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Fourth Bench On The Left (standard:Flash, 744 words)
Author: RamonAdded: Jul 15 2004Views/Reads: 1984/1205Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Different generations meet in a park and find they need each other . . .


Watson squinted out of the corner of his eye as a young woman approached
the park bench.  Her honey-colored hair was cropped short and it framed 
an oval face. She wore a baggy Detroit Pistons' T-shirt over faded 
jeans with thread-bare knees. The girl settled on the other end of the 
bench, sprawled her legs out, leaned back. 

“Did you belch?” Watson grumbled out of the side of his mouth. She
glanced at him.  “You talkin' to me?” 

“Yeah. Did you belch?” 

She sat up, bit her lip to stifle a smile and shook her head.  “No –
what's yer problem, ol' man?” 

“If you sit on my bench, you can't belch.” 

She glared at him.  “D'you own this bench?” 

“I was here first.” 

“So?  I'm here last.” 

“Just don't belch.” 

He smiled to himself.  “That's a good way to open a conversation -- cuts
out a lot of idle chatter.” 

“I'll try it next time I hear the ‘d'you come here often'? line.” 

His hands cupped the head of his cane. He watched a gray squirrel run
headfirst down a birch tree and move toward them. It stopped, changed 
its mind and ran back under a bush. 

Watson turned. “You have a name?” 


“Eusil – what kind of a name is that?” 

“Different. Like your conversation.” 

Watson's head swiveled forward. “You live around here?” 

She frowned. “Did you belch?” 

Watson looked the other way and snorted. He kicked a foot out, then
slapped it down. “You're a funny kid.” He wiped his chin with the back 
of his hand. 

“So, you have a name?” Eusil asked. 


“First or last?” 

He smiled at her. “You asked for a name an' I gave you one – how does
Watson Watson sound?” 


He stood slowly and rubbed his knee. “Knee is gettin' stiff. Storm's on
the way. Look over west – clouds are black. Y'know, I used to walk 
clear across this park to the Roundup Tavern. Now I can only make it to 
the fourth bench on the left.” 

“My grandpa used his knee as a barometer, too.”  She stood up. 

He smiled at her. “ Wul, podner, nice meetin' ya – guess ah'll mosey on
over to Roundup ‘fore the storm hits.” 

She faced him, bow-legged with hands poised for a quick draw. “Hold on
thar, podner, ah'll mosey on with ya. Maybe belly up to the bar.” 

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