Authors: Alex Kimmell
Copyright 2012 Alex M. Kimmell
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Cover Design by Greg Simanson
Edited by Janna Balthaser
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Library of Congress Control Number: 2012910423
No matter what…
Other Boy sits in his room criss-cross applesauce, playing with a small plastic toy on the floor.
Two voices come up through the crack at the bottom of his closed door.
Hard Voice snaps a whip through the air, sharp with violence.
Soft Voice wraps around the room a warm down blanket sewn with loving hands.
Other Boy looks down at the plastic toy.
Hard Voice shoots off again, followed by stomping feet cracking gunshots across the hardwood floor.
Soft Voice reaches out with long dulcet vowels.
Other Boy stands up and reaches for the doorknob.
Hard Voice barks, a caged dog prodded with a stick.
Softer and gentler than ever, Soft Voice reaches out to hug Hard Voice.
Other Boy wraps his fingers around but does not turn the frozen doorknob. He pushes his small ear against the flat and unforgiving wood.
Other Boy listens to the voices rising.
Other Boy doesn’t comprehend, but he hears
Goose pimples rise on Other Boy’s arms.
Other Boy squeezes the plastic toy key
Hushed, melodic whispers reach through the thick oak, entering Other Boy’s ear.
Other Boy lifts the plastic toy to his mouth.
Quiet melodies sing on and on, pleading through the door into Other Boy’s ear.
Other Boy chews on the edge of the plastic toy.
Other Boy pushes with his index finger at the toy too large for his small mouth.
Other Boy pushes too far.
The ragged, chewed-on edges of plastic scratch at the back of Other Boy’s throat.
Other Boy hears a clicking noise from the door.
Other Boy looks up from the floor and watches the doorknob slowly turn.
So slowly it might not be moving at all.
Other Boy is on the floor.
The doorknob moves too slow.
Whiteness searches around the edges of Other Boy’s green eyes.