His Story by Kimberly Sanford

  I tossed my empty soda can into one of the garbage cans that waited silently on the side of the road. As I sped past another house it occurred to me that I probably should’ve put the can into a recycling bin instead. Considering that it was only one or two houses down, I dropped my foot off of my skateboard and onto the pavement, applying more pressure until I came to a stop. I turned around to walk back. I started noticing the little things around me that were blurred ribbons in my peripheral vision just moments ago. A small black bird sat perched on a crape myrtle tree in the middle of someone’s lawn, two ceramic deer statues looked to the tree from the lawn next door. To my right there were more quiet homes, empty shells that housed sleeping families and sheltered them from the cool autumn night. To my left was a world beyond what anyone in those families would understand; the woods. I could sense monsters in the distance, watching me like predators from behind their wooden shields. A cold whisper crawled up my neck and dragged its way down to my wrist. I came back to the garbage can, the soda can was slumped atop a sealed trash bag that sat inside. I picked it up and chucked it into the blue bin beside it, the crash of metal cans vibrated around my head before disintegrating behind music that rang out through my headphones. 

    I turned around again, tossing my board back onto the pavement. Placing one foot on it, I rolled it forward. I looked around as I tried to take in more from the eerie scene I found myself in. Silence poured into my ears as the song on my phone ended and a new one was about to begin. A smile inched onto my face and my eyes closed lightly with bliss when I heard the next song come on. I couldn’t wipe that smile off my face if I wanted to. It was as if the monsters stopped lurking, the black veil that fell over my night was lifted and I was safe among the still air. I pushed off; sending myself whizzing down the street again, missing the details around me until the sound of wind rushing past me almost overtook the streamers of music flowing between my headphones.


(this is one of the stories from a book I am currently writing, hopefully the full collection of stories and poems will be published by the end of the school year.)