A piece of flash fiction, inspired once more by Chuck Wendig's weekly challenge.
Deadline: 3rd June 2016, noon EST
My submission: 999 words
"Bang!" went the champagne corks in celebration of our anniversary. It was one of those gorgeous early summer evenings that you get sometimes and the sound took me right back to when we first met.
The whole family had joined us but our little grandson, Jesper, was being fractious. Jesper loved Ole the best, but Ole was working the barbeque. To distract Jesper, I decided to tell him how I met his favourite person.
Much to my surprise, he squiggled and wiggled around on my lap, then quieted down, but not before asking "is it a soppy story Grandma?" I laughed "no, no, no, for your Grandpa and me it started with a bang! A very big and loud bang!" Jesper giggled "did Grandpa make the big bang Grandma, or did you?" Chuckling at my grandson, I replied: "it was an aeroplane - but the noise made me jump and drop my camera. But I was lucky that day, your Grandpa caught it for me and that's how we met."
"How come Grandpa caught your camera, Grandma? Wasn't he using his camera? How could he do both?" Jesper was a smart kid and he knew his Grandpa always got caught up in his photography, noticing nothing around him. "True Jesper, he was taking pictures, but I think maybe he'd noticed me and maybe even liked me a little bit." For some reason, this caused my grandson to laugh out loud. "Grandpa!" he shouted, "when you first met Grandma, did you have your eye on her?" Ole called back "how do you mean 'have my eye on her'?" "Well," says Jesper, "otherwise how would you notice her dropping her camera if you were meant to be taking pictures?" At this, Ole laughed out loud too. "Caught!" he exclaimed, "and by a little kid too!"
Then my daughter Jen asks: "so are we going to hear the story of how Daddy stole you away from Uncle Mark then?" "Ha!" I snorted, "I was never your Uncle Mark’s in the first place, even if your Daddy did think so when he first met us both. It's just Mark's little joke." Now Mark is not their Uncle, but has been a good friend for many a year. "Your Uncle Mark had been hiding away too long after breaking-up with his girlfriend, so I’d gone over to drag him out. He'd been going on about some shindig at a nearby airfield where old jets got to race up and down the runway making a load of noise. It all sounded a tad testorone-laden to me, but if it got Mark out of his miserable pit, I was game. And anyway, I'd just bought a new little camera and a bundle of lenses, so I reckoned they'd keep me amused."
"When we got there, I almost changed my mind and went home. So many guys with huge lenses in one place - it was almost laughable. What wasn't laughable though was how much they bumped and barged to get to the front. Eventually we found a space. Mark stood one side of me, but on the other side was this giant of a man." There were various rumbles in the audience at the recognition of Ole, but I ignored them and continued with my story. "Whilst he had a big lens on his camera, he didn't bump or barge me. I noticed that he wasn't just tall, he was also as broad as that proverbial outhouse. It was strange standing beside someone so big. Y'all know I'm not small, but I felt really quite girly standing beside him. And, you know, I rather liked that."
My audience were now making encouraging noises and Ole, oh he was nodding and chuckling away quietly to himself, so I went on: "He was there with a friend and I have to admit I was listening in to their conversation." My daughers gave me a big cheer before I went on: "I discovered his name was Ole and his friend's name was Mat. I'd just heard Mat saying to Ole "this is when it gets really loud" when there was this enormous explosion and black smoke shot out of the aircraft engines." Jesper excitedly squealed Ooooo!"
"Yes, I admit that I did shriek out loud, Jesper. I also dropped my camera. And Ole caught it. But rather than give it back to me, he bent down, rumaged in his bag and pulled out a strap. He attached this to my camera, then put it around my neck saying "There, now you won't drop it next time." I was left standing there, feeling like a complete idiot, when there was another explosion. This time I managed not to shriek, even if I did jump. Of course, my camera was safe around my neck, just as Ole had said it would be."
"Of course, we all chatted a bit, but all too soon it was all over and Ole started to pack up. I went to remove his strap, thinking how much I wanted him to ask my for phone number. But he insisted I should keep the strap suggesting, with that smile of his, that my need was greater. It seemed like he was just going to walk away so I blurted out "please let me buy you a drink to say thank you". He caught Uncle Mark's eye over my head, who promised he did all he could to say "we're not together" without words." "Hurray for Uncle Mark" shouted out one or two voices. "Well, we had that drink, during which time I'm told I was very unsubtle indeed about not being 'with' Uncle Mark, which is why he makes me suffer with that terrible joke and why I let him!"
The moral of this story? Say "pah" to all that romantic 'it started with a kiss' stuff. I say get started with a bang and celebrate it with a bang on your anniversary.