Bridge

By Joe Ray W -

 

The boy became a man as he clenched his fist in the morning mist. In one single night, his skin had wrapped so tight around his new birthday bones, he no longer felt fear of falling when he dangled his fresh legs over the canyon's droning abyss. Instead he heard the echoes of the canyon come calling, whispering such delights as 'Good morning', before bouncing off into the granite. He wanted to answer, but his mother always warned him about talking to strange sound waves. How childish he felt thinking of that. His father would have shouted, 'Good morning', back.


He banged his head entering his home, to think how easy he waltzed through only yesterday. The house looked much the same, but it could no longer contain his mighty adult frame. Buckling chairs, blunt kitchenware, baby bear pyjamas slumped on the stairs, this was his home sweet home, from the perspective of a man, not a boy. Yet still he looked up to his mother as she served his favourite red velvet cake, and yet still he laughed as he struggled to blow the candles out. For her sake he knew he needed to do better than that.


He followed the canyon wearing his father's muddy shoes, nylon gloves, and boiler suit seeped in orange hues. As he walked he checked his expression in every puddle, admiring how much he looked like his father, he swore his chin had started growing fine stubble. His mother was still standing outside their home sweet home, waving until the mist slowly swallowed them whole. The man was now alone, walking slowly to a bridge stretching into the distance, swaying on the winds insistence, and it screamed as it did, the sort of screams that would send any boy running. He grinned.


The bridge was bigger than his eyes could see. He counted thirty bodies in width, but such length, he'd be counting bodies for days, no, weeks. There was no rope to keep the many folk together, just human flesh grabbing onto each others ankles and wrists in vertical strips. He saw some old friends mixed in, one of them lifted a hand to give a thumbs up. 'C'mon, your space has been waiting for you since quarter to two.' He stepped onto the head of another he knew, but they said nothing, not even 'how do you do?' Their back was firm.


With that, he knew what he had to do. He stepped over body after body, and those lumps did not weaken or sway. He wondered what their spines must look like, but kept on going, till he found his place. The gap was just his size, a perfect fit. He gripped the ankles of the flailing legs of someone in front, and a man from behind gripped his. He didn't ask for their names, there would be plenty of time to chat. He looked down into the abyss, and for a moment he thought he saw his father wave back.

 

A writer of objects brought to life, in hopes of understanding himself and others. Joe regularly updates his blog at channelstatic.wordpress.com, and has recently written about his own personal struggles due to his disability for a SICK AF feature at clarrisaexplainsfa.com.

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