Missing

If she’s told them once . . . well, she has told them once, hasn’t she?

Hasn’t she?  It’s hard to remember.  Of course, she has.  Of course, she has.

But there they are again, those two darn boys, climbing the stone wall, jumping down into her yard, headed for the lychee tree, dripping with fruit.  This time they’ve even brought a pole.  She wonders if she should stand up, if it’s worth it to go all the way to the back door, scold them again.

Again, right?

The kitchen table, besides her cup of tea, it’s like the her lawn, long, wide, green as . . . But not wild, like the grass now.  If this were, then it is, the world, flat, she sitting at the edge, protecting everything coming that way from falling off.  So much to catch before it falls into.

The blue and white checkered table cloth, the smooth, waxy feel.  She runs her palms across the cool coated fabric, so easy to clean, run a wet cloth across it and it’s perfect again.  No need wash.

No need.

“What’s that?” she calls over her shoulder.  Nothing.  “Is that you?” she calls over her shoulder. “They’re here again.”

Nothing.

Outside the boys are having trouble pulling the lychee loose from the tree.  Tugging hard, the whole tree swaying back and forth with the pressure.

A branch breaks.  That’s it.  She stands up from the table, goes to the counter and grasps a knife, then shuffles slowly to the back door, opens it, steps out, gathers her breath, says, “Eh, if I tole you boys once, I tole you how many times already, no come my yahd an steal my lychees.”

The boys stop, stare at her for a moment, then laugh.  They grab their fruit haul, run to the fence, throw bag and pole to the other side, then disappear up and over the wall.

“I goin call da cops!” she yells, her voice cracking, gasps for a deep breath, catches her wind, finally closes the door, leans against it.

“Darn kids,” she says to him, “those darn kids.”  He says nothing.

She turns and goes back, sits at the table, takes a sip of tea, calming herself, looks at the razor-edge and sharp point of the knife.

Placing the palm of her left hand on the table, she spreads her fingers wide.  Raising her right hand high, she brings down the blade between her thumb and index finger.  The widest gap.  An easy one to hit.

She raises the blade and brings it down again, this time between the index and middle finger.  She does not speed up the pace, but continues moving down the line and then back to the beginning, over and over, the game they used to play.  Miss each finger.

Miss it. Miss it. Miss it.

* * * * *

Today’s word is

miss

Use it to inspire a piece of writing, and then post that piece as a comment below. I would love to read it : )

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