Last season’s sharp pecan casings littered the lawn. I wished the wind would pick up a little. The air was superheated, and dry as a splintered post. Jules and I moved the trampoline into the shade. Wisteria vines draped the fence, smelling like clean laundry on a line. We clambered onto the cool mesh and surrendered our bodies to its embrace. Clouds drifted miles above, where wind did thrive. I closed my eyes, folded my arms behind my head, and listened as my neighbors entertained noisy lunch guests. A Sweetgum seed fell from the canopy above. I cracked a lid, wincing as it collided with my leg and bounced. It felt like a clear message.
One of the neighbors made a joke. I caught the clinking of glasses. Jules grew bored of almost napping and stood, dipping her knee toward the ground for a slight bounce. Its vibrations traveled and I rolled with the motion, rising. We fell into our jumping routine naturally. We had recently become used to one another. The coiled, rusted springs creaked with each relief of pressure. I could smell sausages grilling, or steaks; some staple of an Oklahoma meal.
I had been recently practicing the art of the nonchalant front flip, and my results had not been disappointing. With force, I could get some air. It wasn’t easy to balance our physical masses, since we were different heights and weights, but I could estimate alright. Our trouble was, we didn’t clearly communicate. As I flew up and down, chattering about flip dynamics, Jules’ eyes began to wander toward the alley. A truck rolled over the pothole-ridden asphalt, dragging a heavy cloud of dust behind it.
Just when I required her attention, her effort, her bounce- my sister was distracted. I had already committed to the decision, and was mid-jump. I had no choice but to tuck and roll, as I would for any spectacular flip. Air rushed by my ears and the world slowed. I realized a horrifying situation had unfolded; I was a projectile with no self-control. My eyes had closed again, out of fear instead of tranquility. The springs creaked loudly. As I landed, my wrist struck the bar, ringing out a high-pitched clang. It wasn’t enough, I flew farther. My face buried hard into grass and pecan trimmings. The scent of blood filled my nose, then the taste filled my mouth. Julie was calling out, checking to see if I still had my marbles. I gave a quick thumbs-up, head still ringing like a bell. The truck’s dust had infiltrated the yard, and it was somehow in my eyes. Every sensation was grit and pain.
She helped me into the house, holding back the ornery wooden door. The AC helped to condense my adrenaline. A glass of cold water was placed before me. My feet were lifted. I had assumed paralysis, as all us hypochondriacs do; and, in a way, I was paralyzed. An hour or two was my estimated recovery time (actually about three days), and Jules was unrelenting.
“Want to go jump?”
Prompt: #6, a thrilling or anguishing event from childhood.
The burning hot sun shines bright upon her face as she carries a bag filled with all her personal items packed from home. She holds tightly the hand of her daughter as they both walk together across the dry landscape. Their shoes burn from the earth around them as they continue to walk through the dry oasis. Their feet covered with bloody blisters; scars from their long travel. It’s been a week now since their journey began and they have almost reached the border where Mexico and the United States meet. She desires the freedom and opportunity to fulfill her dreams and the dreams she has for daughter. She searches for a sanctuary away from the violence and deaths that surrounded them each day. Dead bodies lying on the streets, prostitution around each corner, and drugs surrounding their home, the horrific images that she did not wish for her daughter to ever see. The horrific realities of the life she is fleeing from that she hopes her daughter never has to endure.
Time has escaped the two slowly, and as the mother walks, with each step she takes forward, she reminds herself of what she has left behind. Her family, her life all left behind. She is reminded constantly of what she is letting go and giving up in order to achieve this dream. It is hard for her to keep walking but the smile of her daughter gives her the strength to push through it all. She closes her eyes for just a second and sees all the faces that have been left behind. A tear starts to come down her face as she continues to walk. She regrets leaving them all with out saying a word to any of them. Her loved ones, left with a note saying where they were headed and had gone to live life. Constant memories of her home, glimpse through her head as the heat beats down on her. She is covered with sweat, and stops for a drink of water that she shares with her daughter. She kneels towards her daughter and gently says, “We are very close, everything is going to be alright baby,” as she holds the jug of water up for her to drink. She looks into her daughter’s eyes and is reminded of her dream. Seeing her daughter go to school and graduate from college or university as a professional. Too be able to see her daughter not struggle through life like she has had to. She dreams that her daughter can be able to live life with ease and not worry about the financial things in life. America is the land of freedom and she hopes to fulfill the dream of her daughter succeeding in life as an individual.
She hopes one day that her daughter can understand the reason of why they left their home. The reason behind why they had to adopt a whole different culture and leave everything behind. She will never tell her the nasty part of life that they had to endure back home. Before she can continue her thought process, she sees in the distance a barb wired fence, knowing the future is near, she puts her head up ready to take on this new adventure.