kinderspiel photo by Hartwig HKD

Love was strangled by the absence of fathers in this forlorn land of vulnerable tin. Trailer park boys chased bearded vapors to a wedge of trampled grass, where abandoned hands flung scuffed baseballs against gnarled, paternal trees. Seeking a cheer of baritone encouragement, their ears inhaled only the whistle of cowhide slicing the depraved air.

Adamantine girls in hand-me-down bathing suits ran barefoot to their oasis in the concrete desert. A tattered pool filled by a water hose sat on a bed of gravel, a faux-sand for the discarded ones. They splashed around with spastic limbs and frenzied laughter to dissolve the silhouettes blanketing their minds like a muscular eclipse. This plastic beach was an arid outpost for youthful exuberance, frayed longing, and ruptured bonds.

At dinner, moms served poverty on a plate, seasoned with sass, fortitude, and garlic salt. They wore aprons and hard hats. Pink sandals and steel-toed boots. Panties and boxers. Families persevered because coveting a morsel of artificial affection from a deserter was as foolish as ripping open a box of Cracker Jack and expecting a bounty of gold medallions to dwell within.

Daddy was nothing more than a rumor that reeked of taunting neglect. And they all missed what he should have been.

The prompt this week for Flash! Friday was the photo above. You also had to incorporate the conflict of man vs man. Word count max was 210. I entered another story and not this one because character development is a key to success and this story didn’t have an actual main character.


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