Clock Near the Park by P.S. Joshi

clock

This is my story for February Storybook Corner hosted by Adam Ickes. It’s a monthly flash fiction challenge where a prompt is given to inspire a story  from 300 to 500 words in length based on the prompt. A new prompt is given the 21st of each month.

Link: http://adamickes.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/storybook-corner-prompt-february/

My parents and I live in the town of Franklyn, Indiana, in the downstairs apartment of an old building on Park Street. Nothing  exciting happens here, especially on this street. The most exciting things have been reports of a wolf on the edge of town where old man Travis’ land starts.

Bill Burke, the local handyman, swore he saw a small wolf but he tells a lot of fake stories, so few believe him. Some others have said they heard one howling, but most don’t believe that either.

It’s Wednesday, almost 10:20 AM, of a sweltering day in the middle of summer. The worst thing is our computer is broke. I’ve read all my books and it’s too hot to walk to the library.

I grabbed one of my comic books from a box in my room and plopped on the couch in front of the large living room window. Dad said we can’t afford air conditioning,  so I’m feeling the sweat run down my face and neck and soak into my T-shirt.

My best buddy, Sam, is with his family on a trip. I’m bored, bored, bored. It’s another month-and-a-half before school starts. At twelve, I’m too young to get a job; so here I sit. I stared out at the big black-rimmed clock on the black pole near the park. Nothing was there, so I glanced down at my comic and then back out the window. Now there was  a kid about my age standing near the clock pole.

I got up and moved to the front screen door, slowly unhooking it. I swung it open and went outside and down the steps to our walk.  Slowly, foot by foot, I came to the main sidewalk, then crossed the street.

I’d never seen this kid before. He was thin, pale and seemed real nervous.

“Hi,” I said. “You’re new in town ain’t ya?”

“Yeah. Me and my parents just moved here from near Selwich.”

He stood first on one foot, then the other.

“I gotta go home now. Mom and Dad don’t like me to wander very far from home.”

Then he ran off.

That evening at dinner, I told Dad about the new kid. He seemed to think for a while.

“Selwich?” he said. “That sounds familiar. Oh. I know. People spotted a wolf over near there too, just like here. They said it was kind of small and seemed wary of getting close to them. Where in the heck do you suppose a wolf came from? Maybe somebody had it as a pet and it got loose.

I felt a chill all of a sudden, even though it was still hot. I remembered something too. I went and got my comic book, The Mayfield Werewolf.