Skip to content

October Memoir and Backstory Blog challenge

Year 7: On the rarest of occasions, John shared a special day with his father and it nearly always involved cars. It began a year before. John had seen through his mother’s attempts at manipulating his father into taking him, but it was nice all the same. The weather was dry, but it wasn’t hot. It was the sort of day where it hurt to breathe, to blink.  It was magnified by the dirt lot of the car show.

There were two types of people at the show. The type that looked like his father: short hair neatly parted to the side, no facial hair, and a stiff posture. And the other type: those with long, stringy hair and beards that touched their chests. All of those that  looked like John’s dad seemed uncomfortable in their stained collared shirts and pants that had gotten too tight. The messier men seemed free, like they didn’t care where the wind blew them.

The cars were all freshly polished and glinted in the sun so that John’s eyes squinted everywhere he looked.

His dad wasn’t looking at any of them. He was in a hurry and moving towards the end of the row. John dragged his feet, feeling rushed. He imagined himself in one of those cars one day and not in the bus that his mom took everywhere.

Dan Warren shook hands with one of the men dressed like him. “So, where is it?” he said without any preamble.

The other man nodded and pulled a cream colored tarp to reveal the ugliest car John had ever seen. “Are we good?”

Dan nodded and the man dropped something into his hand. He walked away without another word.

“What do you think, kid?”

“I dunno know.”

“Well, do you like it?”

“It’s ugly,” John said, thinking about the other cars they hadn’t even seen.

“It’s yours.”

October Memoir and Backstory blog challenge

Year 5: At five, John knew how he would die. There was a field behind his house that was mostly dirt and bright yellow flowers that were taller than him. He was walking with a stray dog at his side. The dog was yellow with matted fur and a tongue that was too big for its mouth. John repeatedly threw a stick ten feet forward for the dog to chase. 

“Hey, Buddy,” he called after the animal. John skipped forward, not paying attention to the dirt that billowed around his ankles with each step. “Come back here.”

His foot landed hard on something that gave away at his touch. It only took a moment for the wasps to scatter around his body in an angry flurry. The stings came fast and consistent. He ran with arms flailing and made it to his back porch before he fell to his knees. His fingertips grazed the back door, but he was unconscious before anyone came. 

He awoke in an unfamiliar place with nurses and doctors. His mom was sitting, her eyes wide and vigilant. “He was lucky this time,” the gray haired doctor was saying to his mom. She nodded once. “He’ll need to take this if it happens again.” He handed her a syringe and John shuddered. Both of their attentions redirected to his sleepy form on the bed. 

“John?” His mom had gotten to her feet, her hand already stroking his hair. “How are you feeling, angel?”

John’s mouth opened to speak, but everything felt clumsy and too large for words. His stare grew frightened as he looked between them. 

“It’s okay. It’s all going to be okay.”

The doctor cleared his throat. “Yes, as I was saying…he’s going to need to keep this with him at all times…”