Academic journal article Afterimage

Inklight

Academic journal article Afterimage

Inklight

Article excerpt

Twelve years old. She was ten years old. A young girl, pre-teen, not yet cognizant of the complexities that develop and expand outward from the onset of puberty. She wore sun dresses and went barefoot. There were shorts, loose tank-tops. Sandals, yellow smiley face barrettes, the lingering hint of sunscreen applied in the morning mingled with late afternoon bug repellent; a sticky film of orange popsicle residue glazed across her lips and chin. Grape popsicles. Red popsicles. Sugar coated cereal. Apples. Glasses of iced tea, milk, lemonade, soda. It was summertime. Child. Girl. Child. Eleven years old. Ten years old. Twelve years old. The Adirondacks, the yearly family rental. Early August heat.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

 
  Do you want to go out to the log? 
  Go down to Ollie's for sundaes? 
  I'll play you in checkers. 
  Let's catch it and you put it in the jar. 
  Put spit on it. 
  Lick it. 
  I will teach you. 

The tune was the same. It is often the tune. He wasn't her father, wasn't her brother, wasn't her girlfriends or teachers or even any of the neighborhood gang. He was a fawn. Light willowy fawn dust bleached white in the sun. Fawn dust tickling his forearms and winking up at her from beneath the hem of his soccer team shorts. Lime-green tang of little boy sweat. Dirty ears. Perfectly formed, tanned, softly laughing ears. Under the porch watching sandal straps, car tires, grasshoppers, the timeless battle of lawn giving way to hot dirt--always the fear, the awareness, the giddy ache of bugs, spiders, rodents, snakes watching the watchers for signs of vulnerability. Everything dry and creaky.

 
  Let's rub crayons over the paper on the bark. … 
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.