When I Can, I Will

Contributor: M. Scibelli

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Before sunset everything appears readily apparent. He pedaled his bike into the high school football stadium at half past five. A game had been played earlier that day, and the tattered bleachers on both sides had a number of balloons tied to them. Getting off of his bike, he braced it against the home bleachers and strode down the fine gravel track toward the far end. Due to the hour, long shadows were flung to the ground by an over-zealous sun dying of age. He turned and regarded the trodden field, tired from the day’s use but still fresh at the start of the season. The field seemed to smile bleakly at him; it was a tired runner at the start of a race that it knew was much too long for it.
Above the landscaped grass swarmed several dozen dragonflies, bounding off of unseen air currents and darting through the shallow sky. Each one would stop for a short period of time, reconsider its life, and turn and rocket away, only to repeat itself moments later. Dragonflies only seemed to come out for several weeks before they were gone again; the recent surge of these creatures impressed a strictly ephemeral sentiment on the youth;.
In his mind, the stadium incased a single instance. Although cars on the highway close-by could be heard. To him, they didn’t matter, or at least they seemed to not. A wind howled by, a campaign caller for the Fall-Winter ballot that hung up after the third ring.
He ambled back down the track toward his bike, halting at each of the helium balloons as he went. Wrapping the string around his fingers, he then tugged severely at it until the line frayed and gave. The bicycle, leaning on the splintered handrail of the bleachers, screamed of a youth he should no longer be in; indeed, he wasn’t.
The boy released the balloons into the air. At first gregariously remaining grouped together, they soon parted ways and began to form smaller and smaller profiles against the waning afternoon sky. He watched and he stood, he killed summer. The balloons floated higher and higher into the atmosphere, bolstered by air, until they were far out of reach of his vision.
He looked melancholy but gazed resolutely toward his bicycle, then got on and pedaled away. He knew that while he couldn’t see it happen, the balloons would all pop. Sometimes the sparsity of air around balloons would cause them to fill too large, and unwillingly kill themselves.


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2 Responses to this post

  1. Jesse Campen on October 14, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    The atmosphere in this story is amazing. You do great work setting the mood. This is an awesome flash!

  2. Marco Scibelli on October 14, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Thank you!

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