We have our first submission to "Bubbles". It's a short "flash fiction" story by Kerry, a senior in high school. Enjoy! :)
(c) Kerry / PsychoticxFreak
714 words, 21 November 2008
“My name is Carter Anderson. I am the son of the people you murdered and I will hate you forever.”
One day I’m going to say that to the man who ruthlessly murdered my parents 10 years ago. I will get my revenge someday, Ponce Westley. Someday soon.
For now, though, it’s time to celebrate.
“Happy Birthday, Carter!” my family, friends, and fellow community members yell. I smile and blow out the candles. Kind of dorky, I’ll admit, but that’s how we do things here.
Aunt Millie and Uncle Jesse—who were my legal guardians until I turned 18 today—have invited everybody in the community for a barbeque at the village park. There must be a hundred people here, a fact that bothers me because I don’t like large crowds. It’s fantastic that so many people showed up, of course, but I like my alone time too.
So I head for the woods. Much of the park consists of a forest with various hiking trails going through it. They all eventually lead to (and around, if you choose to go further) a large manmade lake. I head up the main trail.
I’ve been hiking for about 10 minutes when I come across another hiker. He’s about Uncle Jesse’s age and is wearing very old, beat up clothes. I don’t know him, but that’s not much of a surprise. Even in a town as small as Shannon I am constantly running into people I’ve never met.
We strike up a conversation. He’s not from the area, but he’s here for the weekend to visit a friend. He doesn’t tell much about himself other than that, but he seems interested in my life. I tell him about my friends and my family. When he finds out that I’m living with my aunt and uncle, he asks where my parents are.
“They were murdered when I was eight by some crazy idiot.” I say, trying to sound nonchalant.
“I’m very sorry to hear that.” he says. He sounds like he really means it, too.
“I don’t like to talk about it.”
“Then let’s talk about something else. What year are you in school?”
Our conversation continues until we reach the lake. It’s hot out and I would like to go for a swim. My new friend says he wants to keep walking, so we part. I take my shirt off and dive into the murky water.
The water envelops my body like a cool blanket. I move with confidence despite the fact that it’s hard to see more than two feet in front of my face. My friends and I swim here often and nothing’s ever given us any trouble.
Then, suddenly, I see a huge boulder in front of me. I’m heading straight for it at top speed. Too late to turn around…
When I come to, I’m lying on the grass soaking wet. My new friend is sitting next to me, his clothes drenched.
“Are you okay?” he asks.
“Yeah, I guess so…” I feel a little dizzy when I try to sit up. He gently pushes me back down.
“Don’t get up.” he says. “You need to rest.”
I gladly obey his orders and remain on my back. My rescuer is silent as I slowly recover.
When I finally feel well enough to stand up, I head back down the trail. My new friend follows me, catching me when I stumble. By the time we get back to the park he’s as good as carrying me.
My family greets me, my aunt in hysterics. “We didn’t know where you’d gone! Everyone is out looking for you. JESSE! We found him!” She then notices the good-sized lump on my head where I hit the rock. “What happened?”
I explain everything as my friend holds me up.
“…and he saved me.” I finished.
“Thank you so much for rescuing Carter!” Then my aunt looks puzzled. “But who are you? I think I’ve seen you before.”
“I am Ponce Westley.” Seeing my shocked face, he adds, “Yes, Carter, I am the ‘crazy idiot’ who killed your parents.”
I can think of nothing to say but, “My name is Carter Anderson. I am the boy whose life you saved and I will be grateful to you forever.”
**editor's note- we had a question about this story from a reader, and I'd just like to clarify that this story is "flash-fiction" It was posted on a website that's subtitle was "Stories as short as my attention span", so, that's the reason it's such a quick read**