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: