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One Final Kick At the Can

Remembering those who came before.

By Juniper JonesPublished about a year ago 3 min read
One Final Kick At the Can
Photo by Jaunathan Gagnon on Unsplash

What can I say the night seemed out of place like walking into a room and catching static from everyone who notices you walk in, except, that there was no one around this Christmas. The light filtered off the streetlights like some kind of wild flurry of dust that resembled to him like so much flour drifting in the air. Blowing by in the light to come falling softly to the ground covering the paved streets and sidewalks with its fine dust.

As he walked the snow made that audible crunch that reminded him of his mother spooning out cornstarch from the box. That sound that it made would always make him think of her and the comforting way the smells of the kitchen would surround him while she was in one of her domestic frenzies. It was almost like watching her when she was pregnant with his little brother. “Nesting” was putting it nicely. A whirlwind of activity that resulted in a floor that you could lick ice cream off of it or not worry if the toddler picked up a cheerio and ate it. The kid wasn’t going to die from it.

With a shiver he smiled to himself and wandered down the path by his mother’s home. It reeked of good will to all mankind and shone with as much light. You could practically cut the air with the smells of home baked cookies and turkey. A note was left on the porch, and he picked it up and examined the script written there:

To Laurie:

I know you went for a walk. Is everything ok? Talk to me.



Laurie didn’t know what to say to her. It was as if he were to say anything the magical bubble that was surrounding her would implode the stark reality that her son would be leaving would set in then he would have to gently tell her that he had to do this.

His mother had always seen him as the rock of the family. The responsible one. The one that would never leave his mother abandoned especially right after the holidays.

He stuffed the letter into his jacket pocket and let himself in the front foyer to take off his shoes.

A muffled hello came from the living room and Laurie smiled when he realized his grandfather was waking up from his nap and getting ready for the Christmas dinner that was about to be served.

“Laurie. Come ‘ere.”

“What do you need Grand Da?”

“Grab me the stoker for the fire would ya?”

Laurie complied and grabbed the poker for the fire from beside the fireplace not noticing the warm yet scrutinizing gaze of his elder. There was a silence, then finally Laurie’s grandfather spoke.

“What’s on your mind. I saw you leave.”

Laurie was silent for a second or two. He didn’t know how his grandfather would react either and he decided to risk it and confide in him.

“I’ve come to a decision about something that has been on my mind lately, Grandpa. That’s all.”

“Oh, and what was that?”

“Promise that you won’t get mad or tell Mom?”

“Sure, I promise. Now out with it. What’s been decided?”

“I’ve enlisted. I’m leaving.”

Laurie’s grandfather sat up from the couch and ran his hand over his beard, thinking to himself before saying what Laurie’s uttermost fear.

“Have you told your mother?”

Laurie crossed the living room, glancing to make sure that his mom was still in the kitchen, and sat down next to his grandfather. His head came down to meet his hands as he began to think about what to say.


His grandfather pulled a blanket over his lap and looked at Laurie straight in the eye.

“Why not?”

“You know how she is. She won’t listen.”

Amazingly Laurie’s grandfather began to laugh. This came as a shock to him and the look on his face only made his grandfather snicker the more.

“You know for all the time you spend together; you both really are so much alike and yet so different. Laurie, you must tell her. You might be surprised with her reaction.”

Laurie could feel his smile creep back to face. His grandfather was right.

“Alright, I will. I guess it can’t hurt. Even if it is one last kick at the can.”

Laurie did kick that can one last good kick. All the way back from the war and into the loving home from whence he came. The war had taken a lot from him, but he had been able to be one of the lucky ones that had actually returned. This was the war to end all wars.


About the Creator

Juniper Jones

A woman with an inked and indented index finger bent over a keyboard wondering: "Am I really going to do this?"

Writing hopefully will be able to support my renovations.

And to my friends and cohorts: Forgive me. I know naught what I write.

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