Image of Long Story Short Award - Fall 2020
Image of Short Fiction
He stood, leaned against the jeep, toes pointed toward the desert horizon, breaths filtered by dust. His eyes moved over the still, illuminated sky. He glanced down and began examining the oddly shaped wood piece he held in his hands. Pondering the bend, the intentional deformation, he slid his fingers over the worn, smooth edges. Was it this imperfection that would allow it to return? In that case, its shape was no mistake. It was made to come home. He took three steps forward and whisked the toy into the distance. As it left his fingertips, ghosts joined him. A giggle and little hands wrapped around and tickled his ankle. Just like a dance of the sands, he saw the child wiggle with unclear and mischievous motives. The little man laughed a faint, echoing laugh then changed strategies as he scrambled, flinging all wispy limbs around his leg. Another gentle giggle sang by his ear. He turned to see the sands of a smiling companion watching the child. Her ghostly eyes swirled with joy. Like a warm caress, he felt those desert winds thread a hand through his. He followed her gaze out into the view once again. Slicing through the dimming sky, the knick knack flew toward him. Just as quickly as he flicked it away, it landed in his hands. He looked up to watch that it gently whisked away the desert sands around him, back to settle somewhere else, somewhere safe. The stillness, frozen around him, allowed his thoughts to fill. Could the shape be trusted to complete its purpose? Though worn and used, would the design withstand? Would the bend of the boomerang bring it home?