WONDERFALL

103

“This is Wonderfall,” said Mark.

The thirteen year old looked at the rushing water with a board expression. His lips twisted in an all too familiar grimace. “It’s a waterfall, Dad.”

“But this one is special. Grandpa Jack took me here when I was ten. Best fishing in Maryland.”

“You mean the same Grandpa Jack I never got to meet ‘cause you had a fight thirteen years ago? Dragging me to all these ‘special’ places isn’t going to bring him back.”

Mark’s stomach clenched. This wasn’t the father son trip he’d envisioned. He and his dad had drifted apart, then had a big blow-up right before Jason was born. Now the same thing was happening with Jason.

It seemed like yesterday Jason wanted to be a mini Mark. Then his mom died and everything changed. There had to be a way to keep history from repeating. Around them birds sang. Water cascaded over rocks, each splash of water a soothing balm. The two of them may as well have been worm eaten husks of oak, empty, disconnected.

A pair of deer peered at them from across the stream, one full racked, the other single pronged.  Mark drew in a sharp breath. Even Jason stopped kicking stones. It felt like they were waiting for something.

“You’re right, Jason,” said Mark. “I haven’t been listening. Let’s do something you like.

***

“You think they got it?” said the smaller buck as Mark and Jason walked away.

“I sure hope so, Jack.”

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About A. L. Kaplan

I am a writer, artist, and parent.
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