Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Grandparent(s) (04/03/08)
TITLE: She Must Be Awful
By Laurie Walker
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Adam, who’s matching eyes and blonde hair marked him as her brother, looked around the airport pick-up area and saw an older man standing next to one of the longest limos he’d ever seen. He grabbed both of their bags and walked over.
Clearing his throat Adam asked, “Are you with Mrs. Hunsaker?”
“Would you two be her grandchildren?” the driver asked. It was clear from his tone he was hoping they weren’t.
Adam nodded and climbed into the back of the limo after Kirsten. When the driver closed the door she gave him a nasty look.
“What did I tell you?” she jeered “She’ll be just as stuck up and nasty as that man. We should have gone somewhere else.”
“You know as well as I do there was nowhere else for us to go,” he whispered.
Kirsten only scowled, making her appear younger than fourteen. Though Adam was only two years older, it sometimes felt like ten. Especially when she was in this kind of mood. Ever since the death of their parents just a few months ago she’d become worse. He couldn’t blame her. There were days he’d like to scowl at the world, but he’d promised to take care of her.
For a while they rode along in silence.
“What do you think Grandma’s like?” asked Kirsten, her face turned away from him.
“I don’t know.” It was only the hundredth time she’d asked.
“I think she must be awful. I mean, Mom never even talked about her. She’s never tried to get a hold of us all these years. Now she sends a limo to pick us up? You saw the way that guy looked at us. I’ll bet she did it to rub her money in our faces.” Kirsten folded her arms and looked out the tinted window. “Just wait. She’ll be ancient, mean, and fat. I’ll bet she’s really fat.”
“Why would she be fat?” he asked, unable to stop himself from asking.
“Just because,” she mumbled.
Adam rolled his eyes, though secretly he agreed – about their grandma being mean that is. The only words spoken about Grandma, and even those were sparse, had not been complimentary. Neither he nor Kirsten knew why there had been a falling out between mother and daughter.
Adam wasn’t kidding when he’d said there was no one else to take them. Though he would never let his sister know, never had he been so scared in his life. They were about to hand themselves over to a woman who could have been an ax murderer for all they knew.
When the driver abandoned them in front of the spacious mansion Adam wanted to turn tail and run. Kirsten whispered, “Last chance to escape.”
Just as the words left her mouth a tiny woman opened the door, dressed in a fluorescent green jogging suit with headphones cradling her snowy white hair. Hoards of wrinkles covered her face. Adam suspected those wrinkles would fall into place when she smiled. The woman bounced in place, like a runner stopped at a traffic light.
“Can I help you?” she called out.
“We’re looking for Mrs. Hunsaker,” Adam said.
She stopped bouncing, her blue eyes growing wide. “Are you Adam and Kirsten?”
“Yes,” he said.
She squealed and ran down the stairs grabbing both their hands and dragging them inside.
“I can’t believe it! You’re really here!” she shouted. “Oh you poor dears. Are you hungry? You’re probably hungry. I can’t believe you’re finally here!”
Her questions came out in rapid fire, keeping them from answering. When her breath finally ran out she stood there beaming. Kirsten looked at him, a deer-in-the-headlights look about her.
Adam asked the question they were both thinking. “Is our grandmother home?”
“Oh my goodness! I swear I’d lose my head if it wasn’t attached. I’ve just been so excited about you coming I wasn’t thinking you might not remember me. Kiddos, I’m your grandma.”
Adam couldn’t help grinning right along with her. He was right, all those wrinkles fell lovingly into place.
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