Helping Hands

by Liz Rivera


Jimmy runs home, kicking up dirt clouds with each push-off. “I’ll show them! They think they’re so smart, they never let me talk; always tell me to shut up, that I’m too little.” His pouch bounces between his small shoulder blades. “Well, I got these now and they can’t tell me to shut up or to get outta the way.”

He slams the side door, letting his family know he’s back from the park. “Dad! I got something for you!” he calls.

“Shut up shrimpmeister! Dad is tellin’ us something important!” big brother yells from the kitchen.

Their father continues “...that’s why the cops might come here tonight and ask us, well, me, questions. They know I believe in an ‘eye for an eye’ justice.”

“But dad! I got what you’re always askin’ for...” Jimmy starts.

“Jimmy!” His father thunders as saliva shoots from his mouth. He grabs his youngest son by the shoulders. “Listen to me! Curtis is missing. I gotta go away for a while; I don’t know when I’ll be back!”

“Wha, why are they looking for you about Curtis?” Jimmy asks, forgetting about his gift; seeing his dad’s bulging sack on the kitchen table.

“’Cause since he killed your sister, the cops think I had somethin’ to do with him missing.”

“But dad! I can prove you didn’t have nothing to do with him missing, look!” Jimmy turns his bag upside down and two roughly cut, dirt-crusted hands tumble out.

“See, I found him, he was all half in the dirt and stinky, and since you always say you need more hands around here I brought these for you specially!”

His father’s eyes widen, his mouth opens and his body shakes in silence. All heads turn as the front door is pounded on.


Copyright © 2010 by Liz Rivera

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