“Restoration” – 259 words

The father and son stand in front of the rusted car, everything partially-buried in years of growth. Weeds reach up to their knees, their hips, the tires.

Above them, primer-white splotches of clouds swirl through a denim-blue summer sky.

“What’s the point?” The son kicks at a rusty wheelwell. Out of habit he looks for his reflection in the passenger window, but the frames are empty and so he stares through to his father. “This thing is too old.”

“It isn’t too old. It’s a classic. I thought maybe we could fix it up and that way when you go off to school…” The father shrugs.

In the deep grass, insects whirr in dizzy abandon. But, still, fall is coming.

The father rubs the hood of the car – his car – and under the sweat of his hands, the unfinished primer begins to swirl. The gray splotches brighten, renewed, and begin to shift like the clouds in the sky. He can almost divine something in the shapes, but then its gone.

“Can’t you picture it?”

The son stands silent.

“If not,” the father takes his hand away, already the dullness returning in the heat, “we don’t have to do this.”

His son takes his hands out of his pockets. He runs his own fingers over the crest of the frame, pushing through the dust, moving that same base coat into new patterns. Maybe he can see something, too.

“Well, I didn’t say that. It looks like it still has places to go. Maybe, together, we can do something.”

Originally posted at Flash! Friday # 48.

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