The Broken Sky

July 15, 2011
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Seven doors down the hallway. Right wall. He reached for the shiny doorknob of the seventh door. The walls were white and the air was soft, filled with the sound of labored breathing. He turned the doorknob with a sigh- clearly heard through the silence as the hinges swung around smoothly. A woman sat inside, reclining on a soft bed.

“Michael?” she whispered, “Is that you Michael?”

“It’s me,” he replied.
“I needed to see your face again, Michael. Look! See what I’ve found Michael!” she exclaimed.
She handed him something- a photograph, worn thin and yellowed by the years. Its tattered edges gave way to a dark blue background speckled with pinpricks of light. A man and a woman sat and gazed, their eyes filled with the wonder of the sky and the possibilities that seemed to drip from the starlight like melting honey. The man bounced a baby in his lap, pink and chubby, its mouth perpetually curled with a laugh just moments from escaping.

“It’s us Michael! It’s us back then!” she gasped, as though that starry sky of years ago had somehow seeped back into her.

“I love you,” he breathed, backwards though, as he was already headed to the door. He reached for the doorknob without looking down. He knew there would be stars reflected in it if he did.
His shoes made clicking noises as he walked along a path he knew well. It wasn’t an angry noise, just short of that in fact, a dark staccato. Forty-seven steps forward, ten to the right. He reached for the twisting black iron of the gate in front of him. It creaked as it swung forward. Fifteen steps forward, two to the left. A stone rested in the grass before him.

“Michael Desel,” it read.

“Loving father and husband,” it read.
He unclenched his fist and let a scrap of paper drop and float down to touch the lawn.
A man and a woman stared up at the stars. Half of the man’s body was gone, torn from the picture along with the baby that had bounced on his lap. He, of course, didn’t realize.
“Goodbye, Dad,” he whispered.

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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

vbchick17 said...
Dec. 12, 2011 at 7:11 pm
Wow, this is really good! I can see everything as if I was there.
skatergirl13 said...
Oct. 4, 2011 at 2:32 pm
I really like this
crubs33 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 6, 2011 at 5:06 pm
Thank you so much!!
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