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The Chosen Grandma, Chapter 2.2

by BlueAfrica


A/N: Eighty-three-year-old Edna Fisher is the Chosen One, destined to defeat evil sorcerer Redway with the fabled Sword of Destiny. The wizard responsible for telling her all this is not pleased.

Methodius tugged a wrinkle in his robe, straightening it with the air of a rooster ruffling his feathers. Then he continued, in a rather less mystic voice than before.

“You will travel to the Land of Michigan.” The voice and glowing eyes had been impressive before, but now they seemed like a performance he couldn’t be bothered with, since he clearly saw his audience as irreverent and unworthy. “Follow the water to a place of blue waters and green fields—”

“Isn’t that all of Michigan?” Benjamin asked, but the wizard ignored him.

“—where you’ll find the Sword in the keeping of a man named Theobald Smith. Show him my token—which I will give to you shortly,” he snarled, as Edna opened her mouth to ask what token, “and he will give you the Sword and send you on your way. At which point myself or another member of the Council will be in touch to give you further instruction.”

The receptionist’s radio crackled loudly, making them all jump. Edna stretched her legs with a wince, trying to ease the pain in her hip. Jumping was a lot harder than it used to be.

“Why don’t you give me all my instructions now?” she asked.

Methodius’s eyebrows crept up his forehead.

“For someone who is eighty-three,” he said, “you really are quite naïve. What if a person of ill repute found you on your journey and discovered that you’re the Chosen One? They might torture you for information. But if you don’t have the information—”

“I’ll die of torture,” Edna said coolly, knitting faster than ever.

“Okay,” Benjamin said, “for real, you’d rather subject the Chosen One to torture that—”

“For heaven’s sakes, Benjamin, hush. I’m not going to be tortured.”

“How do you know?”

“Well—” Edna paused a moment, preoccupied with counting her stitches. “I’ll keep my lip zipped about my new status, and if anyone tries anything—”

She stabbed the air with one of her needles and gave her sweetest little-old-lady smile.

“We’ll be perfectly safe,” she said, and she returned, unconcerned, to her knitting.

Benjamin stared at her as if he’d never seen before. Then he wrenched his gaze away and turned back to Methodius.

“If it makes you feel better,” the wizard said, “we’ve tracked this sort of thing, and Chosen Ones have a 97.892 success rate. So the odds really are in her favor.”

“Of not being tortured?” Benjamin asked.

Methodius looked uncomfortable. “I’m afraid I can’t speak to that. It does seem to go with the job description. But most of them get past it and go on to complete their mission and come home heroes and so forth.”

“Most of them are teenagers,” Benjamin said through gritted teeth. His blood was boiling again, his face turning red under his mop of gingery-gold hair. “And here’s a question for you—why don’t you go get this mystical sword? You expect an eighty-three-year-old woman to go off and kill a sorcerer but don’t come bearing the one tool needed to get the job done? The Council of Wizards can go—” and he told Methodius to do something that only shocked Edna because she’d never imagined Benjamin would use such language.

Methodius, unsurprisingly, turned red himself in response.

“We are a group of highly qualified individuals with over five thousand years’ experience between us,” he said, more loudly than he needed to. The receptionist glared at him from her computer and pointedly turned her radio up.

khhrrrrzzz, it squawked, hurting Edna’s ears. khhhhrrrrzzzznator said earlier today that khhhhrrrrzzzz.

“Turn that down!” Methodius bellowed, too affronted to put up with anymore of the nursing home’s nonsense. The receptionist gave him a look of disdain but obliged. The wizard turned on Benjamin, huffing and puffing like the Big Bad Wolf. “What exactly did you think was going to happen, young man? Do you know what the Sword of Destiny is?

“The only known weapon that can kill—”

“A sorcerer!” shouted the wizard. “Precisely! Do you know what would happen to me, to any of my brethren, if we so much as touched it?”

“So you decide to have an old woman do your dirty work instead?”

“Instant paralysis, a painful death—“

“I DON’T CARE!” Benjamin yelled, leaping to his feet. “It’s your stupid mission, you should’ve—”

“Boys, that’s enough,” Edna said, setting her knitting aside and getting to her feet with difficulty. Good heavens, what a ridiculous little pissing contest. “Benjamin, there’s no call to be so rude. I’m sure the Council of Wizards had their reasons for deciding things ought to be this way. Apologize to Methodius.”

