Author's Note: I want to start and finish Letters to my Grandma before this month is out, I hope I can succeed at this due date. In August I start college, so I might not have enough time to start a commitment to a new chapter story. I will try my best when that rolls around. For now, Letters to my Grandma will start now and it will only last a few chapters because it will be a short story. Enjoy and make sure you check out my other short and chapter stories.


Letters to my Grandma - Goodbye Penelope

Emma Bacon pulled her thirteenth box into the house and dropped it onto the dusty wood floor, she wiped her forehead and told herself how much she hated doing this. Sweaty and stinky was not the way a teenage girl of sixteen wanted to be. She saw her mother come into the room with a wrap on her head and black tights on, her long pretty nails gleamed in the hot Florida sun. "You're abusing me," said Emma.

Her mother blew her a kiss and cut open one of the boxes.

"Ah, finally. The kitchen wear." Ellen, her mother, picked up her first box today and took it straight to the kitchen. Emma walked across the floor and looked around the house as if she has not seen it before; most of the original furniture was replaced by their house's furniture, grandma Penelope's furniture was donated. Emma did not like the fact that so many of grandma's things went. She would rather walk into the house and see it in it's original state, like grandma could be walking in any moment.

With a smiling face.

Penelope Bacon died on August 26, 2006 during one of her afternoon naps. Before that time, Emma and her mother would always visit. As Emma stood there, hearing the clinging of kitchen items, she beamed. Granny was the type that had to have you during the holidays. Whenever you visited her, the house would be smelling of fresh cookies mixed with the scent of granny's flowery perfume. She remembered a particular time she had while visiting granny, something peculiar.

'You are a beautiful girl,' she said to Emma that day, 'I remember when I was your age. All the new experiences that happen to you, but I have a secret for you.'

'What is it, granny?' Emma asked, though she did not think much of it at the time.

Penelope pulled her granddaughter closer and whispered, 'When I am long gone, go up to the attic. There will be a red shoe box there and it will help you with your problems.'

Emma still had a hard time comprehending the meaning and when granny left, she completely forgot.

Ellen came back into the room and shook Emma's nerves, "Emma, take a break. Go up to the attic and look through some of those boxes up there for me."

"Is that really a break?" Back sassing was the Bacon women's way. Her mother always had little quarrels to start with her.

"Just go."

Emma stomped up the stairs. The place was two-stories, but it was a small house in its own. It had a back yard where grandma did her gardening until she had trouble breathing and it had a long back porch where she had her old wooden rocking chair that she brought from New England. Grandmother always had stories about home, when Emma was little she fantasized about them as if she lived in them herself.

Emma opened the attic door that was connected to a steeper staircase, she immediately went into coughing fits because of all the dust. She turned on a switch and the light came on; the place was a mess.

Emma stepped over boxes and trunks, she took the pocket knife mom was using to open boxes and used it to open a random box that was lying all by itself. It had old clothes that had holes from bugs, probably. Emma tossed the clothes back into the box and ruled that one out: Dumpster. She scooted next to another and repeated the process.

The boxes seemed to have the same things in them, clothes or boring items; nothing of interest. The best thing she found were antique items that might be worth something, books, toys, household items and an old dusty saxophone still in it's case. Emma sat there for a while, she looked from her big pile: Dumpster. To the smaller pile: Keep. And settled on the stuff she has not looked through, her eyes traveled from the old brown boxes to a smaller red box in the corner.

Red. Shoe. Box.

A light went on in her mind and she went over to that box grandma mentioned.

That particular box was not taped shut and inside it was just a bunch of old papers. Emma let out a breath and made a disappointed expression at the floor, what was so great about it?

They looked like a bunch of old bills.

Emma picked up the one that laid on top, she realized it was a letter. A letter that said at the top: Dear, Richard. 1950.

"Richard?" Emma said out loud, she has never heard of his name before. The letter was on plain paper, but the person who wrote it wrote his name and drew hearts around it. Emma smiled slightly, "Sure, lady. Guys love hearts."

"Emma!" Emma jumped from being startled by her mother's piercing voice. She heard footsteps leading to the attic, so she quickly closed the box and hid it out of sight. Her mother came, she had her short wavy hair down. "Are you done yet? I didn't say go through every single box."

"Well, I did."

