Thursday, May 26, 2005


One of the neatest short stories I've read lately.

By Benjamin Ludwig of
The best time the boy could remember, ever, was when his father and a few of the dads from the neighborhood got together to build a fire one summer night.

They set up a ring of stones off in a clearing, and gathered wood, and set up stumps for everyone to sit on. Then, when it was finally dark, all the kids from the neighborhood gathered together, and the dads lit the flames.

The dads stood one at a time to tell stories and jokes. And sometimes they stood up together to speak or to sing a song. When they did this they looked almost like boys themselves. The boy knew that it was the fire that revealed this, the way its light splashed on their faces, exposing boyish grins and winks, and lifting boyish laughs from old bellies, mixing them together with rising sparks and waves of heat.

As the boy’s own father stood and told about a time he and his friends went camping, the boy saw the fire reflected in his father’s eyes. And although the boy knew, right then, that this would be the best time he himself would ever remember, he couldn’t tell if his father felt the same way. He wasn’t sure if the fire in his father’s eyes was the same one he was seeing himself, or if it was only the reflection of one that had been set long ago, which only now had remembered that it could shine.


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