Summer in Z land


You’d steal some other kid’s bike and that would mean something, that would hurt because that was freedom and hey maybe you even earned that bike and paid for it yourself, or maybe there you got a crescent wrench to torque against pliers and and change a tire or even take it apart by bits and put it together again.  Now the kids can’t be bothered to fish a bike out of the ditch.


And then the general store across the street.  Between the two of them, they had this place locked down.  It was a monopoly, a dynasty handed down through generations.  And it seemed that it would last forever.


There was this midget, he’d tour the towns playing guitar and singing cover tunes, sometimes changing the lyrics.  ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, George Thorogood.  Hey, that guy’s pretty good – that’s what people would say.  Oh, how he hated that life.


Fireworks, thousands of boxes of fireworks.  But you’d never know from the outside.  Whoever collects this stuff, he’s outside the Law.  This place is begging for a vandal, you think.


They sealed this deal with a handshake and then swore never to tell.  In the weeks that followed they  frequently conspired together, as publicly as they could.  Construction went on.  Decades later, one of them would still feel a shadow of guilty pleasure whenever he passed that spot, but the other one, he’d completely forgotten what it was they’d buried there.  He’d always been the more popular kid.


I take this occasional stabs at opening lines to short stories.  Never with the intention of going anywhere with them.  Vaguely inspired by photos and usually infused with strains of imagination pilfered from some small town memory.  More here and here.



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