The one he always wants to hear

by | Jun 12, 2012 | Fiction, Flash fiction, Relationships | 8 comments

Here’s another moment in the ongoing series of connected episodes that might (with revision) become a short story at some point.

The One He Always Wants to Hear
By Laura McHale Holland

We sit together, the abandoned boy and I, on a bench at the aquarium. He’s never before seen otters cavorting or orange jelly fish drifting through the deep, or sea anemones opening, closing, opening, closing in a rhythm ancient as the earth.

He leans against me and looks up with sad brown eyes. He doesn’t know his father is infamous for slaughter or that his stepdad insisted his pregnant mom leave him behind when the family moved to India. The stepdad said he couldn’t allow the boy’s bad genes to taint his coming child.

He leans in closer to me and asks, “Can we go to the land you came from?”

“We sure can,” I say. “Just close your eyes.”

And I begin the story, the one he always wants to hear, the one about the land behind the waterfall.


All of the episodes in this series in the order in which they were posted follow:

Back pocket wishes

Cascading to the sea

Right through the heart

Away today?

A dime a dozen

She doesn’t know them

On the seat

A pillar of the community

He needs a friend

Double rainbow

The one he always wants to hear

Give it some time

It gives my life meaning


Extenuating circumstances

 The four of us

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  1. Susan

    Once again, you have me transfixed, my friend. I SO relate to your characters. It’s almost scary. I think you are in my brain or vice-versa. Really now – do otters cavort? OMW! : )

  2. admin

    I’m so glad that these characters are stirring your emotions. It helps me continue, my friend. I do think of otters as cavorting and frolicking. I always love to watch them. I smile even just thinking of them.

  3. Jerry Kohut

    and the beat goes on. can’t wait till I hear the story

  4. Barbara Toboni

    I agree, Laura. Otters are fun to watch. This is a good little scene. The land behind the waterfall sounds so inviting. Can’t wait to hear more.

  5. admin

    Thanks, Jerry. I’ll have another one up in less than a week, for sure.

  6. admin

    Thank you, Barbara. Initially I had more in the scene, but luckily I realized that some of what I had written detracted rather than enhanced the whole. So it goes. I think the next scene will involved Carly, but I’m not sure yet. When is your next post going up?

  7. Eve Trout

    I need more please!

  8. admin

    Thanks so much, Eve. I appreciate your interest and enthusiasm!


  1. The four of us - [...] The one he always wants to hear [...]
  2. Double rainbow - [...] The one he always wants to hear [...]

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