And just as man doesn’t live by bread alone, or wine alone, or cheeses or meats alone, so too do writer’s need variety in their diets. I’ve been penning novels and some short stories over the course of my – by some accounts – sixty-year career but of late I found that I wanted to taste something different. It is for this reason that I embarked upon a “blog” wherein I could write a fantastical little story everyday. I did however want to keep it at a distance from my other writings – as the stories were rough and unedited – therefore I’ve been writing under an assumed name with each and every story for the past six months.

   Today I felt it was time to reveal the truth.

   I hope you enjoy today’s short-short burst of fiction.

 


 

Forevermore at Most

 

 

    The father with a prosthetic arm is taking his five-year-old son out to the large green park five minutes from their doorstep. Their Siberian Husky, Bobo – named after the father’s favorite jazz pianist, Bobo Stensen, is on a leash and the boy holds onto the strap which is looped around his father’s hand. In this touch, the son feels like he’s responsible for taking the dog out for a walk but by the time they reach the park the son is tugging at the strap, hoping to take full possession of the dog. But they’re at the park and the son might as well be trying to leash the wind or sun because their dog knows that now’s his time to run up and down the green field. Bobo tugs at the leash and the man is pulled forward. Bobo, he says firmly and the dog’s ears move back but he still smiles. I want to hold him, the five-year-old boy cries and stamps his foot on the green grass but it’s too late because Bobo is running with his tongue hanging out of his mouth the way his head would be hanging out of a car window. The boy sniffles and shouts, bad dog but Bobo is already at a distance. The father notes this new insistence in the boy who’s just started school. Perhaps, he’s trying to regain control over a world that’s changing. The father is a psychologist and tinkers all day with people and theories about their actions. The father tells the boy not to cry but this only serves as a challenge and the boy cries louder. Bobo wags his tail in the distance and then starts to run back. He looks up waiting for the familiar orange of the plastic ball. The father throws the ball with his right arm which is his flesh and blood arm. Do you want to go home, he asks his son who then starts to wail like a siren. Other people in the once quiet park look over to the pair. Bobo is already back with the ball in his mouth. His tail wags like a metronome on its fastest setting. At the sight of Bobo, the boy cries all the harder, reaching his own loudest setting. The father can’t explain this dramatic display of grief in his son. Bobo drops the ball between the boy and his father. Do you want to throw the ball, the father asks but the boy doesn’t want to release anything, he wants to hold something in his hands but how can the father know this? After all he’s not a child psychologist. Distracted, the father puts the ball into his left arm which, when he goes to throw the ball, flies out into the air with the ball. The dog is impressed with the variety of choice and brings back the prosthetic forearm. The boy wipes his tears, takes the arm from the dog and gives it to his father. Here’s a simple solution to all their worries. All three are happy once again.

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