The Rest of My Life: A Short Story Response to a Creative Writing Challenge
Peering out of an opened window of the tower of the 107 year old Queen Anne Victorian home, overlooking one of the most gorgeous and breathtaking views of the alpine lakes, Matthew’s young and muscular body soon begins to cool from the brisk mountain air. He had just finished repairing one of the creaking boards of the wooden floor in the room. The allure of the intoxicating scent of Lavender in the air takes his mind back to his youth and time spent with grandpa who had since passed on just a few years earlier.
Matthew spent many summers up at the home during his youth with his grandpa where they both enjoyed trout fishing in Washington’s High Lakes. Matthew so enjoyed exploring the remote trails into mountain potholes and remembers wandering across flowered meadows, all the while with grandpa trailing behind him trying to keep up.
One particular day of fond memories entered Matthew’s mind, thinking of the time after he and grandpa came to the end of a particular trail, where they sat under the shady forests of cedar, fir and hemlock. Matthew remembers asking his grandpa why the trout were so fat. Grandpa bellowed at Matthew’s question, and went on to tell him that the trout grew so plump here because they fed on mayflies, midgets and other minute delectables. “Oh cool!” shouted Matthew, as only a young boy would, at such a thought.
Matthew also remembers asking his grandpa the reason why the lakes were called “high,” when they were on the ground. After another deep bellowing laugh from grandpa, he went on to explain to Matthew that the lakes were considered “high” because any lake above 2,500 feet elevation qualified as a “high” lake. Needless to say, after spending a little over two decades of summers up at the home with his grandpa, whom he so adored, Matthew knows anything and everything there is to know about trout fishing.
Matthew’s grandpa left the home and the land to Matthew after his passing. Matthew was having difficulty thinking about living up there by himself, especially since his beloved grandpa was no longer around. Matthew’s parents were still living and lived their lives as missionaries, traveling to poverty-stricken areas around the world. At the present, they were in a small settlement in Zambia, located in southern Africa, to install a well of fresh drinking water.
Although there is no shortage of people around the old homestead with approximately 100,000 anglers and a million hikers roaming Washington’s high country each season, Matthew still felt alone in the big old house. High lakes trout fishing is one of Washington’s premier recreational pastimes.
Matthew just graduated from college with a degree in Environmental Science, and so his thoughts were to his future. He knew he never wanted to have to give up the old homestead and land. Then, a lovely thought crossed his mind of a sweet angel of a wife living there with him one day for the rest of their lives. Well, he thought, it is good to dream of such . . . better yet, he knelt down and prayed right then and there, while the old wooden floor still creaked underneath him, thinking he was crazy . . . Heavenly Father, I’m praying to ask you to send me the one you would have me spend my life with; the one who will love me the rest of my life and live with me right here . . . please provide a way.”
That was that, he thought, and he got up, threw on a shirt and then remembered earlier in the day noticing at the bottom of the foothills in the small town of Winding Ridge, a flea market. So he hopped into his grandpa’s old green 1954 Chevy pickup 1300, loaded with items from the home he knew he could sell at the flea market and off he went. Matthew made a pretty penny for his wares. Afterwards, he ran into the vine-covered shed to get his hiking gear, thinking it was a perfect day for hiking.
Soon, Matthew found himself in a stunning meadow of Starflower, a native plant to the area. Suddenly out of the blue, Matthew heard a voice, a voice he had never heard before, “Hi there, my name is Anna Grace.” Matthew turned, almost as if in slow motion, to see to whom this angelic southern voice belonged. He thought he was dreaming, as there stood right in front of him, the most beautiful girl he could have ever dreamed of, with eyes of emerald, reflecting the shimmer of the sunlight from the lake, while her long, silky beautiful hair danced in the breeze, the color of honey, so pure and beautiful. Smiling beautifully, while walking towards him with those long tanned legs and holding out her petite hand . . . Matthew forgot his own name!
Anna Grace was there working with a foundation whose mission is to assist with the creation, rehabilitation and stewardship of the native plant communities.
Together there, sitting on that high ridge, looking down on the beauty below, holding each other’s weathered-worn hands, oh so gently, Matthew could not help but to think back to that lovely day over 60 years ago, when heaven sent him his angel to be with him the rest of his life. Thank you, thank you, Matthew thought as he looked towards heaven.
You see, that very day they fell in love. When Anna Grace saw the old home, she immediately felt as if she were home, and shared with Matthew her dream of one day owning a beautiful Victorian Bed and Breakfast. The Starflower Bed and Breakfast soon became known far and wide to anglers and hikers while they were enjoying the area’s premier recreational pastimes. Matthew became the area’s most well-known tour guide and expert in the area of hiking and trout fishing, and with his degree in Environmental Science, he made sure the area stayed pristine.
© Copyright at Faith Reaper, January 31, 2013.