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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Family · #2230722
You make the best of them that you can.
“‘Never let anyone love you who treats you like you are ordinary’. That’s by Oscar Wilde. He also said, ‘Everything in moderation including moderation. That’s your two boys.”

“They are a couple of cyclones, aren’t they, mother?” Gail Simone clenched her teeth at the sound of mayhem erupting from the backyard. “Are you sure you want them here? You can handle them while I finish my Horror comic book project?”

“You forget I raised you, dear heart. You were a real hurricane from the start. I still hear that lusty cry of yours when I first held you in my arms and you poked me in the eye.” Linda Simone patted her daughter on the back, chuckled, and pushed at her daughter’s stubborn budge. “Storm off and make this a good one. Don’t come back until you are done.”

She hadn’t told her daughter about the cancer. Gail wouldn’t have let the boys stay. This might be the one good last time together she might have with them. It took all her energy to see her daughter’s car disappear down the one way road. “Why do we always think we are our younger selves inside when our bodies painfully tell us different as we grow older?” She closed the front door on that thought, laid down in her easy chair and slept.

A roll of thunder opened her eyes. “Good heavens or bad one’s what a dream that was.” Linda Simone cast a startled glance at the mass of unruly clouds outside pelting hail and wind at her front window. The pain was much worse but the rest had done her good.

Roy and his brother Elvis would be up to no good. “Steady girl “ Small typhoons grew up to be just windbags all too often.” It was the women of her clan who had major category four and five storms named after them. Males weren’t up to the task. Linda still had it in her to teach her two young twisters a thing or two.

“How’d the back door get locked? Safety catch must have kicked in.”

When she opened and took her first step out, the gail of wind pushed her right back in. Roy and Elvis came rolling like tumble weeds knocking her off her feet. “It’s neat out there, grandma. Lean right and you can fly.” Elvis was the first to catch his breath.

“Sorry about the garbage cans, Grandma Simone. At least now, you won’t have to worry about emptying them.” Roy helped her up while Elvis brushed her off.

“Yeah. Last we saw they and what was inside were flying over your fence better than birds.” Elvis leaned against the door along with his brother. With Linda’s help it got closed.

“Down the basement steps, boys. That squall screaming at us is telling us to hurry up.” Linda gasped at the lightning sharp twist of pain in her side.

“You all right, grandma?”
“Did we hurt you coming in like we did?”

“Just feeling a little faint. Each of you take my hand.” Knowing what to say to get the young lads attention off themselves and what was happening outside had tumbled out of her mouth without thought. It was the first time she’d used helplessness as a virtue, she realized, but it resulted in the desired effect.

“Came out of nowhere, grandma.” Roy was explaining as the three made their way step by careful slow step down into relative shelter.

“Think it will blow the roof off?” Elvis sounded hopeful.

“Felt like the windows and walls were breathing in and out. That’s not good is it? Thanks for letting us inside.” Roy felt his grandmother’s hand clench tight on his shoulder and knew something beside the storm was wrong.

“You sit down on one of these boxes.”

“Just a little winded, I guess.”

“Elvis? Go get grandma’s flashlight. It’s wobbling on top of that shelf.” The lights and power went out on cue. They were only plunged in darkness for a moment. It heightened awareness the world outside was being ripped apart.

“Reminds me of your last visit,” Linda joked, making light of things as best she could. I think I’m going to get some sleep now. You two curl up, too. There’s some sleeping bags in those cobwebs against the wall. Sometimes waiting is the best thing you can do. ‘We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us’, that’s what. Joseph Campbell said and it is still true.”

“Sure grandma, shine the light for us.” And Linda did.

“Hello, Tom.” A black shadow shivered into view, winked green eyes and jumped up onto Linda’s lap. “Cat saved another of its nine lives. Want to hear a story about your mom, boys?” The pain was making it harder to close her eyes.

Roy and Elvis, now prisoners, sat and learned more about Gail (not spelled Gale as in a big stomy wind) than they’d ever thought about knowing her before. It was hours gone like minutes later when the down stairs door flew open.

“Well, look what the wind blew in.” Linda flashed the light up into Gail’s worried face.

Her daughter saw the pain etched on her mom’s. “Mom? What’s wrong?”

It was painfully time to discuss the next storm in their lives as they began cleaning up the aftermath of the last.
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