Joseph Trance

Setting the Atmosphere


    Kenneth Walsh was thirteen and feeling lost.  His high-school life was to start in a week and he didn’t know where he belonged or what he was doing with his life.  The thought of a new school, new classes, harder work and…girls…made his head spin. 

    He slowly made his way up the hill in the darkness of a summer night.  He looked up at the stars and found comfort in the twinkling of their light.  A warm night breezed met him as he reached hilltop, and he gripped the harmonica case he was carrying.  His skin welcomed the breeze and he had a  flash of a memory of cuddling with his mother as a child.

     His gazed traveled from the stars to the lights of the city below him.  Like the stars, they broke night’s darkness and he thought about that.  He gently placed the harmonica case down on the grass as he stretched and looked at the lights.

    “Every light,”  he whispered,  “a life.”  He thought about the families in those lights; mothers, fathers, sons and daughters.  He thought about the activity in each of those households…the conversations, the sharing, the meals they were eating.  He imagined hot roast beef and mashed potatoes, soft dinner rolls with melted butter, and fresh lettuce and tomatoes in tossed dinner salads, and glasses filled with ice teas and soda.    He salivated at the thought. 

He thought about families sitting together in light and sharing and communing with one another.

   “So, how was your day, honey,” mom would say to dad.  And to the kids, “Did you finish your homework yet?  How was your day at school?”   He could hear the words in his head and see them in the mind of his eye.

  “Every light…a life.” 

His gaze returned to the starlit sky and he sat down on a thick patch of hilltop grass.  His eyes traveled across the sky and each light winked at him as he took it in.  Kenneth felt small sitting there.  It was so big and…beautiful.    “How awesome you are,” he said to the star filled sky.  How little and insignificant he felt in the middle of it all.


He suddenly had a childhood memory of star gazing and he looked for…there it was …the big dipper.  Kenneth smiled.   He thought about God, making pictures with stars.  He laughed to himself and to the night.

  “Soup spoon,” he said.  God’s soup spoon.  He wondered if God had been hungry when He had done that.

“Yes, “ He must have been.  He rubbed his stomach.   He suddenly didn’t feel so small anymore.

He closed his eyes and then gave himself a hug.  Another warm breeze blew over him and Kenneth felt …peaceful.

He opened his eyes, and spotted his case.  He slowly opened it.  The 12 Harmonicas shone in the starlight.

He picked up the Key “A” harmonica and placed it near his lips.  He looked up at the Dipper one more time, closed his eyes, and t drew a bent note that echoed through the night.  The stars laughed and the lights of the city twinkled below him, attentive and waiting.

All rights belong to its author. It was published on by demand of Joseph Trance.
Published on on 09/01/2010.


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