She waited until he had done so and taken his place beside her again, looking ashamed of himself, and then turned to the wizard before he started looking too smug. “You too, old man. You don’t need to be so awful even if you do think I’m so terribly wrong for this job.”

The wizard reddened again but gave a muttered apology. Edna nodded in satisfaction and eased back into a sit.

“Your token?” she asked politely.

Methodius patted his robes and produced a heavy silver ring set with a smooth red stone.

“Give this to Theobald,” he said, “and he’ll know what it means. We’ll know when you have the Sword, and we’ll be in contact then.”

And with a small pop! like the one he’d entered with, he vanished. Benjamin stared open-mouthed at the spot he’d been standing.

“He’s not a very polite person, is he?” Edna said. “Well! We’d better get a move-on.”

Benjamin turned his stare on her instead.

“Oh, now, Benjamin, don’t look at me like that. You look like a fish with your mouth open that way.”

His mouth snapped shut, but not for long.

“Get a move-on where?” he asked. “We don’t know where to go.”

“We certainly do,” Edna said. “Michigan.”

“Okay, do you know how big Michigan is?” Benjamin pulled his phone out of his pocket to show her. “Look at this. It’s almost ninety-seven thousand square miles.”

“Methodius said to follow the water,” Edna said. “Maybe we should just drive along the coast—”

“The coast? Edna! There are thousands of lakes in Michigan, he could’ve meant any water, you can’t do this, it’s insane, their expectations are—”

Edna loved Benjamin, but she had had quite enough. She stood up stiffly, collected her knitting things, and stuffed them in her purse. “Oh, hush. I’m going and that’s that. Chosen Ones never get an address and a GPS, do they? And they succeed ninety-whatever-he-said percent of the time. So I’ll be just fine, thank you. You don’t have to come with me—you don’t!” she added, as he opened his mouth to argue. “I didn’t ask you to come. I don’t need taking care of, even if I am old enough to be your mother, or maybe your grandmother—I’ve been on my own for a long time, you know! I only came here because my nieces and nephews were worried about me, because my poor sister fell when she was just a youngster in her seventies and couldn’t get up and died, and they didn’t want to see the same thing happen to me. But I can tell you I haven’t fallen yet, and I’m not going to. I’ve got a lot more living to do, and I’m not doing it in a nursing home!”

With that, she grabbed her cane and stumped toward the front door without any real idea of where to go or what to do. Shouldn’t she pack some clothes before toddling off on an adventure? Stop at the market for some food? And that had been a good point, earlier, about Chosen Ones never taking cars—she certainly couldn’t walk all the way to Michigan.

But she wasn’t going to point any of that out to Benjamin just now.

After a moment of stunned silence, he leapt from his seat and followed her. “Edna—”

Before he could say anymore, the door to the cafeteria opened, and Jeanine came out. She looked like a soccer mom and had taken it to heart. Lacking children, she obsessively pushed her residents into Activities and Participation and drove around in an SUV filled with snacks, albeit snacks that were softer on the teeth than the average soccer mom’s.

“Mrs. Fisher,” she said reprovingly, “what on earth is taking so long? You missed practically the entire activity! I know Bingo isn’t your idea of a great time, but at your age it’s important to—”

“Do leave me alone, Jeanine,” Edna said in a voice that sounded like it wanted to crawl into bed with a thick blanket. She’d had quite enough excitement for one day, and she had a long journey ahead of her yet. She thought of the first concrete step she could take toward that end.

“Excuse me,” she said to the receptionist. “I’d like to check myself out.”

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Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:06 pm
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Lavvie wrote a review...



Good afternoon, Blue!

In my opinion, this part of chapter 2 is significantly better than chapter 2.1. Perhaps that's because Methodius wraps up giving out quest information and the chapter really gives the reader a better look at the relationship between Benjamin and Edna.

I have to disagree with Kays that the chapter is slow. Perhaps 2.1 needs work when it comes to infodumping in a seamless way, but 2.2 is important because any normal person wouldn't just go gallivanting off on a quest immediately after the mysterious, grumpy wizard vanishes into thin air. It's totally realistic for Edna and Benjamin to have some discussion about their starting point and give themselves time to process what they must do. I personally found this chapter interesting because we gain more insight as to why Edna is in a nursing home, since she doesn't really seem to fit in. Also, we get to know Benjamin a little better.

