Why Is It Here?


“My land! Such a heat!” His mother fanned her face with the map.

“You’re the one who wanted to see the goddamned thing.” Heat made his father irritable, as did long car trips. “You’re getting sweat on the map.”

Language,” she said, eyes darting toward the back seat. “Little pitchers, Howard.”

Howard glanced at Howie in the back seat, playing with his GI Joes. “You hear that, Soldier? Disregard colorful language from the front seat.”

Howie continued whispering the story as he jostled the dolls, saw  his father’s eyes in the rear view.

“Sir, yessir!” he barked, then went back to the game. The blonde GI Joe was ambushing the bearded GI Joe, but the bearded one had the big knife shoved in the back of his pants.

His mother pointed. “Look! There! London Bridge is falling down,” she sang.

Howie followed his mother’s finger. A low bridge spanned the lake, stone arches stretching across the water as speedboats and Jet-skis sped across the water beneath.  “Why is it here?”

“A crazy man paid to have it moved, brick by brick,” said his father. “It cost a fortune, I bet.”

The boy stared at it, the stones pale in the bright sunlight.

“I thought you meant we were going to London,” he said, going back to his dolls.

“That’s what I wanted,” said his mother.

Sunday Photo Fiction


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  1. kirizar

    I was puzzled by the implication the first time I read it through. Then I got it from the dialogue. It does leave all sorts of unanswered questions to speculate about. Why did London sell its bridge? Who bought it and why? Where is it now? Perhaps a Las Vegas strip with a very wasteful, man-made river flowing beneath it?

    • J Hardy Carroll

      Having grown up in Arizona, I take it for granted that people know about London Bridge and its relocation to Lake havasu City. An American businessman bought the bridge and had it dismantled and numbered, then shipped to Arizona where the stones were used to clad a modern concrete structure. Since the time of its construction, they added a mock English village at one end. The reviews of that place on TripAdvisor are pretty scathing, but generally hilarious.

  2. Francesca Smith

    My goodness, why on earth would anyone allow the bridge to be sold?
    Nevertheless, a funny story and I can imagine that those who visit Las Vegas and see the Eiffel Tower, the Sphinx and the Statue of Liberty would think the same.

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