CorrespondenceWritingQuotationsBooksPoetryCreative WritingNewspapers & Magazines

The Carriage Driver³ - Fussy Eleanor

Updated on June 26, 2017

Griffin looked at the name in the book. It was the first time ever that a name was accompanied by two pages of instructions. Most of the notations were things that he always attended to anyway. ‘Sparkling clean Carriage,’ ‘Well Groomed Attendant,’ ‘A Team of Four Gleamering Black Horses’ – Well that was not going to happen. He continued reading, ‘Castle in the Sky,’ ‘Hand Stitched Gown.’ He closed the book. His fare was a modern day Cinderella. Instead of pumpkins and mice and singing birds, she had the devoted attention of her daughter.

Griffin smiled to himself. He walked up to Nuelle. “A fare has asked for her carriage to be drawn by four black horses. This may be the first time in our history, that a fare will be disappointed to see our arrival. We will both have to stay calm.”

After finishing with the carriage, Griffin put a check mark by ‘sparkling carriage.’ He drew the harness over Nuelle head, and guided her to be hitched. “Come on girl, we will pretend to be a well groom attendant and a carriage drawn by four horses.”

He reached the curb in front of the hospice house just as the daughter was leaving the house after a visit. Griffin stepped down, walked toward the daughter and placed his hand on her shoulder as she fiddled with the lock on her car door. Tears filled her eyes. Griffin continued to the front door and walked in unnoticed by the row of patients watching seated in front of a big screen TV.

A young Eleanor stood by the side of the bed. She took a comb from a little metal Victorian slipper shaped cup intended for pencils and combed the hair on the head of the eighty-nine year old that lay still in the bed.

Griffin walked to the closet and retrieved a hand stitched gown and brought it to Eleanor. “We are in no hurry at all.”

It wasn’t until Griffin handed her the gown that she realized she was standing there without clothing. She admired her new twenty-four year old body. Then stepped into the gown. The gown fit perfectly. Like in her dreams. “It is not customary for a man to enter a lady’s boudoir without an invitation.”

“You will find that many of the things that are customary in this realm, are unnecessary in the next realm.”

Eleanor smiled and thought, We’ll see about that. After years of pain in her knees, ankles and wrist, she felt wonderful. “Dance with me?”

Griffin stood there – unsure.

Eleanor turned to the nightstand where there was a CD player, brought by her daughter, which had helped pass the final days with music. She turned down the volume knob and flipped a button. An old Big Band song began and she walked over to Griffin and took his hands. The wood laminate floor was a perfect dance floor. The two glided in circles for the few moments the music played. “Thank you," she glanced at the body in the bed. She went and put her hand on the bruised hand of her former self. “You did good.” She turned to Griffin, “Get me out of here.”

The two walked through the gauntlet, passed the patients awaiting their turns and out the front door. When Eleanor saw Nuelle, she gasped. “She is the most beautiful creature I have ever seen.”

Griffin walked to the step of the carriage and held out his hand. Eleanor paused and eyed the carriage. When satisfied with the look and smell she took Griffin’s hand and stepped inside.

“I was married for fifty years to Bruce, my first husband. He fought and struggled and lost his battle just a short time after we celebrated our fiftieth anniversary. “There were so many in attendance to help us with the celebration of our life together. He was in the big war. When he went in, I promised to wait for him. He was not one of those glorified Flyboys that flew to work, then flew home. No sir, he said he walked everywhere they sent him. Of course that was not true. He spent weeks on a troop carrying ship. It was years, but he finally came home. Our small little town did not have much to offer. But we started our family and he went to school on the GI Bill.” She paused.

“He worked and went to school and after graduation went into teaching. Once my girls were grown some, I went back to school. Eventually we were both teachers. We worked to service the children in our community. The schools offered safety and we taught responsibility and citizenship, along with reading and writing.”

Eleanor threw her arms in the air. She felt marvelous. Her heart and soul were free. So far on this new journey, she had already danced with a handsome stranger.

She looked out upon the cobblestoned path. “I always dreamed of a castle. My husband and I travelled, but it was in an Air Stream motor home. Summer time would come, school was out. He would load everything he could think of and put it into the back. He’d hook up a big eight cylinder Chrysler and we would set out for parts unknown. We visited the Big Sky country and the National monuments. We would poke through the South with their mansions and their Spanish moss. One summer we spent in what Bruce called Lighthouse Country. We were the King and Queen of the road. We ended up with friends that we kept in contact with in the lower forty-eight.”

