Two Works of Fiction: ‘My Friend’ and ‘Heaven’

July 9, 2012 10:42 am

Two brief pieces of fiction with  a theme of family.

My Friend

Walks alongside me
Always interested
Needs me
Loves me

Tells like it is
Innocent in thought
Copying ways
Perfect in all

2.5 feet tall
1095 Days
Sunrise to Sunset
My son, my friend

Heaven

‘Yes darling, God made our world!’
‘Where does he live, Mammy?’
‘Up above the clouds,’ I said and I thought no more about it. My two-year old was a thinker though and more questions would be sure to come. I took him to Mass every Sunday in the hope he might absorbe something and learn to bless himself; instead he spent his time racing up and down the aisle with Donnacha from up the street, nearly knocking the man collecting the baskets of money, heedless to a word the priest said. Off to playgroup at the Pentecostal church and the following year, preschool at the Methodist preparatory.

When he was four, he, his 6 month old brother and I took a flight home to visit my parents for Easter. There was much excitement, his first time on a plane.
‘Will it be scary mammy?’
‘No darling, it will be great, you will be able to see the whole city as we fly over!’
It was a lovely fine April day, the sun was shining and it was unusually mild for the time of year. Off we went to the airport and boarded the plane. We sat in our seats; baby strapped on my lap, the 4 year old with a window seat and all of us up, up and away. And there we were, above the clouds; what a wonderful sight for a child.
‘Mammy’ he said loudly ‘where is everybody?’
‘Who?’ I asked. ‘The people, mammy…we are up above the clouds, in heaven but there is nobody here’.
There he was thinking again! The plane was small and he was providing entertainment for everyone. Before I could reply he said,
‘I know mammy, it’s just opened –the other heaven must be full and God just opened this one’. Cue a ripple of laughter from the passengers. Happy that I was relieved of the job of trying to explain why heaven was empty I said,
‘You are probably right, son.’
Then he asked, ‘Mammy do you think the green beans will be here?’
He had planted green beans last year and they died, so where else would they go but heaven? To that I said: ‘Yes dear, I imagine the people in heaven like to eat green beans too!’

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