Friday, March 29, 2013

"Meeting at a Critical Juncture" by Michael Doran (Short Story)

Genre:  Narrative Non-fiction

Type of Short Story:  Short Story

Summary:  A young boy waits anxiously in an empty room. The boy has been bullied extensively during his life, both at school and at home, and is unsure what to expect. A familiar face walks in, introduces himself, and the conversation they have has a profound impact on each of their lives.


The boy walked into the room. He had his face down. He was looking at his feet and had a grim look on his face. He was around 13 years old, blond hair, blue eyes, and he stood there for a second before pulling a piece of tissue out of his pocket and blowing his nose.

His allergies were bothering him again. In fact, they bothered him constantly. He was allergic to many things, but mostly to animal hair and he felt like he was in constant aggravation since his family had a black Labrador retriever who shed constantly. He loved the dog with all of his heart even though he was constantly bothered by her.

The room was bright and airy. There was a large window overlooking a lake, and the boy stared out at the lake and the woods behind it. He wished he could go out there, to the woods right now but he knew that there was someone coming to talk to him and he couldn’t.

He loved being in the woods. He loved listening to the sounds of the forest around him, watching the animals, and finding plants and berries to eat. There he was at peace. No one there would call him names; no one there would pick on him. On the few occasions other kids had chased him into the woods he had always easily lost them. The forest was his safe place, and his protector.

The boy looked around and walked over to a chair in the corner and sat down.

He had been told that a man was coming to talk to him. He did not know who the man was, but was scared about what would happen.

Older men frightened him. From the older kids who had beaten him up, to his own father and older brother who intimidated and scared him, he had rarely had positive interactions with men. It just seemed like his dad, and some of his friends dads just did not have the time, or want to make the time, for kids. Children should be seen and not heard was often joked about around the house, yet somehow he knew it was not really a joke.

Thoughts raced through his head. What was this about? Was he in trouble again? He looked at the woods again and imagined himself running into them and disappearing forever. Maybe he would join the military (if he could ever get over being a picky eater), or maybe he would just become a mountaineer like his hero Davey Crockett.

Suddenly a sound behind him made him turn around, and as the door opened he saw an older man come into the room. The man was tall and blond like he was. Not as old as his dad, but older than his brother. The man smiled at him and said “You must be Steve”. The boy nodded his head and looked down again.

Buy this story on Amazon.

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