Finale: The “I Love Lucy [the Elephant] Memory Contest”
This brings to a close the “I Love Lucy [the Elephant] Memory Contest” that invited you to share memories of place and time. Thanks to all who entered for sharing your wonderful recollections. This was such fun, we might have to do it again next year.
Jeff Wood entered not once, but twice. If you want to read more, his novella “Groceries” is featured in Isotope Fiction. You can follow his work on Facebook at Clowncar Publishing.
I spent my first Father’s Day as an actual father in the Sand Dunes National Park with my wife and two newly adopted daughters, Shay and KK. Shay was four, KK two, and they had been with us for nearly a year. I am easily besotted by fatherhood, and so memories of the day are as bright as fireflies, as plentiful as dandelions.
Here is one.
KK had learned to smile perhaps a month before the trip. She had smiled before, many times, but always spontaneously; by “learned” I mean that she could control it now, turn it on by choice, return a smile from someone else. And so all weekend that is just what I did, I smiled at her–while building castles in the wet sand, walking in the bright water, eating hot dogs in the motel room that night–just to watch her return it. I was greedy for the dazzle of it, the effortless sunbeam of her face, shattering my fragile glass heart over and over and over again.
And his second entry:
My memory paints the sky as deep blue, sunny, cloudless. It was a summer day.
My friend Kyle and I and some other kid whose name I can’t recall were hunting for a feral cat in the fields outside the city limits of Ottumwa, Iowa. Kyle lived on a farm, and the cat had killed three of his baby chicks. He was going to cut off its tail, in revenge.
We found the cat after a long search. Kyle grabbed it tight, by the tail. The cat was wailing and clawing, but Kyle held fast. He pulled out his penknife and brought it toward the cat’s tail.
I screamed, “No!” Loudly. Kyle dropped his knife, let go of the cat’s tail, the cat ran off into the fields howling.
After a long moment I looked into Kyle’s eyes. I was expecting anger, or disdain, or perhaps no eye contact at all in response. But he met my eyes.
He looked relieved.
We both looked to the other kid, who had been standing behind us. He stepped forward. Kyle picked up his penknife, slipped it in his pocket, and together the three of us walked toward Kyle’s house, where his Mom had lunch waiting for us.