Safety Off

My latest in the weekly Flash! Fiction contest, max 160 words, word prompt “friendship” and the above photo.

Reilly was the pale, squat kid with dim-wits in the neighborhood, which made his pairing with Dominique all the more peculiar. Unlike other fourth-graders, Dominique seemed like an adult poured into his Spongebob Velcro shoes.

And Dominique was exotic in the small Irish suburb; he was the Tickle Me Pink you found once in a lifetime in a box of Crayola’s. Except, if you tickled him, he’d punch you in the mouth.

Naturally, Reilly did what Dominique said, so when Dominique tired of jabbing sticks at each other and wanted to play a game of duel with his father’s Smith & Wesson SD40, Reilly went along with it.

He made Reilly use the stick; he had the gun. He was strong enough to apply the pressure for the hammer, but kid enough to not know it was loaded.

Dominique, unaccustomed to hot tears carving a path on his cheeks, came accustom on that day.


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