The Playground

The Playground

A Story by Christina

From a writing prompt I found: "Describe a day at the playground from the perspective of a child."

I am sitting in my car seat, slightly swaying to the left, slightly swaying to the right with each turn, bouncing a little on every bump. I am gazing with bright eyes at the trees blurring past my window. Their leaves have lots of points, and they're red, orange, yellow, and they fall to the sidewalk and crinkle under your sneakers. I lean forward and look down at my sneakers. My fret almost touch the floor now. Daddy asks if I'd like to get hot cider later after the park, and he's holding Mommy's hand in his, softly brushing her knuckles with his thumb.
She's staring out her window, and I don't think she heard Daddy mention hot cider because I know she'd be excited. She isn't smiling though. I know because I see her from her window; every time we pass a tree she disappears for half a second, but her reflection always returns twinkling in the golden sunlight. I heard her and Daddy again last night, yelling at each other. Daddy just wants her to tell him how she feels, but she never wants to talk about it.
 She hasn't acted very much like Mommy since before June when she was rushed to the hospital and we had to say goodbye to my little sister. No one enters her nursery now, but Mommy wakes up in the night to the sound of her cries even though we never got to bring her home. Sometimes I think I can hear her too, but I know she's really in Heaven with all the lost babies and my classmate's daddy.
 Tanner said he was a super hero who fought evil villains in a desert far away from here, and now he's buried somewhere else far from here. I ask Tanner if he ever misses him, but he tightens his lips and does something bad that makes the teacher yell a lot.
 I am swinging now. My daddy is pushing me with one hand and pushing the little girl beside me with the other. We are all laughing, and I can't stop laughing even though the brisk air burns my throat with every inhale. I see Mommy at a picnic table speaking with two women who are sitting very close to each other. They all look very serious. But I am on the see-saw with the little girl from the swings and I am having too much fun to feel nervous.  
The sun is going down and the trees are beginning to appear black against the sky, and Mommy calls me from the picnic table to tell me we need to go home to get ready for school tomorrow. After incessant pleading, she allows me one last ride down the slide, and as I run and scramble to the top I see her turn around and give the little girl from the see-saw a big hug. By the time I come to a stop at the bottom, Mommy and Daddy are waving goodbye to the little girl and the two women as they walk home.
I am back in my car seat, and it is hard to keep my eyes open. I flinch under every streetlight that blurs past my window, and I can see Mommy in the passenger seat waving her arms about. I can hear her telling Daddy about a girl who's too afraid to go to school because the kids laugh and ask her bad questions. Daddy is brushing the hair from her face and whispering that everything will be okay. I believe him.
 I am dreaming about Tanner's new puppy. He has pointy ears and mud-colored fur, and his name is Sergeant which is weird because that's Tanner' s daddy's name too. I wish he was my puppy and I could get to hold him every night like Tanner does.

© 2016 Christina

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Made me anxious. Nice write.

Posted 7 Years Ago

Very interesting mixture of a child's voice and adult themes. I noticed a few times the "adult voice" slipped through...but it didn't detract from your painting of the picture. For instance: the way you described the trees as "starting to look black against the sky" was a new ce visual, but to persist the dark theme, the child might have seen them as "arms reaching toward Heaven to hug my baby sister I never met..."

Posted 7 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on June 12, 2016
Last Updated on June 12, 2016
Tags: playground, children, parents, first person, story, short story



Fort Bliss, TX

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A Story by Christina