Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Category: Short Story


Every playground has one, that one link of the swing chain that makes a noise.  Swwweeeeak going forward and rrreeeeak going back.  Sweak, reak, sweak, reak sweak, reak.  Anytime a child is in the swing or if a good wind is blowing, this one noise can be heard.  As Rick jogs past the school playground, he hears the squeak and sees the kids darting from the replica log fort to the dull silver slide. As they run, the spatters of safety mulch rise behind them. These darting children are hard to see, but the ones on the swings; they stay in focus.  Like the girl with the pink striped tights and the pink and fuchsia top.  She sits in the squeaking swing today pulling it forward by bending her legs, the laying down, supine, to make the swing squeak backwards, her body becoming the pink streak of a pendulum marking the moments of recess.
Playgrounds are lonely at midnight, but they aren’t always quite.  The wind is blowing and although it is faint, Rick can hear the swing squeaking slightly forward and the back.  He walks to the empty moving swing and sets in it.  As he swings his adult weight stiffens the chain and is squeaks louder.  He lays back in the swing like the kids do at recess and looks at the sky, a vast void of space full of star and planets, playful points of light winking at him.  A world he ca not possess no matter how much he dreams.  He stares into the blackness and swings harder and faster, the points of lights turn to streaks as he swings and the sound, the squeak of the swing seems to reach up to the stars and ride the streak out into the timeless universe.

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Old Comments

  • The first part - initially disturbing, the repeat of the sybillance.  Then, struck me like a knife - I GOT it - the author has done so intentionally, and has laid out a scenario where the reader’s senses are hightened. In that state, the reader feels the intesity of the lonliness, the separation, that Rick experiences. 

    I like this more the third time around.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/22  at  05:03 PM
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