February 16, 2015 Comments Off on Cherry Bombs By Daniel W. Thompson
It’s you and me, before us now. Long ago. A lifetime now upon some dusty shelf. In the chilly pre-dawn morning, shivering on my bed, listening for your first sound. The flick, then sliver of light below my door. A go signal. Outside, to the truck, and watch you pack Mr. Pibb and Moon Pies while a fire grows behind the pine trees. Crack the windows. Rumble on uneven tires. Watch the red-hot cherry peel the tobacco off your cigarette. The smoke, floating by my nose, smells like you, and sometimes, even today, a man walks past, smoking, and I think, Dad — goddam, wretched, never mind. We slide the pale, peeling, blue boat into still waters, and like slippery eels skate across the lake, letting my hand trail in the cold water. At our first hole, you set me up. Let me set you up. Here son, I’ll set you up. Dip my line. Watch the bobber. Darkness around the red and white beacon of hope. And with a suddenness almost frightening, the black swirls swallow my bobber whole. Yank it back son, go on yank it back. What pride. What accomplishment. A father and his son, conquering before returning home, heroes, and breakfast with Mom. All before us now, before falling into those deep, cavernous craters you left behind. Back when I dragged my hand in the water and watched cherries burn in front of your mouth, like bombs waiting to explode.
© 2014 Daniel W. Thompson
Daniel W. Thompson’s fiction has appeared recently or is forthcoming at publications like Bartleby Snopes, Jersey Devil Press, Literary Orphans, decomP, and Spartan. As a child, his grandfather paid him $5 an hour to clean up frozen cow patties and pull stones out of the vegetable garden. Now he lives in downtown Richmond, VA with his wife and daughter cleaning up diapers and dog fur – no compensation has been offered.