Hey there WYMOP readers!
I am about to get in the car and head out to Worcester to to attend Rock and Shock with the New England Horror Writers. I'm going to have some fun, see some seriously weird stuff, and hopefully sell a few books.
The flip side of that is I'm not going to have time to post anything later on this weekend, and by Sunday night I should be a tired, burned-out shell of a man when I walk back through that door, sooooo... y'all get a WYMOP post early!
Cool, isn't it? Wish me luck! If you're in the Worcester area (and by 'area' I mean within 500 miles) then you should stop by this weekend and say hi!
It's short, it's sweet, and it's fairly complete... and here's the story!
~ ~ * * ~ ~
Handsome is eleven now, and in the sixth grade. This means a new school, new teachers… and a new way for him to get there. This year, Handsome is riding the bus.
Queue the dramatic music: “Dum dum-dum!”
Yeah. Terrific. After being chauffeured to school every school day of his entire academic life, my boy’s finally got to get out there to meet the bus on his own.
Like I said: terrific.
As a result I was worried about the boy using his head. They live on a very busy street and there is no sidewalk on their side of it. This means that he’s either walking in the breakdown lane or crossing the street to the sidewalk over there and then crossing back once he’s parallel to the corner where he gets picked up.
It’s a bit of a nightmare. I’ve been imagining all sort of terrible things happening as a result of inattention, either on the part of my son or the motorists around him.
I’m a dad. Worrying is what I do. The fact that I write a lot of horror fiction doesn’t help — it just means my imagination is both well exercised and well-stocked with the stuff that frightens me.
Last night Handsome mentioned how cold it is becoming in the mornings for his walk to the bus stop. Casually, trying to maintain my admittedly minimal ‘cool’ status with the boy, I said “So, do you walk in the gutter or cross the street on the way there?”
“Cross the street.”
“Are you careful?” I said, a bit too quickly to hold onto my cool quotient if the boy was paying attention, but I was a worried dad here. Screw cool.
“Oh, Dad, you should see me,” he said. “I go out the front door and stand right on the curb down there and do this.”
He crossed his forearms over his chest, each hand taking loose hold of the opposite upper arm. He bent his knees slightly, huddled actually, and began to slowly rub his upper arms up and down as if trying to keep warm. I looked up to meet his gaze and saw his expression.
The. World’s. Most. Pitiful. Face.
His blue eyes shone with unshed tears, huge and slowly blinking. His pale cheeks shook slightly as he sniffled. His lips, still bow-like in shape, like a small child’s or baby’s, quivered.
His little lip quivered!
“They all stop, in both directions, and wave for me to go. One lady rolled her window down to tell me to ‘go on, go’.”
He stood up straight and strolled out of the room with a confident strut that stunned me.
“And then I cross the street like A Boss!”
I burst out laughing at right about the same time I stopped wondering if he was using his head out there.
He’s going to be fine.
Talk to you later!
....and just for the fun of it, here's Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake having a #Twitter #Conversation