09/06/2015 by paulinebsc
Gran and the Stones
The alien had seven eyes and four yellow tentacles which slithered through the undergrowth wetly. Jerry watched it keenly.
‘Yeah man’ he muttered to himself as the scene switched to show the commentator, who was a skinny teenager, freckled, with an untidy mop of blond hair.
‘I could do with a hair cut’ Jerry thought before triumphantly uploading the file.
Jerry had lost his dream job, working in special effects, when the film company he was working for went bust. Now he was using You Tube to attract attention to the work he was doing. He deliberately avoided the ‘two arms, two legs, I’m an actor in disguise’ genre. His grand plan was to fool somebody into investigating the alien and then gain from the ensuing publicity. It hadn’t happened yet though!
He hadn’t achieved his other grand plan either, which was to get a girlfriend, but he acknowledged his current lack of funds, transport and winning personality made this highly unlikely in the near future. He leant back in his office chair and glanced at the clock, pushing his glasses back up his nose.
‘Zoinks’ he yelled, ‘Scooby Doo’ style. He was due at the farm. Jerry couldn’t afford to run a car, and he wasn’t fit enough to run all the way, but he managed a steady jog across the fields, panting a little as he passed the ancient stones, which were on the family farm. It wasn’t Stonehenge; the tallest barely reached his shins, but family legend said the fairies lived there. Feeling foolish, Jerry paused and bowed to them respectfully, as he always did, ever since Gran brought him here when he was a child.
His mother looked exhausted, slumped over a coffee. She shook her head when he came in. Clearly Gran was even worse. In her bedroom Jerry’s Gran lay still, a tube snaking from her nostrils. Jerry knelt beside her.
‘How’re you doing, Gran?’
‘I’m dying. How do you think I’m doing.’ The smile in her voice belied the grumpy words.
He took her hand. They both knew the truth in her words, and he respected her enough not to deny it. Her pain would only be relieved by death.
‘Jerry. Do me a favour.’
‘Go tell the fairies I’m dying’
‘Now! And stop slouching’
That was more like Gran as Jerry remembered her. He straightened his back and headed out, catching but not acknowledging the disapproving glance of his mother as he passed her. Jerry was on a mission and hurried past.
He dragged his feet as he approached the stones. Deep inside, he felt reverence around the stones which he rarely admitted even to himself. He took a deep breath, hoping for courage.
‘Gran’s dying’ he whispered, barely able to hear his own voice.
An invisible push sent him into the circle. As he struggled to regain his balance he saw it. In front of him hovered a fairy: a tiny plump figure with beautiful butterfly wings of red and gold. He blinked as a heavily muscled male appeared beside her, flapping its grey and silver wings. It was at least two minutes before Jerry fumbled in the pocket of his baggy shorts for his camera, he was so entranced. Others appeared, and Jerry filmed for several minutes before he was gently prodded from the circle and made his way back to his Gran.
Her smile was the bright smile he remembered from childhood, her words firm and sure.
‘They accepted you’
‘Yeah, Gran, they did’
Gran’s smile drifted away and Jerry knew she was dead well before the doctor confirmed it.
Jerry stayed at the farm to help his mother, helping her to deal with the red tape involved in a death and a funeral, and to comfort her. So it was a month before he returned home.
Eagerly he plugged his camera into the computer and downloaded the film. It was as good as he had thought, each of the fairies showing in full detail. He did not even need to edit it. Then reality’s fist socked him on the jaw: he had spent two years producing films precisely to show his special effects abilities. He could have produced this using using decent software. Nobody was going to believe his film was real. He wanted to cry then he wanted to laugh. Jerry decided he didn’t know what he felt about it.
Something gently touched his forehead, and a soft voice said ‘It’s our secret.’ Jerry looked at the fairy for a minute then let the absurdity hit him. The fairy smiled when Jerry laughed, knowing he would keep the secret forever, as his family always did. Jerry felt absurdly hopeful when an envelope fluttered through the door – perhaps this would be the job opportunity he was hoping for.
Jerry was unsure about the existence of aliens, but now he knew what he had often suspected: fairies were real, magic was real; life could only get better.
Written as a Futurelearn assignment with a limit of 1000 words