Pure Light

I would like to thank our lovely host Rochelle.  All other stories can be found here.  The picture, photo and sculpture all done by the extremely talented Claire Fuller.

Not a big fan of the 300 word introduction to the one hundred word story… I totally understand if you skip ahead to my 100 word offering.

This story is nonfiction and is based on the love of my life, my girlfriend Sabrina.  I had a tough week because I lost a close friend.  Half numb, slightly hung over and tired from  sleep deprived nights I didn’t think I would participate this week but my addictive personality got the best of me. As hard as I tried I could not shake this monkey on my back known as the Friday Fictioneers. I also apologize for my lack of commenting last week.

When I look at the picture with the statue in it, it reminds me of two people so close they are one, intermingled in thought and emotion. Eyes closed, warmth surrounding them, feeling the wave of their love flowing through each other.  That is how I feel with Sabrina.  During a dark week she was my light, and I had no choice but to make her the subject of this weeks prompt.

100 words

/copyright-Claire Fuller

On the bed with my legs over yours we lie back as I read to you.  The sun comes through the window, we are nude and fit together as we adjust for position. Normally uncomfortable naked with the blinds open I am the statue of the Dying Gaul in your mind and I can feel your eyes as I can feel the  morning light coming through the windows.  I put the book down, curl around you and whisper without need for restraint thoughts I normally do not share. I breathe in the scent of the only woman I love.

The Dying Gaul

 

 Bri and Me

 

 

The Honeymoon

It’s time for that weekly fun known as Friday Fictioneers or as I call it 100 word Friday…All stories can be found here.  Thanks Rochelle for hosting.

 

Copyright-Renee Homan Heath

The sky’s thirst robbed the sea of her water.  Gray-blue haze covered the horizon, mixing sea and air.  The day inhaled the endless ocean.  In the distance sky and water were one.  Up close the air was layered, heavy on the chest and thick on the brow.  The sea rippled by winds out of the southeast.  Scarce light danced bright in diamond shapes across her surface.   Lapping waves on sugar sand lulled me to sleep by the palm tree.  The shade, the cerveza, her hips and knowing it would all soon change.  The relationship formed by the approaching storm clouds.

Goldfish On A Double Shift part 1

My cousin Mac went to the other High School in the district.  After school we worked at a gas station that was across from a strip of stores, everyone who hung out at the stores knew us.

“That’s him”

“Who, Mac?”

“Joe!”

“That’s the fucking guy who has been harassing you at school?”

There he was all five feet seven inches of him. I towered over Joe and so did Mac. But Mac didn’t see it in those simple terms. My cousin was an outcast at his school like I was at mine.  We were dirt bags or burnouts. Joe was athlete with a bad temper who had a reputation as a bully.

“You can take him.”

“He’s a fucking Dick!”

Between “you can take him” and “he’s a fucking dick” we agreed I would go out and talk with Joe.

I walked out from the booth at the gas station to arrange a show down of sorts. After all the stores were our stomping grounds.  I walked out with a click in my neck, popped loud by a shoulder shrug and head twitch, with elbows in and a long gate to my stride I approached Joe.

Joe was at the pumps with three of his friends, basically a car full of jocks.

“You Joe?”

“Who the fuck are you?”

“My cousin thinks you’re a dick and he wants to kick your ass… at six, after the bosses leave.”

Not the best opening line and Joe took offence to it. He called me a few names.

The next thing I knew he had me in a headlock and he was pounding on my face. All five feet seven inches of him leaping on me like a crazed animal. Mr. Cool, with the credit cards and his buddies cheering him on, was kicking my ass. Mac finally made his way out from the protection of the booth while my face was being punished and my eye blackened.

Joe had not thought this out and either had I. I grabbed Joe by the balls and the back of the head, took three running steps, leaped and brought him down face first to the ground. A mushroom cloud of blood erupted across the concrete, his eyes rolled behind his head.   I ran towards my cousin who had a crowbar in his hand and was running at me.

