Gran’s Perfect Memory (Flash Fiction)

Last year I wrote a short story about Mary finding the empty tomb in honor of Resurrection Sunday, and this year I wanted to do something similar. But try as I would, nothing was clicking for me. That’s how writing works for me. I have to get sucked into the story. It’s almost as if God’s telling me a story and I’m just waiting for Him to tell me the next bit. So after some thinking, this story settled in my mind. A tiny snapshot of life. A cozy memory. This isn’t my memory, but it feels like a moment that I would want to hang onto if I was Gran. What could be more perfect than dancing in your kitchen with a loved one on Easter morning?

“The secret is a little extra cinnamon.”

With an expert flick of her wrist, Gran spread the earthy spice across the dough. “The recipe calls for one tablespoon, but I like to add just a little more.”

From her perch on the countertop, Laura giggled. Pushing dark curls out of her face, she inspected Gran’s handiwork. The temptation to stick a finger in the sugary powder that covered the buttery dough was nearly irresistible. Laura sat on her hands to keep herself from ruining breakfast.

“Now watch.”

Gently folding one side, Gran began to roll until the dough was a tight log.

“Scootch over so I can get that knife in the drawer.”

Laura obliged and watched Gran take out the knife. “Uncle Nick always uses a special wire thingy to cut them. He says it makes them look nicer.”

Gran snorted. “Your uncle Nick is too worried about appearances.” Laura opened her mouth to ask what that meant but Gran waved a hand and added, “Now, I would love to have some music.”

This was Laura’s specialty. Hopping down from the counter, she used the kitchen chair to reach the small radio that had always sat in the corner of Gran’s kitchen. Within a few seconds, she had the radio tuned to Gran’s favorite station. The opening lines of Good Good Father filled the kitchen and Gran swayed as she placed cinnamon rolls into glass pans.

The thin sash of her well-worn apron swung as Gran danced around the kitchen. The red and white striped fabric caught the sunlight that came in through the kitchen window, reminding Laura of peppermint candy. She loved that apron. One day it might even be hers.

“Come here, lovey.”

Gran scooped Laura into her arms and they made a slow circuit around the kitchen. Laura leaned her head against Gran’s chest, counting each step against the beat of Gran’s heart.

The song ended and the DJ began a cheerful message about the power of Jesus’s resurrection. With a sigh, Gran kissed the top of Laura’s head and set her back down on the countertop.

“I’ll miss dancing with you one day.”

“I’ll dance with you anytime you want,” Laura said, eyeing the rolls which were now cushioned in their pans and topped with a kitchen towel.

“Ah, I hope so. But there may come a day when you’ll want to sleep in on Easter morning instead of being up with your Gran making cinnamon rolls.”

“Nope.” Laura kicked her feet and watched Gran wipe down surfaces. “That day will never come. You’ll see.”

“Oh, I pray that it never does, lovey. I pray it never does.”

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