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Prompt #61 - Creative


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Everyone knows the story of E. Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas. Your task is to create a new character dealing with the Spirit of any other holiday. Will you have someone who hates the 4th of July. Maybe the mother of nine children who is visited by the Spirit of Mother's day to tell her what a great job she is doing? Put your spin on the idea of a Spirit of the holiday and why they might visit your character. Good luck and have fun.

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Arnie hated that he had to get dressed up to go down to the cemetery with his grandmother. It was cold, windy, and he didn’t like standing around by the grave while she cried. Arnie hadn’t known his grandfather; he had died long before he was born.

 

“I’ll be ready in a min Arn. Please, make sure you take a good jacket and a scarf with you,” called his grandmother from the bottom of the stairs.

 

“Yes, Grandma. I’ll be there. Just have to grab the scarf.”

 

Arnie moved his toys out of the way and opened up the locker at the foot of his bed. He grabbed his scarf out of it. Rapidly closing it, he put his action figures and teddy bear back on it.

 

Arnie was heading down the stairs and stopped to look at the picture of his grandfather that hung in the staircase. It showed his Grandpa Arthur in his uniform. The short hair cut and freckles were something Arnie seen when he looked in the mirror but other than that he couldn’t see how they were alike. It was something he heard all the time from different family members, which were constantly telling him that he looked just like his grandpa.

 

Arnie reached into the coat closet and grabbed his thick winter coat. It had been a bit big on him last year but when he slipped into it he found it was a little tight. Great, Mom is going to yell again that I’m growing so fast. I can’t help it that I grow. Arnie was pulled out his thoughts by his grandmother placing her hand on his shoulder.

 

“Glad you are all set, Arn. I really wouldn’t like to go alone to the cemetery.”

 

The ride out to the National Cemetery wasn’t ever something to enjoy. Arnie knew they would watch the ceremony for the fallen soldiers and then go to his grandfather’s grave. It had been the same thing as far back as he could remember. Years ago he thought the whole thing was cool but now he just wanted to go home and play with his Xbox.

 

“Arn, stay close to me here. There are a lot of people. Understand?”

 

“Yes, Grandma. I’ll stay close.”

 

“Good boy.” Grandma Rose wrapped a scarf around her neck as she opened the car door. She would park near the bathrooms for now. After the ceremony she always had to go after being out in the cold. Then she would drive them over to the section where Grandpa Arthur was buried.

 

They had begun the trudge to where they held the ceremony when Arnie spotted the strange man in uniform. He couldn’t help but look at the guy. While all the soldiers he saw wore sharp uniforms with strips down the pants leg this guy didn’t. His uniform was a muddled brownish green. He wore a big hat that reminded Arnie of the hats worn by that guy from Australia. The guy smiled and waved.

 

“Hi there. It is nice to see you here again.”

 

“I’m not supposed to talk to strangers,” Arnie stated as he noticed the guy looked like he had a bedroll and a shovel dangling from his pack.

 

“It is okay, Arnie. I know who you are.”

 

Arnie looked up in surprise. Then his brown eyes narrowed.

 

“I knew your Grandpa Arthur, Arnie.”

 

Arnie looked at the man in front of him. His Grandpa Arthur died a long time ago. His Grandma had white hair and cried a lot when she talked about his grandpa. His mother was getting white hair. The guy before him looked about as old as his cousin Barry. Barry was about to start college.

 

“You couldn’t have known my Grandpa.”

 

“But I did Arnie. Do you know what today is?”

 

“Vets.”

 

“Well, the day was originally called Armistice Day. Later it became Veteran’s Day. Do you know what happens today?”

 

Arnie tilted his head and thought.

 

“We come to the cemetery. Grandma goes to Grandpa Arthur’s grave. She cries and then we go home.”

 

“Yes, your Grandma Rose has been doing that for a long time now. However do you know why she always comes on this day?”

 

Arnie felt he should be afraid of this strange man but he wasn’t. He stopped and thought about what the man asked.

 

“She always says to remember him.”

 

“That is true. But she also comes to honor him.”

 

“Honor him?”

 

“This cemetery is special, Arnie. It is here that those who served their country are buried. You know your action figures that you love so much.”

 

Arnie smiled and nodded.

 

“Captain America and Iron Man.”

 

The stranger smiled and kneeled down by Arnie.

 

“Right. Those are heroes that you know. But there are others. There are heroes who fought for justice for others, just like Captain America did. They fought for you too, to keep you safe.”

 

“They did?”

 

“Yes. Heroes who did what they could for their country and for others around the world. Just like your Grandpa Arthur.”

 

“Grandpa was a hero?”

 

“Oh yes. He had married your Grandma Rose and hoped to build a life together. He heard they were drafting men for a war over seas and didn’t want to be drafted. He signed up and went to serve. He didn’t know that his wife was pregnant when he left. She didn’t want him to know. He died saving one of his squad. Your Grandpa Arthur was a brave man.”

 

Arnie stood opened mouth looking at the stranger.

 

“You sure?”

 

“Yes, I’m sure,” said the stranger with smile.

 

Arnie looked and spotted his grandma’s scarf blowing in the wind.

 

“I gotta go tell Grandma.”

 

The stranger nodded.

 

“You want come with me?”

 

“Sorry, Arnie. This is a busy day for me. However, I wanted you to know that this wasn’t a wasted time. It is a time you spend honoring your family and freedom you have.”

 

Arnie looked at the stranger. He wasn’t sure he understood it all but he knew now that his Grandpa Arthur was like Captain America, a real hero. He wanted to stand by his Grandma and let her know he was happy to come with her.

 

The stranger watched Arnie make his way over to his grandmother.

 

“Thanks for making Arnie understand,” came the voice of the solider behind him.

 

The stranger smiled and saluted Sergeant Arthur Murphy.

 

“It was my honor to help out a soldier, especially on my day.”

 

Arthur smiled and watched his wife and grandson for a moment before fading away. The stranger watched the family before he moved on to the next area of the country that needed his attention this Veteran’s Day.

 

 

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