Friday, August 15, 2014

"Another Place" by Clare Young (Short Story)

Genre:  Children's Fantasy

Type of Short Story:  Short Story

Summary:  A young boy, accompanied by his toys, goes on a quest to find his lost dog.


The bowl was empty and the basket was empty. When Tim came home from school, he found his father sitting at the kitchen table holding the red collar and leash.

“There’s something I have to tell you,” Tim’s father said, and Tim knew it must be bad because his father was sitting at the kitchen table, not on the living room sofa as he usually did. The kitchen table was for words and news and talks; the things his father was in charge of. Tim placed his backpack near the back door and sat at the table, waiting for his father to begin.

“Something has happened to Luke,” his father said, “which means that he’s gone somewhere. Somewhere nice, but somewhere he can never come back from.”

Tim thought for a while. “Like a holiday?”

“Not quite. On a holiday you come back home again, but Luke can’t come back home again,” Tim’s father cleared his throat and pushed the red collar and leash into the middle of the table.

“Why can’t he come back home again?” Tim asked. Perhaps Luke couldn’t come home because he was lost; he didn’t even have his collar with his name and phone number on it.

“Because,” Tim’s father paused, and Tim thought that maybe his father had taken Luke for a walk and then left him somewhere. “Because he can’t. At some point everyone goes to a place they can’t get back from. It will happen to me, your mother, and you one day. Today it has happened to Luke.”

“But where’s he gone?”

“Another place, far from here, where he has lots of friends and family. He won’t be lonely.”

Tim thought, and got upset, because Luke was his best friend so why would he want to leave? Tim left the kitchen table, ran upstairs and lay on his bed and cried. He cried because he couldn’t understand why Luke would want to leave; they had so much fun every day, apart from when Tim was more interested in playing with his toys.

After a while, Tim sat up and yelled out to the wooden Sailor boy, Steve, who stood on top of Tim’s bookshelf.

“It’s not fair!”

“What’s not fair Tim?” said the wooden Sailor Steve.

“Luke’s gone and he’s not coming back,” Tim said.

“Where Tim? Where has Luke gone?”

“I don’t know, somewhere else.”

“Oh, don’t cry my dear,” Daisy Rag Doll, climbing out from beneath the bed, joined in. “I’m sure we can find him.”

“I don’t know,” Tim said, wiping his nose on his sleeve.

Daisy Rag Doll climbed up on Tim’s bed and shuffled over to him.

“Don’t do that dear, use a handkerchief,” she said, handing him one of her own.

Tim wiped his nose properly, and wooden Sailor Steve climbed down from the bookcase to join Tim on his bed.

“I think he may be lost, and that’s why he can’t come back. Dad was holding his red collar and leash, and he...” Tim became upset again and buried his head between his knees.

“Now now Tim, don’t cry,” Daisy Rag Doll softly patted Tim on the back.

“If he is lost, then we can go find him. We shall find him!” Sailor Steve said

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