Thanks for reading these free writes and I hope to one day edit them all! I am open to constructive criticism.
Word count: 1,677
The two were nearing the end of the public beach and Kurt stopped and look at Grant.
”If you look around, we as a people are the weakest we have even been in all of recorded history. We rely on machines for everyday tasks, we take tons of medicine for the simplest of maladies, we can use money that's not even ours to buy whatever we want even if we don't need it. This isn't an accident of human evolution, this was designed. We have been made weaker than ever and that makes us easier to control. There are a lot more people on this planet than ever before and that scares those who have power. Things like the church make men need salvation, they are taught that they themselves are weak and they embrace it. They think they are not capable of achieving without a higher power and in fact, they are taught that pride and victory are tools of the devil. Do you understand what I'm telling you? Or is it too much?” Kurt was beginning to wonder if the boy could handle so much information coming at him.
”Yeah, I think so Grandpa. I mean it makes sense, I just never thought about it that way before.”
”You’ve been dealt a rough hand, Grant, but I don't think it's an accident. I believe everything happens for a reason and you are going to be a great man one day. I'm going to be sure of that.” Now that he was retired Kurt intended on making sure that he taught Grant everything he knows.
”Thanks, Grandpa, I just don't know why it's happening to me.” Tears were welling up in Grants eyes.
”That is one thing that no one knows, why. It's not our job to find out why it is our job to make our children better than we ever were. It's the only way out of this mess we are in today. Everything that resembles strength has come under attack. If you look back at history defining moments of civilizations came when they were at their weakest. Rome, Egypt, Sodom and Gomorrah, etc. I fear now too that this civilization is nearing an end. I may not be around to see it but I am sure that you will be so that's why it's important for us to begin now. So you can learn what I have learned and can prepare for what is to come.”
Grants sadness had turned into fear now. The words of his respected elder were as true as anything and he was frightened.
”Okay, grandpa teach me, I'm ready I swear.”
”Oh, I have no doubt about that son, I am your biggest fan,” Kurt replied with a reassuring smile on his face.
”What should we do now grandpa?” Grant asked.
”I don't know about you but I sure could eat, I didn't really have time to eat my breakfast and it's almost lunchtime anyway. Wanna grab a bite to eat?”
”Yeah!” Grant was not very hungry, but he didn't care. He was feeling much better again and was happy to spend some time away from school with his grandfather. For him, it seemed like a new adventure, like one of the stories his mother used to read to him before bedtime. It was their secret, they had a hidden knowledge the rest of the world was oblivious about and Grant was excited to see where it would lead.
Since his mother's death, Grant had not participated in any after-school activities. 4-H had just started and basketball didn't start until late fall so Grants grandparents decided it was best to take the season off. Grant was angry at first, but he was enjoying the free time after school to read and work on his model tanks.
The relationship between him and his best friend Luke was suffering though, because of it. They had not really been the same since his mother passed and even though Grant may have needed a friend really bad he didn't seem to mind being alone. Now, after all that had happened, Grant was beginning to miss his best friend and realizing how much he really needed him.
Basketball season was almost already over and Grant knew he would no longer be allowed on the team until next year. He was regretting not joining the team and knew that Melissa was watching all the games and wished it was him she was watching. Just like everything in Grant's life when his mother died, his relationship with Melissa was put on hold too. He was not even sure if she liked him anymore and he wanted to get her back, he had a plan.
”Lukie! Telephone!” Lukes mother called.
”Hey what's up dude?” Grant asked.
”Nothing I just got home from practice. What about you?”
”Not a whole lot, hey you want to do something? I'm pretty bored.”
Luke was laughing; ”Whoa! Look at you! Ready to get back on the horse?”
”What?” Grant was a little embarrassed that he was sounding needy.
”I'm just teasing, dude. You wanna come over? There is no way I'm going to go hang out with you at the retirement home.” Luke teased him some more.
”What you don't want to watch jeopardy with Grandpa Kurt again?” Grant felt good joking around with his old friend again.
”Hurry up get over here.” Luke commanded.
”Be right there”
Grant was excited, he jumped on his bike and pedaled hard and fast. He wanted to get there as soon as he could. A part of him wanted to share everything that had happened to him with Luke, but he did not think he was ready to do it. Luke was really into the church, so much so that Grant had often gone with him and his family to Saturday night Mass just to hang out with him.
Sometimes at sleepovers, they would listen to the tapes of old sermons that Lukes dad had recorded. Grant actually enjoyed listening to them even though they talked about the Bible a lot they had some really good life lessons and even some funny jokes.
For Grant telling Luke that he was in the middle of turning his back on their faith, in their already rocky relationship did not seem like a good idea. He decided to just act natural.
As Grant was pedaling harder and harder he began to think about his mother. If she was not in heaven then what had happened to her after she died? He felt his family still alive in the tree but he still was having a difficult time accepting the fact she wasn't there. He still had reservations about abandoning his old faith.
Then he began to think about one of his favorite stories from the Bible, the fiery furnace. In the book of Daniel, three Jewish men refused to bow to the king of Babylon saying that they would only now to the one true God, and they are sentenced to death in a furnace. When they are put in the furnace the king is shocked to see they are unharmed and there is a fourth man with them who looks like the son of God. This story always made Grant feel courageous and strengthened his faith. There were difficult times in his life where he to imagined that Jesus was by his side looking after him. Were there stories like that from the old European religion he wondered?
By the time Grant made it to Lukes house he was drenched in sweat and trying to catch his breath. Luke was already outside in the driveway shooting hoops and was happy to see Grant.
”Wow, man! You got here fast, wanna shoot around a little? Grab a ball from in the garage.”
It was one of their favorite things to do. While shooting hoops and running around they had some of their best conversations together. Their conversations would flow along with the energy of the game.
Grant picked up a ball and without hesitation made a shot at the hoop. He missed horribly.
”Whoa, dude! When's the last time you picked up a basketball!” Luke laughed.
”Sorry, I've been too busy with your mom,” Grant said without thinking and immediately regretted it.
Luke was mature enough to let it roll off and he did not want to bring anything up that would make Grant feel any worse.
”You're missing a hell of a season, not like you would be off the bench anyways.” Luke snapped back.
”I know, man that's what I've been thinking about. I miss basketball. I miss the team. Do you think Coach Navis would let me back on the team?”
”Not a chance,” Luke said as he let off a shot and quickly ran to the hoop to rebound it.
Luke dribbled the ball back to the 3 point line that his dad had spray pained onto the cement driveway. Dribbling at the top of the key, luke stopped, picked up the ball, and wrapped it under his arm resting it on his hip.
”You know what dude? If you wanted, I'm sure you could be the team manager for the last couple weeks of the season,” Luke suggested.
”No way man! That's for fat kids who love basketball and hate exercising.” Grant shot back.
”But...” Luke replied
”But what?” Grant was already entertaining the idea of being a manager.
”But, you are not fat. And everyone knows you are good at basketball. Plus it will win you some extra brownie points for next season when coach sees you trying to be involved.” Luke had a point.
”You know what? You might be right and maybe I could still play a little at practice then.” Grant was liking the idea.
”Yeah, if by playing you mean running laps!”
Luke and Grant laughed as they both took a shot at the hoop, Lukes shot nudging grants ball out of the way and sinking into the hoop.
”Yeah!” Luke celebrated.
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