Monday, 15 September 2014

The Big C Blog Hop



Happy Monday! Today I'm participating in the Big C Blog Hop, organised by the ever helpful Michael di Gesu to raise funds for our dear friend Melissa Bradley's cancer treatment. Entries will be collected into an anthology to go towards her exorbitant medical bills. I have family members myself who have been touched by cancer and knew I had to take part in this hop. Here's hoping it goes a long way towards getting Melissa back to full health.

We were asked to contribute comical, uplifting or inspirational stories. Mine is fiction which is based in fact. I hope that's acceptable! The cast is drawn from my own family (my parents, myself, and my daughter). Names have been changed, although character traits haven't. ;) Also, I ended up writing this at the last minute, so hopefully it doesn't seem too rushed. Naturally, I give Michael full permission to use my story in the anthology.


The Grumpy Pirate

Martin’s cancer treatment had gone from bad to worse. Chemo was out as an option, due to a number of unwanted side effects, leaving just radiotherapy to hopefully blast those malignant cells from where only customs men usually dared to probe.

The worst of these side effects had been an eye infection, meaning he had to wear a patch and - horror of horrors - not being allowed to drive.

Anyone who knew Martin knew he was a petrolhead who was used to driving anywhere and everywhere without the aid of any Satnav. He called it an “instinct for the road”, and relished the feeling of being in command of his vehicle. He also participated in classic car runs, and a 1952 Vauxhall Velox called Vera, who had a whole garage to herself, was his pride and joy.

Everyone knew he hated being driven, but no one more so than his long-suffering wife Elaine, particularly in the last few days.

“Are you sure you want to do this, dear?” she said, putting the last of the picnic things in the coolbag.

“Of course,” said Martin, sitting at the kitchen table and finishing off the newspaper crossword with the use of only one eye. “It wouldn’t do to disappoint the little mite.”

She groaned, and zipped up the coolbag just as the doorbell rang.

Elaine opened the door to find her son Rick standing there with a concerned look on his face, and her granddaughter Niamh with an ecstatic, beaming one on hers.

“Nana!” she squealed and jumped into Elaine’s arms. Elaine staggered slightly under the little girl’s weight. She was five and growing up fast.

“Hello, darling!” Then, to Rick: “Are you sure about this?”

“Not quite, but try telling that to her,” he said.

“I know, and your dad’s the other one who won’t be talked out of it. Oh well, we just have to get there, and then it’ll be okay. Until it’s time to go home again.” Her shoulders sagged.

The corner of Rick’s mouth lifted up in a half smile. “Stay strong, Mum. And don’t take any of his rubbish!”

She nodded. “I can only try. Well, you’d better get off to work. In you come, you little scallywag!”

Each Saturday, Martin and Elaine looked after their youngest granddaughter while her parents both went to work. The three older kids, who were all teenagers, were happy to stay in the house and get a break from their excessively energetic sibling. Rick had argued that shifts could be swapped while Martin was undergoing his treatment, but Martin was adamant that he didn’t want to break the routine. They took Niamh out for a special treat and it was the highlight of her week.

Niamh hugged her dad goodbye and skipped through to the kitchen where Martin was still sitting.

“Whoa! What happened to your eye, Granpa?”

“And hello to you too,” said Martin, looking up and breaking into a grin. “Come and get a cuddle.”

She ran over for a hug, but after pulling out of her granpa’s bear-like grasp she looked up at his face and frowned. “You look like a pirate.”

“Granpa’s got a bit of a sore eye, just while he’s ill,” said Elaine. “Remember, you need to be gentle with him. He might be a bit grumpy... even more than usual. Especially because he can’t drive the car.”

“You can be a grumpy pirate!” said Niamh, throwing her hands in the air.


So for the duration of the half an hour journey to the soft play centre, that’s what Granpa was. He sat next to Niamh in the back, and at every junction he warned Elaine of incoming ships on the starboard bow. He grabbed hold of Niamh and uttered dire warnings that anyone who tried to take his “treasure” would walk the plank. He issued streams of hilariously inventive, kid-friendly pirate expletives. Niamh laughed her head off. The drive wasn’t nearly as bad as Elaine had anticipated, and by the end, she couldn’t stop herself from smiling.


Bio:

Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Trained as a journalist, he now enjoys creating new worlds and getting to know his characters better. When not writing he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. He also works as a freelance editor and proofreader. He has four short stories published in Writer’s Muse magazine and is the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew, a fundraiser for his stepson's college fund. You can find him at his writing blog, Scattergun Scribblings

Please go to Michael's blog to check out the other entries!

