A short story with a flash back


“Come on Gramps, you old steam train!” Yelled a voice.
“Calm down you ‘rat-bag,’ I’m old you know” replied another from within the brush. A head popped out, slightly wind-beaten and worn, “where ya to?” he asked. There was a small rustling to the right of him, “Not tellin’!” the voice yelled again. “I got better hearin’ than you may think, me laddy. I know where yer too Danny!” said the old man sneakily as he gently eased himself from some brambles. There was a short silence of anticipation until finally a small boy of around 7 years old came darting out of the bushes, “ha, ha, but you still can’t catch me!”
“Yer right there!” muttered the old man to himself. “You don’t half wear me out, I tell ya!”
“When are we going to your den Granddad?” asked Danny, with the same tone as the last few times. “We’re nearly there” replied the Grandfather. “Where’s Jess?”
“I dunno, probably in the river again”
“Oh bugger, your Grandma in’t gonna be best pleased I’m thinking.” The Granddad then put his fingers to his mouth and let out a high-amplified whistle. The two of them stood still, awaiting some kind of movement. Quickly their eyes flew right to see a light brown lurcher sprint towards them with a look of desperation in her face. “Come on girl!” Yelled Granddad. He cuddled the dog for a long time, trying to slow them down from getting to the den. “Come on Granddad, or we won’t ever get there in time!”
“Alright, just give me a moment.”
“You alright Granddad?”
“Yeah, just… just a bit of arthritis kickin’ in. Come on then.” They began walking for a short time until they came across a field that squeezed between huge woodland and a large trading estate hidden behind new-planted trees and a 10-foot fence. “Danny, if you look just around the corner here you might spot a small opening down the bottom.”
“Ah, wicked! Is that where your den is?” and without waiting for a reply, Danny went running off, only to disappear as expected. The old man took his time walking over, looking at the surroundings, and remembering what it was like when he was young. Still the same little snug area hidden away from the smoky city. Here the air wasn’t thick and fumy, just fresh and clean, with the spring morning crispness of the countryside. “Come on Granddad, it’s well cool in ‘ere!” shouted an exited voice from within the bushes. The grandfather put his fist to his mouth and closed his eyes, trying to shut out the memories that were trying to fight there way into his head. “Just fight it Bob, come on!” he muttered to himself, “Just…just go in”. Slowly he began crawling down on his knees and through the brush, pulling off the brambles as they clung to his jacket. “Wicked Granddad! Can I use this den as well?” asked Danny with wide eyes and the sound of excitement in his voice. Bob put on a smiling face to hide the emotions that were flooding through him. “Um…course…yeah” The old man lifted himself slowly to his feet, brushed himself off, and leant back to admire a forgotten memorial of his childhood. Having tried to block it out for so long, he was trying to remember his childhood again. His mouth dropped slightly and with contrasting emotions going through him a tear fell from his eye and off his cheek. Looking around he could see everything as he had then, as if it had been untouched or all these years; The trees shot upwards around a small 10 foot by 12 foot area, leaning inwards more as they went up to cover the bare patch completely. The leaves from all sides met in the middle and let in little, but strong beams of warm, radiant springtime sunshine that scattered the ground beneath his feet. He could feel the rush and excitement, the power that this place possessed as it did when he was young. It was like rediscovering a very precious yet lost belonging. Soon he was feeling four and a half foot tall and full of energy. The childish, adventurous