Friday, January 25, 2013

It Had To Have Airplanes...A Short Story

Weekly Writing Prompt

It's time again for the weekly writing prompt. And it's such a fun and (potentially...) easy thing to do. If you'd like to participate, here's how:

Write a short story 500 words or less.
Use the five randomly chosen words listed below.
Use the picture posted above.
Complete the story by next Tuesday.
Go to these websites: HERE and HERE (thanks Nicole and Carrie!) and link your blog post on theirs.
Sit back and watch the accolades, fame and fortune come rolling in!
Okay, maybe I went a little overboard on that last one...

But is is a lot of fun! Here are the five words for this week's prompt:

Here's my attempt for this week. I hope you enjoy it.
It Had To Have Airplanes

"Jimmy...Jimmy! What are you doing, honey?" Jenny Fairbanks said to her son who had wondered away from his parents. The boy took a moment before he finally looked away from the teal door that for some unknown reason held his attention. Slowly he turned his head and gave his mother an expressionless stare, the same stare she saw almost every day and had seen almost every day since Jimmy was born.

"Come here, dear. Come over to mommy and daddy, okay?" Jimmy obeyed without giving any outer sign that he had even heard his mother's kind words. He walked to them and raised his left hand--always his left hand--and his mother took his hand in hers. The family continued their walk silently down the tree-lined street near their home.

"It's autism; it's not a tragedy." Jenny heard the words of their child psychologist in her mind for the hundredth time since he was diagnosed years earlier. "Children have so many battles to fight. This is Jimmy's. Don't spotlight it, but don't downplay it either. You've got to learn to live with it," he told the confused and nervous parents. Easy for him to say, Jenny thought. It wasn't his son. He didn't have to deal with all the unanswerable questions Jenny and her husband Bill dealt with every day.

The family passed a city park, the sun glistened off the small pond and shown in the family's eyes. "Look at that bird," Jenny said pointing to a pretty turquoise and black bird lazily swimming in the pond. "What is that? A duck?"

"I think it's a mud hen," Bill said with confidence. "You see the mud hen, Jimmy?" Jimmy continued looking forward, his small hand resting comfortably in Jenny's. He did not look at the bird.

Jenny looked at her son, his blue backpack bounced lightly with each step the child took. He never went anywhere without his backpack. Jenny remembered searching for it and remembered trying to find one with airplanes--it had to have airplanes. Ever since the family drove past the airport and noticed Jimmy completely enthralled with a jumbo jet taxiing down the runway, the family knew their son loved airplanes. Though he didn't show it, they somehow knew part of the reason he loved his backpack was because of the planes.

"Oh, look, Jimmy. Someone's playing a guitar," Jenny said as the family spotted a musician in the park, his guitar case open inviting compensation for his talents. This time Jimmy stopped and looked at the player, his flamenco music filled the pollen-laden afternoon air in the park.

"You like that?" Bill asked his son. Jimmy nodded.

Word Count: 445


  1. Oh I loved this! You really wrote the relationship between the family and their child so well. And the inner dialogue from the child psychologist gave the information about the family's history without really telling us. Good job! :)

    1. Thanks Nicole! The psychologist helped me to use the word "tragedy." Otherwise I don't know if I would have used him. You're works well. Thanks again!

  2. Great story. I love how you wrote the quiet struggle of the parents as they work to interact with their son. :)

    1. Thanks Carrie! The boy just looked like he was in his own little world and that led me to his condition. With autism being so prevalent now, many have to deal with it in some way. I tried to capture a moment in one of their lives. Thanks again.