Stone angels stood on side posts along the cobblestoned path. “This reminds me of a fairytale entrance in a long forgotten dream. Everything is well maintained. Even the few leaves tumbling along the cobblestones have an air about them. She listened to the wheels talking to the cobblestones.

“He and I were both fighters. Every challenge, and believe me there were many, we tackled. We were never forced to change course. We were part of something big. The country was to be explored and men hardened by war and the women who stood by them explored it. I hope once I get to where I am going there will be many roads to explore. I am sure that Bruce will have a shiny Air Stream waiting and once again, he and I will set off for parts unknown. Once again, we will soak in a river along a tree lined bank. We will fry a freshly caught trout, drink an icy cold beer and try our hand at pan fired biscuits. And most of all I will talk and talk and talk. People should talk more. Don’t you think?”

Griffin cleared his throat.

Eleanor spotted a steeple that pierced the sky. ‘Is that the castle? It looks just like the castle of my dreams. I hope there is a big luxurious bed and people who will bring me coffee in the mornings and hot tea in the evenings. I mean just until Bruce shows up with the Air Stream. Then, once I get everything in its correct place and check over the supplies. I have to make sure I have enough shampoo. I have to verify there is a trailer jack, once we forgot the trailer jack and were on the side of the road for hours until another pair of vagabonds arrived. The men fixed the tires and the women made a meal and we swapped stories for a couple of days before we said…….”

Nuelle pulled the carriage up to the large double doors of the castle. Griffin stepped down and held out his hand to help her down.

A tall, quiet man wearing a tuxedo came from the castle doors to greet her. “Ma’am, your quarters are ready.”

Griffin climbed back aboard. Parked along the side of the castle was shiny Air Stream. A thin young man with red hair was polishing the outside. The man looked up and waved to Griffin.

Louis Armstrong - What a wonderful world

John Denver-"Rocky Mountain High"

© 2017 mckbirdbks

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very cool, thank you. The Carl Vincent Strike Group is arriving in our Fighter Town. We just celebrate their safe return.

      The idea of separate zones of reality makes a great forum of thought.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 4 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Eric Dierker - Thanks for visiting this episode of the Carriage Drive. Nice that the Carl Vincent Strike Group is coming to your town.

      Indeed there are seperate zones of reality. We all quibble about just what those zones are and how one goes about arriving there. That is a general point of the Carriage Driver stories.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 weeks ago from South Africa

      The idea you are installing in mind - that all my dreams will be fulfilled when I entered the next phase of my existence - makes me smile. Remind me of my early childhood, when I thought the life of a princess was the ideal and I should hunt down a frog. Sadly, the frog I met never turned into a prince :(

      Eleanor, however, got herself a prince. I am glad she will be living in a castle until its time to move on again.

      This story arouses happiness. Thank you, Mck!

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 4 weeks ago from Hereford, AZ

      I knew many that loved to explore like this. Dennis would have been ecstatic to be able to live like that. We had a motor home for a bit, and every chance he got, we would be out going somewhere. I just told him that I needed to have a home to come to in between trips. I need some of my family heritage around me in order to be happy.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 4 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Martie – I see no reason why all your dreams cannot come true. There is just no other good option, is there? It is my understanding that there are a good many frogs in the pond, that do not have princely attributes. Some people get lucky with their choice. Thanks fore liking the story. It was quickly written.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 4 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hi Becky – Some people have that gypsy gene. Some do not. Traveling all over the place sounds like it would be fun. I am sure there are many tradeoffs to the whole idea. Glad Dennis was able to hit the road now and then. It is also good that you have found a home – a place where you can find some happiness. I hope all is well with you.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 4 weeks ago from Texas

      Quite nostalgic. Then again, that's one of the things I like about this series of yours. Thanks for the trip down memory lane with your Queen of the Road.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 4 weeks ago from Hereford, AZ

      Right now, I am doing well. Although I need to get a new Heat pump/ac. The ac went out and when I called them out to fix it, they let me know that the type of freon they need to refill after they find the leak, is being phased out. I figured out really quick while we were going over the cost to fix it, that it would just about be cheaper to replace it. It will only be twice as much to replace it, and then it should be good for the rest of my life. It comes with a 20 year warranty, with the proper servicing. Lol. I am having them replace it next week. That is the soonest they could schedule the install in. Meantime, I am hoping for cooler weather and that my fans keep going.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 weeks ago from Jeffersonville PA

      "Eleanor turned to the nightstand where there was a CD player, brought by her daughter, which had helped pass the final days with music." This act of love and beauty touches me beyond belief.

