Over The Rainbow

Over The Rainbow

A Story by Rememberance

The best short story I have ever written. I hope you enjoy.


              The first and last time I ever saw that boy, was during a walk through the richer district of the city. I was a young, starving artist in the most literal of terms; my last meal had been nearly two days ago. Everything I owned had been stashed away in the bag over my shoulder, with my sketch pad carried in my hand. My family had disowned me for following my dream of one day being a well-known and respected artist. That had been almost a month ago.
              Now, at that time, I was beginning to disown myself for such a silly little fairytale when I came across a small park one beautiful, fall morning. The children on the playground chattered excitedly, laughing, and yelling as they ran about the dilapidated equipment…all except one little boy who was chasing after the birds and crying as they flew away “TAKE ME WITH YOU!”
              I’d just come out from my third attempt to get a job that morning alone, when I saw him. I settled onto one of the nearby benches, my bag between my dirty, misused shoes, with my sketch pad open across my lap, hand gripping a newly sharpened pencil which was poised over the paper, just in case.
              The funny thing is…I sat watching that boy for the better part of an hour as he chased those birds, and the closer he got to catching them, the farther away they’d fly. And no one was stopping him, no one was telling him to be quiet and quit chasing the birds. It seemed as if no one cared.
              Somehow, I doubt that adult interference would have stopped him, he seemed to want those birds to take him away pretty badly. Why? One could only imagine.
              An hour and a half later, he collapsed into a heap on the ground, totally exhausted, a quivering, shaking mess of what looked to be a seven year old boy.
              I waited a minute or two and noticing no one was going to him, I stood slowly picking up my bag. Still he didn’t move, he just laid in the grass and watched the birds fly over him. My steps were slow and quiet, as unsure as they had been when I’d walked down the steps of my house for that last time before ending up out here in the real world.
              He jumped and twisted as I put a hand on his shoulder, falling back on his butt in the thin, brownish grass. Pausing a moment, I did the same, crossing my legs in front of me and studying him.
              Had the tears and ten layers of dirt been taken away, the boy would have been the pride and joy of a family like mine; all dancers and actors and other people of socially important people. He had short, dark brown hair that was now sticking to his forehead from sweat and pale, soft looking skin under the aforementioned grime. His eyes though, they were the most beautiful and sorrowful things I have ever seen. Green as the Irish countryside, wide as the rising sun, and as pain filled as a man sentenced to a death he didn’t deserve. With those eyes, the skinny boy studied me just as hard as I was studying him.
              We were both quiet for some time before I realized I’d started sketching the boy’s gaunt face in my drawing pad, my hand flowing and twisting; one with the pencil. He watched my hand suspiciously as if it would strike out and actually pull him into the paper.
“Why were you chasing the birds?” I asked quietly as I started sketching lines that would become his eyes.
              “Why do birds fly?” he responded softly.
              “To get to the place they are going,” I replied looking up from my sketch pad to study his face once more. He paused a moment and then shook his head, small pieces of hair freeing themselves from the group to play with the breeze. My eyes saw and my hands repeated, the strays barely visible on the half done picture.

              “To get to someplace new. To get away from where they are.”
              “You want to get away from here then?”
              He looked at the ground, thin fingers picking at the dead grass, “I want them to take me with them, to be able to be as free as they are.”
              “As free as a bird…” I trailed off when I noticed the plastic bracelet around his wrist, it was a hospital band. I pointed to it, “Is that why you want to be free?”
              He looked at it and shrugged and then shook his head, “No, that has nothing to do with it. They just haven’t taken it off yet.”
              “They? Your parents?”
              He nodded.
              “If you went with the birds, wouldn’t you miss them?”
              His face shifted, hate taking place of confusion, “They’re who I want to leave.”
              I blinked, slightly taken aback by his abrupt answer, “Why?”
              Sticking his jaw out stubbornly, he shook his head again and refused to speak more on the subject. The lines were becoming thicker, adding depth to the two dimensional world of paper.
              “Why the birds?” I asked, changing the subject.
              “I heard about it in a song once.”
              “What song?”
              “I can’t…sing it…forgot how it goes…but I know the words…Somewhere, over the rainbow…blue birds fly…birds fly over the rainbow…why then oh why, can’t I?”
              The song that nearly everyone knows in some way, for some reason, or maybe they just really like the Wizard of Oz.
              “There’s a land beyond those clouds,” he explained, “On the other side of the rainbows. Birds are the only way to get there and it seems a lot better there, even if I never heard of it in lullabies I never had. So I’mma catch me a bird and fly over that rainbow. Maybe that’s where mommy went, yeah…mom caught herself a birdy and flew over the rainbow, but there wasn’t enough room so she had to leave me behind…” his eyes got wide and he jumped to his feet.
              “TAKE ME WITH YOU!” he screamed, once more chasing after the birds.
I stayed frozen on the ground, my picture finished, yet I couldn’t move.
              How I longed more than ever at that moment to be young again, to believe it was all that simple. Just over the rainbow. Where troubles melt like lemon drops. High above the chimney tops. That’s where they’d find us.
              To my feet I scramble, looking for him…but the boy had left. I had wanted to take him with me. We’d find a life better than over the rainbow.
              Now that he was gone however, I snapped back into reality. My whole plan was just horrible. I would never be able to just take him. There is no over the rainbow.
              I looked down at the sketch of a boy who chased birds. His face soft and childish with hard lines that showed how old he was inside and light gray eyes of lead that gazed at me, a serene solemnity conveyed over into reality.
              Falling back onto the bench I looked around, breathless. He was beautiful. The picture was beautiful. My masterpiece. My crowning achievement.

              The sketch is now tucked away safely in the safe in my closet. I haven't shown a soul, a secret that still weighs heavy on my heart. After that day, I went home and like the prodigal son, this return was a joyous occasion and I reentered my parent’s politically correct society.

              Years later, I wandered back to that park where I found him, where reality shattered for a fraction of a second and then snapped back together twice as fast.
              That bench is where I write about my findings now.

              The park was abandoned by the city for a larger one that catered to a species of endangered ducks, the equipment having been disassembled and removed. I’d read about it in the paper. The park hadn't been very popular anyways one of the biggest complaints about the park being that the birds continually got riled up for no reason.
              But there was a reason, that boy was the reason and even now I can hear his cries of anguish, “Take me with you,” echoing through the empty, grassy field, the memory of a boy long since passed. Why?
              I checked into the park and the surrounding area. The boy died 25 years ago, chasing a bird across the road. What I had met with was merely what had been left behind.
              So it might be true about ghosts and souls, how they return to a place they were attached to if they left the world unsatisfied.
              All I know is that I am here, and he is not. Maybe it’s not the same boy or maybe my talking with him let him rest…or maybe he did make it over his rainbow.

“Somewhere…over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams…that you dare to dream…
Really do come true.”

© 2012 Rememberance

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Nicely written story. You did a great job of creating the character of the little boy. I was instantly drawn to him much like the main character was.

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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Added on June 16, 2012
Last Updated on June 16, 2012
Tags: Over, The, Rainbow, Sci-fi, Science Fiction, Realistic



Delano, MN

How many times has the story started ‘You don’t live in the world you think you do’? It has to be clear by now, that we are not all knowing, there are things that escape the limits o.. more..