A Note from the Past

This would have been the third prompt if had had finished it in a timely manner. As it was, I came to this final state a good week after the last post under the prompt. This is the one response that I can actually see becoming a story.

Playing in the hallway one day, your kids accidentally bump into your grandfather clock, which has been in the family for years. As it smashes into the ground, you find a note hidden inside from your great grandfather, who died two months after you were born. Strangely enough, the note is addressed to you.

The Comtoise grandfather clock in the hall was acquired by my great-grandfather during his time in the war. At least that was how the story went. I really never liked the clock. It was pot-bellied with too many curves. The wood was chipped and worn in several places, and it never kept good time. The only reason I had it was because none of my siblings wanted it. So when my youngest side-swiped it with his Walk ‘n Ride and it to fell with a resounding clang, I could not get angry at him. However when my wife saw the destruction, she promptly commanded him to the time out corner of his room.

“Look, I know we never liked that old clock, but you can’t let him think it is okay. Otherwise, he’ll think it’s fun to break things. Next time it could be something we do like,” she informed me as she girded herself for Tyler’s talking to.

“I fully understand. You want me to come with? I could stand behind you and looked threatening,” I asked.

“No. Stay out here and start cleaning up. Beside if he makes a break for it, you can kick him back into play for me, figuratively speaking,” she said as she headed to our son’s room.

As I surveyed the ruins of the clock, I saw that it was not as bad as the earlier clamor had reported. There was broken glass. Some of the wooden fiddly bits has broken off. The case itself, however, did not look any worse than it did before the fall. The backing had come loose to expose the guts. That was when I saw the letter. At least I thought it was a letter. It had to have been written on something like vellum. It was not brittle. I was trying to decipher the writing when my wife came back from battle.

“Is he thoroughly chastised?” I asked her.

“He has been cowed. He may be in s foul mood the rest of the day though,” she answered.

“Look what I found. It was inside the clock. Looks likes vellum, but I can’t tell what language it is,” I said, handing her the letter.

“Is that Gaelic? Looks like some of the lyrics from my Enya CD,” she said, returning the letter to me.

As I re-examined the letter, my eyes went a little wonky and some of the words became blurry. I was about to mention this to my wife until I realized that I could read some of the words.

She must have seen something on my face because she asked, “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. I’m going to go put this somewhere. Maybe try Google translate later.”

Once I was in my study, I looked at the letter again and was a little glad that my eyes did not go wonky. I could read the start of it.

To my great-grandson,

It is my hope that this missive reaches you in due course. What I must impart to you will be hard to believe, but believe it you must.

The rest of the letter was still incomprehensible.