This story was inspired by one of the "Thinks" proposed by Dr. Seuss's "Oh the Thinks You Can Think!". If you are unfamiliar with the book, you can find an online version of it here. Every day from now through February 15th, I'll be posting a short story or poem based on one of the "Thinks" in the book. Enjoy!
The glass wasn’t clean. Well, it had been earlier, but I’d sat there touching it for so long my fingerprints were all over my side. I could still see through it, though. My friend was on the other side. I’m not sure why they separated us, but it made me sad not to be able to touch him. He was lying there, probably asleep. At least he had a mat between himself and the concrete. But he didn’t have any blankets. Not that he needed one, it was pretty warm.
I scratched my knee. It was still hurting from earlier. They said I shouldn’t scratch it, but I couldn’t help myself. It itches. Doesn’t everybody scratch when they itch? I looked back at my friend through the glass. His eyes were a little bit open now, watching me. I pressed my nose to the glass and he raised one eyebrow. I knew what he was thinking, “Like that’s gonna’ do you any good.”
He was right. I pulled away and watched him for a minute. He scratched behind his ear. He did that a lot. Then he walked away a little ways. I leaned forward. Where was he going? He paused. I held very still.
A bird – a blue one – hopped toward him. He didn’t move. I knew what he would do before he did it. He pounced at the bird, catching it between screeches and cries for help, I pressed my face and hands to the glass, grinning as I watched. My friend lost the bird for a moment, then caught it again. Then lost it. Then another bird – a yellow one – swooped down and landed on my friend’s head, pecking at his ears and eyes.
“No! Watch out!” I cried.
As my friend shook free of the two birds, I heard someone coming behind me.
“What’s wrong? What happened?” she asked.
“The birds!” I said.
“Oh, did you see some birds?” she asked, smiling.
“Birds!” I said again, smiling back.
She laughed, and we both looked through the glass at my friend. He’d moved to his food now, and was eating. I guess maybe he’d meant to eat the bird.
“Do you want to go outside?” she asked.
“Outside!” I said, clapping.
She slid the glass aside, and I stood. My legs weren’t the best yet, but I was getting better. I went to my friend and sat beside him while he ate. Being able to touch him always made me feel better. I knew it helped him too, since he sighed when I laid my head on his stomach.
The sun wasn’t on us, but I felt the heat. Maybe we would play in the water later, if it got warm enough.
My friend stood, letting my head slide to the ground. He ran away as I stood on my shaky legs and when I was steady he’d brought back a ball. She was still there, and she took it from my friend and threw it.
He ran to get it again. I knew this game, but I couldn’t throw the ball yet. I didn’t mind. It was funny to watch her throw it, and even funnier to watch my friend chase after it. When he was done playing, he sat chewing on the ball, and I climbed into her lap. I looked back over to see the glass in place again. I’m not sure why the glass was there, I didn’t like it very much. And then, why they always put me on the inside of it.
The outside was much more fun.
About the author:
Darci Cole is a writing mother living in the American Southwest where she gave birth to both a frog and a monkey. She's obsessed with Harry Potter and Brandon Sanderson and Dr. Pepper. You should tell her that her butt looks good in jeans. She blogs at Darci Cole and on YAvengers. She tweets almost as much as I do and is one of the handlers of the Friday Night Writes #WriteClub.