Sparky Returns

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a short story about a boy named Nelson. He is a typical boy who lives in a typical neighborhood, but he's about to experience something extrodinary. He is visited by the same fate that impacts us all, and there is nothing typical about that.

Written by Rachel Penabella
Edited by Trisha Brookbank

Submitted: January 07, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 07, 2012

A A A

A A A


 

 

Sparky Returns

 

The red ball rolled across the dark, paved road at high speed. It bounced off the curb and broke through the air gaining altitude. As expected, gravity pulled it back down and the impact caused it to bounce three or four times before forcing it to roll backwards towards the middle of the road where it finally came to a stop.

 

Robbie, my next-door neighbor and friend, urged me, “Go get it! Hurry!” We were engaged in a ferocious game of Dodge Ball. He had just pegged me real hard with the large rubber ball leaving a red mark on the side of my face.

 

Before running out into traffic, I stopped at the curb and looked both ways. It didn’t matter that we lived on a dead end street; it was a force of habit. I ran up to the ball and picked it up. As I stood in the middle of the wide-open street, I had a sudden overwhelming feeling that something was wrong. Although there were no cars coming, I felt as if I was lingering in a spot that could potentially be dangers.

I stood there looking down the street entertaining all sorts of extreme possibilities with my imagination; but I knew I was safe. All I had to do if a car came barreling towards me was simply step out of the way.

 

I felt invincible which also made me feel exhilarated. I looked up at the sky. It was an azure blue with cottony white clouds floating over me. I closed my eyes for a second, and could see the sun’s orange glow shining through my eyelids. I inhaled the warm air wafting up from the hot asphalt and felt it travel through my insides, filling my lungs like two giant hot air balloons. I held my breath until I couldn’t any longer. Suddenly the air came rushing out of me, and I felt like a fire breathing dragon; shooting flames as far as my breath could travel.

 

“Nelson! C’mon!” Robbie’s pissed off voice shattered my dragon fantasy. I looked toward him, but could only see a shadowy silhouette standing on the lawn where he used to be. I looked beyond it and wispy tendrils of a dark, grayish smoke began to invade everything I perceived until complete blackness swallowed me. The world outside felt as though it was being ripped away.

 

“Aaaaaaaaaaah!” I screamed in terror, but the sound never escaped my lips. I thrashed inside my body, but could not feel any of my limbs react. Panic had completely set in making it harder and harder for me to breathe. I could feel my heart beat slowing down until finally it came to a complete stop.

 

“Pst! Hey! Kid?” I heard a raspy voice calling from some random direction, but I was in complete darkness. The voice spoke again, “Kid! Just open your eyes.”

 

I did as I was instructed, and opened my eyes. I was facing the opposite direction and could see myself lying in the street. Robbie was kneeling over my limp body, shaking me and demanding that I stop pretending. “Nelson, Stop it! Open your freaking eyes. C’mon!” After several attempts he got up and with a tragic look on his face, he turned and ran toward the house yelling for help.

 

I walked over to my body. I couldn’t believe I was looking down at myself. Could this be a dream? Suddenly I felt a heavy hand drop onto my shoulder. It startled me, and I turned around not knowing what or who to expect.

 

It was a man dressed in black with greasy, dark brown hair. He had a brown, unlit cigarette dangling from his bottom lip. “Relax, kid. I’m here to help you.” He stepped around me and looked down at my body. “Tsk, tsk, tsk” he made a pitying sound while shaking his head. Before speaking again, he took the cigarette out of his mouth and looked back at me. “Son, I’m afraid that you have expired. You are one dead son of a bitch.” He opened his mouth and let out a stifled laugh at his pathetic punch line.

 

I wasn’t laughing. The word DEAD went right through me like a blade. “Dead? No way! I’m not dead!” I looked at the man accusingly. “I don’t know who you are mister or why you are trying to scare me like this. I’m not dead! I’m…I’m…I’m…I’ve obviously just passed out or something.”

 

The sinister man lifted his hand and waived it up and down, signaling for me to calm down. With a raised eyebrow he looked me dead in the eye and said, “Okay, boy! I don’t mean to startle you, but I’m not going to lie. You’re just going to have to face the facts.” He stepped away from me and I heard jingling sounds coming from his boots. He was wearing black cowboy boots with spurs on them. “Now pay attention, cause I’m going to break it down for you. Your pal that just ran for help hit you with the ball. The blow was delivered to your face, which in turn set off a reaction inside your brain.” He paused for a moment as though he was trying to consider my feelings. “The coroner will later announce the cause of death to be a ‘ruptured brain aneurysm.’”

 

As the man continued to explain how I came to be dead, all sorts of questions were bubbling to the surface. I didn’t even know who this guy was or if I should even trust what he was telling me. If I’m really dead, shouldn’t there be an angel or some dead relative trying to show me the way to heaven? This guy didn’t even look very angelic. In fact, he looked quite the opposite. Did this mean I was being collected by one of the bad guys on his way to hell? What had I done in my life that was so terrible to deserve this fate? Maybe I told the occasional lie to my parents, but what kid hasn’t done that? There was a time that I stole a pack of gum from the corner gas station. Later I felt so bad about it, that I gave the pack away to Robbie without even having any. The more I searched for a reason, the more I sank into a state of shock.

 

The evil soldier of Satan continued to reassure me that I was very dead. “You probably shouldn’t have accepted Robbie’s invitation to come out and play this afternoon. Perhaps riding your bikes to the corner drugstore would have been a better choice.” He looked down at my body, the empty shell that it was, and sighed. “Yeah, I can assure you, my boy, you are deader than dead.” He looked back at me with a serious face like he meant business. “Look! We need to clear the area before your family and neighbors come out and start crying over you. Trust me! You don’t want to witness their reaction to your untimely death. It won’t be good for you and it definitely won’t be good for me.” The man walked up to me and put his hands on my shoulder. “Nelson! Snap out of it! You are going to be fine. Now follow me.” He turned away from me and started walking down the street. I could hear the jingle jangle of his spurs with each step he took, but I was not about to follow anyone into hell. Hell no!

