At the Library Serial Story Part 1 "The Truth About One-Eyed Uncle George" by LeAnn Kunz

At the Library
We are going to try something new and fun for the next few weeks. The Washington Writers’ Workshop is a monthly program at the library where local writers meet to hear presentations from other writers and teachers and to share their own writing for critique. We often do writing exercises to keep us creative, inspired, and learning. Several writers from our group agreed to try writing a serial story, where each week a person picks up writing the story where the last person left off. I hope you will enjoy reading and watching where this story goes every week. I have written the beginning which is presented here. The next part of the story will be published next week thanks to the Southeastern Iowa Union. Enjoy!

The Truth About One-Eyed Uncle George
A serial story
Part 1 by LeAnn Kunz

“So I suppose you want to ask me what happened to my left eye?” George peered one-eyed over the top of the stone wall and whispered as Lila rode sidesaddle on top of it. She gazed at the ancient mansion, three stories high, and the weedy garden you’d have to cross to get to it.

“Not particularly at this moment, George.”

“Well, it’s not a happy story, nor a funny one, so you would want to be sitting in front of a nice fire with a bit of port before I tell you.” George was grasping the edge of moss-covered stone and teetering on stack of wooden crates to see the house. His bowed legs were no match for the crates as they wobbled. He struggled to stay steady.

“Shh, George, I am trying to think here.”

Lila was in her mid-fifties and had only met “Uncle George” a few months ago. Her mother had claimed all her life that George had left Sandyville at eighteen and never came back. Yet when Lila’s mother passed away, George showed up at the funeral singing the “Old Rugged Cross” louder than the pastor and helping himself to a bite of every casserole in the church basement afterwards. He walked around chewing and consoling relatives as if he had been there all along. Lila, who prided herself on being the calm and sensible one in the family, decided to welcome him into her life. He deserved a chance, right? She should at least get to know him on her own terms. Yet today, when she found herself sitting on top of a dilapidated stone wall in her work slacks and blouse with George grunting and pulling in an attempt to join her, she began to question her own sanity.  What am I doing? Why didn’t I at least go home and put on my jeans, she thought.

The house was definitely in need of repair, but it also appeared to be inhabited. On this back side there was a sagging porch with a lone rocking chair. Two dirty pillows were there, one indented where someone had recently sat. Now the wind caught the edge of the chair and it rocked gently.

“Do you see anybody?” George hefted one leg atop the wall. Loose change fell out of his pocket and tinkled down the side.

“No, shhh George. Get down. You’ll hurt yourself.”

Lila was discovering she was no match for the determination of this new uncle in her life. He had already convinced her that this hair brain scheme was worth pursuing. Normally on a Friday night she would be home ordering a pizza and having a nice glass of wine in front of the TV. Tonight was turning into an adventure and not one she was particularly excited about.

“Lila, you are going to want to know about my eye before we introduce ourselves to the folks here. Guess we should have had this conversation earlier.”

George grunted once more and managed to pull his body up alongside her on the wall. Now they were sitting side by side, casting their late afternoon shadows onto the garden below. The shadows made them larger, more menacing than their true selves. Anyone who looked out the window of the mansion would be quite surprised to see a well-dressed middle-aged woman and a disheveled, skinny old man sitting there on the stone wall staring back at them.