This is the very lightly edited free-written fantasy story of Cassie Delong and the legacy left to her by her Grandfather involving time travel, deceit, magic, mystery and even a little romance. If you want to know what happens next, leave a comment. Thanks for reading!
Sitting in a stately home discussing the preparations for her grandad’s funeral, Cassie turned to her father with tears in her eyes and asked “ I don’t understand, I just don’t understand. How could this have happened?” Her father looked into her eyes and said, “sweetie, I know it’s difficult but he is gone. He’s not coming back this time.”
Cassie Delong is 19 years old. She loves a great adventure. Her grandad would regale her with wondrous tales of the people he met on his travels as well as the interesting lives they led. She was never quite sure if he was telling the truth but she loved to listen to him speak. He would disappear for weeks and months on end then suddenly appear at the door and ask “hey there, what’s for dinner?” Cassie’s father Eric was never a believer in the stories of his father in law ever since his ex-wife, Ava, disappeared on a trip with him when Cassie was only 5, never to be heard from again. The old man never gave an explanation for his daughter’s disappearance, but as he told Eric, he knew nothing and it was probably for the best.
Eric never remarried, but did very well by Cassie with the help of a mysterious bank account that every year had money placed in it on her birthday. He tried for years to trace the money back to its source hoping he would find Ava on the other end. The money was always dropped off in cash, directly at the bank, on Cassie’s birthday by a courier. He loved Ava very much and though he never believed she’d return, he waited for her just the same.
Cassie’s motherless upbringing did not prevent her from becoming a lady. She speaks with grace and poise and always looks out for those in need. She is strong, yet delicate, with a determination rivaled only by her father and grandad. She equally loves pretty dresses and stealing things from her father’s closet. The pocket watch she wears around her neck is the most prized possession she has. It came as a wedding gift from her grandad to her father, with a picture of her mother inside. Her father gave it to her on a necklace on her 6th birthday so she would never be without a picture of her mother. There is not a day in which she doesn’t wear it.
The funeral director sees Cassie holding and rubbing her pocket watch as if she is making a wish for her grandad’s return. He looks at her and says ” I understand this is a very difficult and confusing time but let me assure you that all measures have been taken to ensure the man we are burying is your beloved grandad. The medical records have proven it. Accidents like this happen and are very sad indeed.“
Cassie looks the man in the eye, and asks “Can I please see him? I understand he was badly burned, but I have to see him. ” Eric looked at Cassie “what? No! I am not going to allow you to put yourself through that. Remember your grandad for how he was. You are not going to have that be the last image of him in your head.”
“Dad, you don’t understand! It can’t possibly be him. I’ll know, but I just have to see. Please sir, let me see him.”
The director looks at Cassie very sternly and says “Young lady, I understand that you are upset, and I understand that you were close with him but as a father myself, I cannot allow you to view such a horrible sight. Rest assured we have the best examiners in the state and I can guarantee you that it is in fact your grandad. Can we please move on to the arrangements? ”
And with that, the conversation was over.
Cassie stared hard at the director as he shuffled papers across his desk. He looked to Cassie’s father for some comfort but Eric was desperately trying to plead with his daughter to leave it alone. Cassie reluctantly agreed to start making arrangements; although, in the back of her mind, she knew she’d find a way to see the body.
Cassie looked at the director warily, “ I’m so sorry sir, what was your name again?”
The Director said “George Schwartz. Please feel free to call me George. We are all adults here. Your grandad, that’s what you call him right? Well, he left some prior direction as to how he would like his arrangements handled. Everything has been pre-planned and paid for. There are only a few things he requires of you, Cassie.”
“Me?”, she replied. “ What exactly did he want me to do? For that matter, what has been taken care of?”
” Well, he wrote here he would like you to choose the music for the service, and the flowers and to use the telegraph on the boat to contact everyone? “ George read with a puzzled look on his face.
“Wait. What? May I see that please?” Cassie took the paper away from George and began to read :
‘I would like my funeral to be a party. Have my granddaughter Cassie choose whatever music, flowers, and food she would like. Tell her to have fun with it. None of this somber chamber music horse hockey. It should be a celebration of my life. And if I met an untimely demise, I am sure my adventures led me to it. Be sure to tell her the only way to contact anyone who would be interested in showing up would be to use the telegraph in the cabin of the balloon. The only reason I’m having it here is for her and Eric. She’ll understand, there are directions there.
As for my body, I would like to be cremated as soon as possible. I don’t want Cassie to see me like that. I am sure she will insist no matter my condition so be sure to do it as quickly as possible. “ Cassie stopped reading. She looked at George as she was holding back tears and said ” Did you? Already? You didn’t yet right? You didn’t cremate him? Did you!“
George answered as softly and carefully as possible. “Cassie, we wanted to respect your grandad wishes, as I am sure you understand. He was cremated this afternoon. ”
Cassie started to well up. She looked to her father for comfort but his face seemed annoyed. She heard him mumble something about a selfish old bastard. He tried to hug her but his disdain for her grandad made her more upset and she pulled away. She took a deep breath, sniffed and cleared her throat. Her face became cold as she read on. She felt so alone as those around her rustled through books with florists and caterers names and phone numbers.
“Please respect my wishes. Be sure to tell Cassie to visit the balloon as quickly as possible. It will most likely be parked by Lake Rosoko. Thank you, Cornelius Rutger”
Cassie sat with the George and her father and chose a random assortment of orchids, irises and daisies for his floral arrangements as they were his favorite flowers. George reluctantly allowed Cassie to hire an irish folk band to play at the service. “ What, he always liked fiddles and bagpipes. Oh and as far as food goes, hire a sandwich truck and an ice cream truck. If he wants a party, he’s getting one. I’m headed to the balloon.”
George looked at Eric “this will certainly be an unconventional service. By the way, can you please tell me what the Balloon is?”
Cassie snickered to herself as she shook her head and left.