Farvel, Min Søn

by , under Fiction Prompts, What Pegman Saw

Enok sat in the kitchen as his mother wrapped the bandage around his hand, wincing a bit as she cinched it tight.

“Sorry,” she said. “We don’t want it bleeding through on the boat.”

“Was that ceremony really necessary, Mother? I know it’s tradition and all, but I’m only going to Århus. It’s not like I’m–”

“Enough,” said his father from the living room. “I explained to you the need. It is part of who we are. Who you are.” He ruffled his son’s hair. “And you won’t soon forget it.”

“I know, I know,” said Enok. “Every time I see the scar. You’ve said.”

“Because it’s true,” said his mother, tying it off. “There. You can take it off in a couple of days, but until then keep it dry.”

Enok looked at his suitcase by the door. So much superstition here. He was glad to be leaving this place.

 

 

What Pegman Saw

    • J Hardy Carroll

      It’s a fantasy, but I didn’t have space to include the fantasy part. This is an isolated race of quasi–immortal beings who live two thousand years. They have no idea that they’re different until they leave.

      Reply
    • prior..

      just read the fantasy direction this piece could take – wow – that really adds a new twist – and the first time I read it, I was thinking “hope it does not get infected on the boat ride home” – but assume that cannot happen if they are “different” and I assume it is a light cut

      Reply
  1. Lynn Love

    Young people are always chafing to leave home – and sometimes keen to return when they see what the world has to offer. I like that idea of a scar to remind him – feels like an authentic rite of passage. Great tale Josh

    Reply
  2. Dale

    What were the chances we would both choose the name Enok? Shaking my head…
    Made me think of the Rumspringa the Amish do – leave home for a year and choose to return or not… Can’t tell you why it made me think of that!

    Reply
  3. k rawson

    It does look like a place of myth and fantasy. Your story captures it well and the three of them come to life. Love the concept that inspired it too!

    Reply
  4. pennygadd51

    You tell that story beautifully, Josh. I didn’t come across anything like that when researching, but it feels exactly right. The Faroese preserved their culture through centuries by means of the chain dance, so it makes perfect sense that a more drastic ceremony would also be used for people going overseas to live temporarily.

    Reply
  5. 4963andypop

    I like the idea of a ritual upon leaving. I know in some Catholic households, when my children were little, their parents would bless them with a little holy water before they set off, even if they were only going somewhere as mundane as school. A salute to the fragility of life, I suppose
    I really found myself empathizing with this young man, so ready to break the bonds of family and strike out on his own.Well done!

    Reply

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