wreathwriter (#holidayvibes)

United States

AKA wavewriter
Writer
Reader
Swimmer
Pianist

My favorite genre to read and write is realistic fiction, but lately I've been inspired to write some poetry!

Est. August 2020

"Writing is just like speaking, only better in every way."
-me

Message to Readers

I published this piece already, but I made some changes due to some amazing, insightful reviews I received. This will be continued, so watch out for that! As always, feedback is welcome and appreciated!

Archie Smith, Wonder Boy | Part 1

November 12, 2020

FREE WRITING

4
    Archie Smith, age nine, disappeared from his bed last night, the night of October 31, 1964. According to the one and only witness, Archie’s older sister Tammy, two voices were heard talking in Archie’s room. By the time Tammy opened the door to see what was going on, there was nothing there, including Archie. 

    Her face was wet with tears again. Tammy didn’t know why she kept reading the article or why she kept it in her pocket at all times. All it did was make her cry, and remember why she never saw her mother come out of her room anymore and why her father looked upon her with eternal disappointment. Why couldn’t you have gone into the room earlier? You could have saved him.
    It’d been two weeks. Two weeks since Archie had been missing. And everybody seemed to have already given up. Mr. Smith went to work every day, Tammy was forced to go to school everyday, and they came home to a messy, empty house because her mother didn’t leave her room anymore. 
    Tammy closed her eyes and tried to imagine Archie as vividly as she could. 
We were lying in the backyard on the grass one summer night. I was twelve, Archie was seven. 
    “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I asked him.
    “Wonder Boy,” he said without even pausing to think.
I sat up and looked at him, to make sure I’d heard him right. 
    “You want to be Wonder Boy? Like Wonder Woman?”
He sat up, too, and glared at me. 
    “No. Wonder Boy. I’ll have my own show that everybody will come to see.” Archie laid back down again. “It’ll be $10 a ticket.” 
    “Archie, a movie costs a dollar.”
He shook his head. 
    “I’ll be so amazing that people will want to pay as much as I ask for.”
I just laughed. 
    Tammy opened her eyes again. Memories, she decided, were the worst form of torture.
    Her stomach growled. She hadn’t eaten breakfast yet. It’d been two weeks since she started making her own food, since her mother stopped getting out of bed, yet she couldn’t shake the habit of expecting Saturday morning pancakes.
In the kitchen, she found her father sitting at the table, drinking coffee, reading the newspaper. He glanced up at Tammy. 
    “Good morning,” he said. Then he went back to his newspaper, where, at least in his opinion, there were far more interesting topics than his own daughter. His own daughter, his only daughter- responsible for the disappearance of his only son. 
    “Good morning,” was Tammy’s obligatory reply. She sniffed once, quickly, desperate not to give away the fact that she had been crying. He'd just yell at her again, like he did yesterday, and the day before. 
    She began to make her breakfast. The only sounds were the sizzle of her egg cooking and her father slurping coffee. Had they always been so loud? Two awkward minutes passed. Tammy busied herself with scrambling her eggs.
A strange sound came from her father. A chuckle?
     “What?” Tammy asked him.
    “The circus is coming to town,” he explained. “Featuring Wonder Boy.”
    Tammy’s heart skipped a beat. “Wonder Boy?”
    “‘He can do flips, handsprings, and the flying trapeze!’” read Mr. Smith. “‘And he is only five years old!’”
Archie was nine. But he was small for his age. 
    “But it’s ten dollars per ticket.” He whistled. “What kind of person is going to pay ten dollars to see some kid jump around?”
    “Some rich tycoon, probably,” Tammy said quickly. "Dad, can I go over to Vicky's?"
    Her father turned the page of his newspaper. "Bob Petit scored 20,000 points yesterday," he said, more to himself than to Tammy. "First ever in the NBA to do so."
    "Dad."
    "20,000 points is 10,000 baskets," he murmured.
    "Dad."
    Her father finally looked up, visibly annoyed. "What."
    "I'm going over to Vicky's."
    "Be back for dinner," he replied, and went back to his precious newspaper. 
