Next Exit to Thursday, Ch. I

Next Exit to Thursday, Ch. I

A Story by Ayatollah Ayatollah

Louie didn't mean no harm by it. I know it ain't his fault. It was back at a barbecue, which turns out the weatherman was wrong, it was a little too chilly for that, but we had it anyway. My parents and aunt and uncle sat around the back, swiping off crumbs. I bet the ants loved us that day. Anyway Louie was running around before he got lonely and came up to the table. 
"What do you think of that Dana?" my mom said.
"I think she's still missing." My dad was so deadpan about everything it nearly killed my parent's marriage. Then it went dead quiet. We all heard the tchuk-tchuk-tchuk of Mrs. Ballory's sprinklers next door, and  the clomp-clomp of little sneakers on the concrete street one over and the rustle of deep green against the trees.
"I think she misses her friends." Louie kicked his legs, hooking them under his chair. He got a real kick outta that, no matter how many times he'd done it before. He looked at me, his big brown eyes all lit up. I could tell he was a little sad, too. He was sensitive as hell. Even a leaf getting scraped made him sad. Every little thing in the world, he could feel. Trees don't feel pain, but don't tell him that. He won't believe you.
"You think she'll come home? I hope she comes home," he said. He did that a lot, say things to himself, or no one it seemed, half the time. But he didn't say it to no one, he just didn't say it to anyone. Now everyone was still quiet, because there's nothing you can say to a big-hearted kid.
"Can I go play in the woods?"
"No. No. Not alone." She said the whole thing real quick, smacking her lips together and scrunching her face up. 
"I'll go with him," I said.
"There's snakes in there. No." Again with the smacking and the scrunching.
"There's garter snakes, yeah. There's no cobras or anything like that." My mom just gave up.
"Alright, but watch him. Louie, go inside and get the bug spray for me."
The cold heat wasn't getting to us - the sunlight is what made us all sweat and breathe a little heavier. The wind had died down for a while, and the sound of sneakers with it. A bird flew out of Mrs. Ballory's yard. Then her sprinkler started up again.
Tchuk-tchuk-tchuk.

© 2013 Ayatollah Ayatollah


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Added on August 22, 2013
Last Updated on August 22, 2013

Author

Ayatollah Ayatollah
Ayatollah Ayatollah

About
I'm a bubbly optimist hidden under a crunchy shell of irritability and nonsense. I like to talk to people, and that probably means you too. more..

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