Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
by Gillian P. Herbert
The three of us walked briskly up the hill towards the park. The day was sunny but crispy cold. We all wore heavy jackets and my mother kept me tethered to her with my trainer reins. As we neared the park my mother reminded us "You can go into the park and watch the ducks while I choose books in the library. Ian, you're to watch Gillian and look after her. I won't be long".
As she stood quietly in the library browsing the shelves her mind left hearth and home and travelled to far distant lands and other worlds. Then, piercing through her thoughts, she heard "Does anyone have a little girl in a red outfit?" Her heart wavered, she shrank into the book stacks and desperately wished to be invisible and yet she raced outside to the gathering by the pond.
There I stood, mud from head to waist, crying. My brother stood next to me, also crying. "I tried Mummy, I really tried but I couldn't pull her up, she was too heavy. I told her not to lean over so far but she wouldn't listen". Bystanders had grabbed the reins and pulled me from the mud.
My mother told my brother to "run home quickly and tell Daddy to run a warm bath" while she followed behind, her hands heavy with muddy child but no books.
Gillian P. Herbert remembers and writes in Sonora, CA.
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