I screamed “I think he is dead”.

It was the summer going into eleventh grade. I forgot my own size and strength. Joe’s eyes finally rolled around as they put him in the car. I knew this wasn’t over and Joe’s friends would be back with some big boys. Maybe the rest of the team and some brothers, a wave would come our way. I grabbed the pipe from Mac.

“Looks like I am working a double with ya!”

To be continued….

Goldfish On A Double Shift part 2

We looked out from the booth and hoped our friends would show up before the sun went down. We had a payphone. Back then cell phones were worn on your back like a day pack.

First call was home but my older brother was working construction somewhere. The twins were in the armed forces. We didn’t call Mac’s older brothers because his brothers weren’t like mine. I had proved that over a dish of ravioli’s.

I knew Joe would be alright once I saw his head roll and eyes roll around. I knew he was at least alive. I also knew in that instant I had changed things, disrupted Joe’s Place and elevated my own among my group, the kids in High School and the mechanics at work. I had protected my cousin by knocking out a bully

A mad looking mechanic, a biker type who hardly ever said a word to me saw the whole fight and wanted me to tell the tale seconds after it happened. The mechanics and the manager smiled and listened to me tell what happened. We all finally agreed that more guys would show up later.

Pumped up by me the young lanky guy brawling it out, the mechanics gathered their biggest crowbars and handles. They waited by Mac and my side an hour after they were off the clock.

A half hour in to the mechanics free time a big 4×4 truck screeches into the gas station packed with angry kids with weapons. The mechanics grabbed their weapons and prepared to confront and scare away the angry group that had come to fight Mac and me. Mac and I were told to stay in the booth.

One guy I had never seen before stood out from the rest of the group. He was big, blonde and looked like the extreme version of Joe. He stood behind the wall of kids, confronting the mechanics with finger pointing and gestures toward the booth. I watched like a goldfish from out of my bowl.

I had no chance against this guy and if I was to confront him my time had to be then before the mechanics left and this big blonde Kong came back. Our friends had not gathered. They were either playing handball at the school or smoking pot somewhere in the last of the woods.

I handed the pipe back to Mac and walked out to meet the gathering.

There was no pop in my neck this time. There were no long strides. I walked with a slow swagger. I smiled and came out of the booth like I was the Grand Poobah. My courage had grown in a few short hours. I walked out with a childish joy, a cocky grin and my best bluff I could come up with.

The mechanics couldn’t turn from the wall of foes and had no choice but to watch me walk up from behind them. I had no weapon in my hand and I was tossing M and M’s into my mouth. I squared up to blonde Kong from behind the mechanics.

“Tell ya what. The mechanics are gone in a half hour, come back then and I’ll put you in the hospital like your buddy”.

I walked back to the booth with knees knocking.

They went home.

Later that night they jumped Mac, about a block from his house and just a few minutes after we split up. Their numbers were down to three with out blonde Kong. Mac tricked one of them into chasing him around a corner. A pipe to the body sent yet another one off to the doctors. Mac was left without a scratch but Joe had to show up to school with a broken collar bone, a yellow bruised face and a patch still on his skull from the stitches.

A week after the fight I saw Joe at the 7 11. He pulled up in a car as I came up around the corner, on my ten speed bike. I put the kickstand down peered through the windshield at the driver, Blonde Kong, only to be greeted by Joe apologizing to me. His able hand reached out for a handshake no more than waist high. I tried not to shake his hand too hard. I had broken my collar bone before I knew the pain he was feeling. I could see his wounds and he was man enough to confront me with regret. I told him I was sorry too. I held the door open for Joe, went inside and bought a Big Gulp. We never spoke again.

Super Dad

I come home to my Dad in between the two twin beds I have jammed together to make one bed. I am at the age where I am out growing everything even my bed doesn’t fit me. In slow motion I see my Dad pulling out my bowls and my bong from between the two twin beds. There are four bowls, one bong and my Dad is enraged. I’m in the tenth grade and one of the bowls I handmade in wood shop is in jeopardy of being in my fathers possession.

In the back of my mind I’m thinking I spent a lot of time on that bowl. Planning it out, sanding it and hiding it from the wood shop teacher. There was getting the fitting so the bowl on the pipe could be changed for a different bowl at any time. I liked that bowl a lot but Dad was pissed and I was starting to fear for my life.

My Dad a cop of 26 years was not happy to see that his son was smoking weed. This was the first time he had ever come across a storage of my paraphernalia. I’m busted and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it but like any tenth grader I try the “They’re my buddies” excuse and I even make up a fake buddy name. But my Dad cuts me off with the simple fact that my homemade bowl has my nickname painted on its side. I spend a month on punishment, meaning I can’t go out after school or on weekends. I have to go straight home.

To add to the punishment Dad also takes me into the Bronx’s and drives me around the ghettoes he works in, attempting to show me what I may become. He is convinced that because I like to smoke weed I am going to become a heroin addict or a junkie of some kind. He drives me through the shittest parts of town hoping it will scare me straight but what I see is poor people. I’m in tenth grade so he can’t push me out on the street but he tells me that when I turn 18 he won’t tolerate this behavior and I will be on my own if I don’t play by his rules. He threatens me with military school, even leaves pamphlets on my pillow at night.

We are not driving around in a police car, we are undercover and its kind of fun. Dad has his gun with him, he is an old school Irish cop and about as tough as they come. He works out more than me. Jogs and generally loves being a cop. He sees himself as Dirty Harry and has a reputation to match. Dad can tell the scare ride through the ghetto isn’t scaring me so he pushes it further and tells me I have to stay in the car while he goes into work.

He parks his car a few blocks from the police station on the streets, in the Bronx’s, during the 80’s, leaves me in it and goes into work. I open the door, walk to the Jamaican deli, get a few beef patties and smoke a bowl of weed around the corner from the station. I make my way back to the car and wait for my Dad to come back. He does. He brings me lunch and I eat it. No sense in letting him know about the beef patties besides I have the munchies.

The ride around the city is more fun than it’s punishment. Dad realizes the “scare tour” is hopeless, he changes tactics. He knows he has time. A cop always has time to wait a junkie out and he tells me this fact all the time.

From the tenth grade on I get busted on and off by my super cop Dad. Dad relentlessly pursues my every move. He retires his last year on the force number 26 as I am graduating High School. I become his main case.

Aware that I am the main case I become better about hiding my stuff and not letting him catch me. I clean my room of all weed, seeds and even twigs. I know Dad is looking to bust me once and for all. He is convinced only tough love will get me off “the pot”. Super cop is on a mission.

This isn’t like tenth grade, now. I am 18 in college, working and paying for my own education, books, car, car insurance and most of the clothes on my back. I can’t afford the expense of an apartment. If I am going to be able to afford my tuition, books, car insurance I need to stay home.

My education, my goals, it all depended on having a roof over my head. But Dad couldn’t afford to have me walking in red eyed on the weekends. So he went looking for evidence. DNA if need be, he would find something. He did. Four pot seeds in the radiator.

I argued illegal search and seizure without probable cause. Dad simply stated that it was his house and he didn’t need probable cause or a search warrant to check my room.

Fucking Cops.

He held four pots seeds up and with a dead straight face told me I was busted and kicked out of the house.

It was harsh.

It wasn’t like it was a bong or a pipe with my name on it. This wasn’t like a Briar pipe, with an interchangeable bowl, sanded to a glass finish, with a poem in honor of it painted on the back and little greenish clouds. This wasn’t like finding that work of art my bowl from tenth grade. I was getting kicked out for four pot seeds found in the radiator.

