Happy October. To begin this month’s posts, I chose the short story prompt over at Bluebell Books. The image is inspired by Charlottes Fancy. I hope you enjoy the child's play in this piece.
Kent couldn’t take his eyes off of bubbles. They had this radioactive glow in sunlight. He watched them until they burst onto pavement. It took the shape of our summer: one beautiful, brief burst.
“Man, we’re too old for this crap,” Matt declared. He cocked his Cubs hat sideways. “Kent, quit staring at those bubbles. Ya big dummy!” He started snapping his fingers in Kent’s face but Kent wouldn’t budge. He was content in the land of bubbles.
“I think the sun fried his brains,” I sighed. Hannah didn’t listen to us complaining. She found the simple joy of summer pursing her lips and releasing her bubbles into the wind. And Kent was her lone but eager spectator.
“Ah hell, I’m a man amongst boys,” Matt spat and he slung his ball from view. “Seriously, don’t you guys wanna play catch? You know I need practice for the JV squad.”
“Nah, I like watching Kent drool,” I laughed.
“Hey, it’s the Bubble Squad,” Sandy shouted. She and Tiffany sped their bikes around the corner to taunt us. I turned to face nasty, no-good Sandy. But she was suddenly charming with that Kool-Aid red dye in her hair. Her cheeks were flushed with a special summer glow.
“Yea, it’s the Bubble Squad. You guys suck,” Tiffany taunted. The insult was enough to wake Kent form his stupor.
“Get lost girls,” Matt threatened and he raised his left fist at Sandy.
“I’d like to see you try it,” she fired back. Sandy was a few inches taller than Matt with her mean, bulldog smile. I felt giddy staring into her cold, heartless eyes. It was the beginning of love and madness.
“Let’s be mature about this guys.” My old man had said something like that before. I gave Sandy a sloppy grin and winked at her. She shot me a dirty look before speeding away on her bike. Tiffany reluctantly followed after her.
“Why did you defend Psycho Sandy,” Matt snapped. “Are you in love, doofus?” I could feel my face turning beet red. “Lay off the girls. They’re poison,” he laughed. He shared a smile with me and ruffled my hair.
We felt the first autumn wind brush against our faces as the bubbles, girls, and baseball drifted away in the final days of summer.