    Tammy turned off the stove, leaving her breakfast half-cooked. She didn't want it anymore, anyway. "Love you," she said softly before walking out of the kitchen. But there was no reply.
    She walked out of the kitchen before a fresh fountain of tears rushed down. Not that he'd notice, anyway. 
    Tammy usually rode her bike leisurely, barely pedaling, letting the slightest downhill carry her. But today she rode so quickly that she could have won the Tour de France. Archie was there, at the circus, she knew it. He was the Wonder Boy. They must have taken him that night against his will. 
    Images flashed through her head, each worse than the last. Would they treat him like a circus animal? Would they yell at him, spit on him? Would they use a whip on him?
    Before she could get too frightened, though, she’d arrived at the fairgrounds. A gargantuan tent with vibrant red and white stripes loomed before her. Archie was in there. She would find him now. Finally.
    She dropped her bike and ran into the tent. For a moment, she was struck by the beauty of it--- performers of all different types in different costumes, doing dazzling, death-defying tricks. Maybe ten dollars a ticket wasn’t so pricey.
    “What are you doing here?” demanded a deep voice. 
     Tammy recognized that voice. She turned around slowly. 
    “I’m, uh, here to…” She swallowed, trying to ignore the rapid thumping of her heart in her chest. “You see… there’s     been a little misunderstanding.”
    The man, whom Tammy wished she could strangle this very second for kidnapping her brother, tapped his foot impatiently. 
    “Spit it out, kid. I haven’t got all day.”
    “I-” began Tammy. She stopped. Someone else appeared behind the man. 
    Archie. 
    “Tammy!” he said, with a smile. “Come to see the show? We’re not open until tomorrow.”
    “Wait,” said Archie’s kidnapper. “You know her?”
    “She’s my sister!”
    Tammy gaped. Archie had always been a good actor, but this was different. He seemed clearly at ease around this man. 
    “Archie, can I… talk to you? Somewhere… private?”
    Archie looked toward his kidnapper. “Can I?” 
    “We start trapeze in five minutes. Be quick about it.”
    Without any hesitation, Tammy led Archie out of the circus tent. 
    “Let’s go,” she said, pulling him by the arm. “You’re safe now. We can go home. We've all missed you so much, Archie, we have. I've been blaming myself for not going into your room. I thought I was never going to see you again, and was going to be the reason I never saw you again. I just- I couldn't live with that. And then when I saw the advertisement in the newspaper, I knew. I knew it was you and now you get to come home-"
    Tammy felt a sharp tug at her wrist. "What?" she asked Archie, turning around.
    "I can't go home," Archie said.
    "What do you mean, you can't go home?"
    "I mean I can't go home. I'm part of the circus now."
    Her heart thumped. She was angry now. "No. You're not part of the circus now. You think you're so amazing, but no one is going to pay ten dollars to see a kid do a few cartwheels."
    "I can do way more that," Archie protested. "I've been rehearsing."
    "Come home."
    "No." Archie pulled his hand free with a lot more strength than Tammy remembered him having, and sprinted back inside the circus tent. Tammy pursued him. She wasn't leaving without her brother in tow. 
    Inside the circus tent once more, the three of them met like a Western shoot-out- the kidnapper and Archie on one side, Tammy on the other. She made one last lunge toward Archie, but his kidnapper pulled at her arm, with an iron grip that nearly cut off her circulation.
    "You're not going anywhere."
 
Inspired by the Harris Burdick painting "Archie Smith, Boy Wonder."

huge thank-you to Abigail Faith and arpoirier17 for the terrific reviews! 

Print

See History
2
  • November 12, 2020 - 9:59am (Now Viewing)

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

2 Comments
  • Book Kitten

    WOW THIS IS AMAZING!! And I am definitely not exaggerating, you did an amazing job putting this story together!
    Sorry, I will get to reviewing chapter 2, I promise. It's just I haven't had that much time lately. But I will do it, don't worry!!
    :D


    12 days ago
  • Paisley Blue

    re: thank you :D I'm glad you liked it!


    24 days ago