Flash Fiction: The Encounter

The boy looked down into the water, his eyes fixing onto the large gray boulder-shaped object at the bottom of the lake.  He didn’t want to believe that it could be him.  It was impossible.  Hadn’t he just spoken with him twenty minutes ago at the guiding posts by the entrance of the park?  He remembered….he had taken hold of the leather jacket as he had brushed by him and for a minute, their eyes had met and a sense of an awkward feeling had kicked in – his heart beating rapidly as a past memory flashed in his mind.

“Wait!” the boy had called out.

The man in the leather jacket had disappeared, though.  Among the throng of all these people, he would be hard to spot again.  I am not running, the boy thought to himself.  But what if….

“No, forget it,” he said to himself.

He quickly put the thought out of his mind and continued walking, hands in his pocket.  He saw other kids his age, some running towards the water spouts in the middle of the park.  He could see the joy on the faces of these kids, a sensation he had been missing for years, but one he was hoping would be reborn again soon.  Some of the parents were laughing with others, marveling at the  bliss of the summer day’s thrills.

He could see the paint on some of the kids’ faces, visages of tigers and rabbits, superheroes and supervillains.  In the midst of all the masked expressions, the boy saw one that was darker than the others, bones and skulls painted on his cheeks and forehead, a look that frightened him.  Behind it, their eyes locked again.  This time, the boy ran after the man.  Scampering as quick as possible, he tried to keep up with the man’s elongated strides.

“Stop!” the boy shouted.  But the man kept moving forward, swiftly zig-zagging around the crowds.  Many people began to move to the side, their eyes fastened onto the scene in front of them.  Some were quickly pulling their children close to their bodies, embracing them from the dangerous peril in front of their eyes.

The boy was growing tired – he could feel it.  Soon, the man would once again be free.  With his breathing struggling to open up, the boy stopped.  He heard murmurs growing from the left side of him and saw a crowd beginning to gather.  The boy stared over and wondered what was hidden beyond the wall of the onlookers.  Slowly, he gathered himself and walked over.  He brushed people slightly apart, his heart beginning to rise in beats.

The crowd’s eyes followed him as he slowly made his way towards the bank of the lake, a leather jacket sitting on top.  An awkward silence followed the sounds of the waves of the lake hitting the embankment.  The boy’s eyes looked down.  The boy’s eyes rested on his father’s facial features, ignoring the harpoon that had struck the shark that suffocated the man to his final resting place in the depths of the shallow water.

(Today’s story was based on the Daily Prompt:  Click Here! )