Of course, I do think that up until Methodius vanishes, it is still a little infodump-y, but I think you're aware of that and I won't press the issue further. Benjamin's a little firecracker, isn't he? However, his character confuses me a little bit because if he really were so close to Edna, he would also know that she isn't entirely incapable, aside from manageable medical issues. I understand that he cares for her and worries about her, but he is at times a little condescending.

I didn’t ask you to come. I don’t need taking care of, even if I am old enough to be your mother, or maybe your grandmother—I’ve been on my own for a long time, you know!


As we read in the quote above, Edna herself is a little firecracker! However, this response is entirely inconsistent with how she responded in chapter 2.1 to Benjamin saying he would accompany her (when she collapsed into tears). The response we see here seems more consistent with Edna's personality, so I think this is further proof that the response in 2.1 probably needs some changing when you decide to revise.

I have just a few other minor nitpicks:

Maybe we should just drive along the coast


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think "coast" only applied to the boundary between land and sea/ocean?

She stood up stiffly, collected her knitting things, and stuffing them in her purse


Should be "stuffed them in her purse".

Overall, I like this part of chapter two better than the last, because it is less infodump-y. Looking at the story on the whole so far, I think it's developing at a good speed and I wouldn't rush it by sending them off on the quest so quickly. Just as the characters need time to process things, so do the readers! These moments that seem "unexciting" are pretty valuable when it comes to building other parts of the story, like the relationship between Benjamin and Edna, for example.

Best,
Lavvie




BlueAfrica says...


Re: coast I'm from Michigan and we definitely say "coast" for the boundary between land and the Great Lakes. Although since Benjamin and Edna are not in Michigan, I dunno. I'll have to consider that.

Re: stuffing OOPS I type too fast when I write these up and sometimes I make mistakes like that. *fixing*



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Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:04 pm
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RubyRed wrote a review...



Hello, again...

Looking at you're reply to Nikayla's review and getting to the end myself, I don't see what you're worried about. I quite like the slow pace the story is moving at, but I'm also excited to see what happens to Edna and her ginger friend. There wasn't any problems to be found with the dialogue in my opinion. Maybe there could have been less arguing between the wizard and Benjamin what's weird about him being called Benjamin... is I have red hair and if I was a boy my mom would have called me... you guessed it--Benjamin! :backtotopic: ...but Edna intervened at the right moment before it became to much... GOSH writers are so critical of their own works.

“Oh, hush. I’m going and that’s that. Chosen Ones never get an address and a GPS, do they? And they succeed ninety-whatever-he-said percent of the time. So I’ll be just fine, thank you. You don’t have to come with me—you don’t!” she added, as he opened his mouth to argue. “I didn’t ask you to come. I don’t need taking care of, even if I am old enough to be your mother, or maybe your grandmother—I’ve been on my own for a long time, you know! I only came here because my nieces and nephews were worried about me, because my poor sister fell when she was just a youngster in her seventies and couldn’t get up and died, and they didn’t want to see the same thing happen to me. But I can tell you I haven’t fallen yet, and I’m not going to. I’ve got a lot more living to do, and I’m not doing it in a nursing home!”


Just a small comment... I think there should be an exclamation point after "Oh, hush" and "I'm going and that's that". Lol Edna's a hoot! xP

~Ruby




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Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:21 am
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Kays wrote a review...



Leeching on to the second half of this chapter! I believe it's appropriate that I finally get all blue stars after reviewing BlueAfrica. There's also the fact that I want to be moving along faster in reviewing of this so I'm not five reviews late each time.

So this isn't how I expected this chapter to go. I have to admit that I'm not as much of a fan of this chapter, or I don't like it as much as I did the first. At the same time, I'm a bit impatient here and I can see the second chapter needing cut down in later drafts, perhaps? That's just because we take so long to finally get started on our journey. I suppose it's not as bad as I'm making this out to be, because there's a large amount of build-up to the ending of this chapter that pays off when the reader gets there and I'm sure other stories take longer to get going than this one.

I'm assuming we're around or under 6,000 words in by now due to LMS, though I'm not too sure. Doesn't matter, I just felt that the pacing in this chapter might bore some but I suppose that's going to change in the next couple of chapters due to us finally leaving our hero's comfort zone and going out into the real world again. That's what I enjoy so much about this set-up.

That Edna is isolated and it shows something inside of her that she'd rather put her life at risk attempting to save the world instead of staying in the nursing home where she doesn't have to worry about any of this. If there's any word I want to describe her with, it's spunk. There's something a little off-putting about the dialogue in this chapter? Maybe it's because we're being told so much information at once, which could become a problem, but this is the only place that I've felt important guidance to Edna from Methodius dumped on me so far.

I can't imagine another place where this would end up happening since Edna has to get the instructions from Methodius to be able to go on this quest. I admit that I'm a little sad that it seems we're leaving Benjamin behind, because he's a well-meaning figure. At the same time, I found him annoying to an extent. What I'm worried about is a lack of characters for Edna to bounce off of with the quirky dialogue you have in the later chapters, but I trust that we'll be introduced to more that'll keep the reader's interest. Overall, another solid chapter, Blue!

If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask! I hope I helped and have a great day, you. Also, I apologise for not getting to your responses sooner! I always mean to and then end up forgetting about them, so I'll try to catch up on that. See ya in the next chapter!




BlueAfrica says...


I had SO MUCH TROUBLE with this chapter, but as I said, I'm as so phenomenally bad at getting important information across when it's something that, like, needs to be gotten across all at once or immediately or what have you.



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Sun May 28, 2017 2:30 am
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Carlito wrote a review...



Hello again! :D

I really liked that he only gave her one task and one part of the plan. I know they claim it's in case she gets tortured or something, but I get so confused when an entire plan is laid out in one chapter and then the character goes off on their mission and after about one chapter I completely forget what the mission was and what all the steps are. I like that you're breaking it down so we can focus on one little element at a time. It also creates some nice suspense because we're not quite sure what all will come after she completes each part of the mission.

You've done a nice job developing each personality and I think they play off of each other well. I've already mentioned Edna being sassy and stubborn and I just love grandma's like that. I love that her knitting is prominitely featured and that her knitting needles are her primary weapon as of right now. I would love to see her use those things to fight someone! I bet she has skill. After all, she did say she's killed someone.... Everyone brushed that off and there wasn't a big reaction but I was like *raised eyebrow* do tell. I also liked that she jumped right up to get started even though the plan isn't clear and she's already articulated all of the reasons why she'll be bad at this job. I love her can-do, I'm the boss attitude.

I then love the contrast of her with the wizard and how he's just kind of irritated with her and Benjamin because obviously none of this was his idea. But his frustration still makes sense. You're not creating unnecessary conflict or drama for the sake of conflict and drama. I totally understand where his frustration is coming from.

And then Benjamin! Oh he's so sweet the way he cares about her and is looking out for her. I'm glad she has a companion on this trip and someone that can look out for her and keep her safe. While I'm pretty sure Edna will be able to hold her own out there, I'm also glad there's someone she trusts that can help her if needed.

That's all for now! Hopping on over to the next segment now, but let me know if you have any questions/if you want feedback about something I didn't mention! :D




BlueAfrica says...


Tbh even I do not know for sure whether or not Edna has ever actually killed anyone. Every time it comes up, I'm like, "Time to vote! Did she or did she not?"



Carlito says...


I kind of want her to have ;)



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Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:50 pm
Nerrvany wrote a review...



I love how you include background information and also throw a bit of subtle world building into the conversation. It keeps the detailed from slowing the story while informing us about the characters and world they're in. I love matter-of-fact way magic exists with the modern world.
I did feel like the arguing got a bit much to read. The tension was entertaining but when Benjamin and Methodius started yelling at each other it honestly felt like Edna was instigating all this tension.




BlueAfrica says...


I think you're the first person not confused by the matter-of-fact way magic exists with the modern world, unless that's because you read my responses to some comments questioning that. But that's probably the thing that makes it most fun to write!



Nerrvany says...


I really like it. At first I had the preconception that magic was going to be some mystical respected thing, but you do a great job of making it a normal part of the world you're writing. The atmosphere reminds me of a series called The Enchanted Forest Chronicles.



BlueAfrica says...


I haven't heard of those! Are they any good?



Nerrvany says...


Yeah! the first one starts with a princess trying to be kidnapped by a dragon because the castle is too boring.



BlueAfrica says...


AWESOME. I have to read that.



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Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:15 am
Lightsong wrote a review...



Hey, I'm here to review. I don't know if there's anything to review here though - it's quite entertaining. xD

“For someone who is eighty-three,” he said, “you really are quite naïve. What if a person of ill repute found you on your journey and discovered that you’re the Chosen One? They might torture you for information. But if you don’t have the information—”

“I’ll die of torture,” Edna said coolly, knitting faster than ever.


Dark humour. o.o I think this is its first instance in the novel, and I wonder if there'd be elaborate description of violence later. It would be more interesting if there would, because it makes TCC being more than just a comedic fantasy.

