Short/Micro/Flash Fiction

Henry’s Morning Visit

Hey, Babe. Two minutes after I talked to you there’s a knock on the door.  It’s not your pa, looking for Sophie’s bags, or the milk man, but Heather with Henry and his car seat in tow.
It’s 7:42.
Hey, I say.  I’m dressed in my silvery long john pants and ratty white mock tee.  Sophie said they looked like superman pants.  Who’s the Super Action Hero now, Henry?
Hello, Heather bleats cheerfully.  Here we are, Henry has his little seat.  He’s all ready.
Uh, okay.  Um–did he, uh, have breakfast or anything?
Nope, we just packed him up for school and pushed him out the door.
Can I give him Cheerios?
Sure, whatever.  He likes Cheerios. He likes anything.
You must have an eight o’clock?
Yep, and they’re doing presentations today so I gotta run.  Thanks.
It’s 7:46.
We get the boy unbundled, he mentions all the boxes.
We’re getting ready for decorating for Christmas, I say.
We did our decorating already.  We did it on the church day.
I love that: the church day.
Anna clomps down the stairs, cute as a bunny in that new red sweatshirt, though her brow is fairly furrowed, like the tiller of the land.  You know, the one with the gnarled hands, clutching his rake?
She whispers to me, as an aside. Henry’s here?
As if he’s the hundred pound gorilla hunched in the corner.
As if he can’t hear.
Why is Henry here?
He’s going to replace Sophie for the weekend, I explained.  He’ll be like the son I never had.
She grins: Right.
Mike calls around 8:00.
Charles, I’m really sorry.  I thought it was 8:30 and time for school when I called.
I told him no problem, he’s eating Cheerios.  I figured I’d just roll with it.
Henry was great.  He seemed to actually enjoy the departure from his normal schedule.  He re-bundled himself without a problem and the girls helped him into his car seat while I brushed snow from the windows with the porch broom.  I watched him in the rear view mirror, smiling all the way to school. Good kid. Good start to the day.

By JunkChuck

Native, Militant Westsylvanian (the first last best place), laborer, gardener, and literary hobbyist (if by literary you mean "hack"). I've had a bunch of different blogs, probably four, due to a recurring compulsion to start over. This incarnation owes to a desire to dredge up the best entries of the worst little book of hand-scrawled poems I could ever dream of writing, salvageable excerpts from fiction both in progress and long-abandoned. and a smattering of whatever the hell seems to fit at any particular moment. At first blush, I was here just to focus on old, terrible verse, but I reserve the right to include...anything. Maybe everything, certainly my love of pulp novels, growing garlic, the Pittsburgh Steelers and howling at the moon--both figuratively and, on rare occasions, literally.

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