I threw my daughter into the air and she became old.
Are you a woman now? I said, bumbling her around in my arms.
She spit up water. I wiped my shirt. She clapped.
What horrible things can you tell me of the future, I wondered.
I threw her high up near the ceiling.
You’ve died, she said. For a few seconds she was grey and I saw fear in her eyes.
I caught her. And I put her in the stroller.
I took out the jam I kept in my pocket and fed her with a spoon.
We went to the park.
If I put her in an airplane, how far could I see?
I took us to a bench.
The trees, the people, the grass, and everything she knew would someday be dead.
I would be dead.
She kicked a leg out and and onto my arm.
I tickled her toes. She yawned. Did I bore her?
I threw her into the air.
Bones came out of her skin. She became a puff of ashes. Then at the top became light. A scream reemerged in her, as if in reverse. She became a little girl—I caught her.
She’d wet her pants. And I’d farted.
Captain by trade, Cpt. Eric Thralby works wood in his long off-days. He time-to-time pilots the Bremerton Ferry (Bremerton—Vashon; Vahon—Bremerton), while other times sells books on amazon.com, SellerID: plainpages. He’ll sell any books the people love, strolling down to library and yard sales, but he loves especially books of Romantic fiction, not of risqué gargoyles, not harlequin romance, but knights, errant or of the Table. Eric has not published before, but has read in local readings at the Gig Harbor Candy Company and the Lavender Inne, also in Gig Harbor.