37 comments:

SA Larsenッ said...

Aw...this is quite endearing. So sweet! Thanks for sharing it. Love that Michael has gotten so many together for such a special cause.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Grumpy pirate - funny!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Grumpy pirate is sweet. Makes for a cool story idea.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hey, Nick,

Thanks for posting your story!

Nothing like a grumpy pirate. ARGH! LOL. I love the fact that Grandpa doesn't want to disappoint his granddaughter... Rough and tough with a sensitive side.... That's what being a man is all about.

Chrys Fey said...

That is cute! I love that the grandpa pretended to be a grumpy pirate for his granddaughter. Very sweet. Thanks for sharing!

Nicki Elson said...

Aww! Very cute story, Nick. Grumpy Pirate & Niamh make a dynamic duo.

E.J. Wesley said...

Best title ever, Nick! :D Life can be heavy and I love when people come up with creative ways to lighten the burden. :)

Hart Johnson said...

Grumpy Pirate! I love it! Kids can offer the best solutions!

Michelle Wallace said...

Wonderful story, Nick.
Sweet and light-hearted. Grumpy Pirate and Niamh - the perfect pair.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

And having read this, Nick, I can't stop myself from smiling. I love that grandpa was creative enough to come out with kid friendly pirate expletives.

This story reminds me of a time when I babysat my nephew. He was nervous, with his parents gone, and he instructed me to play the "bad pirate." I didn't do nearly as well as Grandpa.

Take care, Nick. Thanks for sharing a great, upbeat story.

Jemi Fraser said...

Grumpy pirate is a cutie! :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Wonderful and sweet! I loved your grumpy pirate story! Kids know how to bring out the best in us, don't they?

Melissa Bradley said...

Such a beautiful story! Thank you so much for participating. You are the best. :)

Lynda R Young said...

The grumpy pirate. I love it.

Crystal Collier said...

Oh, Nick, that was so sweet. Loved every second of it.

Christine Rains said...

Love the grumpy pirate! Such a sweet story. :)

Theresa Milstein said...

Love the grumpy pirate line. It totally works!

Krista McLaughlin said...

Nick - I loved this! Such a sweet story with the pirate patch. :)

Mark Noce said...

Great cause! And cool short piece:)

farawayeyes said...

What a wonderful uplifting story. Life does go on and those who can go on in the face of 'whatever' are the true survivors.

Carol Kilgore said...

Cool story, Nick. Someimes we have to laugh so we don't cry.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick - that'll be one ride Niamh will remember for the rest of her life and which she'll draw from when necessary. Lovely and delightful tale - the grandchildren help so much ...

Grumpy pirate .. I loved Peter Pan - not sure if it wasn't Cap'n Hook though .. cheers Hilary

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

This is a great story, Nick. I love the way that you made it "a-day-in-the-life" and how life goes on even when the family is struck with cancer.

Hugs,

Kathy M.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

What a wonderful story! So funny. I thought and thought- trying to think of some light cancer story and came up with nothing. You met the challenge so well! Impressive work Nick!

Cathrina Constantine said...

Wonderful story!!! The grandkids called my dad, Grump Gramps or GG for short.

cleemckenzie said...

I loved the Grumpy Pirate Gramps got to be. Great fun for story about some serious stuff.

Empty Nest Insider said...

What an uplifting story about a grandfather's love for his granddaughter! Spending time with his granddaughter was the best medicine of all!

Julie

TBM said...

The grumpy pirate. Kids always get right to the heart of the matter. Nicely done and for such a great cause. Kudos to all of you.

Robyn Campbell said...

That grumpy pirate is one of the sweetest stories I've read. It proves love is the best medicine.

Stephanie Faris said...

I love this story! Very cute and sweet!

Shell Flower said...

I love how the blogging community is so supportive. You're story is absolutely adorable, too. A rare and precious moment.

Misha Gericke said...

This is a very nice idea, and you wrote a very sweet story to match it. ;-)

Meradeth Houston said...

What a great story! Wish we could have heard some of those expletives, haha! Definitely a great contribution to the hop.

jamieayres.com said...

Funny! And what a great cause :-)

Quanie Miller said...

So sweet! I have to echo the sentiments of the others: who can resist a grumpy pirate? :)

Nick Wilford said...

Thanks for the lovely comments! Quick update: my parents read this and thought it was a bit cheeky, but agreed that it was done affectionately and came from the right place. Just to confirm, my dad did suffer an eye infection from chemo and couldn't drive, but they don't look after Eve on Saturday as we live 450 miles apart. It totally could have happened, though!

Carrie Butler said...

You're so talented!