Three Wishes for Grandpa

Written by Matt Taggart aka –M. Taggart

Flash Fiction – A short story about a boy who loves his grandfather.

Copyright 2015 Matt Taggart 12/11/15


Three Wishes for Grandpa


He laid them on the couch cushion while on his knees.  He was small for his age.  He faced the couch and looked as though he were praying.  Twelve of them had a picture of George Washington and one of them had a picture of Alexander Hamilton.  He layered the dollar bills so they overlapped and were perfectly aligned.  He placed the ten dollar bill an inch behind at the end of the row showing its full design.

He liked his collection and needed more.  He knew twenty two dollars was a start but wasn’t nearly enough.  On the floor next to him was his green leather wallet.  It had been given to him.  It was old.  The zipper was broken.  The wallet had a flap that closed over the zipper with two silver buttons that snapped everything in.  The buttons worked so he didn’t care that the zipper did not.  He dug his fingers into the corners of the wallet and found two quarters.  He took them out and placed them on the couch with his paper money.


His grandfather was a large man.  His right leg from his knee down was badly injured.  It was difficult for him to walk though that didn’t stop him from walking or working.  It seemed to him that his grandfather never stopped working and somehow still had time for him.  It was summer time and he had just spent the entire day with him.  He’d watch his grandfather build in his workshop.  He always wore green work pants with a light colored button down and suspenders.  He had massive hands and forearms and he’d ask to please grab the hammer or to please find a piece of wood about so long.  He watched as his grandfather limped.

‘Grandpa, if I had three wishes, I’d first wish to fix your leg.’

‘That’s sweet of you honey.  I love you for saying so.  But, that would take a lot of money.’

‘I have three wishes.  The second wish would be for lots of money.’

His grandfather looked over his shoulder at him.  ‘I did to my leg what it is today.  It isn’t for you to worry about.’

His grandfather had injured his leg while serving in the military overseas.  He was in some kind of conflict he didn’t fully understand.  He knew the story well but didn’t understand why his grandfather would place blame on himself for the injury.

‘I’d still wish to fix your leg and for lots of money to do it.’

‘But why do you wish for those things when you’re so young and you could wish for yourself.  Don’t waste your wishes on me.  I’ve lived well.’

The boy knew the answer to the question.  It was his third wish.  He was unable to speak now though.  Instead he hid his growing tears and walked out of the shop.  Outside it was mild for a summer day with a breeze that helped dry his face.


His brother rushed into the living room to announce he was headed to the ravine and wanted him to come.  ‘What are you staring at that money for?’

‘I wanted to look at it.’

‘Well come with me and let’s look at the brook.’

‘Are you going to fish?’

‘Yea.  Want me to get your pole too?’

‘No.  I’d rather watch you fish.  I’ll be right out.’  His brother turned and walked down the hallway and out the door.  He slid his money back into the old green wallet then he dropped the two quarters in.  The quarters gave him an idea.  He knew how to make more quarters.  He could ask the old man with the woodlot if he’d let him stack the wood after he split it.  Sometimes he’d run over to the old man because he liked to watch the wood splitter.  Then he started to pick the pieces up and stack them for the old man and when he was done he’d give him a quarter.  He’d even given him two quarters a few times. Now, he’d ask if he could work for him a few times a week.  He also combed his mother’s hair for 50 cents before.  She said it helped her to relax.  She gave him 50 cents for a half hour.  If he split the wood and combed his mother’s hair he’d have another dollar.  If he did that a few times a week soon he’d have another ten dollar bill.

He jumped up, put his wallet away, and ran outside to meet his brother who was waiting for him across the street at the top of the ravine with his fishing pole.


He walked back into the shop to find his grandfather exactly where he’d been as though time had stopped and something needed to be finished to start again.

‘Could you bring me that piece of wood over there in the corner?  It’s just about the right size to finish this.’  His grandfather asked.  He was building a bird feeder for his grandmother.

He brought the piece of wood to his grandfather.  He wouldn’t let him have the piece when he reached for it.  Instead he held tightly to it so his grandfather would look at him.

‘I know the answer to your question.’

‘I’ve been waiting to hear it.’

‘I wish that you live forever.’  His third wish was that his grandfather lived forever.  He needed him.



Note: If you enjoyed this you might also enjoy my self published short story found via the amazon link below.  Thank you for taking time to read this.  Matt.

14 thoughts on “Three Wishes for Grandpa

  1. This is really beautiful story telling. I have yet to find the voice to share my stories in writing…poetry is no problem. I find my real stories are depressing…so i probably have to grow up a bit more to see the light. Jx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the feedback Jodine. I hope you don’t look too hard for your voice. I hear it’s invisible and besides it’s already there. I do feel this to be true- It’s much better to execute. Perfection is overrated. Cheers and good morning!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Matt – I didn’t leave a comment at the time of reading this story, because it felt too sacred to me, too complete, too perfectly whole, to have my thoughts or energy disturb it. Just an FYI! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate that but you couldn’t possibly disturb it. In fact I thought because I hadn’t heard from you that I possibly missed on something within the story. I’m seriously thinking of submitting this into a contest- deadline is December 20th.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m pretty sensitive in that way – and also it’s something about respect, I think. Anyway, you, dear Matt, have this extraordinary capacity to truthfully express the vulnerability of boys negotiating their way through childhood, in this pure, unadulterated story form. At times, it simply knocks me over (in a good way) – what can I say?

    So what type of contest are you thinking of submitting to? If you care to share, I’m all eyes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think this is the third comment of yours that I’ve saved. I use it as clear motivation to continue writing. This story wasn’t difficult to write. It’s not fiction. The wallet in the picture is the wallet in the story and it sits on my bookshelf. The contest is a short story contest with a cash pay out. I don’t care about the pay out. I want to be published. Thank you for the detailed feedback and wish me luck!

      Liked by 1 person

      • And I have two quotes of yours taped to the wall above my computer:
        “Don’t tell us what you see, tell us what you feel.”
        “Let’s think at the window-
        Break our minds curvatures-
        And trust new edges-”
        -This most recent one is especially meaningful for me. Thank you.
        Yes, absolutely, I wish you LUCK! Just keep on submitting.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You never seem to fail me and disappoint me with what you come up with !! I love it !
    We all wish life was forever, and that we had 3 wishes to please the ones we truly love so by then we would we happy too !!
    Thank you for writing 😍

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s