Sandy - Fiction

Retired_Can_Soldier
+1
#1  Top Rated Post
Didn't see a short story section. Hope this fits here.

Sandy by MJ Preston
Approx word count: 1650

It was that time again. Time to say. “Hello.”

He trudged up the hill feeling his heart tighten in his chest. The little house was made of stone, a throwback to an era gone with Elvis Presley and rock and roll. Atop the shingled roof a chimney, also made of stone, sat idle in the morning sunlight.

It's necessary,
he told himself, the least you can do.

His feet clopped on the flag stone pathway as his stride and pace held a military cadence. He was almost there, a nervous hitch settled into his breathing. Get a hold of yourself, he thought. His uniform was sharp, dark green-almost black, the brass buttons polished to a high shine that winked proudly in the spring light. Set upon his chest laid a medal for his service to Queen and Country.

No doorbell. That still amazed him. This was the country, but there was electricity. He knocked on the oak door, it was solid against his knuckles, and the sound was almost muffled by woods hard petrified state.

Silence.

Maybe she wasn't home?

"Just a minute," her voice called.

While he waited he wondered what he would say. It was always like this, awkward and emotional, but Sandy always smiled and showed him the way. She was so beautiful, her hair like corn silk, her smile sunny and her eyes were like two aquamarines. Sandy was a natural beauty, but her most attractive quality was on the inside. She had a disposition was pleasant and purposeful. She was flawless in his eyes.

The lock clicked over and she peeked through the crack. "Kelly. Oh my, you look so handsome standing there in the doorway. I wish I had my camera."

"Hi Sandy." Was that a tremor in his voice?

"Hi yourself, come in." She swung the door and backed up. He stepped through the doorway, leaned down to remove his ankle boots. "Oh no, leave them on Kelly. We can have coffee in the garden if you like."

He didn't argue. There would be no point anyway. Sandy would just stand her ground and smile victoriously as she softly beat him into submission. "How have you been?"

"Oh you know me Kelly, I'm always good. I painted a new picture yesterday. Would you like to see it?"

"Sure."

"Okay, you go out to the garden and I'll go get the coffee."

He removed the beret from his head and placed it into his pocket, then proceeded through the living area that annexed the old garden. Hanging on the burgundy walls were dozens of photographs, and adding to the collage were a scattering of watercolours. She was very talented, able to replicate the things she saw in her minds eye. He stopped momentarily to look at his favourite. She called it: Music and he supposed that was a fitting enough title. The canvas was 8 X 10 and on it three blue whales moved through the green depths of the ocean as light sparkled downward from the surface. When you looked at it you could almost hear the song they shared. Feel the silken salt water moving over your skin.

He stepped out into the garden. A canopy of maples hung protectively over patio area adding to the beauty of this place. He always felt safe here, even for all his initial trepidation he settled in after awhile he succumbed to the warmth and beauty of this place. The air was just right, across the garden he saw her easil standing there, a large canvas hidden below a white paint spattered cloth stood like a monolith waiting to be revealed.

At the center of the garden a wicker chair sat patiently waiting for him to take his place and he did. To the right of the chair a matching table whitewashed and stained from the rings of coffee cups. A bird chirped calling out to a spring lover not yet discovered. As he waited he thought about her and how he’d grown to love more her more with each of these visitations. He looked again at the easel and thought. I wonder what she’s painted this time.

“No peeking,” she warned and pushed through the doorway, the coffee tray balanced on her lap. The motor on the wheelchair whined a little. “So when did you get back?”

“Today,” he answered although he couldn’t quite remember.

“Afghanistan. Wow Kelly, that’s a long way from Sardis.”

“It is,” he felt the same sudden anguish and shame as she rolled up into her spot next to him pretending not to notice. She lifted the tray and set it atop the table and placed a hand on his. That was more than he could take. “I’m so sorry Sandy.” Tears spilled down his cheeks into his mouth salty and bitter. With each convulsive cry the pain came unhinged and he felt the knot inside him loosen.

“There, there, love, get it out. It will be alright. I know you’re sorry,” she smiled cupping his hand in hers unaffected by the usual outburst. “Wipe your tears Kelly; I want to show you my painting.” He used the back of his hand to rub his eyes, let out another shudder, and then pushed the pain back down inside where it stayed until these meetings.

The confession came with every meeting and she was always welcoming, but Kelly had not been the one behind the wheel when their cars collided on Main Street that fateful night. The driver had been his pal, but that hardly made it any easier to live with. They had been polluted, hopped up on beer and tequila when they set out from the local hug and slug. One minute they were cruising along to the guitar beat of ACDC and the next there was a twisting grinding metal sound. In a second they had shot through a red light and broad-sided the passenger side of Sandy’s car. The driver was ejected, but Kelly Foster was strapped in and the airbag saved his life.

His eyes were blurry and he was coming back from the night he’d relived for the last four years. His cheeks felt hot and flush. He looked up from his misery and saw her sitting next to him, a thin smile of selfless concern settled across her lips. He let out a long sigh and looked left and right.

“A little better,” she asked.

“Yes, a little bit,” he replied, then added. “Thank you.”

“Have a sip of coffee Kelly. That will lubricate the pipes.” She passed him the china cup and he sipped the hot liquid as it sent pleasant warm vapours up into his nostrils. She sat there gazing back at him.

“So what is this new painting?”

“Ahhh, that’s better. You stand up and I’ll remove the cover.”

He set the cup down and stood before the easel waiting.

She reached up and began to tug the sheet away

“I called it: Forgiven.”

It was beautiful.

***
 
DaSleeper
+1
#2
Great story, well written.

Personaly....I think you could leave out (It was beautiful) and just end with “I called it: Forgiven.”


Others might disagree..
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#3
Thanks, I think you have a valid point.
 

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