A short – chi – tale about the love of a most important person: Grandad.
~ Inspired by my dear Grandad ~
He’s resting his chin on my leg as I sit here at Grandad’s desk. The bay window is directly behind us and on a sunny day, the sun pokes its rays well into the ordinarily dark and dusty crevices of the room. Grandad’s oil paintings – the ones on the walls, not those stacked by their dozens leaning against the wall – are remembered again as the sun lends its vibrancy to give life to the figures and the flowers. Sometimes I sigh when I think of him: he being the person I most miss. But the day isn’t a sunny one and therefore his pictures aren’t brought back to life. Instead, I’m sitting here in semi-darkness with my dog’s chin contentedly resting on my leg.
I slightly shift in the wicker chair to ease my aching back, my faithful one moving with the action. Still his head rests on my leg.
I am here in Grandad’s room. His pictures adorn most of the wall space where the furniture doesn’t. His desk – where I sit at – is the one where he used to sit at painting his reflections. I imagine alone and quiet except for the odd clatter of oil tubes and the paintbrushes softly stroking, moving across the canvas. When I visited he’d have the radio on but that was only in the kitchen when he’d change into another kind of person; one who was cheerful and chatty whilst he either made the tea or washed up the teapot and cups afterwards. Everything being laid out properly on the tea tray or on the drainer. He was a tidy man, modest and kind.
He showed me the tiny plants he’d grown from seed. They were in trays on a wide ledge by the window in the tiny makeshift porch. Some just dots of mysterious green, others fully fledged grown-up flowers with petals a-coloured, bustling with their siblings for space and sun. I felt his delight and warmth which softened me like the sun’s rays do on a lazy summer’s day; hugging and melting you in its embrace. Making you feel good and loved.
I smile at the memory.
We go into the kitchen, Grandad’s kitchen. Though it’s really my kitchen now, filled mainly with my things, although the dandelion-yellow paint on the walls is the same colour he had. I re-fill the dog’s water bowl and brew myself solitary tea. With a hot cup of tea and a tin of biscuits we return to the painting room.
Even after all this time there is still a faint whiff of oil paint and turpentine.
We curl up on the wicker chair together. My dog’s chin rests on my leg, his soulful eyes looking up at me – and at the biscuit that hovers from open tin to tea cup. He knows if he waits patiently he will also be on the receiving end.
The room remains dark, the memories bubbling beneath the surface. At times, in my isolation, I find them consoling; whilst at other times, they feed my loneliness. Then the sun fills the room with its luminosity and the dog takes a piece of biscuit. I sigh.
Writing prompt: “He’s resting his chin on my leg…” inspired by Oscar Dandelion.
What’s a Chi Tale?: A short story (under a 1,000 words) with doggy references.
Copyright Faith McCord 2016
Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.