Saturday, July 2

Summer Nights


A full moon hung in the night sky and allowed its mellow light to beam in through the open window of Jimmy’s room. The light did not satisfy itself with just beaming in however, but took the liberties to bounce and dance about the various items tossed carelessly throughout. From where he lay on his iron wrought bed, Jimmy could clearly see the face of his Superman action figure who was still poised in an act of definite defense against the great and terrible monster, Dora the Explorer. Dora had, with Jimmy’s help, mysteriously made her way into Jimmy’s room several hours earlier without his younger sister Kayla’s notice. The two-year-old would have screamed until she was blue in the face, if she knew her favorite toy had been taken, but it was night time now and she was fast asleep.

Everyone was sleeping now. Everyone except Jimmy. The house was quiet besides the gentle hum of fans gyrating at full force, trying to give relief to the house’s inhabitants of the hot, humid Florida summer air which threatened to leave them drowned in their own sticky sweat. The boy rolled over on his stomach. “Why is it so hot?” he asked Superman. The solid little man did not budge. Jimmy furrowed his brows, angry that his hero would not give him an adequate reply. He closed his eyes, but then re-opened them only after a mere four “sheep-jumping-over-the fence.” It was just too darn hot to fall asleep. Jimmy clambered out of his bed, showering chocolate cookie crumbs onto the wooden floor in the process. With a full-on case of insomnia, there was only one course of action to take: visit the kitchen. A glass of milk might do the trick.

A quietly as a ten-year-old boy can manage, Jimmy crept down the stairs and into the kitchen. He kicked only two toys on his way down and stepped on the cat’s tail just once. But just as he had his hand on the refrigerator handle, he noticed something that steered him off his course: the kitchen door leading outside was ajar. It called for an official investigation. Jimmy abandoned all thoughts of ingesting cold, creamy milk and headed into the dark subtropical night.

Once outside, a warm breeze began to tug at the boy’s pajamas and pull at his blonde hair. He resisted at first, but soon found himself helpless against its draw. Jimmy allowed the breeze to charm him off the back porch and into the yard. Soon he found himself under the canopy of the great big mango tree that stood in the center of the yard. His body brushed against the hammock that swung down freely from the tree’s branches. Leaves from the tree dropped freely onto the ground and a thought popped into his young mind. “Maybe I can sleep here tonight.” It didn’t seem too improbable, and so into the hammock he went. The hammock was soft and hugging. It wrapped itself up all around the boy and rocked him gently, like a mother swinging her infant child to slumber. Waiting for sleep to come, Jimmy shut his eyes. But, alas, there was no way to shut his ears.

Coo! Coo! A bird sang out into the night. “Hush!” Jimmy cried, and sure enough, the bird flew away. But birds always return to their roost, and it wasn’t even a minute before Jimmy’s attempt to sleep was again interrupted by the coo, coo, coo of the bird. A sigh was let out but in the end what could be said except “Oh, let him sing! At least I’m not in my stuffy room.”

Just as the cooing song became a lullaby, a new sound became attuned to Jimmy’s ears. Buzz! Buzz! Some buzzing insects made themselves known. “Are those mosquitoes? I hope not!” Jimmy turned fitfully in the hammock. Nobody likes to get their blood sucked out by those miniature vampires. He clutched his hands in desperation, but when no sting ensued, he finally relaxed. Maybe the mosquitoes weren’t hungry. Yes! That was it, they weren’t hungry. He was going to be ok.

Now, behind Jimmy’s house there lay a swampy river. During the day, it was a good place to swim and fish, however, in the cover of the night, all sorts of dangers from within it resounded. Splash! Something had thrown itself into the water. Could it be a crocodile? “No! It’s just a fish, right? Just a—” all of Jimmy’s rationalizing was interrupted by a low-pitch grumbling croaky-like sound. It was the sound of a crocodile!

Jimmy leapt out of the hammock, stumbling over his own limbs in the process, and tried to run into his house. Somehow though, he found himself paralyzed. His legs would not work for him. Instinctively, he opened his mouth to shout for help, but the words seemed caught somewhere behind his tongue. He heard another croak, it was louder this time. Was the crocodile coming to bank? The boy closed his eyes, for the third time that night, but this time it was to prevent the silent tears that promised to leak out. In such a wretched state of panic, fear and terror, the world was now becoming distant from him, and for all the noises that Jimmy had heard that night, he did not notice the noise that now entered into his surroundings.

Heavy footsteps, tramped through the grass. A click and then a boom rung out through the night. A splash, but no more croaking. A tall man, with blonde hair scooped down and picked up the little boy. He threw him over his left shoulder and held his gun on his right. “Jimmy, son. Don’t you know better than to sneak out the house in the middle of the night?”

Once back inside the house, Jimmy sat across the kitchen table with his father. A package of Oreos and two glasses of milk lay between them. “How did you know I was outside?” Jimmy asked. “Well, you see,” answered his father, “this house is so darn hot, that I couldn’t sleep, so I came down into the kitchen to get a glass of milk…”

2 comments:

  1. I love the story. You have a very distinctive writing style.(full circle).... I would imagine in florida no second floor and alligators instead of crocodiles , however a ten year old boy can imagine many things. I like that you have used Florida as a setting. Thank you for sharing I enjoyed reading it.

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