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The Charm

Story ID:3464
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Fiction
Location:Fort Lee NJ USA
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I thought I'd do something different tonight.
I want to share my Ezine with you. This is
what I posted to my readers tonight.

The story is below my intro to my readers.
Check out the the part about contacting my
first wife's family in Hungary.

I'm very excited about that part.


Hearts and Humor - The Charm


Dear (Contact First Name),

Hello, my family of readers!

Normally, I post a repeat through the week, but tonight I bring you a new story.
I feel guilty for not sticking to my posting schedule. You deserve something new.
For my new readers, who don't know, every three months I am entered in the
WritersWeekly 24-hour short story contest. They held the contest last weekend.

I normally write inspirational stories, but this contest takes me outside my norm.
I I apologize for this. This weekend I will be back to my regular stories. In a way,
this story does have somewhat of an inspirational ending.

What a rush the contest was. The word limit was 1000 words. I received the
topic at 1 PM on Saturday. I had no idea what to write. At midnight I had an
idea. It was based on my first wife, Georgia, and her family's flee from Hungary
during the Hungarian revolution in 1956.

I wrote until 4 AM and went to bed with 600 words written. I got up at 10:30 AM
and went back at it. I had plenty of time to write another 400 words.
Well, apparently I had more words than minutes. I finished at 12:30 PM. There
were 30 minutes left to submit. I checked my word count. I had 1265 of the
little devils.

My heart pounded as the printer slowly spit out a hard copy to edit. "Why are
you being so slow!" I screamed at it.

I cut, slashed, and deleted! I checked again - 1105 words - Ten minutes left!
I edited again - cut, slash and delete. 956 words! Perfect! I looked up. It was
12:56 PM - four minutes to paste it into an email, add my words count and contact information.

I hit the send key at 12:59 PM and squeezed under the wire.

My heart pounded for two hours after that. Who says writing is not a rush?
WOW! I was on a high.

I'm going to give you the longer version. I like it better than the one I submitted,
with the two missing words in it!! GRRRRRR!!!! In my rush of editing I cut a few
words I shouldn't have.

I hope you enjoy it. It is pasted below.

Below the story are some fantastic links to videos for you.
I'm sure at least one of them will make you cry.

I Love your comments.
Send them to: msmith4@nj.rr.com

If anyone is interested in greeting cards or crafts,
Ginny belongs to a group of artists. They've teamed
together to market their products. Check them out at:

Ginny's cards and other crafts are at:

Now for today's story

Here is the topic I received:


She always kept the object safe and close to her. Mama made
her repeat the promise over and over again during those last
days. "I will never show it to a living soul. I will never
show it to a living soul."

She cried about Mama less now, not as much as she had
before. She was missing Mama now as she did each night when
she removed her scuffed shoes. She then carefully peeled the
gray sock off her foot, and waited for the familiar object
to fall out. Nothing happened. Panicked, she quickly turned
her sock inside-out. It was gone.


WORD COUNT Stories for today's topic must not exceed 1000

OH!!! I lied. Can you wait just a few more lines? I need to tell you something.
The story below is based on a Gerogia's experience back in 1956. I used it as a
reference. The skating and the tanks and the walk through the mountians are
true. The charm is made up.

Here's the amazing part. There are still family back in Hungary. Georgia has aunts
and uncles and cousins. When Georgia died, I found a person who's father could
speak and write in Hungarian. He translated a letter for me to send to Hungary
so that they would know of Georgia's passing. Her mom, dad and sister were
already gone.

We have shared christmas cards every year since. The trouble is, mine have
been in English and their's have been in Hungarian. It's the thought that counts.

Anyway, two days after I wrote this story, Ginny had a Skype message pop
up on her computer. I have it loaded on there in my name.
It was Georgia's cousins. One of them learned English, tracked me down, and was
able to send me a message in broken English.

I am sooooo excited. We have exchanged messages and pictures all week.
It's like I found my family again, even though they were Georgia's family.
I have never met them. Now I can talk to them. My children will be able
to get to know their other family.
Is that cool or what??

I have been on cloud nine all week over this. You can tell by the pictures
that my first wife is definitely part of their family. Even my daughter looks like

OK! Sorry. Here is the story I wrote.

