He misses her. He misses her a lot. He wants nothing more than to be with her, has even thought about hastening his journey there, but that would be wrong. He wouldn't end up with her, if he went that way.
George Michael and Hazel Lynn Marie Swope had been together forever. They were married for sixty-five years, and George had courted her for four years before that. They had been through everything. Jobs, friends, family, Two World Wars, both of which George fought. There was nothing the couple hadn't seen. But not even all of that could prepare George for losing the love of his life.
She was lucky—really they were both fortunate—that Hazel Lynn had died in her sleep. George could not possibly stand to see Hazel Lynn in pain. But he was so lonely now. His house was quiet, and desolate, without Hazel Lynn there to light up the place. But the thing he missed most was the whistling. The soft, sweet whistling.
Hazel Lynn loved songbirds, and she loved to "talk" to them. They would sing their songs in the morning while Hazel Lynn was gardening, and she would always whistle back to them. They carried on their conversations for hours, and George loved listening to them. This was what he missed most since Hazel Lynn's death.
But it wasn't all bad.
George had friends. Well, one friend. Madeline, the little girl from next door, had taken a liking to the frail old man. George didn't even know she existed until she was seven years old. Her father Sean—he and George were always cordial—explained that she had to be kept inside for years, due to her medical condition.
But once she was allowed to go outside, she noticed George and Hazel Lynn in the garden, and she walked right over to talk to them. The old couple loved the little girl. They never managed to have children of their own. After they had lost a stillborn daughter all those years ago, they couldn't bring themselves to try again. So they loved having Madeline around. She was a sort of surrogate granddaughter for them, and she devoured all the attention.
When Hazel Lynn died, Madeline increased her visits ten-fold. She would read to George and play with him, help him with his chores. He was almost ninety years old now, and very frail, so he could use all the help he could get. She would even bring her pet, a little… what was it exactly? A little metal creature that Madeline called Huereux. George loved the little thing, even if he never could figure out just what it was.
It was an ordinary day. George had woken up, and made himself his customary breakfast, sausage and sunny-side-up egg on a toasted English muffin. He was cleaning the dishes and preparing to go out into the garden—he couldn't let it fall apart, no matter how painful it was being there—when he heard a knock at the door. He went to the door and opened it find Madeline at his doorstep, along with Huereux and some sort of... metal bird?
"Good morning…" she started. She seemed a little unsure of herself. "I…" She pursed her lips then, and decided to press on. "I know how much you miss Hazel Lynn's whispering, so... So I had my friend make you this," she said. She picked up the bird, and it appeared as though she was struggling with it, when in reality she was just being extra careful with the bird's delicate frame. She turned a little golden key in the back, and to his surprise, it started to sing!
The the bird started to sing! And it had Hazel Lynn's voice!
"It took Jules and me a long time to get the voice just right," Madeline explained. She stopped though, when she saw George collapse to his knees in tears.
"Oh, no! What's wrong? I knew I shouldn't have done this. I'll take it back—”
"No, no. I'm sorry," George said. "I may be crying, but these are joyous tears, for you have made me a very happy man," he said as he pulled her into a deep hug. Madeline relished the hug, knowing just how he felt. His reaction was almost exactly the same as hers when Jules had brought Huereux to her.
George still thinks about Hazel Lynn often, when he sits in the garden and watches Songbyrde play with all the other birds. He smiles as he watches her—he named her Rose, in honor of their daughter—flap her wings and take flight. He and Madeline were both pleasantly surprised to learn that Jules had given her full flight capabilities. He holds out his arm for her, and she lands on his hand, just in time for him to feed her a gear.
George was not so lonely now. He may not have his wife with him, but at least he has her voice. And for now, that's enough.
Story by Rampage.
Songbyrde has a minion!
Madeline the Goldie
Madeline the Goldie
Legacy Name: Songbyrde
The Steamwork Lain
Age: 5 years, 3 months, 3 weeks
Built: September 22nd, 2015
Adopted: 5 years, 3 months, 3 weeks ago
Adopted: September 22nd, 2015
- Level: 1
- Strength: 10
- Defense: 10
- Speed: 10
- Health: 10
- HP: 10/10
- Intelligence: 0
- Books Read: 0
- Food Eaten: 0
- Job: Unemployed
Ballerina Music Box