Why They Cried: Roy

by Jim Hanas

Cause: Communion with nature

The match bit Roy's fingers like a bee sting, sharply and under the nail where no amount of blowing or hand flailing could make it stop. The match-carcass fell to the porch, still leaking smoke. Roy had been too busy laughing to notice the flame creeping slowly toward his skin, and he continued to laugh, even as he shook and blew and snuffed out the match with his foot.

The backyard was filled with the smell of spent powder and an atmosphere of smoke hung a yard from the ground. The lab and the shepherd scuttled through the mist and back to the porch with their tongues hanging out.

Roy wiped tears from his eyes and fumbled for another match.

“Where did it go? You don't know do you?” he teased the dogs as he adjusted the bottle rocket he had twisted into the ground at his feet, trying to find the optimal path.

They looked at him expectantly and pawed the bare dirt around the porch.

They did not know.

“Goddammit!” The new match again burnt Roy's fingertips. He rubbed them together and put them in his mouth. He poured beer on them and fumbled for another match. The lab and the shepherd waited, whimpering a little, waiting for the next bottle rocket to be launched over the trees. Roy leaned down and touched the match to the wick.


Off it went with the dogs in pursuit.


The dogs bent their necks back in ways dogs' necks aren't meant to bend and Roy laughed and rubbed his eyes.

The dogs coasted to a halt, looked up into the sky, then at each other, then back at Roy. God how these dogs loved him, he thought, as he sat down on the edge of the porch and cradled his face in his hands.

Tomorrow: "Why They Cried: Jacqueline" -- a story, an object, and an auction at SignificantObjects.com.