The Charm

The blades of their skates cut alternating white curves on the smooth ice of the

Danube. Georgia fell. Her grandfather turned to help. "You can do it, Georgia." he said

softly. He lifted her to her feet, brushed snow from her knees, and encouraged her to try


Georgia looked back. Her tracks were staggered. She'd stumbled many times. His

symmetrical strokes were broken only by the many times he'd turned to help her. They

continued skating. She grew steady. Her small strides began to match his.

The sound of distant tank fire echoed over the ice.

They stopped. Smoke bellowed from an area close their home. "Georgia, we

best go home."


" Things are happening here. You may have to leave soon. The Russians are

going to take over. You may not understand this, but soon you may have to leave me."

Georgia wrapped her tiny arms around her grandfather's strong legs and pressed

her face to his stomach. "Grandfather, I will never leave you."

"Georgia, listen to me." He held her at arms length. "Look at me." He



"You don't understand this, but it is not safe here."

"I don't want to leave. I want to be here."

"Georgia, I love you! Look at our marks on the ice. See how you improved.

You have many marks to make on the ice, but they can't be made here."

"Grandpa, will mother and father come with me too? Do I have to go alone?" A

tear trickled down her cheek.

"No, child, you won't leave alone." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a

small bronze disk. The outer ring was red. Two stripes intersected it. One stripe was blue,

the other was green. "Child, this has been handed down through generations. We were

once Gypsies. Our family traveled the land and lived where we found life. The blue stripe

means the heavens, not only the sky, but also seeking God. The green stripe means earth,

covered with grass, because the earth under our feet is our motherland."

More tanks sounded in the distance. "Grandpa, I'm scared!"

"Let me finish, child." He wiped the tear from her eye. "You need to hear this

before it is too late." He held her hand. "See the circle?"

She sniffed. "Yes, Grandfather."

"The wheel is a symbol of the Gypsies' nomadic way of life." He continued. "The

red signifies the blood of the Gypsies murdered in the past. Red is also the color of

memory - of joy. We enjoy life." He paused. "Georgia, this disk has been charmed by

your great, great grandmother. It has a special power."

"Power?" Georgia stared at her grandfather. "What power?"

"This tiny disk," He paused as another tank fired. "This disk has the power to

restore life."

"You mean I can make someone live again?"

"No, not live again, but keep them from leaving." He paused. "Georgia, this can

be used once and only once. You must decide when the time is right. It has to be used at

the point of death. It doesn't bring people from death; it stops them from crossing. At

their last moment, before they take their last breath, place this disk in their hand, and hold

it there with yours. It will bring them back - give them more time on this world. The

timing needs to be perfect."

He placed it in her hand. "Georgia, repeat after me. I will never show this to a living soul." She did. "Again!" He commanded, "I will never show it to a living soul."

She did as she was told. "There are people who know of this charm, but not where it is.

If they know you have it, they will take from you at any cost. Your life will be in danger.

Use it wisely, child."

On their way home they passed the house that had been bombed by the tank.

The Russians bombed at random, to frighten those who dared revolt against Russian

rule. Neighbors battled the flames with buckets of water. The home would soon be gone,

another scar of the revolution.

That night, Georgia was woken by her father. "Georgia, come. We must leave."

She rubbed sleep from her eyes. "Where, Papa?"

"Never mind, child. Just get dressed."

"Is grandpa coming too?" She remembered the conversation with her grandfather

on the ice. "You will leave soon." he'd said.

"No, child! It will only be us."

"Will I see him again?"

Her father held her. "I don't know." He whispered. When he pulled away, she

thought she saw a tear in his eye.
She dressed quickly. At the last moment, she reached under her pillow, and

pulled the small disk out. She placed it in her sock and then put her shoe on. "Hurry,

Georgia!" Her father called.

"Coming, Papa."

That night they walked through the mountains with other refugees. The next

day they were safely in Austria. They later immigrated to Montreal, Canada, where

they made their home.


Georgia kept the secret of the disk. It was with her at all times. During the day

it was in her shoe. At night, it lay hidden under her pillow. She cried for her grandfather

less now. She missed him, as she did each night, when she removed her shoe and peeled

her socks off. The disk would fall free and remind her of the day on the Danube.

Twenty years later, her mother developed cancer. It was terminal. Georgia

held the disk. "At the moment they take their last breath." her grandfather said. She

knew what she would do.

