#260 Not Kansas

by Gavin Broom

The bang so loud, it’s thick. It’s like someone has picked up the whole basement and thrown it to the ground. I feel it in my teeth, at the back of my throat, in my chest. Papa used to say the loudest noise in the world was disobedience. He lied about that, too.

I crawl into the corner where Maria whimpers. I stroke her hair. I tell her Papa’s gone. In the dark, I can still see the brick, the crawling blood. Papa’s phone glows on the floor and I remember the nice lady’s voice, telling me I’m brave, promising that it’ll just be a little longer.

A corner of the ceiling is ripped off and sharp light bursts through the room, burning my eyes. It’s like looking at God. I twist away and push harder against the wall until my lungs feel crushed. Maria’s whimpers grow louder. She’s praying.

Words are shouted from the hole in the ceiling and when I squint and turn back, I see a shadow with a gun being lowered into our world. He asks if we’re okay and where Papa is but before I can answer, Maria is on her feet and attacking him, her puny kicks and swipes useless against his size. Still protesting, she’s scooped up and passed through the hole to waiting, bodiless arms.

The shadow with the gun looks down at Papa and spits. He tells me I’m safe now. He tells me I’m not in Kansas anymore.

A collection of short fiction and poetry published during 2009.

Click on the cover to visit the book's Amazon page.


JRVogt said...

Great voice in this piece.

Unknown said...

Love this one.

Karen Jones said...

Excellent. Does what great flash should - makes you feel like you've read a much bigger story. Well done.

Perry said...

Very evocative. I echo Karen's comments.

Teresa Stenson said...

Really rich storytelling in very few words, excellent.

Kitty said...

Great story Gavin. So much told in such a few words, excellent.

Anonymous said...

Love it. Well done you.