The Boy and his Father got off the grey train, onto the grey platform. As they left the grey station, a Zany whirred past them on a unicycle, scattering his feelings behind him as he went. He wore a crazy multi-coloured suit, and whistled as he passed them by.
The Father frowned, and adjusted the sleeves on his grey jacket.
“You don’t want to show your feelings off like that”, he said. “It’s far too dangerous. Anything could happen”.
And he led the Boy home
On his next birthday, the boy was given a grey metal box.
“It’s for your heart”, his Father told him. “Pop it in here, and I’ll lock it up safely for you. I’ll take care of the key for you. You can have it any time you want”.
From time to time, the Boy would pick up the box. He could feel the warmth of his heart through the metal, and if he put the box to his ear he culd hear a steady “lub-dub, lub-dub” of heartbeat.
But somehow, he never asked for the key, and as the weeks and months passed he picked up th box less and less often, and in the end it stayed on its shelf, gathering dust.
Years passed, and the Boy became a man. He had a grey suit, like his Father’s, and he went off to live in the Big City. He worked hard, and reaped the rewards. He was wealthy and successful.
At first he visited his home town often, but gradually these visits became less frequent, until one morning he woke up and realised it had been 3 years since he visited. He was a decisive man. He immediately booked a train ticket home.
When he left the grey station in the small grey town, he was amazed to see a Zany whirring toward him on a unicycle. He closed his eyes for a moment, remembering being a little boy again.
When he opened them, he realised with shock that the Zany pedalling madly towards him was his father – laughing and crying at the same tine, scattering his feelings around him like confetti.
His Father shouted something to him as he passed, but the Boy didn’t catch what he said. He did catch the ball of paper his Father threw to him, though.
For a few seconds he watched his Father cycling away, and then turned his attention to the paper in his hands. He opened it out, and smoothed it down, and looked at what it contained.
In his hands he held a picture of a heart, floating free, and a small, grey key.
Image by Caras Ionut.
Challenge by Mindlovemisery’s menagerie.