The Child Came Home

boy coloring

Image: Children’s Advocacy Center of Grayson County, TX website

Julian was 35 years old when reality became too much for him. It wasn’t so much his dull job at the accounting firm, or his break up with Jill after seven years of living together. His parents think it must have been the disappointment, the loss of hope for the future that took his mind and spirit. He had such expectations at the beginning of November and now in December, they were crushed. So Julian’s parents watched as he sat on the floor of his old room with a coloring book and crayons. He was their little boy again.

This was a piece of flash fiction (less than 100 words in this case) I recently submitted to The Drabble. I received an email from them saying it didn’t meet their needs, so I figured why waste it? Yes, it is a commentary on how some people, at least according to the popular press, are so overwhelmed and dismayed by Donald Trump’s recent election win, that they seem to retreat into less “mature” behavior. I wasn’t poking fun at these individuals, but rather trying to communicate the tragedy involved in such decisions.

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The Bubble

bungalow

Image: hookedonhouses.com

Friday, October 21, 2016

I might have lived alone in that 1920s bungalow that I inherited from my Grandpa for the rest of my life if I hadn’t discovered the Bubble. That’s what I call it because that’s what it looks like, a big soap-bubble suspended between the trunks of two Elm trees behind the house.

It’s mostly wooded back there, and the Bubble is almost completely transparent, so unless you’re right on top of it, you’d never see the thing.

I was walking around the property, Grandpa still owned it all when he died so I had plenty of privacy, and I only saw it at the last second (guess I was daydreaming) before I walked right into it.

I got dizzy for a few moments and then I walked out the other side. I looked back at it and my first thought was to wonder why it hadn’t popped.

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First Encounter

liquor

Image: theguardian.pe.ca

Ed left church just as the service ended and headed to the nearest liquor store. He didn’t wait until the ushers came along to release people row by row. He didn’t wait until the Pastor was ready at the door to shake hands with each parishioner as they left. He just left. He needed a drink.

Ed Tillman, 44 years old, divorced, behind in his child support, absentee Daddy to 16-year-old Tiffany and 12-year-old Johnny. Yeah, his life was messy, really messy. One of the other Postal Carriers he worked with said he needed to find God. His friend Mark told him God could be found in church.

Ed was desperate enough and dumb enough to believe him.

As Ed pulled into the parking lot of the strip mall off of Meridian Road, he was still trying to figure out if God ever went to that church.

Oh, the people were polite, they were descent, they all got along. They went to the same picnics, attended the same Wednesday night Bible studies, and some even went on vacations together.

They were all so nice and squeaky clean. Ed wasn’t anything close to that. If God requires that you put on a suit, shake hands and introduce yourself to the people around you in your pew, and sing a bunch of really boring songs, then maybe God didn’t want Ed to find Him.

Standing in front of the display of the different brands of Vodka, Ed opened his wallet and checked how much cash he had left. Just barely enough. He’d memorized the price of a cheap 750 millimeter bottle including sales tax.

“How’s it going, buddy.” The guy behind the counter must have been about Ed’s age, maybe a little older. Long, dirty blond hair, ragged beard, tattoos on both forearms disappearing under his shirt sleeves, definitely not squeaky clean.

“Not bad.” Ed looked around. “Business is slow.”

“Yeah, no shit. You’re my first customer.”

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