Monday, August 16, 2010

Canyon

We were walking through a canyon - through a street with houses set high on either side of us. Charlie shouted, once or twice, for the echo. He likes echoes, shadows, reflections on water, people who have his name. He shouted, ‘hello!’, once or twice, then he gave up and began speaking to me in his ordinary voice. Only now he was adding a soft, fading repetition to the end of each sentence. ‘I’m getting tired – tired – tired. Can you carry me – carry me – carry me.’
I laughed. I said, ‘Ha, you’re doing your own echoes.’
He said, ‘It’s not funny – funny – funny. Why can’t you carry me – carry me – carry me?’
I said, ‘Well, I’m carrying all the groceries, I can’t carry you as well.’ He walked along moodily for a while. ‘You could put the bags down – down – down,’ he said, ‘ and carry me – me – me.’
‘You’re three years old,’ I said, ‘you don’t need to be carried.’
‘Yes I do - do - do. My legs aren’t working – working - working’.
‘You do that echo well,' I said, laughing again.
‘Why are you laughing – laughing – laughing?’ His voice was angry except for the echoes, which faded gracefully, indifferent. ‘I’m not being funny – funny – funny.’ He looked up at me, troubled. ‘It’s just that we’re in echoland – echoland – echoland.’ And he kept it up, never once smiling, until we got around the corner and out of echoland.

2 Comments:

Blogger Nomes said...

echoland sounds like a lovely place to be in :)

9:58 PM  
Blogger Jaclyn Moriarty said...

Nomes, you are lovely yourself, and your blog is a lovely place to be - thank you so much for your reviews of my books. Especially the one of Dreaming of Amelia. They make me kind of giddy. Jxx

1:17 PM  

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