s go.”
So here we were, wandering in a field full of sunny flowers, my grandmother lost in memories, myself making them.
I’d love to hear what you think of this scene. Then, hop over to visit Leslie Hachtel to see what she dreamed up.