?

Gone

?by

Ronald Robert Moore

 

Joe and Sparky ambled between the linear rows of orange trees. Joe proudly gripped the Sharpshooter bee-bee gun his father had given him for his tenth birthday.

He squinted and peered down the long straight furrows between the rows. In a salute his right hand protected his eyes from the late afternoon sun. The trees ran parallel to each other as far as he could see. Crimson sunlight on the horizon had begun to dip behind the green tree-tops and blurred his vision.

He tapped Sparky on the shoulder, and they ran over and stood next to a tree.

“Did you see the blue-jay, it’s in this one?” He whispered to Sparky.

Sparky?s young blue eyes searched the tangle of green leaves and brown branches.

?I see it right there.? The pudgy boy pointed to the center of the trees leafy crown.

Joe poked the barrel of his handsome sharpshooter inside the thick outer layer of leaves so as not to cause the bird to fly away. He saw the big black eye of the creature blink and fired.

A pop sounded from the gun and the blue bird flapped its wings in a frantic attempt to fly. A pain filled screech cut through the late afternoon air and filled Joe?s ears. The bird fell at his feet.

He knelt down and scooped it into his hands. Joe was scared and knew his father would be mad. His leaf-green eyes stared at the small creature. It was limp; it flapped once and turned an ashen hue.

Joe started to cry, and hit his gun against the tree trunk. He had been angry at everything since his mom died three months ago.

The brand new Sharpshooter split in half at the trigger. Then he turned around and ran back home with Sparky trailing him.

Joe grabbed the screen door handle and threw it outward and ran over to his father. “Dad, Dad, I didn’t mean for it to die, I didn’t. I broke that stupid gun, I hate it.”

“What happened son?” Joe had a death-grip on his father’s neck.

Sparky blurted out, ” He shot a bird and it died!”

“I did not, it was a mistake,” tears streamed down his cheeks and he stood up and glowered at Sparky.

“Get out of here you, go home,” Sparky turned around and ran out the front door.

Joe stood by the open front door for a long time staring into the sunset and his crying grew less until it stopped.

He finally laid belly-down onto the carpet. Their living room grew silent and then dark and His father waited until it was time for Joe to go to bed and turned on the light.

“Poor little guy he is all tuckered out.” Joe?s dad mumbled and picked his son up and put him to bed.

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Ronald Robert Moore is a writer who started trying to learn this wonderful craft because he has been a life long reader. His hobbies are reading;writing and fishing. His cat, Whitey, lays on computer desk and edits his story. His final goal in writing is to craft a salable novel.