*I wrote this short story for my great grandmother's birthday and am hoping to get some feedback before August so I can give her the best possible copy.*
News of their deaths spread faster than the fire that had killed them. Just like that, little Sammy and his family were gone.
News of their deaths spread faster than the fire that killed them. Just like that, little Sammy and his family were gone.
I often wondered how I managed to get through childhood alive and unscathed. The stories my mother used to tell me sometimes left my jaw hanging. I had a terrible habit of wandering off on my own. Always in a different part of the house, I’m sure I drove my mother crazy. When I was two, there was a flood. As was characteristic of me, I was nowhere to be found. Then, I also had a knack for somehow always being okay.
Search parties tore the neighborhood apart; what was left of it anyway, and searched for me high and low. This was all to no avail and it was assumed I had been killed in the flood. An hour later, I was found placed gently on higher ground.
I was in that stage of speech where one can really only mumble a few words that usually don’t make any sense whatsoever. Apparently unaware of the danger I had just been in, I repeated the words “Sammy play! Sammy play!”. Of course, no one knew who Sammy was.
Sometime after that scare, my mother and I were at a park when a pack of savage dogs appeared out of the blue. Animal control had been called, but by the time they arrived, Mother had been terribly hurt. They ran all sorts of tests on me to make sure I didn’t have rabies, but I didn’t have so much as a bruise to mark the encounter. My mother on the other hand, had spent weeks recovering.
Whenever things went wrong, somehow I was always okay. For a while my family called me the luckiest child that ever was. But I narrowly avoided danger too many times to simply be lucky. If something fell off the walls, I always mysteriously moved out of the way in the nick of time. If something hadn’t been cooked properly, I was always the only one who hadn’t eaten it. I could walk through glass and not get cut, get too close to a fire and not get burned. It seemed as though I were a miracle child.
Even as a child, I knew better. I was never lucky, I was just being watched over. Though the details were usually fuzzy, I could always remember a name: Sammy. I went through most of my life with Sammy by my side. Though I couldn’t see him, I always knew he was there. He was my little friendly ghost.
Molly gorged herself on my stories and looked up at me with wild eyes, yearning for more. “You always tell such funny stories, Grandma. I wish my life could be more like yours,” she said.
A sweet aroma sauntered in from the kitchen. Molly’s mother cautiously stepped into the room. “Molly,” she asked, “ Who are you talking to?”