Fiction Friday: Misunderstandings


superman (Photo credit: scottfeldstein)

“Hey, Jenny!” My little brother’s voice pokes through my hazy brain as I try to figure out what  propensity and vouch mean, and what in the world they have to do with a headless horseman.

I pull off an ear bud. “What?”

Caleb quivers with excitement. “Guess what, Jenny? Daddy is Superman!

“What?” I want to laugh, but he’s obviously serious. “What are you talking about?”

“I just heard Mommy on the phone. She said Daddy was off doing his Superman thing.”

I start to answer, but then I remember Mom saying I have to be thoughtful and not spoil my brother’s innocence, whatever that means. I think she just wants to make sure I don’t spill the beans about Santa.

But it doesn’t really matter, because Caleb’s already on to the next thing. “You know what that means? I must have superpowers, too!” His eyes pop open wide, and he nearly jumps out of his skin. “I know! I know! Remember how Daddy told me I’m flying, the day we were jumping on the tamp-ling?” He crashes through the back door, leaving me to de-code my homework in peace.

Fridays I have to babysit till Mom and Dad get home from work. Caleb gets off the bus with puffy eyes, like he’s been crying all the way home. “The boys laughed at me!” he says. “They told me Superman’s not real. I told them yes he is, but they made fun of me.”

“W-well,” I say, “he…” But when I see his big red eyes, I feel bad. “He, uh…he wants people to think he isn’t real, ‘cuz otherwise he couldn’t get anything done, y’know?”

He looks at me like I’m crazy. “But that’s his job, Jenny.” He sticks his chin in the air. “I’ll prove it!” he says, and runs off.

Ugh! Mom’s gotta talk to him before he does something stupid, like…

“Caleb, get down off the roof!” I shriek, running toward the house, but it’s too late. He’s got one fist out in front of him, and one curled up by his chest, and he launches into space.

I am so never babysitting again.


This week’s prompt brought to you by Write On Edge, who challenged us this week to share what happens when you eavesdrop on a conversation and take the wrong idea away.

11 thoughts on “Fiction Friday: Misunderstandings

  1. awesome! the innocence of childhood is ripe with misunderstandings! I love how your story clicked along, not bogged down in details, but telling the entire story quickly and efficiently … drawing me in.

    Visiting from WOE.

  2. Well…He’s a bouncing boy right? And it’s only about a 10 foot drop…he’ll be fine. I love this piece, there’s a sweetness to the siblings that reminds me of my own relationship with my brother. Nicely done!

  3. Such a classic kid thing! I loved how the sister didn’t spoil it for him. One piece of concrit, the paragraph that starts “But it doesn’t really matter…” got a little confusing for me. It seemed like one moment he was in her room telling her stuff and the next he was getting off the bus. Maybe a separation into two paragraphs or some kind of segue would help.

  4. That would be my child, of course! The wonderful thing about children is their utter faith. Nobody can tell them any different, if they believe. Awesome and inspiring!

  5. Awww.
    My little bro is in that age now.
    I always try and not spoil anything he’s come up with, I love his rich imagination =3
    Great take on the prompt!

  6. debraaelliott1960

    Reminds me of my 8 year old grandson who hasn’t jumped off a roof yet! Love the story. Thanks for stopping by my blog Words are Timeless and your kind comment.

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