Summer Night - - Mini Story


I exhaled heavily into the warm night and leaned back on my arms, stretching my legs out in front of me and gazing out onto the highway. It had been balmy all day, and the darkness seemed only to enhance it, the smell of exhaust and blooming flowers drifted lazily on the humid air. It was dark, the sun just setting over the horizon and the moon not yet full. The ranch house upon whose roof I was sitting was the only source of light for miles around. Close to the edge of the world you could see the warm, comforting glow of the town, and I imagined the lights were small lamps in children's rooms where mothers and fathers were gently tucking little ones under fluffy quilts.

“Hey.”

I started, turning to see the silhouette of a lanky boy clambering up the side of the roof towards me. He slipped on a shingle, righted himself, and then pulled himself up onto the ledge I was reclining on, scarily close to the edge. He sat down next to me, mirroring my position.

“What the heck are you doing here?”

“Coming to see you.” He unzipped his backpack and procured two cans of supermarket iced tea, still cold from the freezer. He popped the lid on his and then passed another to me. I took it, noticing the condensation forming on the chilled aluminum. I opened it and took a swig, wiping my wet hand on my dusty blue jeans.

“How'd you get here so fast? The can’s still cold. Did you come all the way from town?” The nearest civilization, Barcell, was a thirty minute drive at best, and I knew for a fact that Mitchell’s ancient Toyota truck hadn't had functioning air conditioning since the nineteen hundreds.

“I might've gone a little faster than I should've on the highway. It was empty anyways, and I couldn't help myself.”

I sighed. Mitchell had always had a weakness for speeding. Destined to be a race car driver, one of his favorite pastimes was hurling himself down deserted highways with the windows rolled down and old school rock blaring. Normally, I would've reprimanded him for being so reckless, but tonight I just let it go. Plus, I had been on a few of his highway Indie 500s, and I had to say I could see the appeal if the highway truly was deserted, especially on a night like this.

We sat in silence for a few seconds, and then Mitchell reached again for the backpack. Mitchell's backpack was like a magician's hat, you never knew what he was going to pull out.

Tonight, it was his ukelele.

I had given him the ukulele a year ago, after finding it at a garage sale and taking it home. I had spent the whole afternoon painting it with designs and song lyrics and sunbursts and trees and skateboards and truck tires, and then proudly presented it to him for his half birthday. We had made a pact to never celebrate regular birthdays, only halfs. It was like an encouragement, a sort of 'you’ve made it this far, you might as well keep going' holiday.

I could dimly see the hand painted patterns on the wood as he strummed a song, humming along. I hummed with him.

We sat like that, humming and strumming and watching the glowing lights in the distance, and I relaxed onto the warm shingles and let the rhythm and the candle-like lights drift me away.

11 comments :

  1. THIS IS SO GOOD!!! I am a sucker for stories like this. I need to read this again...

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    1. Aww Vanessa you made me grin so big! I'm so glad you enjoyed it <3

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  2. Hi there! I just came across your blog through Vanessa's 'Simply Me'...
    I must say, I enjoyed this short narrative. My favorite parts were the painted ukulele (sounds like it'd be such a fun instrument to play AND look at) and the reason behind celebrating half-birthdays...
    Good job.

    xx,
    ~Raquel
    www.itsjustraquel.com

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  3. PS: I'm your newest follower too...
    Keep up the good work. I look forward to visiting again in the future.

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    1. Aww thank you so much Raquel! That is so sweet <3

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