Iron Face and His Blue Cape

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A little boy's desperate escape from an emotional adult landscape.

Submitted: April 13, 2017

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Submitted: April 13, 2017

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 The wind blasted Jacobs face, drying his tears instantly. “A smile from ear to ear.” was the description made by an eyewitness.

 

October 31 1964 was a wonderful day for most children in New York City. Kids all over were waking up to Saturday morning cartoons and a promise of candy and costumes that night. It was Halloween. But for some kids it was just another day of war.

Jacob was trapped. His parents were at it again. This time in the hall. He couldn’t even get to the bathroom and his tummy was starting to hurt. Most of the time they fought in the kitchen or in the big bedroom, closing the door and letting him watch television. Jacob would just turn up the volume and pretend not to hear the ugly sounds and ugly words they made. Most of the time though he would hide out in his super hero cave made out of a cardboard box in his closet. It was harder to hear them in there.

 

On Thursday evening Jacob’s mom took him downtown to FAO Schwarz. Heaven on Fifth Ave. for a six year old. Jacob took in everything he saw. Two floors packed with dreams and fantasies. They ran through the store, Jacob pulling his mom along by her hand and the both of them laughing. His mom let him lead her through the store like a tour guide on speed. She loved seeing her little boy so excited. Jacob was sweating and his smile started to make his face ache.

Right in the middle of the second floor costume displays stood a seven foot statue of his favorite super hero Iron Face. Jacob jumped up and down trying to contain his excitement but failing miserably. His mother laughed, catching his happiness like a virus. She wiped a silly tear from her eye and let go of his hand. Jacob raced through the crowd, darting between adults and older kids just to get closer to the huge display. He ran around it until he got tired and dizzy, his mom easily tracking her carrot top little boy. She stood there watching, a beautiful smile on her face. They both needed this.

 

Jacob hadn’t taken his costume off since that night. His class had a Halloween costume party the next day and he got First Place for best superhero costume. He showed off his prize, a big plastic Jack-o-lantern bucket, to his dad that night when he got home from work. Jacob was a happy little boy on Friday night. Saturday morning he was hiding again.

 

Jacob, on his knees, slid the closet door closed behind him leaving a small gap for light. He pushed through action figures and some old shoes to get into his box. He could still hear them screaming at each other but it was really muffled now. He couldn’t hear their words. He lay there on his back staring up into the dark of his safe place and wondered what superhero powers he might have. Could he run real fast? Could he bend steel bars with his hands? Jacob wiped his teary eyes in the dark on his new blue cape. He remembered.

 

“Why am I always wrong, you Bitch?!”

“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because you always are!”

“Ya know what? I don’t know why I put up with your petty bullshit!”

“I don’t know why either, Roy. Maybe because you’re some goddamn saint who deserves better than me and Jacob!”

“Ya know what, Lydia? Fuck you. Fuck you. And fuck you!”

“Great! Why don’t you say that a bit louder, Einstein. The people three floors down didn’t hear you clear enough!”

Right then Jacob came streaking past them, his royal blue cape waving in the air behind him. They watched dumbfounded as he ran through the kitchen and out the open window.


© Copyright 2017 R.Guy Barringer. All rights reserved.

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