“If it makes you feel better,” the wizard said, “we’ve tracked this sort of thing, and Chosen Ones have a 97.892 success rate. So the odds really are in her favor.”

“Of not being tortured?” Benjamin asked.

Methodius looked uncomfortable. “I’m afraid I can’t speak to that. It does seem to go with the job description. But most of them get past it and go on to complete their mission and come home heroes and so forth.”


It takes me a second reading to know what exactly the stat is for... so. o.o 97.892 success rate of being tortured? That's an ominous record, and I'm questioning Methodius's sanity here. I understand this is a humorous moment, but it does seem weird when he gives the stat to make them 'feel better'.

"The Council of Wizards can go—” and he told Methodius to do something that only shocked Edna because she’d never imagined Benjamin would use such language.


Lulz. I think not including the exact word of the profanity and describing Edna's reaction instead is effective in making it impactful.

I didn't realize about the sword having the ability to kill the wizards as well. I should've deduced it, but kudos in putting a twist to the legendary weapon. I wonder if it's going to have any relevance in the future. Hmm...

Benjamin's a wonderful character. I adore how he cares so much about Edna. Their relationship in general is something I want to have when I'm old and in need of a son.

"And they succeed ninety-whatever-he-said percent of the time. So I’ll be just fine, thank you."


Um. o.o I think I'm mistaking the stats purpose. So it's about how likely a Chosen One succeed instead of how likely for him or her to get tortured? I thought, going with the flow of the dialogue, it's the latter. I think that dialogue part can be made clearer.

"I only came here because my nieces and nephews were worried about me, because my poor sister fell when she was just a youngster in her seventies and couldn’t get up and died, and they didn’t want to see the same thing happen to me. But I can tell you I haven’t fallen yet, and I’m not going to. I’ve got a lot more living to do, and I’m not doing it in a nursing home!”


I like the usage of dialogue here. It gives us more information about Edna, and more importantly, how she doesn't have to be in the nursing home in the first place. It makes me admire her more, and this mission doesn't seem as implausible to succeed as it did before.

Jeanine reads like a such interesting person. I can see how stoutly she could be, and that would make the whole situation more lighthearted (unless the stoutness comes with condescension and hostility, which would make it darker o.o, but I've read the future instalments ;)). My only question here is, with the way she's acting, she seems more like the staff of the nursing home instead of a resident there. I assume she's the latter, but she's really acting like the former. Maybe you should make that clearer.

And that is all! As a whole, this is a solid subchapter and maintains its lighthearted atmosphere with a cast of interesting characters. Keep up the good job! :D




BlueAfrica says...


Thank you, I'm glad you liked it! To clarify, Jeanine is a staff member, like a higher up staff member but not the owner.



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Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:03 pm
Lemikita wrote a review...



Yaaay, another chapter!

I really liked it. I think you managed that quite well, giving the different sides good arguments and having them explain the reasons behind everything at a good pace.

I don't know if she can check out that easily though. I mean, I get that the receptionist just wants her peace and quiet and therefore doesn't care for the reason for a checkout but usually there is a contract and it's in the evening (isn't it? I thought it would be... or is the Bingo thingy in the afternoon?). So wouldn't that kind of move things to the next morning? And what about her things? In her room? She can't really take them with her, but if she checks out she can't leave them there, right? I dunno. Maybe this will all be discussed in the next chapter and my worries will have been for naught.

Aaanyways, keep writing, this is fun.




BlueAfrica says...


Based on what I (very briefly) researched, it partly depends on the nursing home and the circumstances. But it seems like if you checked yourself in, you can check yourself out, although if you're there for medical reasons you also have to sign like a liability waiver saying you're leaving against a doctor's advice, etc.

Although obviously Jeanine will have something to say about this.



Lemikita says...


*Obviously* she will. I get Jeanine though, the rules are there for a reason, right?



BlueAfrica says...


Right, she's just a bit too gung-ho about them, you know? Like her whole thing with Activities and Participation is that it's not good for her residents to sit alone in their room and that they need social interaction to avoid depression, etc, but...like, come on. If they don't like the activity in question or are reasonably mentally active anyway, then why force it on them?



Lemikita says...


Exactly! Her activities are probably good on the whole for the entire group but not the best strategy for individuals. But who am I telling this? You wrote it!



BlueAfrica says...


^_^




It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
— Albus Dumbledore