Up the porch steps he urged himself, right arm hanging limply at his side. His face was contorted in a controlled grimace. With his left hand, he opened the screen door.

“Mom,” he said slowly, “I have a broken arm…”

She responded in a mildly panicked tone, “What? How do you know?”
Confused by his lack of emotion and because he expressed no pain, she moved toward him. He turned his right arm slowly because of the dull, throbbing, pain. With the wrist side of his right arm extended, he revealed the injury.

“Look, Mom.”

Her dark eyes bulged at the sight of the protruding bone, along the jagged tear in his skin. Droplets of blood seeped and oozed from the wound.

All she calmly said in response to the sight was, “Okay.”  However, there was a noticeable tremor in her voice. She went to the kitchen and hastily grabbed a clean tea towel. Moving toward him and she turned his left shoulder slowly, not wanting to touch his right side. They moved carefully through toward the door.

He had been playing outside, by himself actually. At age 7, he was a little chubby but agile for his size and age. He attempted to copy a feat accomplished by every boy in the neighborhood but him—or so it seemed to him. He did not want to be the only one unable to do it. Some of the other kids laughed at him about it. So, since no one was around, he thought he’d try it himself.

A wall, about four feet high, ran the length of the yard. There were two floors with several apartments on each floor. His grandfather lived in one of the first floor apartments.  At the entrance to the yard, a gate separated the wall on two sides. The wall was narrow and came to a point, shaped by a mason’s hand. On the second floor, in one of the apartments, lived a family with six children. David, one of the eldest, appeared on the back porch and was watching him climb the wall.

Looking up, he saw David watching. He pulled himself up onto the narrow wall. There were several poles cemented into the wall for hanging clotheslines between them. Two poles were separated by about five feet, one near the gate to the yard. All the other boys, mostly older, were able to walk the top of the wall, from pole to pole. He was determined to accomplish this just as the other boys had. He tried to balance himself on the tip of the narrow wall.

David warned, “You’re going to fall and break your arm!”

With false bravado he replied to David, “No I won’t!” In reality, he had been afraid to attempt this feat—he was scared he would fall. He had finally worked up enough courage to attempt to conquer the challenge.

He climbed the wall successfully by pulling himself up, using the pole on top. Holding on to the embedded pipe, he stood at the corner of the wall. After making several attempts to balance himself and walk from pole to pole, he slipped!

All sound ceased. David’s prophetic warning came true! As he fell, he stretched out his arm to help break his fall. Instead, he just broke his arm. David laughed loudly and hollered, “I told you that you were going to fall!” Not wanting to give him any satisfaction for his prescience, he slowly, painfully got up off the ground. He dragged himself across the alley and ambled shakily up his front steps.

His mother knocked on the door of a neighbor for a ride to the hospital. Sitting next to him in the back seat, she held his right arm still. But every bump, every jar, sent excruciating pain through his body. Wanting to be strong and not upset his Mom, he held in his screams. His tears still fell, but not onto the jagged tear of the skin nor onto the exposed bone, of the fractured wrist.

© 2013 ajwrites57

arm image by Ricce

wall image by drowninsanity

If you enjoyed this story, you can find more at my Hubpages writing blog. 
Thanks for stopping by!

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