The old lady saw someone coming at a distance and went out in spite of the coming storm to see if her granddaughter was finally coming to visit.
Propelled up the lane by the strong wind came Mr. Wolfe, huffing and puffing at the exertion against the gusting gales. Seeing him was a balm to the letdown of it not being her granddaughter.
“Hello!” The wind swept the word over to Mr. Wolfe and he looked up from his cane in front of him on the uneven path. He grinned a wide, toothy smile. Then his hat nearly blew off. He caught it just in time.
“Hurry and come in,” she called. “It’s mighty cold.”
Inside, they shared hot cider at her tiny table. Over the steaming cups, she told him her granddaughter hadn’t been by since borrowing money.
“I saw her yesterday in the woods,” he said. “She was going to buy flour to make you cookies, saying something about needing a new dress for a dance. And shoes. ‘Shoes can be expensive.’ She laughed at that. I suspect you’ll see her soon.”
Grandmother grunted. “She only comes when she wants something.”
Mr. Wolfe patted Grandmother’s hand, nodding in sympathy.
“I hope she waits until tomorrow, now that you’re here.” They exchanged smiles. “Do you want to stay again? I have supper cooking already. Those pork chops you brought are in the oven. I’ve been simmering them all day to make them tender, just like you like them.”
He licked his lips. “Love to. Sounds nice.”
“I put a cake in too. But I need more sugar for the icing. Now that you’re here, if you don’t mind, I’ll run to the store. When the timer chimes, will you take out the cake?”
She put on her thick coat, gave Mr. Wolfe a kiss, flicking her eyebrows, then left.
Mr. Wolfe read for a while, stopping to take out the cake, then grew sleepy. He crawled into the bed and pulled the heavy quilt up over his shoulders. With the smell of food and the cozy warmth, he fell asleep.
He woke when Grandmother shook his shoulder. He turned quickly, feeling frisky, and grabbed to pull her into the warmth with him. “I’m going to gobble you up, you sweet thing,” he said laughing.
But it was her granddaughter. She screamed, he let go. She spilled back, tripping over the chair. She hurled the basket. Cookies flew everywhere. His anger spike. He let out a growl.
“You selfish, nasty spoiled—” But she was gone, out the door and down the lane, before he even got started.
He’d just finished sweeping the cookies up when Grandmother flurried back in with frigid gusts sneaking in before she got the door slammed shut.
“Did the cake turn out?” she asked, untying her bonnet.
“Beautifully.” He pulled her into his arms. “And I have the sneaking suspicion that by tomorrow, your granddaughter might just have a whole new attitude.”
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