His grandfather’s library was a place of masculine enticement. The oak paneling covered all but the wall where the large bay window was with its padded bench for people who wanted to read by natural light. That wall was dressed with a solid color of faded peach. The carpet, thin with wear in the traffic paths of the room, was dusty from lack of care. Still, the place was stocked full of books from the ceiling to the floor on three walls except for where there were Victorian chairs sitting sparsely against the walls. In the center of the room a laid out sitting area seemed to be beckoning to those who entered the gallery. It had been ages since Andy had been in this room. Now, at the reception of the old man’s funeral, the warmth ceased to exist the way it had before.
He read the titles of the books on the shelves of the east wall, seeing if he recognized any of them from his childhood. There on the shelf at eye-level were all the books written by Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield, A Christmas Carol , Great Expectations, The Old Curiosity Shop, and his favorite, Oliver Twist. This wasn’t the version with music; it was the original story with all of the suspense and drama.
He pulled the book from the shelf and a letter slipped out of its pages and fell to the floor. The yellowed paper was folded neatly into perfect thirds. The parchment was tearing just slightly in places around the edges. Taking it to the sitting area, he carefully opened it up. He sat down on the loveseat as he read the first line.
My Dear Love,
The days have been soggy at best over here in this strange land. The temperature gets colder with each passing day as my buddies and I crawl through the mud to snuff out the enemy. When there is time to rest, we make crude mats out of the branches of the pine trees that seem to be everywhere here, and put them as close to the other tress as possible so that we’re not in the muck.
I dream of the day when I can come home to you and our young son. I long to sit by the fire with you in my arms and nothing but the cracking of the burning wood disturbing us. I think of the times we will have when we are teaching little Robert to ride his first horse and how to take proper care of a loving dog.
The word is that this awful war will be over soon. I pray for this every night. Three years is way too long.
You are in my thoughts every minute of each day, Lily. I will be coming home. I promise you this.
With all of my love,
A tear fell from Andy’s check just missing the papyrus of his grandfather’s letter to his grandmother. He had always know there was a special bond between the two of them, but, somehow, this letter crystallized it for him.
He put the letter in the book and placed it back on the shelf next to David Copperfield. He walked out into the foyer where he saw Lily standing with her friends. He walked up to her waiting for a break in their conversation. When it finally came, he hugged her tight and said, “I love you, Grandma.”
Prompt from Today’s Author @ http://todaysauthor.com/2014/11/18/write-now-prompt-for-november-18-2014/