“Be Nice To Your Grandpa”
I’ve worked on this story for a long time, and this prompt,
He could feel the beads of perspiration forming on his forehead as he slowly,
fit right in (after I made a couple of changes).
“I’m going out,” Sandra’s mother said. “Now remember, I expect you to be nice to your Grandpa. I can’t understand why you dislike him so much. Maybe you need to spend more time together.”
Sandra could feel the beads of sweat forming on her forehead as she realized that her mother was, once again, leaving her alone in the house with her grandfather.
She knew all too well what was going to happen.
She knew he would come into her bedroom, which didn’t have a lock on the door, and kiss her.
Not the way her friends’ grandfathers kissed them. Not the way a grandfather is supposed to kiss a granddaughter.
But that night… something else happened… something she didn’t know the name of… something no child of eight
should ever, ever experience.
Something nobody should ever experience.
And when he finished, her grandfather rose and walked out of the bedroom, saying, “Remember, Sandra, this is our secret.”
But Sandra did not keep it a secret.
“Mom, please don’t leave me alone with Grandpa,” she pleaded. “He…does things to me…and last night…”
The child went on to describe what had happened.
“No, Sandra. Your Grandpa… my father… would never do such a thing. Never.”
“But he did!”
“Sandra, if your Grandma could hear your lies, she would turn over in her grave.”
“But I’m not lying! Why won’t you believe me? Why?”
“Enough! If you ever tell those lies again, you’ll get the spanking of your life right then and there.”
“If Daddy was alive,” Sandra burst out, running from the room, “he’d believe me!”
After that, Sandra tried to keep away from her grandfather. When he came into a room, she walked out.
But she couldn’t always avoid him. It’s not possible to always avoid someone who lives in the same house.
And her mother kept saying, “Now, Sandra, you be nice to your Grandpa.”
And the kissing… and other things… kept happening. And there was no one Sandra could tell, no one she dared tell.
And then, when Sandra was eleven years old, her grandfather had a heart attack.
So many neighbors came to the funeral, wishing to pay their last respects to a man they all loved and admired.
The minister eulogized him, and then invited anyone who had something to add about their dearly departed friend to do so
Sandra sat in the front pew with her mother, listening to one person after another talk about what a wonderful man
her grandfather had been. And she wanted to throw up.
And suddenly, she couldn’t stand it any more. She didn’t care what her mother did to her. She had kept quiet for much, much too long.
She rose from the pew, and walked up to the front of the church.
“I have something to say. All of you are so sorry that my Grandpa is dead, and all of you have been saying what
a wonderful man he was. Well, I’m glad he’s dead, and I hope he’s in Hell!”
A collective gasp and murmuring rippled through the church as Sandra described the things her Grandpa had done to her.
Sandra’s mother got up, walked to the front of the church, and grabbed the child by the arm.
“I warned you,” she hissed, sitting down right there at the edge of the altar and turning the child over her lap.
Sandra had never been spanked so hard, so long, and, worst of all, so publicly.
For months afterwards, she remembered the sound of those slaps.
And for months afterwards, the neighbors spoke in indignant whispers about the terrible little girl who told those
vicious lies at her grandfather’s funeral.