Friday, January 29, 2010
Lament -- flash fiction
I'd seen the red ball before of course. Just yesterday as a matter of fact. Little Brianna was playing with it. Bouncing it on the building whap whap whap. After an hour the sound had gotten on my nerves. Bounce whap bounce whap bounce whap over and over. I had leaned out of my window and spoken sharply to her. She had smiled at me and apologized, sweet child that she was. She then sat on the ball and quietly colored with chalk on the sidewalk instead.
This morning as I rushed off, coffee and car keys in hand, I paused a moment to look at her fanciful drawings of unicorns, rainbows and fluffy clouds with happy faces. I smiled and carefully walked around them to avoid smudging any of the outlines.
Now, at seven in the evening, after a full day of mindless paper pushing, here I stand watching the street cleaner hosing down the pavement. He is hosing the last of Brianna's beautiful happiness from the sidewalk. The water swirls into the gutter to meet and mingle with her red ball as it bounces against the curb.
I can't help feeling that I need to rescue the ball.
The red ball that is bouncing whap whap whap in the gutter sloshing in the water that swirls both with rainbow colored chalk and the bloody leftover bits of the car that killed Brianna.
A link to this week's 79 #fridayflash stories at Mad Utopia