Literati. I pulled a story I myself wrote out of the archives. (yes, in addition to snarky comments, I really do write!) Though not written to our “Beneath the Surface” theme, it exemplifies what I am looking for. Here is a nine year old boy being taught how to swim by his father, but beneath the surface he will eventually discover krakens and sharks. My greatest hope for this website and for all who enter story submissions is that they confront in themselves and our society what really goes on beneath the surface of our lives. Great literature digs deep. Can you dig it?
by Thornton Sully
He was still God, and I was still struggling with my first pair of glasses.
I would listen for the sound of the train at dusk, with the same kind of anticipation that I would feel as a grown man when the headlights of my lover coming up the drive would halo across the kitchen window.
Sometimes my mother would pick Him up at the station; sometimes He would walk. Only when I returned to Old Greenwich in my twenties did I realize that it was but a scant six blocks to our home.
I waited in the open field by the house, tossing a baseball skyward, catching it before it dropped to win the game for the Mets. God would soon be coming up the lane, and would put down His brief case, and toss the ball two, maybe three times. Mine was an elongated first baseman’s glove, so heavy at the end of my arm I was always a little amazed when I caught the ball. God did not need a mitt. He could catch anything bare-handed.
And there He was, walking up the lane after a day in the city where He did whatever it was that gods do. I ran to Him and He picked me up and kissed me on the cheek. He set me down and I put the ball in His hand and ran to my position. I wore my Mets cap; God wore a Fedora.
He eyed the kitchen door, but He was mine for a full five minutes. “That’s it for today,” He said. “It’s getting dark.” I trotted over to give Him another hug. It was only then I noticed something pinned to his lapel. It was a little swab of a sponge, about an inch square.
“Dad, what’s that?”
“Do you remember what an acronym is?”
“Yeah. Of course.” I was proud I remembered. He was always teaching me things like that. Other kids, I was sure, did not have a father like mine, teaching them the details of language and of the world. I was important!
He spelled it out. “S-P-O-N-G-E. That’s The Society for the Prevention of Niggers Getting Everything.”
He twisted the cap on my head affectionately and I followed Him through the back door to the kitchen, where He kissed my expressionless mother on the cheek and poured the first of several bourbons.
That’s what gods do.
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Every writer knows writers who are better than they are. For me, one such writer is Kristy Webster, known to all of you who have dabbled on our site over the last five years. I have never met her; there are many of you whom I have never met, yet, through the magic of this website, I feel we know each other intimately.
Each time I read something from her, after I catch my breath, I have wondered, why is she not famous? And the reason is simple: nobody knows about her, except for the family we have created on this website.
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