      Hoping each and every heavenly day spent by Eleanor is filled with the same music - whether dancing with handsome strangers or on the road with Bruce and their Airstream.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      My first novel, "The 12/59 Shuttle," is about separate realities....not only a fantasy but also my views on this life we live and the possibilities out there we have not discovered yet. Great read as always, Mike!

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 4 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Shannon – At eighty-nine you mostly have nostalgia as company. Thank you.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 4 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hi Becky – I don’t know how that A/C could have picked a worst time to break down. Glad you can get it replaced quickly. I understand that your area has been too hot. The temperatures have dropped by about 10 degrees here, hopefully you are also given a break from those reported highs.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 4 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Maria – I recently listened to an opera playing on a CD player in an otherwise quiet room. The scene was unreal as it plays out in my mind. Loneliness draped the room. Bruce and Eleanor put plenty of miles on that Chrysler while towing the Air Stream. I came close to selecting King of the Road for a song to accompany this story.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 4 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Bill – Looks like I am going to have to buy a book. Thanks for the compliment. I spend a lot of time thinking of the possibilities, wondering if there are any left.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 weeks ago from Nashville Tn.

      Oh, how I love this series! And the beautiful message this story brings fills me with delight. I'm ready, willing and able to begin my next journey. Thanks dear Mike.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 4 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Audrey - What a very kind comment. Thank you. You have, from what you have told us, lead such a rewarding life. Your love of music has given you wings. That said, I am sure your going to be rewarded, but there is no hurry. No hurry at all.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas

      What a lovely thought, that we will get our young bodies back again in the hereafter. This story reminds me so much of the two ladies in my life, whose memories revolve around days gone by, different adventures, strong legs, good ears, and the energy to dance. The Airstream was a nice touch, Mike. Our childhood family started out in an 8 x 35' Airstream that followed behind our V8 Cadillac on our travels from place to place. Well done on sharing the tale of this trip with fussy Eleanor. She found her Prince at last.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 4 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Peg – We may have no need for our young bodies, but if we are going to get around, I would prefer a more limber body than the current one. Remembering V8 engines was fun. At one time I drove a Delta 88, it was a monster of a car. Eleanor and Bruce traveled the highways and byways, it was an American life, for sure. It is my hope that they are together again and on the back roads exploring all that there is offered to explore. Yes, I agree Fussy Eleanor and Bruce are together with all the love they shared in their youth. Thanks for visiting.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 weeks ago from Riga, Latvia

      Really enjoy these stories of yours. Loved the music.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 4 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Gypsy Rose Lee - Thank you, that is very kind. I appreciate your visits.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 4 weeks ago from Texas

      You did it again Mike, did you read my "Chased on Vacation" Eleanor and Bruce sounds like Mae and Jim (my stepfather) during my pre-teen through early-teen years, this brings back many memories.

      I love the videos all.

      Blessings and hugs.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 4 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Shy - I think the generation before us had a more keen sense of wonderlust. They just packed up and headed out on the highway when they could get away. People still do some traveling, but it seems they pack into airports to rush to their destinations.

      Glad this brought back happy memories. Thanks for the visit and the blessings.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Just beautiful, Mike. What a great read to start my day and two uplifting songs as well.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 4 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Thank you John - I appreciate your visit.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 weeks ago from Massachusetts, USA

      One of the characteristics I like so much about your writing is that there are unique lines that catch our mind and dreams. Subtle, yet stunning. Such as, "She took a comb from a little metal Victorian slipper shaped cup intended for pencils and combed the hair on the head of the eighty-nine year old that lay still in the bed." And, "She listened to the wheels talking to the cobblestones." This is writing. Beautifully done, Mike, And the songs are the perfect bonus.

    • mckbirdbks profile image
      Author

      mckbirdbks 3 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Genna – Thank you for such a kind comment. I ‘see’ things and then try to describe the scenes. Hence, often the flowery prose. I appreciate your comment. I keep coming up with interesting titles for stories, but no corresponding story. The latest title is ‘Cold Milk in a Glass Jar’ – just no story.

    Click to Rate This Article