General Non-Fiction posted June 11, 2016

This work has reached the exceptional level
A fantasy can be deadly

Remembering A Childhood Day

by prettybluebirds

I remember watching big, fluffy clouds drifting slowly through the sky on a long ago day; I must have been four or five years old at the time. I got the notion that it would be wonderful to sit on one of those beautiful clouds and drift over the world below. I envied the birds because I thought they could fly up there and sit on any cloud they chose whenever they wanted to... 'How I wondered, can I find a way to get up there?'

Then I recalled the many stories I had been told about angels, how they lived in the sky and sat upon those very clouds I loved so much. 'Now how did they get to be angels and gain the right to sit up there?' I needed to think about it a while... 'Oh, I know who can tell me'. Mom was getting supper at the time but I knew she must know about angels and such, I would ask her.

Mom was standing over the old wood stove cooking supper. The sweat dripped off the end of her nose and wet hair stuck to the sides of her neck. It was a hot, miserable job cooking for her large brood in the summertime.

I yanked on Mom's dress to get her attention so I could ask her about angels. She gave me a harried look that clearly meant, 'I'm busy so don't bother me right now'. But I was a persistent little kid and kept bugging her until she finally said, "What?"

"Where do angels come from and how does someone get to be an angel?" I asked her.

"Well, angels are people who once lived here on earth but have died and gone to heaven. Only the good folks get to be angels and live in the sky with Jesus, Mom said.

"Really, am I a good person Mom?

"Of course, you are. You're my little girl and, as far as I'm concerned, you're my little angel too. Now let me finish getting dinner or you will be a mighty hungry child".

I went back outside and stared at the clouds some more. If I understood Mom right, I was already an angel so I should be able to sit on a cloud if I wanted to, so why couldn't I? Oh, I remember, Mom said a person had to die in order to live with Jesus and sit on the clouds. That thought made things a lot easier, all I had to do was find a way to die. I wondered what would be the best way to do it.

Then I remembered Dad telling me he sprayed the fruit trees with something to make the bugs die. If it worked for the bugs it might work for me too, it was worth a try. I knew where Dad kept the chemicals and powders he mixed in the sprayer so I headed for the garage.

I found several bags of powder but didn't know which one was the bug killer. I was too young to read so I decided to just try a couple of the powders and see what they did. One was a horrible yellow color and I thought it might be a poison of some sort; I made the decision to try it. Soon, I would be sitting on my cloud and waving down at Mom and Dad. I never once thought what I was doing was wrong; I was just a little girl who wanted to sit on a cloud. I took a big handful of the yellow powder and swallowed it.

It was the most terrible stuff I ever tasted. It burned my throat and I immediately started gagging and vomiting. It wasn't supposed to be like that, I was supposed to quietly die, like going to sleep. I staggered to the house and the comfort of Mom.

Things didn't get any better after I got there. Mom made me drink lots of water and kept sticking her finger down my throat to make me throw up.

"Why did you eat that sulfur Ruth, Mom asked me. "You know better than to do something like that. What would have happened if you had swallowed the DDT? You would have been a mighty sick little girl. Don't ever do anything like that again, do you hear me?"

I certainly heard Mom. At that point, I lost all desire to sit on a cloud or be an angel. At least not right then; dying was too hard.

I remember that incidence clearly today. It has often made me wonder if young children don't accidentally kill their selves while acting out some fantasy in their minds. Such as a child thinking they can fly like superman and jumping off of a high place. Or, perhaps, some other superhero stunt they saw somewhere. I think children sometimes shoot one another while 'playing' with daddy's gun. I know I truly thought I wanted to die and be an angel sitting on those clouds. Who knows?

I Remember writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Begin your non-fiction autobiographical story or poem with the words 'I remember...' Complete the sentence conveying a moment, an object, a feeling, etc. This does not have to be a profound memory, but should allow readers insight into your feelings, observations and/or thoughts. Use at least 100, but not more than 1,000 words. The count should be stated in your author notes.


I remember this day like it was yesterday. Children think funny thoughts sometimes. My son once thought he was the six-million-dollar man and tried to run through a solid wall. How often do kids do such things? The picture is my brother and I playing under the old maple tree.
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