Tuesday, August 30, 2011

En Excerpt from “Burnt Yellow and Red”

In this scene, Kyle and his family have just arrived to their new house located on the grounds of their new school in rural Oklahoma.

In front of the house was a large moving van, and men were unloading the furniture that the family had shipped from their California home. Father drove around the school one time, exiting on the southern end and turned right returning to the intersection over the dirt road and then turned right back onto the pavement. Continuing slowly, checking out his new charge, he turned right again, back into the entrance, then left through the open chain link gate and the driveway leading up to the house. The kids piled out of the car, Kyle and his brother headed straight to the play ground.

The grass on the play ground was dry, thick and ankle deep making it difficult for Kyle to run. His brother tackled him as they cleared the rusty steel pipe and Kyle rolled over the grass and onto the red dirt, his lungs burned from the dry heat. The smell of the grass made him sneeze twice so he sat there for a minute, trying to catch his breath as his brother ran in circles taunting him.

Soon Kyle caught his breath and headed for the swing set. It was the tallest one he had ever seen. The chains were rusty and the seats were made of leather so it made an odd creaking noise as he set the apparatus into motion. Higher and higher he went until his brother grabbed his feet on the back side of the swing and spun Kyle around, twisting the chains. Kyle held on for dear life, his knuckles lost what color they had turning completely white as he spun out of control forward into the air.

It took several swings before he came to a stop. Crying he tried to catch his brother who out ran him, taunting him with laughter which made Kyle madder than hell! So Kyle found a piece of old cement that was shaped just like a foot ball next to the cinderblock trash point and prepared to heave it at his brother who was now running away.

It was as if his brother were running in slow motion. Kyle hurled the man made projectile in a perfect spiral as it arched its way towards his older brother. With a loud thud, it knocked the air out of his brother’s lungs when it impacted perfectly between the shoulder blades bringing his brother to the ground in a series of summersaults through a patch of sand burrs.

Kyle leaped in the air laughing, as his brother shrieked in pain, the sand burrs digging into his skin through his cotton t-shirt. It was game on after that and their parents just ignored them, letting the two of them fight it out until they were both exhausted and called a truce.

Their chests heaving heavily, out of breath they sat on the old rusty pipe, hands on their knees, faces down, they were covered in dirt. Taking notice, mother called them over to the house and had them stand there while she hosed them down with a water hose she had retrieved from the truck.

The two of them stood there, the cool water and breeze felt great in the hot dry heat on their first day in Oklahoma. It didn’t take long for them to dry off but it would soon be dark so they stayed close to the house and watched the only Television channel they could receive. They turned it on to see Walter Cronkite signing off, “And that’s the way it is, this 18th day of June, 1968.”

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