Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Untitled (This is Very Exciting)

For the first time, I am posting more than just poetry. This is a fraction of a short story that came to me yesterday amid washing coating material from Tall Fescue seeds.
The name of one of the characters is blank. I realize it almost looks like a curse word with the asterisks, but honestly I can't quite get a good grasp on who the character is. All I know is that he is the son of the narrator. I think his name is Francis, but I'm unsure.
Also, quite honestly the editing is deplorable. This was written in one sitting and it's very rough. So, forgive any aberrant punctuation.

The first time I realized there was something wrong was when **** asked for a rabbit. “A rabbit?” I asked a little blankly. “You know we can’t keep a rabbit in the apartment, ****” I know,” he replied, “I meant a stuffed one.” "Your twelve years old, too old to be playing with stuff like that,” I said a little too gruffly.

He looked down at his mud spattered shoes. “You need new shoes,” I said. He bent forward slightly to ascertain the truth of my statement. "I’ll get you some new shoes," I said. “I want a rabbit,” he repeated, as if the conversation had not even taken place.

The truth is, I couldn’t even afford a rabbit, much less a new pair of shoes. I felt guilty because now that Mary-Evangeline was gone **** was home alone all day while I was at work. “Want to go to the park tomorrow?” I asked. He blinked at my non sequitur. “Look you can’t have a rabbit!” I irrationally proclaimed. His shoulders stiffened and I felt a pang of remorse. “Ok dad,” he said and walked back to the table where a glass of milk grew warm from the air temperature.

Part of what leadership training classes will instill in you, is to never admit you made a mistake, even if you did. This will keep your subordinates from seeing you as a weakling or a pushover. You may modify or change your decision but never admit you were wrong. These leadership classes do not prepare you for the guilt you will feel when you have taken this path. They certainly do not prepare you for parenting.

I walked stiffly from our grey little building at the end of our grey little street in Vancouver, Washington. I was already late for work but I stopped in the park because there was a little girl at the playground attached to our apartment complex. There was nothing particularly interesting about this little girl. She looked like every other little girl I had seen at that desolate playground, except that she wasn’t playing. Granted, there were only two swings and one was broken, and there was one slide that was probably just a little too small for her, but she was not looking at either. She was holding a mass of puffy material which appeared to be a headless stuffed animal of some sort and looking up at the room I had just left behind.

My eyes found exactly what she was seeing. In the window with his face against the glass was a bleary-eyed ****. He had not yet seen me, but he held a sign that said, “Sory. Fathr wonts me to grow away from toys.”

I backed slowly away from this strange scene. Neither child had seen me and as I rounded the corner I saw the little girl lift her hand to **** and walk back into the complex.


  1. i love the messed up writing in the window.
    it gave the story a much needed breath of dimension.
    like blowing up a balloon, first all wrinkly and flat,
    then comes to life as a whole new thing when you give air.

  2. I love it! Make it happen and complete it. It has potential to be brilliant.

  3. I hope we see many more short stories, even if they are just fractions :)

  4. Superhero: You should have clicked "needs more cowbell" hahaha! Yes, there are a lot of things I would have fixed/cleaned up/put in/erased, but writing (similar to the Christian view of sanctification) is a process. I just wanted to share the very raw beginnings of my process. Thanks for the good words!

    Silver: I don't really know what's happening yet. It's going to be some kind of awakening out of sorrow for the narrator through his son, but I don't know how.

    Ben: You definitely will! You keep yours coming too.


Dialogue with me...