18 Oct 2013 Leave a Comment
There are moments in The Eye-Dancers when the main characters, particularly Ryan Swinton, wrestle with the concept of growing up. Ryan especially sometimes wishes things could be simpler again, the way they used to be when he was seven, his little brother Tyler’s age. But now, on the cusp of being a teenager, he feels the pressure to fit in, to make people laugh at his jokes, to be liked. He is all too aware that as we grow up, even as things are gained and learned, other things are lost.
“Cemetery” is a short story I wrote several years ago. And while the point-of-view character is a grown man, the story does also deal with childhood, and the things we love, learn, and lose.
I hope you will enjoy “Cemetery” . . .
Copyright 2013 by Michael S. Fedison
The squirrel was crushed, stuck to the pavement as if glued. It had been run over so many times, it was now flat, looking like a two-dimensional cutout from a children’s coloring book. In the distance, Jerry heard another car approaching.
“C’mon, Bak,” he said. “We better get out of the road for a minute.”
He took his daughter by the hand and retreated to the base of their driveway. The car sped past, leaving a plume of dry dust in its wake. A truck carrying loose earth had come through a little while ago, dropping some of its load as it went.
“He didn’t go over the squirrel, too, did he, Daddy?” Bak asked, peering through the dust. Hot June sunshine struck her in the face.
Jerry looked at her and smiled. Bak. Seven years old. His pride and joy. She was so sweet, she had to be Bak. They had named her Jennifer, but that wouldn’t do. She was too special for that. Jerry had thought about the sweetest thing he knew, and, after spending more time on the subject than he would admit, came up with baklava, his favorite dessert. Ever since, his little girl was Bak.
“I don’t know, Bak,” he said. “I think he might have missed it.”
They went back into the road. Bak bent down over the squirrel.
“Did it hurt, Daddy?” she asked. “Did getting flat hurt the squirrel?”
“Probably not,” Jerry said. “It would’ve been so fast, so instantaneous, probably not.”
Bak squinted up at him. “What’s insta-taneous mean?”
He snapped his fingers. “Like that,” he said, and snapped them again.
Bak nodded and looked solemnly at the squirrel.
“Can you take him out of the street, Daddy?” she asked.
“Sure, honey, I guess so, but why?”
“So we can bury him. Like they did with Mommy.”
Jerry nodded. Yes, they could bury the squirrel.
- Short Story – “Cemetery” | Eye-Dancers (getmerewrite.me)