Weekly Short Story: Oure Jorf

I’ve noticed that a lot of the stories I have been writing have a darker ending. I’m not sure if that is by chance or that I just have a dark soul. I have several writing prompts that I collect from various sources. This story was from a prompt that caught my eye. The title is from a failed attempt at trying to get Adobe Firefly to put a specific word on the title of a book. It failed miserably every single time. The title is me just rolling with it.

Artwork by Adobe Firefly

Oure Jorf

The sun was shining through the bedroom window. It was bright and just warm enough to cause little Annie to begin the slow journey to consciousness. She peeled the covers back from her pink colored Caramia bed and yawned. It was a Saturday. This Saturday was going to be special because he grandma would be visiting and if she was very lucky, grandma might take her to the antique book store. She loved going there.

The antique bookstore had a name but Annie could never remember what it was. The name was too long. Even when her grandma told her what it was, she would mispronounce it and that was embarrassing so she decided to call it the antique book store and be done with it. The store had a unique smell that she had never experienced anywhere else.

Annie climbed out of bed and put her robe on. The floor was littered with stuffed animals. She had to navigate around them to find her slippers, the ones with the elephant ears on them. Once secured, she walked out of her bedroom, down the hall, and down the main stairwell. Her destination was the kitchen where she would surely find her parents awake and having breakfast.

The voices coming from the kitchen were unfamiliar. A man’s voice and a woman’s voice, both of them she didn’t recognize. As she continued walking towards the kitchen, there it was. She could hear her grandmother’s voice. It didn’t sound like it usually did. She seemed upset. Annie approached the kitchen.

“Oh my, Annie. Good morning dear.”, Grandma said, “I’d like to introduce you to officer Hansen and Officer Bellows.” Annie looked down at the floor and then up at the two police officers. “Hi. I’m Annie,” she said. “Hi Annie, nice to meet you,” Officer Hansen said. The other Officer just smiled at her awkwardly and said nothing. There were glances exchanged between Grandma and the officers and then Grandma stood up and escorted Annie back to the living room. She picked up Annie and put her on the small couch.

“Annie. I’m so sorry to tell you this but your mom and dad will not be coming home. They went out last night for…well, who knows what.” She stumbled. “They were in a car accident.” Annie looked at the ground. Her mind raced around trying to understand what it meant to never see her mother and father again. Tears began falling down her cheeks as her grandmother grabbed her and embraced her.

They spent an hour in the living room together. Grandma reassured Annie that she would be ok and that Grandma would be moving in to take care of her. The little girl curled up on the couch and sobbed. The tears flowed freely from her eyes. Little Annie’s world was turned upside down in a few moments on a Saturday morning. A morning that was supposed to be happy and fun. This was the worst day of her little life. Annie eventually picked herself up off the couch and walked back up to her bedroom while her grandmother went back into the kitchen.

Annie sobbed herself back to sleep. She didn’t know how much time had passed until her grandmother came up to wake her. “I’ve got an idea Annie. Why don’t you and I go out for a bit? It will take our minds off this horrible day.” Annie wasn’t sure what to do about anything. Going out with grandma seemed like something that might help. “Sure, grandma.” She said.

Their first stop was a small diner that they frequented on their Saturday excursions. It had been a long morning and neither of them could really eat anything at the house. After a nice breakfast, they continued their excursion down the cobblestone street to a small antique bookstore. The sign above the entrance read, “V’ger Books.” It was a weird name to be sure but Annie loved this place. She smiled as she entered with her grandma in tow.

“I’m going over to the science section Annie. If you need me for anything, that is where I’ll be.” Grandma said. “Ok grandma. I’m going to wonder around.” Something caught Annie’s eye in the back corner of the store. It was always pretty dark back there so she typically passed it by on her previous visits. Today, she would most certainly check it out. Why not? Life wasn’t really treating her well right now. A little exploration might help take her mind off the death of her parents.

The dark section had a bunch of weird titles that Annie really didn’t understand. She was about to turn around and leave when a book with a two word title caught her eye. Oure Jorf. She picked the small book up and opened it to the first page. “This is the Journal of Meaning. Use this journal to write about everything that goes on in your life. If something doesn’t go your way, craft your own version of the story. May you find it helpful. Love, Sudose (author).”

It sounded like a lot of doublespeak to Annie. She may have only been twelve but she knew weirdness when she read it. Still. She liked the idea of keeping a journal. She walked over to the science section with her new found discovery in her hand. “I found something grandma. It’s a journal. Can I have it?” She asked. “Of course you can, dear.” Grandma said. Annie’s face lit up for the first time today since the tragic news.

Annie went up to her bedroom and sat at her desk. Her new journal in front of her with a blank page. What should she write about for her first entry? She thought about how the day went. About the hope of seeing grandma and going to the bookstore but the story where her parents were still both alive. The beginning of the book talked about crafting a new story if you don’t like the real one. “Ok, journal. I’m taking your advice. Let’s see how this goes.” Annie said as she picked up her pen and began to write.

The next morning, Annie climbed out of bed and grabbed her robe. The elephant ear slippers were never where they were supposed to be. She found them and slipped them on. Still a little groggy, she walked down the main stairway and continued towards the kitchen. She heard voices, a man and a woman. They were laughing and joking with each other. Annie stopped at the entrance. She glanced at the man and then over to the woman. “Mom! Dad!.”