First, an apology. I have been amazingly (for me) faithful to publishing on this blog in a prompt and timely manner. This morning, I failed…for reasons that might make a decent post. So with a shame-faced grin, I ask you to please forgive me and read my short fiction piece that follows:
Kenny stared through ten-year-old eyes at the flat, round object lying in the dirt while his ten-year-old brain made certain connections. He knew what it was, of course. He’d seen one of Byran’s. Bryan was his older brother. It was a rubber. An unused rubber. The realization sent tingly sensations into his “parts” as he snatched the pack from the dirt. This stand of trees at the edge of the farm was a make-out place for kids old enough to drive cars and to…well, do it. His dad always complained the place needed a traffic cop.
Had some guy’s girl refused to cooperate after he lost his protection? Kenny imagined a worked-up dude’s frustration at his own carelessness. Oh, well, that fellow’s loss was his gain. The package holding the thing was kinda pretty, like a big, extra thick gold coin glistening in the afternoon sun.
His chores for the day finished, he’d been headed over to the Morrison farm to meet Thomas. He could hardly wait to see what his best friend would say about his lucky find. Kenny halted mid-stride. Maybe he oughta hike back and hide out in the hayloft to think about things first. He shoved the gold clad rubber deep in his overalls pocket and reversed course.
After settling down behind a bale of hay in the loft to examine the profile of the helmeted warrior embossed on the pack, he remembered him and Tommy looking up “Condoms” on the Morrison family computer. They’d snickered over claims like extra stimulation, ultra thin, lubricated, spermicide. But the one that had got to them was “Flavored.” Why would somebody want a flavored rubber? Then they went red-faced at graphic drawings demonstrating the proper way to don a “love sleeve.” Tommy’d paid a price for that when his old man discovered where he’d been searching.
Now, as he lay in the hay examining the thing, Kenny considered trying it on. But it was too neat to break open. He’d hang onto it, and the next time the gang did a coin toss to decide something or the other, he’d flick the pack into the air with his thumb and catch it in his outstretched palm. He tried the maneuver and called tails. Oops, there wasn’t a tail. That majestic-looking warrior adorned both sides. Great, a two-headed coin. Nah, that wouldn’t work. They’d catch on too fast.
Involved in clearing up that point he missed the last toss, and the pack bounced on the bale and disappeared over the edge into some loose hay. While he was scrambling around trying to find it, something crunched beneath his boot.
The thing didn’t look so pretty now. It was squashed flat. The gleaming yellow surface, now crumpled and smudged, had lost its luster…and attraction. He peeled away the top and looked at the rolled-up condom. Wasn’t anything pretty about it. Gray and kinda loathsome, really. He held it up to the light to inspect for damage. Looked okay. Since it was out, he might as well try it on. He was disappointed…and kind of bothered…when the blessed thing fell right off.
Kenny’s mind flew in less erotic directions. Some of the older boys at school last year had filled rubbers with water and dropped them on students from the roof of the building. Thinking of nothing better to do with the ugly, penis-shaped thing, he scrambled down the ladder and peeked out into the yard. No one in sight. He slipped around the corner of the barn and shoved the condom beneath the spout of the hand pump they sometimes used to fill jerry-cans with water to take to the fields.
He started pumping and pumping…and pumping. The blessed thing grew enormous, stretching and stretching without bursting. He overfilled it and had to let a little water escape in order to tie the ends. Once that was done, he held the big balloon in his hand while his mind proceeded to the goal it had been pursuing all along. In a few minutes, Bryan would be coming to the barn to pitch fodder for the animals. The temptation was too great. It took some doing to get the heavy, sloshing rubber—now in the shape of an elongated balloon—up the ladder without popping it, but Kenny managed.
Once in the loft, he waited at the big double hay doors, easing them open when he heard the pump at the side of the barn. His brother was getting a drink before coming inside the barn. Kenny grinned. He’d closed the door down below, so Bryan would pause right beneath him for just a second. And a second was all he needed.
Positioned now, he hardly dared breathe as he waited. Then there was movement. A brown hat cleared the corner of the barn. One…two…three…go!
A fraction of a second after he released the bloated rubber, he recalled something about Bryan going into town this afternoon to check out a job at the hardware store.
“What the hell! KENNY!” his father roared
Well, there it is. Sorry for missing my deadline. Thanks for reading.
Next week: I’m concentrating on not being late again, not the subject matter.
New posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.