moonlight

Photo courtesy of DB McNicol via Pixabay

The moon is no big deal. It’s just a big rock, my dad used to say. Four and a half billion years old, just sitting there.

Every once and a while a meteorite hits it and grinds up a little dust.

It can look good when it’s big and orange on the horizon but don’t be fooled. It’s just a big rock.

My dad is up there. He made it there ok but couldn’t get back. He spoke to us before he died. He was standing outside his ship up to his ankles in moon dust. He apologized to my mom but she didn’t accept his apology. She scolded him while my sister and I listened.

She’s still mad about it five years later. She remarried . My sister says it was for spite. Getting married again didn’t make her happy. I know that for sure.

So I don’t respect the moon. They say there’s a little ice on it that you could break down for its hydrogen and oxygen but I don’t know the details. Otherwise it’s just used as a garage and gas station on the way to Mars.

Which is why I don’t know why I’ve made up my mind the way I have. I haven’t told anybody, not my buddies, not my sister, not my mom. Now that I’m graduating from high school, it’s going to have to come out. I don’t need my mom’s permission to enlist but she’ll find out when I do. It’ll be in the local news and she’ll know anyway that I haven’t applied for college.

Nobody says it out loud but I know that I’ll be accepted into the program because my dad is still up there. I’ll go up and stand at his grave. I don’t have any plans after that.

for Foto Flash Fiction Challenge and The Twiglets

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I’m proud of my boy.

He may not be proud of me, once he’s old enough to appreciate my predicament, but be that as it may, I am unapologetic.

“How could you?” my spouse says. “I’m away helping my mother for a week and this happens? What were you thinking?”

These kinds of questions are hard to answer.

“Who puts a ’32 Ford L-head V-8 engine in a Kozy Koop?” she says.

I did not correct her, but it was more like putting the Kozy Koop on the engine, not the other way around.

“Who lets a three-year-old drive a 85-horsepower vehicle with a twin-throat carburetor and dual-plane intake manifold?” she says.

I let that pass, assuming it was hypothetical. Or do I mean rhetoretical?

“He’s never even learned to pedal the Koop,” she says.

“I trained him up,” I say.

That got me a stare like a dagger.

“I let him steer the Ranchero, sitting on my lap,” I say. “I put a governor on the Ford engine. It couldn’t do much over fifty.”

“There were twenty other Koops on that football field for the contest.”

“He didn’t hit none of them,” I say. “He went straight through and into the creek before a single one of them made more than ten yards.”

I was the only one who cheered, which I think showed poor sportsmanship on the part of the other parents.

for Friday Foto Flash Fiction Challenge

The Last Time

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

That right there was my last birthday in Otis County. My last birthday held at the Stockyards Bar and Grill. The last time John Jacobs gets to offer me a ride home and then put his married paws on me. He can explain the black eye to his wife best he can.

My feet are killing me but the road’s too hot to take off these shoes.

One mile to the crossroads. John can give my presents to his durned wife. I don’t need them. How’s he going to explain that?

Last time listening to Wanda and Elsie talk about their kids. Nettie bragging about her dispatcher job. In the city I’ll get a job just as good as hers. Better.

Fifty dollars in my bra. Greyhound picks up at the Shell station at three. Keep walking. The big grey dog. Thank God and Greyhound she’s gone.

Aunt Faith has offered me a place enough times. Surprise! Here I am.

Do they allow balloons on the bus? What am I doing with these balloons? Let them go. No, give them to a kid at the Farmer’s Mart by the gas station.

No, just let them go. Look up, somebody. That’s me saying goodbye.

for Foto Flash Fiction