For the next month I went from one friend’s house to the next crashing on what ever couches I could find. After a little more than four weeks I broke down, went home and talked to my Mom. She got me back in the house right before a big paper was due in school. I was under strict orders not to bring any pot into the house, so I didn’t. I left it in my car.

Between full time school and a full time job I was working my ass off. I had my first day off in little under a month and I wanted to celebrate. I wanted to smoke a joint.

I had no buds left but I had two fat roaches in my car ashtray. I removed the two half joints from the car so I could roll them into one joint. I was going to smoke the joint outside but I needed papers. I put the roaches down on the kitchen counter and went down stairs to my room to find some rolling papers. I reached across the bed for my nightstand and the down pillow felt cool, comfortable. I kicked off my shoes, my shirt and my pants when I realized I had not gone to the Laundromat. I didn’t have a change of clothes. I stretched across the blankets and fell asleep. I must have locked the door behind me out of habit. Growing up in a big family you learn to flip a lock with a thumb motion as you shut the door.

During my sleep Dad and Mom come home, a day early, in a good mood and pleased to see my car in the driveway. They know I have been working hard and doing the right thing.

They open the door to the house, walk in and find two fat roaches of some of the best weed money can buy on their kitchen counter. Dad goes into a fit. On the way down stairs Mom tries to calm him down. I am of course sound asleep dreaming of a girl in photography class.

My Dad starts pounding on my door with his fists and screaming my name. In a deep unexpected sleep I really have no idea where I am at or when I fell asleep. This is the type of sleep you wake out of feeling you are late for something or like it’s the next day.

I hear through the fog of the long hours and the deep darkness of my slumber my father shouting my name. I hear him screaming for me over the dream landscape. He is in the distance. There is a loud pounding. Still half dreaming I can’t figure out why my Dad is shouting in my photography class.

I wake up in my windowless basement bedroom, confused, I quickly jump to my feet and in the darkness try to focus on my Dad’s voice. My head snaps in several directions. I hear him. I am come to the conclusion that he is in trouble.

I screamed back out to him “DADDDDDDDDDDDDDDD” as I lowered my shoulders and run full steam into the darkness towards his voice. I hit the door in full stride busting it off the hinges sending splinters flying. My Dad standing behind the door takes a massive hit. I stand on the door in my underwear all 6 feet two hundred pounds of me, the door beneath me, my father beneath the door. Dad is staring up at me.

“What’s the matter? DAD? What?” I am screaming.

I have no idea what’s going on.

“DAD. YOU ALRIGHT” I frantically repeat?

Puzzled about why my Dad is under the door everything starts to come into focus.

“You alright Dad? You scared the hell out of me. I thought you were in trouble”.

He reaches up with his hand. I thought he was asking for a hand up. I reached out to help. But I don’t hear him say “thanks for trying to save me”. Instead he says “I found these” I look at his hand and I see almost two half joints. I am too tired in my half sleep I thought my Dad was getting murdered or something. Two roaches, four pot seeds, I could care less at this point. I just ran into the dark, half nude, through a door to safe him.

I turn back to the bed, exhausted, willing to accept my fate and with bigger worries on my mind than my Dad’s feelings about what kind of a person I am. At that moment I was a force heading in a direction that not even my father could stop.

Dad goes back upstairs realizing that I would put my life on the line for him, that I would break through any door or wall for what I believed in. I was putting myself through college and doing the right thing. I had grown up to be a man. Either that or his head really hurt. In light of the harsh punishment I had received for the four pot seeds he reduces these charges and lets me go with community service.

Community service means I have to do yard work and fix the door. I get put on parole as well, meaning I can’t get in trouble again for the next six months.

Lover Boy

Laura’s mom never called me by name, she always called me lover boy. She would sing it out when she wanted me to come over. I was in love with her daughter and she knew it.

From second grade to eighth grade I was Laura’s best friend but she would never be my girlfriend. I asked her a hundred times or more. I was always her best friend and that is the answer I received.

