Words by Calasade

The Boy Who Jumped was the result of an assignment for a creative writing course and is a companion piece to the post, “LEARNING – COURSERA – ABOUT ABDCE“. Read that before this if you’re interested in writing mechanics.

Otherwise, please continue with this free read. :)


THE BOY WHO JUMPED

The distance to the ground was not as far as it looked. That’s what the boy kept telling himself anyway when peeking over the barn-roof’s edge; just as he had done for five previous days.

It was time.

No more cowardice.

He could do this. Jump to that stable-roof some fifteen feet away.

Best friend Jimmy be damned for claiming otherwise.

The boy lumbered up the roof’s incline to the very top. The metal ridge board cut into his feet through the soles of his tennis shoes. He took a deep, deep breath. Closed his eyes but for a moment.

And took off.

Sped over the shingles that crunched beneath his weight. Reached the gutter, launched, and pin-wheeled his arms.

He was Spider-man. No, better. Superman.

Flying like a bird.

But…

Wait.

Uh-oh.

Superman’s momentum never slowed like this, until he stopped and—for the briefest of moments—hung aloft. The boy’s hair shot straight up as air rushed into his nostrils. He screamed going down; screamed harder when hitting the ground. His ankle twisted. Something snapped.

Pain. Blinding pain.

The boy screamed louder still, longer. A woman’s shrill cry joined his own. Mother. Through his tears he saw her darting around the wagon, across the yard. She scooped him in her arms and bemoaned, “What did you do?” over and over.

He tried to answer, but couldn’t. His jaw was clamped tight.

The ride to the doctor’s office worsened the pain. Their beat-up, old truck bounced over the pitted dirt road. His mom driving like she were in a race against time didn’t help. He tried to tell her to slow down. Nonsensical blubbering came out. The dirt road gave way to gravel; that to pavement.

A parking lot.

His mother leapt from her seat, out the truck-door she had shoved open hard enough for it to clang against the quarter-panel. Around the front of the pick-up she sprinted. Not unlike Flash. The boy giggled despite his pain. Again she whisked him into her arms. Now through the ER door.

“Alan,” a nurse muttered, shaking her head.

Old friend, her. Oft-visited friend, the doctor who gave the same reaction after seeing him return.

“I know what you’re gonna say,” Alan gasped and groaned. “Here we go again.”

As they would in the future. Sooner or later, he was going to make that stupid jump.

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