General Fiction posted February 18, 2021

This work has reached the exceptional level
Sometimes it's the littlest things -

Up, Up, and Away!

by Begin Again

What Happened? Contest Winner 

“Just pick up the pieces, Johnny.”  Cindy smiled at the sad little boy. “Can you find a blue one?”


Four-year-old Johnny sat at the table, staring off into space, ignoring the therapist. 


“Come on, Johnny, don’t you want to play with me?” She tickled his neck. “Are you ticklish?” She tickled his side. Nothing!


“I need a friend, Johnny. Will you be my friend?” Regardless of her many attempts, she couldn’t get the little boy to say anything. “Can you build me a castle with the blocks? I’ll help you.” She stacked a few colorful blocks, but he didn’t show any interest. She added a car and a toy dog, but still no response. “Can you make the dog bark?”

His answer was a blank stare.


Scott, another therapist, entered the room. “Sorry to interrupt, but I needed to return some things before I went home.”


Cindy pushed her chair away from the table. “No problem. I’m not making any progress, anyhow.”


Scott squatted down next to Johnny. “Hi, bud! Not in the mood for playing today?” 


Johnny gave Scott the same response. Nothing!


“Hey, Scott, could you do me a favor, please?”


“What? Don’t ask me to date your little sister again. Took me three days to recover from a night of skating. Who even roller skates anymore? I thought she was kidding. Boy, was I wrong!”


“No, it’s nothing like that. Though you probably needed the exercise.” Cindy laughed. “ I promised Amanda I’d turn in the gym keys before 3. Johnny’s session isn’t over until then. I just need to drop them off and I’ll come right back.”


“Sure, go-ahead. I’ll hang out with Johnny. We’ll be best friends by the time you come back.”


“Good luck with that one.” Cindy grabbed her purse and opened the door. “I’ll hurry.”


“So little man, what do you like to do? How about building a skyscraper?” Scott stacked up several columns of blocks. “You want to build one?”


A sigh escaped the young boy’s mouth, but he showed no interest in Scott’s blocks.


Picking up a toy Superman, Scott made it zoom around the towers, flying in and out. A tiny smile tugged at the corner of Johnny’s mouth. Encouraged, Scott crashed Superman into the towers, scattering the colorful blocks across the table. Expecting laughter, Scott was disappointed. A silent Johnny just sat there.


Scott had hoped for a breakthrough. He opened Johnny’s chart and began to read. According to the records, Johnny’s dad had recently been involved in an automobile accident and passed away. The grieving boy hadn’t smiled or uttered a word since that day. Scott continued to read when suddenly a bell went off in his head. 


Dropping the chart on the table, he raced over to the art cupboard. At the cabinet, he searched drawers, bins, and envelopes for what he needed. 


“Bingo! This stack of paper will do the trick.” 


Rejoining Johnny at the table, he swiftly folded the sheets of paper. Johnny raised his head and watched. Noting the small change in the little boy’s demeanor, Scott’s enthusiasm began to bubble.


“Watch this, Johnny.” Scott tossed his folded artwork into the air. Johnny smiled. Scott tossed another of his creations into the air. This time the smile was bigger. He definitely had the little boy’s attention.


Scott tossed the paper airplanes, one right after another. They sailed in every direction. He scrambled to collect them and sent them flying again. Johnny was jumping up and down, clapping his hands together.


“Do it again! Do it again!”  The little boy was excited.


Stunned, Scott stopped; he couldn’t believe Johnny had spoken.


He handed one to Johnny. “You can do it. I’ll help you.” They both held the paper airplane and tossed it toward the ceiling. “Wow, did daddy’s plane fly like that?”


Johnny smiled and nodded. He handed Scott one of the planes. “You do it.” 


Scott tossed it in the air. It made a crash landing on Cindy’s head as she opened the door. Her mouth dropped open. She was amazed at what she saw.


“What happened? What did you do?”


“We’re flying paper airplanes.” Scott ruffled Johnny’s hair. “His daddy was a pilot.”

Writing Prompt
Write a story that starts with: "Just pick up the pieces..."

What Happened?
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