The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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I interviewed my father over dinner in our dining room. He had just come back from work still wearing his work uniform. I asked him about his high school life and he decided to tell me this story. This scene was of my father when he was heading to high school on a cold morning and had run through a field as a shortcut to get to school faster. He did not realize he had trespassed onto a graveyard until afterwards. Looking back, he laughed over what he did in the past.

“Man, how can they expect us to attend school on a frosty day like this?,” said John tightening the straps of his North Face jacket.

“True that,” said Tommy stuffing his hands into the pockets of his Levi’s jeans.     

John looked down at his hand-me-down watch decked out with its own compass. He calculated at the rate they were going, they will be late for school. Peering towards the northeast, he surveyed the area searching for any shortcuts, but he was met with a thick wall of fog surrounded by the autumn trees.

“You wanna go through that field over there?,” asked John reluctantly.

“I mean it’s faster, right?” said Tommy.

“Then... let’s go.”

And so, the two jumped into the land of the mist. They immediately lost sight of one another as the sea of fog engulfed their bodies. John panicked after seeing how the surrounding trees formed frightening fiends.

“Tommy! Where did you go?,” yelled John.

“Over here!,” Tommy shouted from the left.

Turning his head in the direction of his voice, John made out a body-like silhouette in the dark fog. He walked toward him with each step grazing by sharp blades of frozen tipped grass. As he got closer, he could not help, but feel like Tommy was growing in size. Then, he slowly noticed that Tommy’s skin and hair began to look more like bark and leaves.

“Tommy?”

“BOO!,” shouted Tommy popping out from behind the tree.

John fell backward screaming at the top of his lungs with a pitch that could break glass. Meanwhile, Tommy bursted out in laughter watching his friend in fear before helping him stand back up.

“You are gonna regret that,” said John, “I’m gonna get you after school.”

“Looking forward to it,” replied Tommy.

Ahead of them, the late sun illuminated an open field revealing a clear path.

“I’ll race ya,” said Tommy sprinting off before John said a word.

Without any remarks, John chased after him with the speed of Hermes. He caught up with Tommy in no time running alongside him. Turning their heads towards each other, they made silly faces mocking each other. Suddenly, right at the edge of the fog, they toppled over. They looked back discovering a dirt mound beneath them with a large flat rock at the top of it.

“What is that?,” asked John taking a closer look at the disfigured lettering.

“Bro, I think...I think that’s a grave,” said Tommy quivering.

Horror drifted down John’s spine delivering a deathly chill throughout his body as he realized that he had not only trespassed onto a graveyard, but had done the unspeakable.

“We just stepped on someone’s grave!,” shouted John.

“Oh god, what do we do now?”

“Well, what’s been done is done.”

John clasped his palms together apologizing and praying for disturbing the grave. He motioned for Tommy to do it too. After looking down at his cracked watch, John took a deep breath. School had already begun.

A Shortcut to School

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~1990
Fall River, MA

I interviewed my father over dinner in our dining room. He had just come back from work still wearing his work uniform. I asked him about his high school life and he decided to tell me this story. This scene was of my father when he was heading to high school on a cold morning and had run through a field as a shortcut to get to school faster. He did not realize he had trespassed onto a graveyard until afterwards. Looking back, he laughed over what he did in the past.

Decade: 1990s
Rating:
Recorded by Jacky Huang on June 3, 2019
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