"Red Earth" by Laurie Theurer

“C’mon Mike, kick it here!” Dad hopped from foot to foot, primed to receive and bend it back.
Mike kicked at a colossal clump of packed dirt instead. It pulverized into a copper cloud on impact. Cool.
Earth was his Native American name; Mahkah, the name his mother gave him. The name his father never used. His mother was one-quarter Lakota. That made Mahkah one-eighth. Mahkah. Earth.
“Mike, get the damn ball! Are we playing or not?”
“Not!” shouted Mahkah, turning away. Red dust billowed as he dropped onto the dirt of the vacant lot.
“How’re you ever going to improve if you don’t practice? Let’s go, Mike!”
I’m not like you, thought Mahkah, scratching patterns into the baked soil with his finger. It sucks to be me and you have no clue.
Mahkah’s bony legs cracked as he crossed them Indian-style. He snuck a peek at his father, standing tall and blonde by the chain link fence, fists on hips, bulging quads shining in the Arizona sun.
“Mike, act your age… get up and get the freaking ball.”
Mahkah offered his father his darkest warrior glare, silently wishing that twelve was old enough for a real tomahawk.
Dad jogged over to the ball, slammed it with his brand new Adidas, sending it hurtling in Mike’s direction. It smashed into the back of his dark head, driving his face into the brick-colored dirt. The ball bounced off into the main road.
Mahkah sneezed up a clump of dusty rust-colored snot and wiped it on his wrist. As he rose, he imagined what it would be like to scalp a man, to hold up his blonde and silver prize, to admire the colors flooded with the blood-red sunset.
“Oh, Mike… I… I’m…” started Dad, standing over him, blocking out the setting sun, throwing Mike into his huge shadow.
Mahkah broke away, escaping the cool shade, sprinting towards the ball, kicking-up crimson clouds, clutching the invisible scalp in his fist, staring directly into the sunset like a true Lakota, mistaking the black Subaru for a free roaming bison.



FlashFlood is brought to you by National Flash-Fiction Day UK, happening this year on 27th June 2015.
In the build up to the day we have now launched our Micro-Fiction Competition (stories up to 100 words) and also our annual Anthology (stories up to 500 words).  So if you have enjoyed FlashFlood, why not send us your stories?
More information about these and the Day itself available at nationalflashfictionday.co.uk.

Comments

  1. Oh this has been my favorite read all day! Fantastic and lots of emotion! I was absolutely connected to Mahkah. The ending was written very well and beautiful imagery!

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  2. Hello Ginger,
    Thank you for your wonderful comments. It makes me happy to know that it's being read and enjoyed. There are so many wonderful stories in the flash flood.
    All the best,
    Laurie

    ReplyDelete
  3. Terrific story! The reader is there with Mahkah feeling and breathing the red dirt... we can identify with this father-son moment.

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