Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Alpha and Omega Boys - Part Eight - The End

It was spring again, a year and a half since Allen and Owen had been born. The grandchildren now played in patch of grass where the pool had once been. Adele caught a quick pained look from Ed’s wife as their son, now equipped with an amazing prosthetic leg, stumbled a bit on an uneven clump of dirt. She knew it would take many more visits and time’s all healing power, but this visit was a step in the right direction. It had been quiet around the farmhouse this week because the boys didn’t come and stay for the weekend like they had since they went to live with John and his wife last winter. Adele knew it was getting harder to bring the boys and they were missing out on events with the new friends they were making at their new home. She could see the end coming soon.

She and Gracie had settled into a quiet and comfortable routine of reading, checking with the new farm manager, and weekly chores. When it was especially quiet she allowed herself to think of the boys. She missed the way they would peek over the rails of their cribs in the morning. A crooked smile on a face dimpled from sleeping on the waffle-patterned blanket. The cuddles over fuzzy books, their chubby bodies trying to squeeze between the couch and the toy box to reach a hidden toy. It was one face that Owen made that occasionally brought Adele to tears. His little mouth made an “O” and he would look up at her or over to his brother with a wide eyes and a glint of wonder. The way they would watch a butterfly flit from flower to flower before eager trying to grab it and make friends. Allen loved the cat’s tails and often could be found on his stomach lying behind a resting cat, gently amusing himself with it’s movements.

Adele caught little Allen’s eye as John’s wife regaled a story that involved the boys, a permanent marker and the dryer. Her eyes lit up like only a mother’s could as she went on about her search for marker remover and how they still laugh about the look on John’s face when he got home. Oh, the trouble these boys will get in once they realized they outnumber her, she laughed.

The enjoyable afternoon was filled with sharing parenting secrets, school updates on the older ones, and goodies that everyone brought to share. Everything tastes better in country, they all said over and over again. In the end, hugs were reciprocated, one more pitch was made for Adele to get a cell phone, and the day ended with plans for the next family get together when the watermelons were ripe. As Adele waved them down the bumpy drive, she glanced at the pull-off where the boys had been born. Gracie had recently planted two bushes just into the grass where the car once had parked. Even from where Adele was standing she could see they were just beginning to show the small red flowers that would bloom into late summer.

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Dear friends,
I hope you enjoyed reading this short story. It's something I've wanted to do for a while, but never had a good plot to unravel. As this is a work in progress I'd love to her your thoughts and suggestions. Feel free to email me if you don't want to comment here. Here's a couple of questions I was thinking about:

*Does the theme of how certain events in our lives can be the beginning or the end of something come through clearly...for more than just Adele's character?

*I put a lot of detail into the background story on Adele and Gracie. There is little to no information about the girl. Does that sit well with you as a reader? My intent was to make it easier for the reader to "forget" about her. Does that help or hurt?

*As the story went on, some of the parts are not as detailed. Did you notice? Does it seem like there is some information left out? Or is this space for assumptions/time passing ok?


Beth said...

The biggest question that I have is what happened that drew all of her children back to the farm with promises to come more often (planning when the watermelons were ripe). How did Adele feel when John and his wife took the boys. I can imagine, but I'm not really sure if she was truly okay with it or not.

emilymcd said...

Hi, Kris- Well done, well done.

I like the amount of detail you put in it. And I think the time lapse was a good idea. I like how you put "they had come for a family". It gave me chills.

I wouldn't mind hearing (like Beth said) what Adele's feelings were about letting the boys go. Even one sentence would probably do it. I like your subtlety and don't want to bash people over the head with "this is how she felt".

I feel all warm and country. Is that how you want us to feel?

:) Keep it up!