The car slows to a an almost halt.

“Who lives here?” she asks me, staring at the strange derelict structure that appears to rise from the shrubbery and dissolve into the trees. “Do you know that old man?”

I jerk around to find a sickly face looking out from the broken window.

“No.”

There had been a man, tall, strong, who lived on this land, with his young wife and son. During the day he would tend to his fields and cattle, while she tended to the house and the boy. It was when the sun sank that the devil came calling.
He drank, and swore. He beat and pillaged the woman. The little boy knew that he must hide in the closet until the devil went away and his mama came for him. She had told him so.
One day the devil was much too loud and far too mean. The boy hid in mamas skirts and waited. He waited but mama never came.
So he sneaked out to look for her.
There she was, lying on the wet red floor, with a knife sticking out, while father snored upon the bed. The boy knew what he must do. The devil had to be exorcised like in the movie. Pulling out the knife he went and struck the devil. The man woke up with a great big roar. But boy jumped off and ran and ran and ran.

I don’t know where these strange memory flashes come from.
I do not know the boy. I do not know this man.

She slips her hand over mine as I start the car up. “I really don’t know why I came here,” I mumble as I drive away.

Beside my car I see the little boy still running.

 


In response to Michelle’s Photo-Fiction #94

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2 thoughts on “The running boy

  1. Very subtle and well crafted story you really drew me in. So much so that I looked back at the picture, you made me forget that this house is in the middle of our city. I hope it stands long enough that if you are ever in Antigua and Barbuda you can see it for yourself.

    Like

    1. Thank you. It almost looks like the tree is going to gobble up the house soon and that sorta triggered this piece of writing.
      It’s a lovely picture and I perhaps some day I’ll see it in person. For now, thank you for sharing it through your lens.

      Like

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