When I was snatched away from my parents, the only thing I had time to grab, was that stupid rubber ball. I can’t remember the exact circumstances of being removed. I remember the people in suits visiting me a couple of times. The next thing I knew, they arrived and I was ripped from my parents. I went to live with another family. The family tried, but moving to a new home is difficult. You don’t know the routine. You don’t even know where to go to the toilet. The food was different. Not bad, just different. None of that matters now, because I’m big enough, to escape. I waited for their backs to be turned and I’m out. I took with me all that I arrived with, that stupid rubber ball.
”Back again dear” The nosy old bat from the corner shop smiled, as I placed the clothespins on the counter. ”Do you take in washing dear? It’s just, this is the third packet you have bought in a couple of days.” ”The dog ate them.” I hoped this reply would satisfy her. Placing the money on the counter, I smiled and walked out of the shop. I would have to find another shop tomorrow, to buy more from. Couldn’t have the old bat getting suspicious.
Karen looked down at the total devastation in the lounge. How was it possible that a two-year-old could create such a mess in two hours. Lego, toy trains, dolls and that damn nesting doll were scattered everywhere. Emily had finally crashed half an hour ago, after five stories and two bottles of milk. Having a child was the hardest thing Karen had ever done. Doing it on her own, for the last year, had made it impossible. A tear escaped her eye and ran down her cheek. She wiped it away, angry at herself. Not now, she had things to do. With a sigh of exhaustion, she started to bend down and pick up all the toys, scattered on the floor. She looked down at the several different halves of the nesting dolls. God, how she hated their horrible smiling faces. All of them perfectly identical, getting smaller. As a child they had been her favourite, now she plain hated them. She would have thrown them away months ago if Emily hadn’t clung to them so much. Almost as if she realised they were the last part of her father.
Tommy lay on his bed watching the fan dancing shadows across the ceiling. The gentle thump of the blades so familiar. Today was his birthday, he was 30 years old. He stared at the fan and remembered back to another birthday when he had been 16. He was 16 when he finally learnt the secret of his existence. Ever since his father had walked out on his eighth birthday, he had known he needed the truth.
I remember receiving the box of my father’s things when I was 25. Shortly after he died I received a phone call to collect his effects from the mental hospital. They say after 15 years of incarceration, his brain finally gave in and let him pass. My family told me he hadn’t always been insane, it was a slow deterioration over many years. I don’t remember him being anything other than raving, violent and dangerous. Photos exist of us together when I was a toddler. It’s a time I don’t remember or want to. I took the box to my car, marvelling at how small it was. A small box, no bigger than a standard order from Amazon. A handful of things collected over a lifetime. I threw the box in the back of my car. I cared less about it than I did my father and that was saying something. As I pulled up to the house I left the box in the car and went in. Swinging my toddler into my arms, feeling his arms wrap around my neck. How could my father leave me at the same age?
This is the prologue, to my work in progress. At present, the book has the working title of Hidden Feelings, but I am sure this may change. I welcome any feedback you have. He sat there crouching down in the wet grass, waiting for his dad to say go. A bead of sweat ran down his back. He followed it in his mind, it made its way between his shoulder blades and down the small of his back. Finally coming to rest at the top of his boxer shorts. Another bead started following the same path down his spine. He legs felt numb from sitting in the same position for so long. He tried to move his knees to regain some feeling in them, as he felt the damp grass soaking through. Everything over the last 16 years had led to this one moment and the anticipation was killing him.
The first the controller knew about the missing passenger on Flight 241, was the battered suitcase on the carousel. The battered brown case slid around the circular belt, like a loan surfer on the waves. The controller picked up the case and took it to his office. It always amazed him that people could get … Continue reading Homeward Bound – Short Story