Her phone rang, "Hello?"

"Georgia?" The voice spoke in Hungarian.


"This is Aladar." he paused. "Your Cousin."

Georgia barely remembered him. "Aladar? How are you?"

"We know you have it!"


"The disk! We need it. My young son is dying from leukemia. Only the disk can

save him."

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"You lie! Please help my son." he pleaded.

Georgia thought of her dieing mother. "I don't know anything about a disk." she

said and hung up the phone with a shaky hand.

She thought little of the call that night. Her thoughts were on her mother. The

days passed. Her sister called, "Georgia, the hospital called. They want us to be with

mother. They think her time has come."

"I'll meet you there."

Georgia removed her shoe, took off the sock, and waited for the familiar object

to fall out. Nothing happened. Panicked, she quickly turned her sock inside-out. It was

gone! She searched her other sock - nothing. It wasn't under the pillow. She raced

through the apartment. It wasn't there. "Mother, forgive me!" she cried out. Then she

remembered the laundry room. Praying no one had done laundry since she had that

afternoon, she rushed from her apartment.

She stifled a cry, when she saw a old gentleman removing his close from the

washer she'd used earlier. She rudely brushed past him and stared into the now empty

washer. "Can I help you?"

She turned to him. "It's gone."

"Excuse me?"

"The disk! I lost it."

The man reached into his pocket and pulled the disk out. "Do you mean this

thing? Is this yours? I found it earlier." He placed it in Georgia's hand. "It's pretty. What

is it."

Georgia grasped his hand. "Bless you, Sir. It's just an old relic. It's been in my

family for many years. I guess you could say it's a lucky charm."

"I'm glad I found it then." he turned to leave. "You have a nice day, young lady."


Georgia gathered with her father and sister at her mother's bedside. They were

the only family they had in Canada. They were alone in their grief. Over the beeping

machines connected to her mother, Georgia barely heard her mother's weakening

breathes. She held the disk in her hand, hidden from the others and waited.

"She had a good and long life." Georgia's sister said.

Georgia thought of her cousin. She held her mother's hand. The disk was in her

other. Her mother gasped. "A good and long life." she repeated to herself. She turned to

her sister. "She did, didn't she? I will miss her"

The line on the heart monitor went flat. "We'll all miss her." Georgia's father


Georgia called her cousin the next day and made arrangements to have the disk

sent to him. A young life would be saved.

Michael T. Smith

Michael T. Smith

I Love your comments.
Send them to: msmith4@nj.rr.com
Great Inspiration

Here are a few wonderful things to view or read. Some of them I loaded to
my YouTube account.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did.

A great video I received from Scott Stratten at


This is wonderful.
I signed up for her posts.

Here's a nice one from Wanda's Country Home

I can't say enough about this one:

We have our sister Diana to thank for this one.
Do you love dogs? Kids?
Here's a combination of both that brought a tear to my eye.

Do you love space?
I wish I could be up there with them.

I received this one from Mountain Wings. Very nice!

Skateboarding Dog???

Comments from last week:

Hi Mike,

I don't know how I found your site but I am so glad I did. I really enjoyed your story and you are so fortunate to have found such love a second time around.

In October it will be 50 wonderful years of marriage for us. I don't think I could ever find anyone like my husband. We have been through a lot over the years, but have managed to work things out. With four children, ten grandchildren and two great grandchildren our lives are full.
Thanks again for you wonderful story.


I can understand why this story made you cry ~ it made me cry too! It was so beautiful that there are no words to describe the feelings I had. Maybe one word would be hope; hope that for those of us who are single we will find someone with whom we can fall into their eyes . . .and to have someone with whom we can say "I've come home" and they don't run for the hills. :-)

Thank you for sharing your heart with us.
Best wishes to you and your family


You did it again with your "eyes" story. You
transported me again to a place of love and peace even
as I sat on my chair at work with many things to do.
Thank you, your writing means so much to me.
Pam inHawaii

Hi Michael

A beautiful story. This is my first one with you and I really enjoyed it. So there is chance for love second time around? That's comforting.
Well, I must go. Thank you for your beautiful story. You do have a gift. When I get home I'll check out the links at the end of your story.
All good wishes

Michael Smith
Hearts and Humor