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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Grandparent(s) (04/03/08)

TITLE: Fields of Laughter


The sun was warm on the somber faces of ten year old twins, Holly and Steve. Their legs swung carelessly over the edge of the old rustic fence. Aunt Mary shuffled past with her black veil held tightly against her chin, barely noticing the children.

Steve’s voice was solemn and quiet. “Holly, do you remember when Grandpa fell in the river trying to reel in that big trout last summer?”

Holly laughed unexpectedly. “Yeah, my sides hurt from laughing when he was explaining to Mother how he got so wet.”

Uncle Peter hurried past with his weeping wife and two protesting young children tagging along behind. He glared at Holly and shook his head in disgust before hurrying up the drive. Steve and Holly tried to stifle their giggles as they watched the small family group approach the house.

Holly laughed again as she remembered. “We never did get to eat fish for supper that night.”

“Hi, Holly. Hi, Steve.”

The twins smiled and waved back to their cousin Gerald. His father grumbled and prodded Gerald in the direction of the house.

Quite a few relatives lived nearby and sometimes they walked the short distances between the farms and the community church. Visits weren’t common though. They were all busy with their own lives, their own farms.

Holly frowned. “Do you think Grandpa ever found out I was the one who hid his tobacco?”

Steve grinned at his sister. “Probably, he always said he had eyes in the back of his head.” Steve threw his head back and snorted, almost losing his balance in the process and sending them both into fits of uncontrollable laughter.

Mr. Snyder, the owner of the farm, which adjoined theirs, drove his rattling pickup truck in the direction of the open gate and stopped almost directly in front of Steve. “You children should have more respect for the dead. For Pete’s sake, I can hear you from my front door.” With that, he accelerated toward the grass area, where at least a dozen other vehicles of different shapes and sizes, were parked haphazardly.

The twins were silent for a few moments before Steve spoke again. “I don’t think Grandpa ever liked Mr. Snyder.”

Holly smiled, trying to smother another giggle. “Remember when Mr. Snyder let our cows out of the back field and Grandpa chased him with his shot gun?”

“Yeah, that was funny, especially since Grandpa had forgotten to buckle his belt before leaving the outhouse.”

The twins were continuing their banter when they noticed their father strolling up from the barn toward them. Work still needed to be done, even if Grandpa’s funeral was earlier that morning.

“Hey, what’s the joke, you two?”

“Holly and I were talking about Grandpa. Sorry Dad.”

“Dad,” Holly asked sadly. “Why is everyone mad at us?”

“Because, my sweet child, no one knew Grandpa like you both did...and like I did, for that matter. Even your mother could tell you a story or two.” He leaned up against the fence between the twins and nodded in the direction of the house. “Not one of these guests will miss Grandpa after today.”

“They didn’t really know him.”

“No Son, they didn’t.”

“That’s sad,” Holly concluded.

Their father looked up and scanned the fields. The children turned their heads to follow his gaze. “I remember when I was about your age,” he began. “Your Grandpa worked the farm completely on his own. One day, Mr. Snyder let his cows into our corn field. Your grandfather decided from that day on, he would get revenge. It was never anything serious. They both got over it soon enough. Grandpa’s funny antics were really something to witness.” He finished with a short, choked laugh and wiped his hand across his eyes.

Holly and Steve jumped down from the fence and walked hand-in-hand with their father back through the gate. The trio didn’t enter the house full of mourners. Instead, they headed for the corn field, which was now ready for harvest, and then on to the fields beyond; their laughter echoing across the farm.

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This article has been read 813 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie Wistrom04/10/08
I had a suspicion about this pair. Were they barefooted? In my mind they were. How true and well told. I feel we have a placer here.
Laury Hubrich 04/10/08
I love this entry! Absolutely love it! Great writing! Love the twins. Excellent job!
Joanne Sher 04/11/08
An excellent sense of place and characterization, and a VERY unique way to portray a wonderful man. Loved the descriptions especially. You put me there.
dub W04/11/08
Great descriptions. A warm story with realism thoughout. The twins and their father definately knew the proper tribute.
Beth LaBuff 04/11/08
You've added humor to a somber situation. I enjoyed the fact that those who knew the grandpa could remember his life with joy. In light of this I like your title. Your list of fun memories brought a smile to me. Thanks!
Chely Roach04/12/08
This was so wonderful...the descriptions were great, and I loved the fact that they were giggling about the good times with him.
Dee Yoder 04/12/08
I hope and pray this is the way my family will remember me! No better tribute to a life than to have people smiling through their tears in remembrance. Wonderful characterizations in this story.
Lynda Schultz 04/12/08
I remember one funeral where the funeral director had to come in and ask the "mourners" to hold it down because they were laughing so much it was disturbing the rest of the people attending other wakes. Good story.
Lyn Churchyard04/12/08
Great story! I loved that the twins and their father remembered the good/funny times. I'm glad they didn't go into the house and be frowned on by the others. Very well done. I love it!
LauraLee Shaw04/13/08
I love the laughter echoing at the end. This was an extremely well-written, entertaining story. Well done.
Joshua Janoski04/13/08
I love this entry too! I liked how the twins were able to remember the good times with their grandpa amidst a bunch of stuffy people who barely even knew him.

This story reminds us all that we should rejoice when our loved ones go on to be with Jesus and remember the special moments that we had with them.

One of my favorites so far this week (and I have read a ton of entries). :)
Jan Ackerson 04/14/08
Adorable kids, and a wonderful relationship with their dad. This story has loads of charm.
Joy Faire Stewart04/15/08
Very touching story and vivid descriptions. Loved it!
Betty Castleberry04/15/08
Love the voice in this piece. I could picture the kids. Well done.
Marita Thelander 04/16/08
Good job Chrissy. The title is awesome and the twins are perfect. Great writing.
Peter Stone04/16/08
I love the unique perspective that twins tend to have on life, and you presented theirs well.
Sara Harricharan 04/16/08
You make me want to remember everyone like this. Not for all the somber-sad-mourning sort of feel, but for the laughter the joy and memories that are so precious and dear! I loved the character of Holly-she was my favorite! Great job! ^_^
Beckie Stewart04/16/08
This is excellent. Loved the description, conversation, and memory stories.
Loren T. Lowery04/16/08
It is interestng to see why and how we grieve a loss. You have given this reader a very good insight into this. Great job.
Karen Wilber04/16/08
This is a wonderful story. I'm sure that Grandpa would like to be remembered with laughter--it sounds like he was that kind of person. What a blessing.
Joanne Sher 04/18/08
Congratulations, Chrissy, for placing 38th overall with this piece. Great job, my dear friend!:D
Beth LaBuff 04/25/08
Chrissy -- I wanted to say congrats on making top 40 with this!
Jae Blakney04/29/08
Very sweet story, and it felt real.
Jae Blakney04/29/08
It also communicates a great message. It's tradition in my family to celebrate the life of a person who has gone home. We cry, yes, but we also laugh. I forget that so many people don't have this freedom.