Broken String

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Ron George

227 readings


Jury Selection

Two great googly eyes stared down at me from the sky. The eager wind pulled my kite and its big yellow eyes higher and higher. I stuck my fingers in the ends of the cardboard tube and let the string spool-out unhindered. The kite soared. I watched. Ecstasy on the end of a string.


The last bit of string unwound from the spool before my astonished eyes. The untied end danced away from my grasping hands. The great googly eyes turned away, and the kite drifted, free. I chased that dangling end over the baseball field, through the cemetery, across car-less streets until I lost sight of it.


I followed the trajectory and found my kite on the ground in a neighbor’s yard. It was thankfully un-treed. I patiently gathered the string and walked home. The problem—I knew— not enough string. So, I bought another spool, another 500 feet, tied it to the end, and wound it all up into a pregnant lump. I looked forward to another windy day.


Two great googly eyes stared down at me again. The eager wind lifted my kite again. The string spooled out again. The untied end dance away again. And once again I found my kite, but the string was a hopeless tangle through the treetops. I cut it free and headed home. The big yellow eyes looked at me without questioning my judgment, without accusation. How could they still trust me?


I knew the problem now—more string, yes, but it had to be tied to something. At the store, I found a plastic kite winder and bought three new spools, 1500 feet. With the care that only a kid can put into something so simple, I tied the string together, wound the string round the winder, and waited for the next windy day.


It was not a nice day. The clouds were low and heavy, and the wind merciless. The great googly eyes showed no sign of panic as the wind whipped them, carrying them away from me and into the unfathomed grey. The string paid out steadily. The kite moved farther and farther away until even the great googly eyes were lost in the distance.


The string sagged across the field and over the trees, felt heavy in my hands. Relentless wind tugged my arm as if I had hooked a mighty fish in the depths of sky. I had something big, something potent lurking in the bottomless heavens, pulling hard on the line, and threatening to carry me with it. I held tight and gazed into the featureless gray. I felt the force of the wind, immense and unseen, and leaned against it. I saw the string stretching into forever, attached to nothing. As I stared in awe, I imagined that God was holding the kite. God was holding it, and it was tied to the string, and I was holding the other end. There was something up there. I knew it. I felt it. Then the string broke.


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