Swing Set Survivors

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: November 13, 2017

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Submitted: November 13, 2017



Swing Set Survivors



Breathe, blink, breath.

This too shall pass.

Squinting hard doesn’t make it all go away, but it makes a slight reprieve.


It’s almost over.

I can still remember the best day on the playground. It was 12 years ago. I still remember seeing Bryan running around...so happy, so carefree.

That was before it all began. That was the best day.



I squeeze him so tight, my little Bryan. A hug, an embrace, a sign of love and affection. A sign of restraint.

“It’s alright, dear.”

“It will all be okay.”

An old lullaby comes to mind as the worst has passed.

He is still again. Only moving to take in his breath. The exhaustion overcoming the effort.

I lean back to look at his eyes. He is Bryan again. He is back in control.



I can’t help looking at the commotion. I should expect it at this point, but I think the kid heard the siren in the distance before I did. That’s all it took. A distant siren sets him off. I turn back to look at my little Nicky as he settles. Nic is used to this, too. Back to smashing a fire truck and a school bus in the sand.

I’m not sure how I would deal if Nic was like that. I mean, I don’t think any parent knows what they are doing, but having to figure out how to deal with that...I’m not even sure if I can parent one week a month and every other weekend. But Nic seems okay. I should get some credit for that. He’ll pick up those colors soon. We’re working on more words. At least he’s healthy. I’m not sure what I would do if Nic was like him.



Oh my god, that fucking kid is wailing again. Does he really need to spend all day here? The next park is 3 miles away and I don’t have time to trek that far for 30 minutes of shitty sunshine and fresh fucking air on my lunch break. Where else am I supposed to smoke? The little bitch, Nancy rattled on me for hanging out by the loading docks. Jealous. She’s just jealous. All the power she possesses sits in a squeaky rolladex on her plywood throne and a phone headset that seems to melting into her perm.

At least the kid stopped. Geez, I’m surprised his parents even show their faces. I couldn’t do that. Try and control him. Not without a leash.


Mrs. Kincaid

Phew. Found the park. It’s about time google maps doesn’t let me down. Time to get this play date rolling. I hope Jimmy plays well with this new kid. I can wrangle 24 kids all day, but can’t figure out what my own one is thinking.

Oh, crud. There’s Bryan. I didn’t know he plays at this park, but then again, I couldn’t even find this park on my own. He seems to be doing well. He has been pretty calm at school lately, when I do see him. Or hear him, I guess. Him and the other SpecEds they keep in B-Wing. Maybe all it took was more routine. After being here for 4 months, he has settled fairly quickly, but he’s probably used to that. I heard that his parents move around a lot. Can’t be good for a kid in his position, but what do I know. I suppose his parents are just dealing, just trying to get by. It’s a burden no one asks for. No one wants. So they’re doing alright, doing it day-by-day. That’s what I need to do. Be more patient, more understanding. Be better parents like them.

Alright, Jimmy, let’s give this a go.



We didn't catch it quickly enough. Bryan is calm again, but people keep looking at us. Sideways glances. Shaking heads. Fuck off. This is love. This is what you have to fight for. Your approval is bullshit. Your judgement is crap. Go back to your cookie cutter homes and your white picket fences and leave us alone.

“Alright, Laur. Let’s grab some lunch. This park is dead. Grab a paw.”



I take Bryan’s hand. He always seems to push it away, but I know he loves me. I didn’t always know it, but I thought it-not every woman is meant to be a mother. Some just have to take that leap. Some just have the natural intuition. I know I did, and I couldn’t let it go to waste. We’ve fought for this and now we have it. A family. It’s not always easy, but no one can take it away from us.



The sound is gone again. Steve and Laura both take one of my hands and we start walking to the van. I don’t want to go. I want to stay in the sand. Stay with the slide. Stay with the swings. But their grips are so strong. Strong like they always been. Ever since his name was Bryan. For the past 12 years. When Steve and Laura first saw him playing. When the sirens couldn’t catch him.


© Copyright 2018 J Sarrazin. All rights reserved.

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