Are you ready to read from start to finish? Here goes!
A Close Connection
Jim and Grace were sitting around the bonfire last night when the most amazing thing happened. It all started when Grace felt something slimy on her leg screamed and fell out of the chair. But that wasn't enough. No, of course not.
The minute she hit the ground, she forgot all about the slimy thing on her leg. They both saw it at the same time - A bright light shone from the sky and it was coming their way.
The light was flashing and getting brighter and brighter the nearer it got. Then they heard it.... a voice...a voice.
Grace's ears strained. Was the voice human? Was it speaking in a foreign tongue? Grace tried to hear but she covered her ears at the same time. She was afraid.
"Earth to Grace. Earth to Grace! Are you alright?" she heard Jim ask.
"I've been trying to pass you a marshmallow and it's like you were in La-La land or something." Jim said.
Grace loved Jim. He's been her best friend for as far back as she could remember.
She brushed her mop of soft curly hair away from her tired eyes and looked at her friend.
"Thanks Jim," she said
Jim looked at Grace. "Where were you?"
"I don't know Jim," I honestly don't know."
That was the only explanation Grace could come up with for the moment.
A moment was all she had to think. Grace was bewildered to see something behind Jim now. She was staring blankly at the thing when Jim suddenly leaped away from the fire; frantically brushing sparks off his jeans.
He grinned sheepishly. "Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you...thought I was on fire for a second. Did you hear me? I thought I was on fire."
Grace was gone again...at least her mind was. She wasn't listening to Jim at all. Instead she was looking at the thorny bushes in the distance. They seemed to be moving...not like with the wind...but moving.
Grace was fixated on the thorny bush until something else caught her attention...in fact it grabbed hold of her and wouldn't let go. Grace was overwhelmed by a familiar fragrance. She couldn't get her mind off the smell.
She was transported back to her childhood. Back to a time when she was five or six. The light that had once frightened her was back again. She felt the hairs on her arm stand up as the thorny bush became illuminated and the smell of her grandmother's perfume drew her closer and closer.
She heard Jim's pleading voice say, "I'm hungry!"
Grace ignored him. She felt a strange feeling that she had been in this situation before. The smells. The sounds. They were so familiar that now the hairs on the back of her neck stood up and her skin prickled.
"Do you know what that smell is Jim? It bread. It's chocolate chip cookies. It's all the things my mom made me when I was young."
"I smell it too Grace. That's why everything seems so common. I wonder what it means?"
"Do you want my opinion really? I think it means that our memories are never more than a blink or a sniff away. It means that memories live on in our hearts, as they should. It's just a gentle touch on the shoulder saying...remember me."
"That's a nice explanation Grace, but how do you explain that over there??? Jim turned. His knees got weak. His body shook. "I think I see something landing in the field. I'm getting as bad as you...or at least we're sharing the same delusions."
Grace looked towards where Jim was staring. At first she thought it was a space ship. The she realized it was her grandmother's old station wagon. "Station wagons don't fly," Grace said out loud.
Jim just shivered. He felt like he was in the middle of a dream but he couldn't tell if it was going to be a sweet dream or a nightmare.
They both saw her at the same time. "Come with me," beckoned Grace's grandmother.
"Where are you taking us?" Grace asked. Grace didn't feel frightened anymore. A cozy feeling came over her. She felt safe like when she was a little girl sitting in her grandmother's lap.
Grace's grandmother spoke in a soft tone. "You'll be happy. I'm taking you back to your past."
Suddenly, Jim was glad he was part of this amazing adventure. He and Grace were pulled toward the station wagon like iron filaments to a magnet. The back door of the wagon swung open. Grace and Jim found themselves clambering inside with no apparent effort or intention.
The door closed with a gentle whoosh. Grace's grandmother said, 'There you go. Don't worry. We're going on a little ride."
The station wagon started vibrating and was surrounded by a thick fog. They thought they were moving, but couldn't be sure.
Grace began to feel lightheaded. "What is that smell Grandmother? What is it?"
Her grandmother didn't need to answer. Grace knew. It was the smell of gingerbread. Wonderful comforting gingerbread. Grace smiled at Jim. She wanted to hug him. Instead, she took his hand. Grace wanted to smell the gingerbread forever. So did Jim.
They wanted to but...all of a sudden Jim and Grace heard scratching noises coming from a box that was sitting on the seat next to Grace's grandmother.
At first Grace thought she heard voices coming from he box. Then she realized that the sounds were something that was near and dear to her heart. The voices weren't voices at all. They were the purring of a contented mother cat and her seven kittens.
Jim ran his hand back through his hair. He furrowed his brow. "Did you have kittens when you were little?" he asked.
""No," said Grace. "I always wanted a dog or a cat, but I never had one."
"You do now," said Grace's grandmother. "They were left here for you as a gift from your Uncle Jim. He always felt bad that you never had a pet. He knew how much you wanted one, but couldn't have one because of your dear mother's allergies.
"Oh my, Grandma. Uncle Jim never even bothered to speak to me when he came for Thanksgiving dinner. Why is he giving me something I love now?"
Grace's grandmother smiled. "It's never too late to reconcile with your dear ones. Because of things out of your Uncle Jim's control, he was preoccupied at that last Thanksgiving dinner, but he always loved you.
He wants to you to able to tell your children how important love is...in fact, Uncle Jim has something to tell you. Look! Can you see him over there in the mist?
Doesn't he look fine in his fancy clothes? Your Aunt Marge is right by his side just like always. Those two could never be separated. Never.
Grace's grandmother stopped talking for a minute and stared at Aunt Marge and Uncle Jim. "Why does Marge look so started?" she asked.
Grace answered, "Uncle Jim has something in his hands. It's all wrapped up in a white handkerchief. His hands are shaking but he's unwrapping it and giving it to Aunt Marge," she said.
Grace felt a lump in her throat and she saw tears well up in her aunt's eyes as her arthritic fingers cradled the tattered white handkerchief.
"The reason we were all drawn here tonight," announced Grace's grandmother...
Grace strained to see. She didn't want to listen to her grandmother. She had to know what was in the handkerchief.
Now her ears were tuned into her Aunt Marge. Grace heard her aunt's gentle voice as she began to speak
"It just can't be. the ring... is that the one that I had my eyes on for so many years? The one you promised to me when I was expecting our Gracie?
Grace looked at Jim. "Oh dear I am getting light headed, what is happening to me?"
Or at least she thought she fainted.
The warm sun streaming though the window woke Grace up. She ran downstairs and got the key to the locked safe...the one that held her birth certificate. Now she knew why she had always been drawn to her aunt and uncle. They were her real parents.
It took a dream that started around a bonfire to make Grace understand.
Our amazing story was written by:
Barbara's Spot on the Blog
Joan and Me