Grampa's Books

Avatar Author: Bob Liddil I am an author of science fiction, general fiction short stories, poetry, and non-fiction. I have been published in several genres, including fantasy and poetry, as well as non fiction. At one time I published my own c... Read Bio

A fist connected with my face and down I went.

Somebody shouted, “fight” and suddenly the whole playground surrounded him, standing and gloating at me on the ground at his feet.

I started to get up, but before I could, he kicked me hard, squarely in the stomach. Down I went again, out of breath and crying.

“Teacher coming,” someone said. The crowd vanished like ghosts. Bruised and crying I went off to the nurse’s office.

“There’s a new book on your desk,” Mom said as I came up on our porch after school. “It came in the mail today from your grandad.”

I didn’t see him often. He wasn’t much for letters, but every so often, Grandad sent me a book. It was uncanny the way those books always seemed to be a mirror image of what was going on in my life at the time. On that day, the book, Aviation Stories For Boys, told how Slim Tyler, famous aviator, overcame bullies to become a hero.

50 years later, my grampa is gone, but the library he gave me still remains and I revisit it more often than you might think.

View this story's details


Oh no! This story doesn't have a prequel. Want to fill in the blanks and write one?


Oh no! This story doesn't have a sequel. Want to fill in the blanks and write one?

Comments (7 so far!)

Average Reader Rating

  1. Avatar 32 Squared

    Beautifully told. Your grandfather choosing the gift of books is a rare and dying trend. Instead of spending his time telling you what you should and shouldn’t do, he gifted you the opportunity to take from the books what you needed and saving the rest for later. Thanks for sharing, I’ve held on to a few books too; reading the inscriptions often.

  2. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    This is worthy of ‘chicken soup for the soul’!

  3. Avatar Sir Bic

    Bob, this is a very nice story. It did surprise me a bit though. I thought you would take Grampa’s Book to school with you the next day, and hit the bully up-side-the-head with it! Where was the slingshot when you needed it, right?

    Your Grampa sounds like a great man, thanks for sharing a little of him with us.

  4. Avatar Bob Liddil

    I have been experimenting with “hook” openings lately, both here and in the flash fiction category (1000 words). Hence, the fight scene. In ficly, unlike flash, one must choose the story carefully so as to fit it all in the space provided.

    The “flash” version of this story allows for much more elaboration due to the luxury of space.

    I am grateful that you (all) are reading these. I very much look forward to these comments.

  5. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Lovely idea and nicely told. The last part got kind of exposition-y, but I’m not sure how you could overcome that in the character limits. It is a really neat idea, the mysterious character of the grandfather and his uncanny book selections.

  6. Avatar stargazer1960

    I like this a lot. It made me sad at first, but I am glad there is a hero for everyone. This one named Grampa.

  7. Avatar Horrorfan13

    This is neat. I love receiving books as gifts even if it’s just a gift certificate so I can pick out what I really want! Oddly, my grandfather often buys me books as gifts too. Wonderful story!

This story's tags are