The Shine Journal

Exceptional Flash, Poetry, Art and Photography!


MemScape, 3rd generation


Richard Crow


There they are on the grass, Father and Baby. Light tinkles down through leaves and speckles the grass, the blanket, Baby’s face. Above there are cotton-ball clouds, the type that used to make Father so happy he’d feel like a water balloon bobbing from the faucet, filled with all those thoughts that now seemed so naïve and youthful, to him. But he doesn't see the clouds, only feels them in the breaks of sunlight.

He sees Baby and looks sorrowful, worried. Baby sees Father too; he sees his eyes and his mouth, nose and beard, which make up Father. His Father. Love is the word for his feelings but only because there are no better words. Even now there are no better words for love than 100 years ago, or 100 years before that when Keats tried so hard to invent more. But Baby’s love is more like a warm sheet covering head to toe, inside and outside, a comfort and safety so thorough that Baby writhes and kicks with the pleasure of it, when Father looks at him, when he sees him. His Father.

And he sees him, and reaches out a hand to touch Baby’s cheek. One more time. It is soft and cool from the slight breeze of the afternoon, he knows because he remembers. Baby grins wide, his teeth like jack-o-lanterns, his fists clenching and unclenching with the ecstasy and the pleasure of being, which fills him. Father reaches out his hand to touch. One last time. He knows what comes next.

The scene wobbles. Splotches of missing pixels bloom across Baby’s face then expand, dark stars chewing away the world. The third dimension flattens and Father is pulled from the MS3g into the darkness of his flat. Outside there are no cotton-ball clouds; there is only rain spitting against the glass. He is alone; no memory can take that away from him. It’s been two years, which is not long enough to forget. He presses play again and then they are there on the grass, Father and Baby, and he reaches out one more time.


 Motivation:I wanted to write something that painted a picture of loss quickly and efficiently.

Bio:I have been writing for nearly my whole life and have recently had three of my stories published, in Down in the Dirt, Ascent Aspirations, and on I'm also the author of the blog Dog Eat Crow World. I currently live in Atlanta, GA with my wife and son.

Email TSJ: Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

Send to a friend

Click the pics to meet the members!