Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Pocketwatch

***This is a guest post written by Brandon M., I know him personally and I finally convinced him to post this here on my blog. A very wonderful ''short fictional story'' that makes you entertain for a minute. Enjoy :). ***
The Pocketwatch
 by: Brandon M.
Stepping out onto the porch, James McCullen sighed a weary sigh and stretched. It was five in the morning, 1930, and the sun had just started to rise over the horizon. A biting chill from the northwestern mid-morning air greeted his long face with a sting. He raised his lanky arms and rubbed his face, forcing his eyes into focus. He gazed out into the field in front of the farm; neatly tilled rows of brown earth that stretched as far as he could see. He stooped down as he ascended the stairs. Even though he was only 18, James was already 6'3', and had he not been homeschooled, he would have been a giant among his peers.
James felt along the pockets of his white button up shirt and blue overalls for the familiar bulge of his grandfather's pocketwatch. Finding it, he reached into his left pocket and pulled out the watch. It was pure gold, aged and knicked from years of use. An image of a farmhand was engraved on its front. He pressed the button on top and the watch face sprang open with a metallic "clank!". 5:05 A.M. He gently caressed the backside of the flap with one long finger, reading for the 100th time the strange numbers and symbols carved into it by his grandfather. A pair of lines and the word "302N". He never knew what it meant, as he had inherited it when his grandfather died.
The farm was miles from town, a long rectangle cut out of the edge of a forest. James' grandfather had built it from hand, which was many years of work. James could still remember pleasant summer evenings as a child, visiting his grandparents. He would sit on the stairs in front of the home, facing the field. His grandmother, who smelled faintly of the night's supper and fresh flowers, would bring him lemonade. Then, with a wisened smile warm enough to heat the entire valley, disappeared into the house, her grey dress fading into the darkness. His grandfather would work the field until nightfall. He was a large man, broad shouldered and sinewy from years of hard labor. His skin was leathery and wrinkled from years under the sun, with greying hair stuffed underneath a soiled hat. His movements were purposeful yet tired, the movements of someone entering their twilight years. James would spend hours watching his grandfather, smelling the sweet earthy air, the complete silence of country life only broken by the occasional raven or the heavy rap of his grandfather's rake on the soil. Rows and rows of vegetables stretched into the horizon, so many James often wondered how grandma and grandpa managed the work by themselves.
James could remember one evening most vividly. He was about 9 years old, and the oppressive sun had finally retreated beyond the horizon, and his grandfather had finished the days' chores. James was sitting in the same spot on the porch stairs, as he had so many nights before. His grandfather came trudging toward the house, a slight limp in his left leg. Smiling wearily, he sat heavily on the stair beside James. "What do you think?" James' grandfather began, nodding toward the endless rows of green. "It's amazing!" James replied energetically. "This will all be yours someday, kiddo." his grandfather replied. "When your grandmother and I pass away, I want you to keep this farm going. Our family has been here for generations, living off the land. This is where we belong." James sat wide-eyed at his grandfather, absorbing every word. James' grandfather grinned a bit, and raised one dirt-encrusted hand, ruffling his grandson's hair.
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