Our families were the opposite of each others. Her family was Jewish, mine was Catholic. Her mom stayed at home, my mom worked. Her dad was into sports, my dad hate all sports except boxing.

In elementary school I dreamed of saving her and being Laura’s hero. The Acorn fight we had in the neighborhood ruined all of that. In the competitive moment of battle I hit her with an egg on the arm not realizing I should have missed on purpose. I was playing the game fair but when it comes to love playing a game fair has nothing to do with it.

To become Lover Boy like her mom called me in one moment vanished. Laura was an angel for me and I was a little too wild for her. If it wasn’t for Laura I would have completed less than half my homework.

Just about every night I would meet her on her roof, after dinner when the lights in the house were on and the sky dark. I climbed the fence, onto the chimney and sat down next to her window. We would talk for hours and some nights she would climb onto the roof with me. We sat with our arms wrapped around our legs never touching each other gazing at the night sky. She always helped with my homework.

Laura taught me how to be good I taught her how to break the rules. I made her laugh, her smile made me want to do it more.

I lit a candle at her Bat Mitzvah.

In ninth grade a girl named Lisa in a tight pair of Guess Jeans walked up to get her safety glasses for science lab. I fell in love again. I was an ass man and didn’t even know it.

Lisa had the body of a woman, the face of a model and an ass shaped like a heart. She was smart with a smile that melted the male teachers. Out of my league but well within my ninth grade fantasies.

Tenth grade I was sent to a different High school. I was separated from the trouble making group I ran with. Laura and I no longer in the same school grew apart. She moved after High School to another town and went away to college to become a lawyer like her father. I worked at the gas station. I came across her a few years after college. She had on funny pointed shoes and she barely grew almost elf like in appearance. I wondered if she was as pretty as we all believed when she moved on the block in second grade or was it because she was new and kind. When she started to talk and she smiled at me her eyes sparkled and I could hear the call of Lover Boy. I could see her through the window and she was still an angel to me. When she walked away I thought about asking her out one last time but I didn’t.

The sound of Lover Boy fading as she walked into the fog of childhood dreams.

Sunday Stairs

The coffee brews as my smoke burns. The silence that fills the house broken by my music turned down low.

The steady climb of sound on Sunday.

Turn on the blues and light a Jay first thing. I wait for noon before I crack a beer but a joint’s just fine as the grinds drip and swirl in their filter paper. Searching for rolling papers and coffee filters I get lost. Lost in dreams, I sift through blog’s and files of any kind.

Text book winter mind afraid to feel too much guides me under gray skies on autopilot to the Seven Eleven. Not enough French Vanilla in the house and after one cup without it I decide its time to make the trip to Seven Eleven and the homeless guy by the trashcan. Sunday mornings are cold on the side of route 25.

Sunday mornings are cold when your wife is gone and she has the kids too. I wait to call. The coffee waits to be consumed. It’s Sunday and everything is slower. It’s Sunday and Church is open. God is watching. Football is on. The smoke and the fog slowly rolls, covers me and the music continues to play. The sadness of Sunday drips down through coffee grinds.

I turn up the music realizing I am not waking anyone. The house is empty.

Next door they wake up whole when at one time they were fractured. Broken I hear. Broken I walk by to leave the little bit of trash by the curb in the can in the bin. The bin I built out of wood.

So much is broken and as hard as I try with monsters hands I crush what is fragile to me. With a crack the tag connected to the tight plastic seal on the French Vanilla snaps and the countertop is sticky on Sunday.

I wait to call, I wait on noon and that cold beer, and I wait for my mind to set with the sun on Sundays.

The silence a steady hard climb.

Anger Rattles

My bones rattle with anger, the flesh shaken from its hold on my skeleton. Little Girl Blues plays in the background, green tea replaces my coffee as I stare  at my half beers from the night before. I try but all I see is a black wall before me.

