Carefree

by Kevin Henney

The school gates, tall and dark before me. The playground beyond, empty and free of life.

The school gates, closed. Was I too early?

Life is too short to keep time. Life is for living. Life should be free of cares. So said my laissez-faire parents, relaxed about everyone and everything.

Our house was timeless. Free of clocks. Free of radio. Television? Yes, but in the era before breakfast TV, the age of three channels. We woke when we woke, went when we went, arrived when we got there. Sometimes I arrived as the gates opened. Sometimes I was still walking to school as lessons began. I marvelled at those other parents, envied their children. In time, on time, every time.

The school gates would not be opening. My parents would laugh at forgetting it was a bank holiday.

The school was closed. Everywhere was closed. Everyone was at home.

Kevin Henney writes shorts and flashes and drabbles of fiction that have appeared in various places on tree and online, including The Pygmy Giant.

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  1. #1 by robertkharding on September 23, 2013 - 7:26 am

    Maybe it is nostalgia for another age but that is the single best piece of flash fiction I have read. Wow! Nice work.

  2. #2 by linesofcommunication on September 23, 2013 - 7:40 am

    Almost unbearably sad, yet it shouldn’t be, since ‘freedom’ is supposed to be something to aspire to. Thought-provoking.

  3. #3 by jennypellett on September 23, 2013 - 8:29 am

    Loved it

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