Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Bridge

This week's flashfiction assignment for the  +Literary+ group was to take the first line of our partner's WIP and write 300 words or less. I was paired with +Jim Hanson, who gave me a wonderfully challenging first line.

I'm pretty certain I went in the complete opposite direction of the original. In fact, I did a 180 from my usual fare, which after reading it over a few times, I didn't mind in the end. :)
(294 words)

Perched atop a hillock overlooking the north field and obscured by the sun at his back, Aldwin looked down at his field in horror. The last play of the game; Jimmy over-estimated the fly ball and missed the catch. The crowd groaned. Watching one boy, then another, and yet another cross home base was a bit like watching a slow motion scene in a bad movie.

Afterwards, his son Darren shuffled out from the dug-out. His head down and dragging his bat like he’d lost his best friend. Aldwin took a deep breath and pasted on a smile.

“Good game, son,” he said and clapped him on the shoulder.

“Not really. We sucked.”

“You almost went into overtime,” he pointed out.

“But we didn’t win.” Darren shrugged off his dad’s hand and ran ahead to the car.

‘Allison,’ he thought. ‘I wish you were here.’ It had become a silent mantra. Aldwin squared his shoulders and unlocked the car. Darren needed his mother; she always knew just what to say. Aldwin had been the disciplinarian of the family; his wife the comforter. Stepping into those uncomfortable shoes taught him just how inadequate he was at being a Dad.

“It was a good game,” he said again, feeling his ineptitude keenly.

Darren shifted in the seat and sighed.

On the drive home, the reflection of his son’s dejected face in the window made his heart ache. “You played well.”

“Not good enough,” the twelve year old mumbled. “I wanted to win.”

“Then do it.”

Darren snapped his head around. “Huh?”

“Next time, win.”

“Dad,” Darren said as if speaking to an ignoramus. “Baseball’s a team sport.”



Aldwin smiled at his son and for the first time in a long time, Darren smiled back.

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