Friday, August 30, 2013

Samantha Redstreake Geary Week 62: Heartache

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Samantha Redstreake Geary’s Picture Choice: 2

Title: Heartache

Seven-year-old Joseph Martin waited patiently on a cold, metal bench just outside the doors of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, watching his breath send smoky tendrils out across the dusky sky. A biting breeze carried tempting aromas of fried food, making his stomach growl. He hasn't eaten in awhile, not since they arrived here in a rush to find Grandpa sleeping, buried beneath a blanket of tubes and beeping machines.

The doctors said his heart isn’t working like it should. Grandma said it was like a stomach ache, but in his heart. But, Grandma also said it’s from all those years of pumping him full of hot-air. Joseph thinks Grandma could learn a thing or two from the doctors.

Joseph peers at the face on the black metal clock clutched to his chest. It was almost 4 o’clock. Grandpa had taught him to tell time, in the space between going to the movies and licking ice cream. Grandpa had handed the shiny foil wrapped package to Joseph and said, “It’s a slippery thing, time...have to make sure you keep a close eye on it, cuz before you know it, you’ll be all grown up and wondering where the time went.”

Joseph was afraid Grandpa’s time was more slippery than most.

Joseph's Daddy said when he was a boy growing up in Germantown, Grandpa would take him, twice a month, to see a real-live human heart, the biggest, best heart in all of Philadelphia. It was so impressive, they called it “The Engine of Life”.

Joseph’s cousin said he saw the giant heart just last week and it was “ahhhmazing”.

Out of nowhere, a taxi materialized, startling Joseph to his feet. He cautiously approached the illuminated driver.

“I need to go to the corner of 20th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, as fast as you can please, it’s urgent,” he implored, handing over his allowance money.

“The Franklin Institute closes in an hour, son. I don’t think you’ll have time to see everything,” the cabbie replied.

With renewed determination, Joseph declared, “My Grandpa needs a new heart right away sir, and I’m going to bring him the biggest, strongest heart in all of Philadelphia.”


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  1. wow...this was a beautiful write up, Samantha.

    Innocence is beautiful and we ought to treasure that as long as possible.

    Thanks for introducing me to these lovely writers and the theme. Loved it!

    1. Thank you, Ruchira! I hope you enjoy this site--there are many talented writers with intriguing stories to share:)

  2. Lovely Samantha, so full of imagery, of hope and tenderness

    1. Thanks, Susan! I child's hope is a powerful force:)

  3. That was great. The hope and optimism of youth so almost un-containable. We lose that as we grow weary of the ways of this broken world.
    Tina @ Life is Good

    1. Thanks, Tina--I agree, optimism is as slippery as time!

  4. I agree with Tina, who said it best...the optimistic hope that this little boy had is so touching.


    1. Thank you, Nicole! I wrote this for my Dad--he grew up in Philly and my Grandfather would take him to The Franklin Institute on weekends:)