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The Journal of Fate
The Journal of Fate
Short Story; Part 1
This is the Journal of Fate Part One. To start where you left off, please select one of the following links.
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The Journal of Fate; Part 1
It was a cold and cloudy day as my family and I drove up the Lake Michigan coast. My younger sister, Melissa, and I will be staying at our grandparent’s house while our mom and dad spend a night in town. Fortunately for us, it was only one night as their house can be quite boring.
“Are we there yet?” Melissa said in a whiny voice.
Dad replied “We’ll be there in five more minutes.”
Melissa just turned 13 and is at the point in her life where she hates everything that isn’t cool. Melissa was tall and skinny, just about every girls dream. She had natural blonde hair and blue eyes to match her fair skin. We couldn’t look any more different, she resembled our mother and I resembled our father. I had brown hair, brown eyes and I was your average height and build. My skin was dark enough to make me look constantly tanned, but it was often blamed on my affinity for the outdoors.
When we arrived it began to rain, this meant that I would be stuck inside with nothing to do. Their house was a white two story bi-level with a blue door and four windows which had matching shutters. It was nestled in the woods several minutes’ drive from the nearest neighbor. The inside was large, yet cluttered with knick-knacks from the past, as older couples homes generally are. Once we arrived, Melissa headed straight for the television in the living room. I told mom and dad goodbye, they then got in the car and left. Grandma and Grandpa were sitting in the living room watching the rain as the TV blared in the background. I had a seat next to Melissa and began looking through the clutter assorted around the fireplace. There were many pictures; one of a young couple who looked to be in their late twenties, who I presume was grandma and grandpa. Sitting upon the fireplace mantle was a creepy looking doll with purple eyes that made you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. It was as if it gazed at you no matter where you stood, as a result, it took away from the room's charm.
“Melissa” I said “Would you like to play Mouse Trap?”
“Whatever” she replied, obviously not too interested in the idea.
I stood up and walked to the staircase stepping on every squeaky board in the house. The floor was a light oak and matched well with the dark green walls. As I walked up the stairs I passed several paintings of Lake Michigan and a picture of the Mackinac Bridge. The bridge connects the two parts of Michigan, it spans roughly five miles which makes it the third longest suspension bridge in the world. The only reason I knew this was because of it's history being posted at a rest stop on the way to the Upper Peninsula. At the top of the stairs I turned right and made my way to one of the two guest bedrooms. As I entered the room, my feet met the white shag carpet which accented the dark blue walls and the small twin bed that had been placed in the corner of the room. There were two windows in the small room which displayed the ferocity of the storm that was raging outside. I walked to the closet and opened the door. There were several games, but, I did not see Mouse Trap. Melissa and I had played the last time we visited and she lost. The loser is then forced to pick up the game and put it away. Perhaps she misplaced it underneath the twin bed. I bent down to look where I quickly came across a dusty looking book and decided to open it. Within moments, I realized it was a Journal and placed it aside. Mouse Trap was nowhere in sight so I decided to head back down stairs with the Journal in hand. Hopefully Grandma and Grandpa will have a cool story to tell as older people usually do. I sat back down next to Melissa who didn’t notice the absence of the game. I then asked about the Journal;
“Grandma” I said “Yes dear” she replied.
She was a thin woman who had just turned sixty two. Up until about a year ago she had kept her youth, but, now the years seem to be catching up with her. Her hair had lost its luster and was beginning to thin. Grandpa didn’t age as well as grandma through the years. He had very little hair and what was left had greyed. His hearing seems to worsen every time we visit; I suppose this is from the years he spent in the service. He had sharp blue eyes that seemed to look right through you.
“Whose journal is this?”
When I asked she frowned, I noticed a hint of sorrow in her expression. Not just from her, but from grandpa too.
“Would you like to hear a story James?” Grandma said.
I was unsure if I should say yes because of the amount of sadness expressed between the two. Hesitantly, I replied
“Yes, as long as you two are alright with it.”
“We’ll manage” grandma replied and began reading from the journal.
It was Friday May 27th 1936, it could be said to have been a perfect spring day. The sun had begun to set which enticed the slightest breeze to sway effortlessly throughout the region. As I walked down 4th Street, I noticed several wrens chirping happily amongst the tall oaks. The streets had been laid with a red brick as the town was founded in 1842 and had not been updated since. Throughout the years the roads managed to keep their brilliance and were shining a fiery red in the sunset. In the distance, I made out the outline of the Soda Shop on the corner of 4th and Main.
A small group of girls were gossiping outside. The Soda Shop will always hold a special place in my heart for that was where I received my first kiss several years earlier. I had been dating Anna Franklin at the time. But, like all young relationships it didn’t work out, her family moved to an adjacent town several weeks later. Being young, it wasn’t long before I had started dating again. Her name was Elizabeth Anne Turner; she had a heart shaped face with rich curly brown hair that danced in the light whenever she tilted her head to laugh. Her eyes were a golden brown that seemed to illuminate the dark. As I drew nearer Elizabeth’s voice rang out
“Robert! What took you so long? We are going to be late!”
After walking several minutes, we arrived at the theater which was located just off the Main Street. The sun had fully set and the theater radiated its lights to read “Colby’s Cinema, Now Playing “The Road to Glory”. Colby’s was updated last year and was the only theater in the area to play sound. Working the ticket booth was Edward Milton; his family owns the local ma and pa store next to the soda shop. He was a tall, thin boy, with slicked back hair and eyes that seemed to close together. As we approached he asked
“How many tickets would you like Bobby?” We had several classes together in school, but he never said much.
“Two please” I said.
“Enjoy your movie” he replied.
Elizabeth grabbed my hand and hurried me into the theater. As we entered there was a slight chill which made Elizabeth draw closer. She had taken my arm hostage, but frankly, I didn’t mind as I enjoyed the warmth of her body. We agreed to sit in the back because we both disliked craning our necks to see. There were several people in the theater, but no one I could recognize. Just as Elizabeth began to speak the lights dimmed and the movie began which stifled her into a silence.
The film was a romance that was taking place in World War I. As I watched, I thought to myself “I could do that.” I pitied the men that fought and died. I prayed for their families in that moment as their deaths must have caused so much pain and anguish. As I continued to watch the film the roar of gunfire erupted outside. I realized I was no longer in New Brunswick, Michigan, but, was living a life of hell as it was the Second World War. It has been three long years since I came overseas, and every day I pray the war ends soon. My journal is the only thing that keeps me sane and returning home is the only thing that gives me hope. Just moments after the gunfire ceased Sergeant Monroe entered the building.
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