"At times I think my coffee and tea addictions truly drive my artistic energy. It’s a small sacrifice for the greater good."

5 Min Fiction: Memory - Heat

Posted: 1/21/12 | Written by Jeannie | Labels: , ,

Five minute fiction is a prompt where I give myself five minutes to write an intro. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's crap. Either way I'm writing, and that is better than not writing at all.

Memory: Heat

It was Bakersfield hot. Hot like you wish you could take off your skin and lie around in your bones. When sitting inside your house was hotter than being out under a tree. Where a swamp cooler would blow air that felt like, it was fresh, from a lava tube. Days like that, all you could do was hope someone would let you play under their trees.

I remember Jess’s front yard. It was more than a yard. From my apartment dwelling viewpoint it was a park. There were two trees, one that stunk of magnolias and the other that ripped at our fingers when we would climb it. On those hot Bakersfield days we prayed, thanking God for her dad’s ability to flood the street with a single sprinkler. This day, her dad left the sprinkler underneath the tree that enjoyed our bloody, raw fingertips. Jess and I found a new enjoyment. Tied to the tree was a tire swing. It was there for as long as I could remember, but on sweltering 105 degree days it would make our thighs smell of liquid rubber. “Thank god for that sprinkler,” we would say. Our feet would hit the water first, toes pointed to the sky. Drops of joy kissed our feet then dribbled back towards our hips.

We moved the sprinkler closer to the tree in hopes that more than our feet would be refreshed. Delicately, Jess or I would maneuver the sprinkler head closer. It took several attempts to act natural while moving the spewing, silver plated nozzle. Her dad would come out and yell, “Don’t move my sprinkler,” in a long southern draw that sounded of biscuits, gravy and chitins. But it was accomplished; the water drenched the tire swing. Beads would build up in the grooves of the tread and trickled down into the inner well of the tire. Before long we realized, we could fill the inside with water. We would push each other. The rope would rip our fingers raw as the dirty water sloshed around our sides.

The heat must have made us delirious because on that day we decided to claim that tree as ours. We were prepared to fight anyone who tried to take our water, tree, or swing. It wasn’t long before the boys came out of the house. And like all brothers, they wanted to have more fun than we were having. But they were not prepared for us, the two best friends who could read each other’s mind.