My world thrown and knocked about kicked like a toy ball. The strange metallic sound of an air filled plastic ball being struck rings in my child like mind. Words so deep  and acidic they burn my gut as they flow hot past trembling harsh sentences.

Scar tissue so thick it will never heal and will only leave me marked. Another battle  wound this one hidden in my mind but seen in my eyes, posture and in my thoughts. Self-serving sorry baby food thoughts that leave me functioning only on the surface of my former self.

Looking though clouded small rippled square glass I want to kick myself in the ass but I can’t find the energy.

Sell off my former life like some cheap item, pack a bag ans say fuck it all is what I like to do but I can’t, I won’t.

I can hear my buddy screaming out “I am a Brave Heart” as the darkness is erased by the walking light after a matinee. Kill her with kindness is repeated but not put into practice. The Strength of the word freedom quarters me leaving a part of my heart in every corner of her former kingdom.

I watch from a distance through monsters eyes formed into slits by heavy swollen bags. My cock feels smaller in my hand, my brain functions like a HDTV stuck on maximum volume with no cable or even rabbit ears. The snow screams over images.

Anger rules me. The instinct for survival has tucked my cock even close to my heart away from possible  harm, wanting to be at least that 1% that doesn’t have burns as this fire rages

I have backed off my own mind, its thoughts and can only think of what she is thinking. I can”t get past her and I don’t have far to go. I know I should

For now I am lost trying to find the way back, maybe even hoping this is all an nightmare

First Impression

In tenth grade I was sent to another High School. The Administration knew it was best to separate me from my buddies, my Dad agreed. It was easy enough for the Administration to do this because right down the block, a whole five houses away from my house was the line that divided East from West. All I had to do was walk an extra house or two and I could catch the bus to the other High School in our district. One side of the road went to East and the other side went to West.

In Junior High School we all knew what school we would be going to and alliances were made in preparation for the big transition into High School. Severed from my trouble making friends I was suddenly alone.

Not only was I being sent to another High School I was being sent to the other side.

The first day of High School I found out my locker was next to a 12th grader who was huge, on the football team and friendly with the cheerleaders.

This oversized freak of nature is talking to a pretty blonde while leaning on my locker.

“Excuse me”

Nothing.

I try again “Excuse me”.

He still doesn’t move. I try being a little forceful but the guy is huge and it’s the first day.

“You think I can get to my locker?”

He turns from the girl and looks over his shoulder at me, says nothing and continues talking to her. Now I know he does not know me or my family and he doesn’t care if I want to get by.

I don’t say a word at first but it gets to me after he keeps talking, blowing me off.

I realize I am not making it through the first day without having to proof I am not going to be picked on. My knees get that feeling you get in gym class when you climb the ropes but I speak up anyway.

“I NEED TO GET TO MY FUCKING LOCKER” I shout over his conversation.

In an instant he turns on me, grabs me by both elbows and lifts me over his head. I am tall for a tenth grader but as thin as stick and my wiry arms can’t even move in his grip. I start to believe he is going to toss me through the air and I prepare for what I’ll do next.

I think about how harsh my landing is going to be.

But he calls me twerp or something and puts me back down. He feels like a big Man but I know in that one move he doesn’t have the balls to go toe to toe. I have three violent older brothers. When he puts me down I mouth off.

I call him an “ass slapping faggot jock” or something like that. I move back a few feet and wait on his charge. I am pretty sure he will grapple with me or try and get me in a headlock or some High School move. The only sport my Dad taught me as a kid was boxing. I line up the overhand right.

I miss as he runs at me, grabs me and pushes me across the hallway towards the other lockers. The crowed hallway parts as I go backwards with a freight train pushing me back towards the wall and another set of lockers. He gets to full speed and at the last second I pivot my foot and hips, bring my body around and instead of me hitting the lockers he does. He loses his grip on me. I jump back on my toes, hands up, grinning and praying for a teacher to break it up before I run out of last minute moves.

