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Out of Sight, Still in mind.

by dele24

Ok, this is kindof a random short story, I wrote it when I was back at school and have improved it slightly now but it's still kinda weird and a bit cliched maybe.

Out of Sight, Still in mind.

His last words came echoing back to me as I reached for the inviting cigarette, loud music blaring in my ears. He had a knack for influencing my life, my grandfather did. Before he died he was a permanent fixture, but even after his death he was still there, guiding my steps. Now, he was my conscience.

William Martin. More commonly called Bill used to be rather daunting if you only focused on his physical features. I suppose you might have described him as tall, but he was huge, immense. He towered above everyone, his shadow causing darkness like the sun disappearing behind a cloud. Bill’s weather-beaten, gaunt face would stare down at me, genuinely interested I what innocent thing I was doing. He sported a long scar down his right cheek, a memento from his war days. The subject was always changed when I bought up the war. I never did find out about the scar, which transformed his smiling face into something more sinister.

It was like he had the wrong body for his personality. He would always look serious and menacing, but that wasn’t Bill. He was gentle, caring and had a great sense of humour. One joke I vividly remember was the gold gag. When I first saw the small bar of gold, glinting in the sun, I thought it was real. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Grinning secretively, he led me to the roadside. With my mind racing, wondering what he was up to, I placed the gold on the road while he hid behind a bush. Everything was soon made clear to me and I had to try hard top keep from giggling as he reeled the gold in; the invisible fishing line dragging it away from a stationary car. His eyes, gleaming with mischief looked at me with joy, both of us enjoying our time together.

He had presence, Bill did. He would march into a room and command attention from everyone, silencing then without a word. When he walked, his long strides ate up the ground, the cane he held just for show. Bill radiated energy when he moved. It was something about the way he held himself, how his long, club like arm swung, that gave him the impression of having a mountain of energy; energy that got him to anything and everything that was important to me. I could always count on Bill.

I loved his room - not because of any material content but because it carried his smell. It was a strange mixture of polish, oil, paint and something I couldn’t quite put my finger on, wafting to my nostrils whenever I was around him, or his room. That smell delighted my senses and filled me with joy whenever I smelt it because I knew he would be around. He had the ability to make all my troubles disappear, comforting me when I was sad, until…

I still remember the day he collapsed without warning, his big form crumpling to the floor. As I stood there horrified, staring at my limp grandfather, the sirens in the distance came closer. He was soon lying in a high hospital bed, alive, but barely. I hated seeing him there, helpless, almost unable to speak. His once bright eyes were dull like an overcast day. When he looked at me he gave a feeble smile, which was much more than I could manage. With jerky movements he placed his cool hand pm top of mine, and spoke in a transformed voice, now hoarse and raspy. “Baby, don’t worry about me,” he spoke in short bursts as if he only had enough breath for a few words at a time. “Never pay any attention to the bad stuff. You’re a great girl; never forget that. Jess, always stay true to yourself.” That was just like him, always thinking pf others; putting them before himself. I forced myself to look into his pained eyes as he stared into my soul through mine. I broke free from his grasp and ran to the door, not wanting him to see my tears. I stopped before leaving, taking one last look at him. He seemed to have shrunk. For the first time in my life, I felt bigger, stronger more powerful than my Grandfather. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. I never saw him alive again.

I was only nine when he spoke those words to me, not really understanding what he meant, just feeling hopeless and a failure because I couldn’t save him.

“Jess, are you going to take it or not?” a male voice said over the music, transporting me back to the present day. I thought of my grandfather, how he used to be: alive, bursting with energy and crazy ideas.

“No.” I said firmly. As I turned away I saw him, smiling at me through the darkness.

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359 Reviews

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Reviews: 359

Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:23 am
EditorAndPerks wrote a review...

Hello there!

I'm here to give you a much needed and deserved review that's coming over a decade late.

First off, I like that this story has at least an attempt at giving a moral at the end that's not absolutely shoved down our throats. Besides that, the narration here flows kind of decently, from at least the first few stories of Bill, but I do have an issue with how you executed this. One complaint of mine isn't a major one, but I like consistency and grandfather was capitalized once while it wasn't capitalized twice. I think it not being emphasized at the beginning of this story made me forget this was actually a blood relative of the narrator until the last few lines. That's my bad, but I do think this should be more obvious. Maybe other readers caught onto that.

The way you brought in Bill to this struck me odd as well since there are a few present tense verbs thrown in like "I suppose" when this whole thing seems to be a flashback. Things like that can draw your reader out of the story instead of in, which I don't think is a good thing. I also am confused by the fact that she labels him as her grandfather, but refers to him as "Bill" in nearly every other sentence? I guess that's a way of reaffirming who he was, but it seems like they had a close relationship, and that she'd want to call him grandfather like she does now.

Finally, the death scene, dare I say it, seemed a little long, or maybe this story, in general, seemed to stretch a little too long in its entirety. The thing is, a couple of these anecdotes were kind of cute, but I feel like the relationship between the two of them seemed far more funny than anything else? And the description of him "looking scary" but actually "really sweet" was way more telling than showing, and I think that made this story feel like it dragged on for me.

Overall, I think this story is cute, and that the moral is decent. I liked the ending. I do think that there are a few areas to maybe minimize and condense as some of this doesn't feel very new in terms of the story.

That's all I have, for now, I guess.

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665 Reviews

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Fri Feb 25, 2005 4:42 pm
Chevy says...

It was good...not really my style but it was good. But there's one thing:


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683 Reviews

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Wed Feb 23, 2005 4:06 pm
Emma says...

That is actullay quite good!

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Thu Dec 02, 2004 11:47 pm
pumpkinqueen33 says...

i really like that, it was sweet and heart f elt not to mention really good :D

As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.
— Andrew Carnegie