 

He looked back and noticed that I wasn’t following him. “Come on! I mean it!” He was standing about five paces away from me urging me to follow. “Look. Let’s just take a walk around the corner and away from this scene. Things may not make any sense to you right now, but I really am here to help you. You just have to trust me.”

 

He delivered the last sentence in a sincere tone, which calmed me enough to say, “Trust? How can I trust you? You don’t look like someone I should be trusting? You're a…. stranger! I’m not even supposed to speak to strangers, and I’m supposed to trust you? Mister? I don’t even know your name.”

 

The man took a few steps towards me, and anxiously scratched his head. “Sparky! My name is Sparky! Recognize me?” He paused for a moment to see if indeed there was a glimmer of recognition in my expression. He became rather distraught when he saw there was none, and then threw his unlit cigarette into the street. He seemed a bit threatening, so I took a few steps back. I think he noticed that I had become intimidated, so he paused for a moment thinking of what to say next. “Look! I don’t have time to convince you that I mean you no harm! There was a time when you considered me your only best friend, except I wasn’t human.” He paused again and examined my reaction.

 

Something about his name was familiar to me. Sparky, had been the name of a dog my parents used to have. He died when I was younger. Sparky was a big and mean looking mutt, but he loved me unconditionally. Images of Sparky sitting by my side, guarding me as I played with my toys, came rushing forward from my memory. I really loved that animal. He had to be put down. Some illness was ravaging him, and my parents didn’t want to see him suffer. After he was gone, I told my parents I could never love another pet like I loved Sparky. I still miss him terribly.

 

“Sparky?!?” I asked in disbelief. The man grinned and his eyes filled with tears at the sound of my voice calling his name one more time. “Yup, kid! Sparky’s back! How about we make like a team again and head out of here?” He held his hand out, and suddenly I could see it in his eyes. It was the familiar look that used to greet me all throughout my childhood. “Follow me, kid! Trust me. We want to be as far away from here as possible when your body is discovered.”

 

It seemed like I had no choice, but at least I understood now. I may not have had an angel or relative come guide me into heaven, but to see Sparky as a creepy looking guy was extremely impressive. Then the reality hit me once again. I’m dead and Sparky is a man. I decided to trust him, so I followed him in silence until we were down the block.

 

Sparky turned around and looked past me. The reaction on his face was a concerned grimace. He quickly looked towards me, and could see that I had noticed his reaction to whatever scene was unfolding behind me. I went to turn my face, but he clapped his hands loudly, which automatically surprised me. “NO! Nelson, don’t look back!” He tried to hold my gaze and began to walk backwards. His hands urged me to follow him, as he tried to lead me towards the corner. I slowly continued to take steps, but a curiosity was burning inside me. He gently urged me, “That’s it my boy. Let’s just make a right turn at the corner. Right, this way.”

 

Then before we could turn the corner, I looked back. I saw my mother running out of the house with the phone in her hand. Robbie followed her towards the street. She was frantic, like she had lost her mind. She reached my body in what seemed like seconds, and then I heard her scream in agony. At that moment, I just wanted to run to her. I wanted not to be dead, so I could calm her down by showing her that I was still alive.

 

“MOM!” I yelled out her name, but she didn’t look my way. I was going to start running towards her when Sparky grabbed the back of my shirt. His arms picked me up by my waist, but the soles of my shoes could still touch the pavement. I struggled to get loose. Through clenched teeth I yelled, “Let me go! Let me go!” I tried calling out to my mother once again, in hopes that she would hear me; in hopes that she would rescue me from my fate. MOM!” Tears desperately poured out of my eyes making my face all wet. How could I just walk away from everything that I know and love?

 

Sparky struggled with me, as he continued to pull me back towards the corner where it would be impossible for me to see the suffering I had left behind. I turned to him and in a fit of rage began slapping his face and chest. He tried to pull me closer, but I rejected him by pushing against his shoulders. Over and over again, I tried to set myself free. I even kicked him really hard on the shin, but he wouldn’t let me go. His strength was unconquerable. Again, he tried to calm me by saying, “Kid. Kid! Eventually you are going to get tired of fighting. You are not going anywhere!”

 

I gave up trying to free myself, so he loosened his grip; which had actually been holding me up. As he let go, I slid to the ground and curled myself into a ball. I hid my face between my legs, but peaked out through the gap. I could see Sparky’s cowboy boots right in front of me. He was bent over trying to shield me from the harsh reality. He gently placed his hand on the back of my head. “Listen, Kid. Please, please, please calm down. I understand you’re freaking out. The same thing happened to me. Well, not really, but we all handle the end differently. It is not as bad as you think it is.” I appreciated his kindness, but I was terrified and felt inconsolable. I begged him to give me some space, “Please just let me lie down and look up at the sky.”

 

Sparky let me lean back until I was laying face up. I stared into the big sky and heard Sparky say, “Close your eyes, my boy, and just relax. When you open them, we’ll be in heaven.” I did as he suggested. I closed my eyes, but before I opened them I could see the sun’s glow through my eyelids. I kept them closed for a while longer before saying, “Sparky, I am going to miss this life and everyone in it.” Then, I opened my eyes.

 

The end!

 

Written by RacheBlue 1/7/12


© Copyright 2017 Rache Blue. All rights reserved.

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