2 Replies to “1.27.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. Finn said he was leaving. He had his new kitten in his jacket pocket and he kept one hand there, stroking it, and it was purring like a small engine. And he had a bed roll slung at his back and he said he was going far from here and far from anywhere. He’d been saving for just this day, he said, and he wanted to know if I’d leave with him.

    He was ten years old and so pretty then that it was a hurt inside me the thought that he was going and the thought that I might not see him again, not ever. So I shrugged and I said I had nothing better to do this Sunday and I’d just get me a bag and some things I’d rather not lose.

    I packed my favourite book and a dress that I was still to grow into, and some bars of chocolate and a bottle of water, and a bear that was older than me called Ben. And I packed my diary and a pen. The diary had a little brass lock on it and I kept the key on a loop of string about my neck and under my clothes.

    Then me and Finn we caught a bus to nowhere. That’s to say it was going somewhere, but nowhere that we’d ever heard of. Finn told the bus driver that I was his sister and he was taking me to stay with our grandmother and she was eighty-five on her next birthday and that was older than history lessons. The bus driver said it was all one to him and he punched up two tickets.

    We slept under in a field of high grass and we slept under a thousand stars. There wasn’t much room on Finn’s bed roll and so we slept all wrapped up together and the dress I’d brought was a blanket over us. And Finn’s kitten curled and uncurled against my tummy. And I kissed Finn as soon as he was sleeping, and I licked his lips and sucked in his breath.

    Next morning, it was cold as the underneath of stones and Finn’s kitten kept crying and Finn hadn’t saved as much money as he thought. I wrote in my diary about what we’d done and about the taste of Finn’s kisses, which was a little like chocolate. And I said how the kitten wasn’t purring no more and how maybe it was hungry or cold and I could understand that.

    Finn was quiet as church praying and he bundled up his bed roll and tied it with thin rope and slung it over his back like he’d done the day before. He counted the pennies in his pocket, poked them about in his hand like there was maybe some missing or some hiding underneath the ones he could see. Then he asked about the chocolate I had, but it was all eaten. I said he could kiss me if he liked, and maybe there was still the taste of chocolate on my lips as there had been on his.

    Finn just looked at me funny and he said maybe we should just go back and do this leaving thing another day. Maybe when he was eleven, he said. I shrugged, same as before, and we set off on the long walk back home.

    1. Especially love the metaphors and similes here, Lindsay. “quiet as church praying” “cold as the underneath of stones” Always such good stuff. Just catching up on my reading. Thank you for this. P

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