We had these skateboard ramps to the left of the house, a mini ramp and a vert ramp and forty or so skaters every Sunday with their dogs and stoke and speakers blasting new school punk and old school country and sometimes It’s Brittany, Bitch, and during the peak heat in summer some of the skaters would take a break and get crafty at the picnic tables we built from weathered fence boards, and one Sunday this girl pulled out a bag of foraged crystals she bought off the internet and thin gauge wire and needle-nosed pliers and she encouraged me to recite a wish while she worked the wire around the crystal I picked out at her insistence, and it was like she bound my wish, secured what little hope I had left to something tangible, and it wasn’t a great time for me, I was newly separated but not quite divorced, and childless every second Sunday and I often got drunk those second Sundays because I missed my boys but not their dad—missed their direction and affection and distraction—and I kept the crystal next to my bedside, picked it up when I was drunk and lonely or groggy with waking and I’d turn it between my fingers and recite the wish, and at the time I lived with another family in a room I rented because single parenting was easier when there was another mum and another dad in the house to fill up the space, and they had a daughter and a son of similar age to my boys and this particular summer, the Summer of Separation, our kids all skated too, learned how to drop in on the mini ramp alongside the big kids, the click of their wheels and their hollering praise at each other, and the family’s daughter found my wire-bound crystal next to my bedside light one night when she’d finished skating, sat on my bed with her knee pads and helmet still on, took my crystal between her fingers and stared at its intricate wire work, its twists and circles and loops, asked me what it was for, what did I do with it, and what I meant to say was, everything, and, keep those pads and helmet on because you’re going to need them, but all I said was, nothing, I said, I don’t do anything with it, and I placed the crystal in the palm of her hand and wrapped her fingers around it and said, It’s yours now, good luck.

Jennifer Todhunter

Jennifer Todhunter's work has appeared in Monkeybicycle, The Forge, River Teeth, and elsewhere. Her work has been selected for Best Small Fictions, Best Microfictions and Wigleaf´s Top 50 Very Short Fictions. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Pidgeonholes. Find her at www.foxbane.ca or @JenTod_.

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