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The Snowstorm

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Summary

A loved one frozen in time. A work in progress. Unsure whether I want to develop it further, depends on what people think.

Genre:
Drama / Mystery
Author:
Gayle O'Leary
Status:
Excerpt
Chapters:
1
Rating:
5.0 3 reviews
Age Rating:
16+

Chapter 1

The Snowstorm

“Granddad”. Amelia knelt down beside him. She clasped his slender, coarse hands, stroking her fingers over the joints.

His eyes rolled franticly between her and their hands. He continued to shudder, breathing in short gasps. She pulled the blanket tighter around his shoulders.

“Dad remembers you a little.” She smiled briefly, frowned, smiling again. “He was five when you disappeared. No one understood what happened. They thought you’d ran off, been kidnapped, or had an accident. Or maybe it wasn’t an accident. All they had were theories. There was no note.”

Lionel turned his head now to look at her fully. Her coiled long, hazel hair the same lustre and tone of his own. Same silvery eyes set above high cheekbones. His lip trembled. He began to speak then his voice broke and he stiffened, turning his face away. He laid his forehead in his palms, resting his elbows on his knees. He sneaked a glance at her.

“You’re so young”, he eventually mumbled. “You’re younger than I am.”

“Yes”. Amelia’s eyes welled.

“Are there any – do you have any children of your own?”

“No… Not yet. We tried.”

He straightened up. Sighed. “Graham? Is he here?”

Amelia hesitated. She tightened her hold on his hands. “I’m so sorry, Lionel. He passed away a few months ago. Bowel cancer.”

Lionel said nothing. He stared at her with his wide, grey eyes. A groaning sob escaped him. He pulled his hands away and stood up, marching straight through the bedroom door and locking it after him. Amelia leaned her head against the door. The crying was muffled but still faintly audible.

Tears streamed down her face. “I read every letter I could find from you”, her voice strained. “Looked through all the family albums. Talked to my aunts about you. No one believed you would willingly leave without saying a word. I don’t believe it. I still don’t think you meant to actually do it. And when Dad died, I thought you would never even know. You had to know. You have the right to know. Now I’m here, I got here in time, we can find out if it’s hereditary. If you have it, we’ll catch it in time.”

She heard a bark of laughter from the other side of the door. “In this day and age? In the middle of fucking nowhere? How in high hell do you imagine one of the doctor quacks here would know what to look for? They can’t tell their arse from their elbow.”

“We wouldn’t go to the doctors here. I’m taking you back with me.”

Several heartbeats passed. “That’s impossible.”

“Of course it isn’t. There are ways to get back.”

“You think I haven’t tried? Haven’t tried everything? Think I’ve been having a grand holiday freezing my balls off while my wife and son have no idea where the hell I am? Am I that kind of man, Amelia?”

“No, I know. You didn’t know where to start.”

“How would you know?”

“I came here on purpose. Unlike you. I researched. I found other people who came and went. Some more than once. It is possible, Grandad.”

Amelia waited. The lock clicked, and she stood back as the door opened. Lionel watched her, breathing roughly through his nose.

“You’re sure?”

“I am.”

“… What would you – what do we tell people? We couldn’t tell them who I am.”

“No, we wouldn’t. We’d get you a passport. Driver’s licence. Find you a new name. You’d stay with my husband and I.”

“You’re still with him? Why would he let you come here on your own?!”

“… He doesn’t know I came here. We stopped talking a while ago. But he’ll help us, he’s not a bad man.”

Lionel groaned, rubbing at his weathered face. “God. You can do the talking. I’ve no idea where to start.”

“Leave it to me.”

Lionel sighed, walked over to the door and gingerly eased his coat off the hook, slipping it on with his cap and woollen scarf.

He looked over his shoulder. “Let’s get a move on, darling. Time’s a wasting.”

Amelia beamed, grabbing her effects off the table and rushed to the door. Opening it, a whirl of snow and ice barrelled in. They could scarcely see six feet in front of them. She bit her lip and looked at him. Lionel shook his head.

“I’ve waited long enough. Not another minute in that house. You’ll lead us through. You got this far.”

He took her hand and they closed the door behind them, pushing on through the snow.

***

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