New Stories for April 18, 2021
by Paul Barach
Charlie’s parents couldn’t see DeeDee and neither could Charlie, but he was Charlie’s best friend because DeeDee loved to play.
Charlie loved his trains the best. His dad would play trains with him. When Charlie got bored running them along their wooden tracks, he and his dad would run them all over the floor and around the crib of Charlie’s baby sister, Holly. When Charlie got tired of that, he’d ask his dad to run them high across the walls, way above where Charlie could reach.
But Charlie’s dad wouldn’t make them run across the ceiling like DeeDee, or fly through the air while Charlie jumped up to catch them. His dad didn’t even know how, but DeeDee did. DeeDee made playing with the trains so much more fun than anyone.
DeeDee had been playing a new game for weeks after his parents went to sleep. Charlie was already laughing when it started. The train flew through the air, rolling across the ceiling so high up and then down the walls wavy like a snake. Charlie jumped on the bed giggling so much it felt like he’d never catch his breath. Then the train floated down, spinning like a snowflake until it was right in front of his hands.
Charlie loved this game. He clapped his hands together as fast as he could, but the train jumped out at the last moment like a fly and all he caught was his palms.
The train rose again, a little farther away. Charlie leaped off the bed, landing softly on the footies of his PJs and snatched at the air again. The train bobbed just to the left, then down as he clapped his hands again. He danced across the carpet, but the train kept jumping up as he snatched at the air.
DeeDee never kept the game going this long and Charlie was getting mad.
“Give it, DeeDee!”
Charlie stubbed his toe on the chair of his drawing desk. Crayons rolled off the edge and fell onto the carpet and Charlie would have to pick them up because DeeDee was being stupid and his toe hurt so bad.
“DeeDee! I don’t wanna play anymore,” he whispered.
by Kat Ogden
“Oh, bother.” A sharp, cold wind knocked into Leda as she stepped outside the library. Her mood, which had been quite reasonable, shriveled to two cranky lines between her brows. The promising spring day had disintegrated into a leftover piece of February. Wind gusted up and down Sixth Avenue, blowing garbage down the street like tumbleweed.
“Ouch,” Jane yelped. She’d come out right behind Leda, and the door hit her. “Why’d you stop like that?”
“Look at this,” Leda gestured dramatically, waving her hand. “What a mess. I’ll have to go home and change.”
Jane stared dutifully in the direction of Leda’s flapping hand.
“I don’t see anything but a fake Jamaican selling incense.”
“The day, the weather, it is awful. I have to go home.”
“Go home? Because of a cloud over? That’s ridiculous.”
“I have to change. I’m inappropriately dressed and underdressed to boot.”
“We’ll jump on the subway.” Jane scrabbled out of the way of an imposing older man with an aquiline nose. As he exited, he brushed against Leda aggressively. He was so close she could smell his cologne.
“Excuse me,” Leda said pointedly. His answer was simply to turn and stare at her again, a slight leering smile tugging at the corner of his mouth before he turned and walked towards Union Square.
“You’re an ass!” Jane called after him. As if on cue, the sky darkened noticeably.