Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Red Flannel This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
More by this author
Barefoot, he runs through the mud, leaving ten tiny imprints each time he lands. He's a superhero. He can learn his alphabet and rescue the neighbor's cat, all in one day. He can do anything – and he knows it. His red cape flapping in the August wind, he flies to his father.

“Dad,” he shouts, “look at me!” He leaps from the hayloft and lands in soft dirt, ten indents marking his place. His ­father is holding a piglet – a sidekick. Every superhero needs one.

And as he grows, so does his pig. They explore apple trees and riverbanks and celebrate the Fourth of July, the superhero's cape wrapped firmly around their shoulders as they admire the fireworks. Soon, leaves drop from the embrace of branches, and the boy starts kindergarten. He returns in tears to his pig.

“They say we'll eat you,” he whispers. His mother watches from the kitchen door. Light penetrates her silhouette. She shakes her head. That night, while the superhero dreams, she tells her husband.

In the morning the boy rushes through breakfast, a burning secret to tell his pig. As he races toward the screen door he collides with a flannel shirt.

His father sits him down, unsure of what to say. Impatient eyes stare up at him. He begins.

That day, the boy walks uncloaked to the bus stop, his cape left crumpled in a heap in the mud in the empty pigpen. His mother finds it there.

“Your cape's in the laundry,” she laughs later. Silly boy, she thinks.

“It's only a stupid piece of red flannel,” he tells her and pushes past to start his homework.

In the washer, the red flannel disintegrates.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Join the Discussion

This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

Geriw said...
Jul. 18, 2012 at 9:59 am
You're a very talented writer; keep up the good work. I felt sad that because of his experience, the little boy had to learn a lesson that most don't learn until their later years; not everything you love will be here forever. I also like how the red flannel disintergrating is symbolic of his loss of admiration/infatuation for super- heros.
 
Geriw said...
Jul. 18, 2012 at 9:59 am
You're a very talented writer; keep up the good work. I felt sad that because of his experience, the little boy had to learn a lesson that most don't learn until their later years; not everything you love will be here forever. I also like how the red flannel disintergrating is symbolic of his loss of admiration/infatuation for super- heros.
 
JoPepper said...
Feb. 25, 2012 at 7:42 pm
This is like a backwards Charlotte's Web it's very good! Keep Writing!
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback