The Crown of the Flaming Colossus

Photo: Daniel Menapace

                                        Photo: Daniel Menapace

They parked the Rover on the overgrown driveway of their old family house. Jordan slid off the leather front seat. She stretched from the ride waiting for Bruce to climb out. He had it difficult edging out of the seatbelt with his cast up to his shoulder, but didn’t want any help.

Jordan followed the alleyway, near undistinguished underneath the growing moss layered purple instead through her shades. Where there were no tiny wildflowers peeking through the cracks in the pavement, thorns had sneaked like thin brown snakes; they had consumed Bruce’s overturned bicycle, pulled down the swing, and barricaded the path to the pond.

The hedges had grown taller, almost a head higher than her. Unkempt and undiscoverable. Jordan took off her shades and squinted against the breaching light through thin treetops. The house as much as she could see of it from here, had taken over a dilapidated look over the years and the second floor’s windows were grey with cobwebs.

“It’s still the same, but sided somehow. Different, you know.” Bruce walked towards her, adjusting his sling.

“Used to be very loud around here”, said Jordan.

“The loudest place, yeah. It took me months to get used to all the noises. They weirded me out, nothing like the city cacophony. I could never tell one screech from the other.”

“You used to come into my room and beg me for those made up stories of aliens and space monsters. The most famous nightly tales were those of The Crown of the Flaming Colossus.”

“The Crown of the Flaming Colossus, I remember that. It was a good story. What was his name, the Colossus?”

“Helios.” The name slipped from Jordan’s lips in a quiet sigh.

Bruce took her hand in his healthy one and gave it a reassuring squeeze.

“Just like we named the meteorite.”

Jordan could feel him looking at her, so she looked up. Without her shades his eyes were still violet. Unblinking he smiled at her and she returned, though he grinned in a childish way, with a longing look, an impatient smile for coming back home. Jordan smiled only externally.

Bruce let go of her hand and pushed open the small gate kicking aside the bleached police line hanging loose now. As she followed, Jordan caught glimpse of the warning signs knocked and buried in the bushes from when her father had run over them with his truck.

Around the trees the house re-appeared in its entirety. Bruce took the stairs up to the porch and unlocked the door.

The illumination was feeble but it still made Jordan blink tears away. She let it bask her and reflect off the dark surface of her sunglasses. In a few her eyes adjusted and she followed the dark silhouette that was Bruce inside the house.

To be continued…?

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