GRANDPA'S OLD WALKING STICKThe two of them came round to divide up their Grandpa's things."So don't think you're going to get all the good stuff." Jane had to say something, anything just to break the silence."We never really knew him," said her brother. He could remember the Christmas visits but not much in between. "People round here must have liked him. They seemed to treat him with some sort of respect. Anyway, why should you get the good stuff?""I've got the things ready for you," Mum spoke quietly as she took them through to the backroom. She had arranged everything in a single neat row on the old carpet. She didn't stay to watch.They fell silent and the slow ticking of an old clock at the far end of the row seemed strangely loud. Jane found herself thinking that it looked like a gravestone. She felt her hand brushing something off her face.At first they were reluctant to disturb anything for it felt like they were intruding but soon they were busy looking. They tried to spot anything of value but mostly they wanted to find links to their own memories.The old man's watch caught their attention and they passed it back and forwards. It was a Rolex, possibly the only really good thing he had ever owned."It's a man's watch. You should have it. Do you remember when we were young and he had just got it as a special Christmas present? He was so proud and he just kept looking and looking at it.""That was the problem. Remember we heard that these two young thugs had picked up on the idea that it was worth stealing and followed him into the park. Good for Grandpa. He wasn't too young even then but he sent them running.""He always said he could thank his walking stick for that," said Jane."From what we heard, they were bleeding all over the place.""You always loved that story. Okay, you'll have the watch but I want this." Jane reached over to take the old man's walking stick.Just then, Mum came in with cups of tea."Be careful," said Mum. "Don't cut yourself on Grandpa's old sword stick."endGrandpa's Old Walking Stick was as a competition runner-up in the electronic and print editions of Gold Dust Issue 13,Summer 2008.