During a monsoon storm, in the middle of July, the bolts of thunder plummeted down across the city on the moon, as you constructed a castle from fiberglass and pieces of a dogwood tree. The earth tilted offbeat, cast off its axis, drifting into seclusion, you taking everything you owned, from your luggage, to your automobile, to your dog named A Tribe Called Quest, and packed it up on an aero plane and flew away into outer-space, passing the bad people, passing the good people, until evil and good coalesced together in harmony to form a fragment of your lonesome heart. This all was in your mind, a memory now, but a thought in the past. The three of you were at the neighborhood rec-center. Back then, you were young Jacob, about 9 years old and your sister April, was 7 years old, and you were both playing in a long swimming pool, that could have been considered a small lake. You remember hitting April on the head with an inflatable towboat, her eyes welling up with tears that salted the water up. It happened so fast; your father jumping into the pool, splashing water into your face to blind you. Jacob, you were so small and scrawny, and your father David took your arms and dragged you underwater, pushing your shoulders down until your head sank, even though it was the shallow-end, bubbles hitting the surface and smoothening out at once. Your feet touched the brittle ground and you bounced back up, sucking in the air above you. You breathed in air, gasping for dear life. Your head crashed against the water, your eyes blurry from the stinging chlorine washing up against your face. You tried to move, but David’s hands crushed your muscles. April was sitting on the edge of the pool, screaming at you two to stop fighting, her hands cupped over her lips. You felt your stomach tightening up and your chest collapsing, as you flailed your arms against curtains of blue, splashing hard without causing ripples in the warm water. You felt like you were going to die, like drowning was going to be your end all, be all. And then you remember surfacing the pool, getting water pumped out your lungs, hard hands pressing against your chest. You looking into April’s eyes, her face bright red.
And then, everything went black.
Andy Tran is a young professional working and living in the Washington DC metro area. His work has been featured in The Virginia. Normal, Defenestration Magazine, and Calliope, and currently at Queens Mob Teahouse. He's a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, and he has a degree in English.