Easy Pickings

I was sat on a rock, staring upwards. Tracing the path of that black shape in the sky.
‘Quit staring at the sun,’ ma told me.
I turned. ‘I ain’t.’
‘Papa says it’ll make you blind.’
‘Well, I ain’t. I’m lookin’ at the bird.’
‘Well, birds ain’t always friendly.’
‘I know, ma.’
’I’m headed back inside. Pa should be back any minute. Don’t take too long.’ Her words whittled away as she headed undercover. I stared at the entrance to our home full knowing she’d pop her head back out to give me one last piece of “advice”. ‘And quit staring at the sun!’
‘I AIN’T, MA!’

I looked back upwards and watched the bird swim in that endless blue.
‘Son, I got us some grubs. Your fave.’
I turned. ‘Alright, pa. Be in in a minute…Pa? You alright?…Pa?’
My pa held an expression I wish I’d forgotten. He let loose a silent cry as the black swept across us. I could not hear him over the sudden swelling burn held deep within my back.

I had been taken. Like the others, this was the end. But at least for a moment – I flew.

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