The Dragonfly by Sandra Arnold
With the easing of the rain Simon’s heart begins to fracture. The rain has given him three days to work on his poem without being harried to ‘join in’. But now here is the sun and he still hasn’t found the right word for the dragonfly’s wings. Too late. The Beachfront Motel is stirring.
Cabin doors are flung open disgorging torrents of children. Fathers organise rugby teams. Excited shouts shatter the air. Simon shudders. He brings his attention back to the dragonfly in his jar. Iridescent? Translucent? Crystaline?
“Go out and play, Simon.” The dreaded words. “See what fun those boys are having.”
His father snatches his notebook away and yanks him up by the arm. “Out! Now!” He pushes him out the door and marches him over to the rugby game. Some of the mothers are screaming from the sidelines. “Kill’im yer girl! What are ya? Don’t be such a wet blouse!”
One of the fathers turns to him.
“Yeah! He does.” His father pushes him forward. “Go on! Or they’ll think you’re a bloody nancy!”
Simon breaks free. He runs. He runs fast and far. He finds a tree.
When the light fades he climbs down from the tree. He has his word.
He closes the cabin door behind him and goes to finish his poem.
His notebook is ripped. His jar is smashed. His dragonfly is crushed on the carpet.
Only the sound of his father’s breathing. Simon’s heart breaking.