Save Me - Aimee Mann Don't Stop - Fleetwood Mac These Boots Are Made for Walking - Nancy Sinatra Long And Winding Road - The Beatles Mother And Child Reunion - Paul Simon
12 Nov 2011
Move Quickly Now
She said, “Move quickly now and we'll go together. No, don't look behind. No, don't.” He wondered but followed, only being small and not yet ready for disagreements. Or rather, not yet ready to see if this would be what he decided to be disagreeable about. He was a small boy who chose his battles carefully, understanding almost from the first moment that it was not worthwhile to waste his energies. So he had sat, a calm and fat baby, watching and assessing. She had expected more cries, more shrieking, and was relieved when he turned out not to be one of those. She had shown him off to friends:
“He's placid, so placid,” said her friends, ragged around their eyes and mouth from bewildered and uncalm nights with their own. They looked at him greedily and soon she stopped seeing those sorts of friends, those sorts of mothers.
They walked together along the road, but he wanted to look back. She held his hand as if gripping onto a rope ladder dangling over a gorge. Gripped him so tightly.
“How do you know where we'll get to?” he said, and she wanted to say something original, something about crystal balls or divination by means of arrows, but she was tired and he was too clever, so she said, “I have a map, and I've got an address for us. Don't worry.”
“I'm not worried,” said the boy, and he wasn't, but he was curious.
They came across the first body some hours later, as she moved them both off the road to rest between trees. She stopped still, and he stood behind her and for one quick instant she wished she could fly, wished she could just take him and go up and up and never have to show him anything but clouds again.
He stared at the body, which had wounds to its head. Probably caused by a knife, thought the boy, without thinking how he might possibly know that. She was staring at the face, which had a faraway look to it.
They stood there for a long time, the woman and the boy and the dead man. He had the word “father” circling in his mind, and she was trying not to cry, not to just sit there and raise her arms up to the world and the circling crows.
“Come on,” said the boy, and he took her hand. “Come on, let's go,” and he led her away, back to the road, and they carried on walking.
Video: Save Me - Aimee Mann
Great aticrle, thank you again for writing.
21 Jan 2012
Debs Rickard's comments
This is so powerful and lovely. A backstory unfolded naturally as I read (who knows if it's the intended one but it doesn't matter) and I love the little boy and his mum. I'm choked!