Theme Fridays: Dented Can

There are no street signs here in the village, and no numbered houses or curbs.  A GPS couldn’t get you back home, so you musn’t forget where you live.

A late Lucerne sun hits us hard by the fairgrounds, and we hear Mom’s singsong from the top of the hill.

Gle-en, Geo-orge, come ho-ome.

Our summer shoes stir up dust from the gravel as our beanpole bodies full-bore.  We find a tin can near the corner by Busby’s and we kick it as we climb.

We reach the Lutze’s and slow to a crawl ’cause our summer friends are there (we don’t have to go in, we just have to head home, and that’s anywhere on the hill).

Our dented tin makes a perfect home base and we place it by the well.  Sherrie is it– while she counts we all scatter and hide as the sun sinks west.  We Kick The Can until well after dark, while the fireflies spark and the chiggers eat us alive.

Suppertime coaxes us out of the hedge rows, behind the lilacs and out from under the cars.  One by one we dodge and dart and struggle past Sherrie, who races us back to the well.

The summer air cools as we move through the shadows and fight to get safe home.


Christine and Annie take on Dented Can.

12 Responses to “Theme Fridays: Dented Can”

  1. GA Peel Says:

    Brilliant. Well-done!

  2. […] Annie’s dented can- Clancyjane’s can is all dented- […]

  3. I have a short story that begins with a game of Kick the Can. Playing that game held some of my happiest childhood memories. The young’uns in my MFA program just didn’t get it. We actually got into this slightly heated discussion as to what the “mystique” was over this old game.

    We are lucky to have known it. It will be lost entirely in the next generation, I promise you.

    Lovely piece, by the way.

  4. Susan Williams Says:

    Powerful, evocative. You transported me back to MY summer evenings playing Kick the Can. That’s how we learned not to be afraid of the dark, how to strategize and calculate the odds, and the exhileration that is part fun and part fear. Now, all the dented cans are placed immediately into the recycle bin instead of being repurposed for summer fun. How can that long-ago summer ritual be replaced by Wii and computer games, DVD movies and reality shows? It can’t of course, and today’s kids are the worse for it. I am sending your story to the mother of my grandchildren. To remind her.

  5. Karen Todd Says:

    I can visualize you kicking the can all the way home…sometimes taking a very long time getting up the hill toward home. Possibly catching some fireflys too in the darkness. Wonderful times we lived in then.

  6. anonymouse Says:

    I hope I’m not around when you’ve said all you have to say

  7. Everything about this piece is a perfect summer evening, it is an accurate picture of childhood. Reading it, I felt nine years old, ten years old- running with no other thought in my head but I’m having fun!.

    What struck me especially is Mom’s voice calling her children. I know just how that sounds.

    This is pretty awesome teeth skin.

  8. Hey Clancy,
    This was worth the wait. This piece reminded me of pieces by Joyce Carol Oates. The imagery, the ‘moment’ captured of the lazy summer days and nights of childhood. Beautifully done. What do you mean you aren’t a writer? Pishaw.

  9. […] can is rolling… from → dented can, original fiction, original prose, theme fridays ← Liberty […]

  10. they’ve said it all. very wonderful piece! You astound me, sister!

  11. clancyjane Says:

    Thanks, you guys. I’ve never written anything with prompts prior to Theme Fridays, and I think that’s the reason these posts feel forced to me. I’m really, really glad it didn’t come across that way. And I’m really, really glad you come around to read.

  12. plditallo Says:

    …your work NEVER feels forced! …keep those words flowing…

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