Her mother stepped in and looked around, "How do I know that?"

Emma stood up and held the shoe box behind her back, her mother stared at her intently and she wanted to ask. "It's just a box of old papers, I'll go through it for you."

"Whatever fits you best."

Emma snuck by her mom who found the keep pile and was about to add her own opinion to that, before Emma could hear it she was off to her bedroom. It was a boring bedroom for now, all there was was a bed and lots of stacked boxes; she planned to go through one box a day and get all her stuff back in their places in a couple weeks. For now, as she plopped onto her bed, only one box caught her interest in the moment.

The red shoe box had stickers on it of flowers, in order to distinct it from other shoe boxes of course. Emma dumped all the papers out onto her bed and on top there was a heavier item: a diary. It was as red as the shoe box, it faded like the box did, but it was still redder.

She unlocked that diaries latch easily because it was not locked, all the pages could still be read even though the pages and the letters turned yellow over time. Emma knew that they would not last another 50 years.

October 1950,

My mother gave me this diary to write in because I am at the age where I will start to experience lots of changes, so she says. I, for one, do not think that my life will change very much. To humor mother, I will try to write everyday after supper.

Emma sighed, she turned a couple of pages that just talked about boring things. Shopping, chores, etc. The only interesting story was about her grandmother's brother, Henry, getting into trouble all of the time. He was about seven, he would go into old lady's yards and scary their chickens, or pick their plants and Penelope always had to go and fetch him. She complains about it in her diary as much as Emma complained about unpacking.

Emma came to a page months later, Feburary 1951, and Penelope wrote of sadness in her diary that night, Emma was certain she was crying while she wrote it: My heart is full of grief, I wanted him to know I love him dearly. I sent him lots of letters of love and he only responded to one of them. He told me it was annoying getting so many letters.

Penelope's concerned granddaughter dropped the diary and reclaimed the letter saying, 'Dear, Richard.' She realized that Penelope did not finish, it must be the next letter she was going to send to him before recieving his letter. Emma felt bad, especially because she knew how Penelope felt.


An hour after dinner, Emma decided to call her boyfriend who was out of town. Keith and Emma have been dating for a year now, they met freshman year and were friends only a short time before dating. He is tall, dark, and handsome. Like in the movies. Emma always imagined them being in an action movie, she being the damsel in distress and he saving her life from the clutches of a villian.

Her mother always told her how crazy she is.

Emma practically ran to the phone that rang off the hook. "Hello?"

"Is this Ellen?"

"No."

Ellen came around the corner and grabbed the phone out of Emma's hands, it was her mother's boyfriend. Fred. Yuck. Emma rolled her eyes and went to grab the cellphone from her mother's purse, there was no way she would sit through a whole conversation between them.

Emma dialed and waited for somebody to pick up.

She heard his low voice greet her over the phone, "Hello?"

"Keith, hi. It's Emma."

He made a sigh over the line and Emma's smile faded slightly, "Look, I don't have time to talk. I'm fine, why don't you wait a couple days before calling me again. Do you know how many messages you left? It's a little annoying."

Emma's breath escaped her, before she could day anymore he said, 'Try it out, okay? Bye.' and hung up. She held the phone to her ear for a minute, then threw it onto the couch. "I just wanted to know how you are, you jerk!!"

"Be nice to my phone!" Ellen called.

Another hour passed and Emma was still staring at the unfinished letter, she knew exactly how Penelope felt. What the difference between them was that Emma was not too sad about it, she was more angry than Penelope was. Emma thought of how she would yell at Keith next time she sees him after the family vacation, would she break up with him until he begged for mercy? Or would she just give him a super guilt trip? Emma did not want to sound too mean, so she went with the guilt trip.

She practiced with the mirror, "Keith, you really hurt me. What do you mean I call too much? I would stop if you would have just talked to me for a few minutes. That's all I wanted!!" Nothing seemed to work, she decided to make it up as she went along when the real moment came.

As for Penelope, or Penny, is what her grandma called herself, she read about how Penny coped after being betrayed with the letter. "No way," Emma said out loud as she read the diary, "She got dumped?!"


I hope I will at least get one review for this, even though I said before that I did not care about reviews during Catcher in the Light, it would have been nice that my work was read. I would like to know if anyone reads my stuff. Enjoy :)