He is shocked that I have turned it around on him and he may be in a fight with a skinny kid who will hurt him even if he wins. I am game now and he knows it. But instead of getting angry he starts to laugh.

“I Like you kid. I like you. You’ve got balls” and for the last time he lifts me up by the elbows over his head for the whole crowd to see. He places me down in front of my locker affirming his might and my place.

We stand shoulder to shoulder the rest of the year as we get our books from our lockers. When I walk down the hallway with him I am sure I won’t have to deal with any of the twelfth, eleventh or tenth graders who don’t already know me. I am also sure I will not have to sick my brothers on him. After all he made a pretty good first impression.

The Sick Smile On Steve’s Face

This is an old story…

The sun was shining off the sand, hot and white.  My eyes two slits.  I had my buddy Charlie in front of me; we were making our way through the sump path, down to the water’s edge to hunt bullfrogs with our pellet guns.  CO2 powered air guns with a high velocity, our pellet guns could take out a bullfrog in one shot.  The thing about hunting bullfrogs is you have to look for their eyes floating above the water.  You can find them on the shore line waiting in high grass but the most challenging way to shoot them is between the eyes floating in the water.

We walked with soft steps only to see Steve down by the water.  Steve the hyper active only child with rich parents on the corner was never a good sign when you were sneaking around looking for some frogs to hunt.  He had a way of messing things up.

We waited behind the bushes away from the shore line and back stepped when Steve started skipping rocks across the sump.  We watched from above, looking down the steep slope at the little world around us.  We waited on Steve, thought about hunting him and instead waited some more.

As time passed Charlie and I became bored and we made our way down the steep slope towards Steve…  A few ducks landed on the water.  Steve saw our pellet guns.

“Shoot the ducks” he laughed.

“What” I asked?

Charlie said “no”.

Steve wasn’t allowed to have pellet guns or B.B. guns.  His mother wouldn’t allow it.

“Shoot em.”

“It’s a duck, Steve” I said as I flared my arms out.

“So…KILL IT!”

“I can’t.”

“Give me the gun” he insisted.

“You can’t kill the duck either”  I told him.

“Yes I can, give me the gun.”

“No you can’t.”

“Bullshit.  I’ll shoot it right in the head.”

“You’re gonna hit the duck between the eyes?  Otherwise this gun isn’t strong enough to kill a duck.  It’s pellet gun!  All you’ll have is a loud bleeding duck to deal with.  It’s cruel!”

“Let me try.”

“NO” I was getting angry with Steve.

“No wonder your mom won’t let you have a gun” Charlie added in.
From out of nowhere my older brother grabbed my arms and my pellet gun.  He had snuck up on us when we were arguing.

My brother aimed at the duck.  The light twinkled off the still water, the little ripples left over from the ducks landing vanished.  Silence fell upon us.  If anyone would have something to say it would have to be me.

We all watched the male Mallard, its color, the ease at which it cut the surface, the clean gleam of the barrel and the sick smile on Steve’s face.  The cross-hairs steady on the ducks head.

Time stood still as I found the courage to say something to my brother.

He looked down at me as I spoke.

“DON’T! That’s my gun.”
Steve was excited bouncing on his toes chanting out “shoot it, shoot it” in a half whisper.

My brother turned with the gun in his hand and shot Steve in the thigh.  The sick smile passing from Steve’s face to my brothers.  The Mallards, pumping for a short range take off  flew over the barbwire fence; the reflections off the water and the screams from Steve, filled the air, startling everything living within earshot.

Steve went to school with a bruise the size of a pancake on his thigh with a little white center where the pellet was lodged.  No frogs were killed that day and the Mallards found a safer place to rest.  The closest Steve ever was to owning a gun was the pellet he kept, the one the doctor removed from his leg.  The pellet my brother put into his thigh.