Little Boy

by Sophie Bachard


Yukio’s message ringing hot in his ears, Kisho fell upon his bike and peddled frantically back through August-gritty paths to Fujimi, sweat clinging to his skin like oil, fearing the worst.

Approaching the house, he saw the screen door gaping: a bad sign? He skidded; heels kicked dust. He dumped the bike and bounded the wooden porch steps into the clammy dimness of the hall. Out of flash blindness appeared the flat bones of his sisters’ faces. He could hear the sounds of groaning beyond the bedroom door.

“Yori?”

“Her waters broke hours ago, followed by blood,” said one sister. “Where’s uncle Yukio?”

“What about the baby?”

”We don’t know yet?”

He caught the secretive look his sisters exchanged.

“You conspire like witches. Let me pass.”

“Mother is with her,” said one sister, trying to block his path, “and so is the nurse. She said not to disturb-”

“Then why send Yukio for me?” He shoved them aside and burst into the room. As his stomach lurched at the sight of the tangled red sheet, he heard a baby squalling and he saw Yori’s light green eyes glowing with elation.

“A healthy boy,” she gasped, displaying the newborn’s raw pink flesh. ”After so long our prayer has been granted.”

On seeing his newborn son, Kisho’s eyes stung, gritty with tears, his exhilarated heart beating life-joy fit to explode. The child’s grandmother lifted her tired face and sad eyes, listening to a strange sound that seemed to be coming from high above the house.

Thirty-thousand feet directly overhead, the Enola Gay gave birth to Little Boy.

It weighed forty-seven tons.


Copyright © 2007 by Sophie Bachard

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