A Summer Dream

Jake Lyon

Flash fiction

        this summer is hotter than ever. i am twelve years old on the back porch of Grammy’s house. it is june, or maybe july, the grass is vibrant and it hurts my eyes. i am staring at the tomato plants that Grammy had planted.
        i don’t know why, but i am thinking about Hell. i am thinking about what it would (will) be like. i imagine what it would feel like for my flesh to burn off of the bone. i imagine the screaming. for some reason when i would get anxiety stomach aches as a kid, i thought that must be what Hell is like. i feel the heat of the sun radiate onto my pink skin. sometimes it hurts. my hair is lighter than it is now, and not a strand yet grows on my face.
        i turn and see myself, ten years later. i am no longer christian, and i no longer feel the fear of hell. my teeth are yellow from coffee and nicotine. my hair, though as unruly as it was then, has darkened. my face never slimmed out, instead patches of hair now sprinkle my chin and cheeks.
        i cannot tell if young me can see me or not, for he is staring blankly at the tomato plants. but the summer is hotter than ever, so i hug him and say:
        “it gets better, just not in the ways you want.”