Don’t Trust Words of Encouragement from a Giant Squid

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When Bobby told his Mom there was a voice coming from under his bed, she interpreted it as a normal childhood fear; certainly there wasn’t really something under his bed. She never even checked. When Bobby told his Mom the voice was encouraging, nice even, she interpreted it as a sign of a healthy, normal imagination; nothing to be concerned about.

When Bobby insisted on wearing a towel draped around his neck to school, like a super-hero’s cape, his Mom was a little embarrassed, but she let it slide; let him be himself, she thought. When the school principal saw Bobby in his towel-cape, he smiled; another kid being creative, nothing to be concerned about.

In art class, when Bobby drew a picture of a giant squid under his bed, talking to him, its sharp beak bleeding, his art teacher was disturbed. She talked to Bobby about it. Sensing her concern, Bobby lied. No, he didn’t think it was real. Yes, it was just make believe. The kid was weird, beyond a doubt, thought the art teacher, but ultimately he was harmless; nothing to be concerned about.

When the school janitor saw Bobby go up the stairs, towards the roof, he was tired and angry. He’d spent his whole life putting saw dust on vomit and cleaning snot off of desks. He didn’t give a shit what the kid was doing on the roof. He soon regretted feeling that way, especially when he had to scrape Bobby’s dead body off the sidewalk.

When the media caught wind of the story, they condemned the school and his mother. How could they have missed the signs? Clearly they should have been concerned.

When the giant squid learned of Bobby’s death, it laughed. It never thought the kid would actually believe he could fly.

(c) Stanton McCaffery, September, 2013

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2 Responses to “Don’t Trust Words of Encouragement from a Giant Squid”

  1. I like this story. It deserves to be told in its entirety. I really want to know more about Bobby and the janitor. Your description of the janitor was very good.
    But sometimes that is the point of a good short piece. The reader can fill in the gaps for themselves.
    My best complement is “Good stuff” and this was “good stuff.”

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