Flash Fiction written by Dawn Bear accepted by a crowd funded magazine which collapsed
Go, My Son
Children dangle from metal bars like Christmas ornaments. Some crawl across plastic planks camouflaged as a wooden draw bridge. Others busy themselves in the sand like ants rebuilding bucket mounds where two-year-olds have destroyed them.
Not far in the distance, Gloria hides in the shade of an old maple tree letting the bark dig into the skin of her back, creating the illusion that it is has taken root. A sapling swells lazily in her belly as she stares vacantly at the activity before her. Next to her, a well used backpack containing her few possessions: baggy t-shirts, jeans that fit too snugly, sketchbook, a single picture of her family, a Zuni fetish of a turtle her great grandmother, the one she was named after, gave her when she was a child.
A strong wind passes through, blowing free a strand of brightly dyed red hair. She folds the stray behind her ear, watching the snow of loosened, maroon crackle slowly rock to a rest. Her own childlike hands cradle her balloon shaped belly as she begins to croon a lullaby. She doesn’t remember the lyrics, but she remembers the intent. The wind rumbles through the tree like a snake’s rattle, shaking the leaves loose around her. Both arms enfold her belly, while the last leaves fall to freedom, and she whispers, “Go, my son.”