This story is not good jacking off material, go elsewhere I would appreciate comments.
I've always been good with children, perhaps that's why I grew up to do what my grandpa did, trawling my brightly colored hand-van with me everywhere I go and drawing crowds of prancing children who trade a dollar for delight. Now as I rest under a shady oak branch and the sun does its best to get at me, I watch them kick out of the yellow bus, often both feet landing at the same time and then prance away, or towards me, some boldly brandishing a coin, others shyly handing out a paper note, and smiling or rolling their eyes as I joke and talk with them.
"Mister? Can I have a candy?"
I look down, my head bending down much less than usual. She's almost up to my waist, but aside from the smile on her face, she's all grownup. I take the jumble of coins; she's ten cents short, but her smile makes up for that.
I smile back and hand her the treat, and start pulling away towards the bus.
"Where's the old man?"
I turn back, surprised.
"You knew my grandfather?"
"So he's your grandpa! You know, you kinda look a lot like him, where is he anyway," and then, "he's not sick, is he?"
"He died last week."
"Oh! I'm sorry." A stray tear escapes the rapid blinking of her bright blue eyes. She stood there, crying silently.
I pulled my hands around her and hugged her to me, her shivering body silently shaking as quiet tears fall all around us.
"It's okay, people grow up and die all the time, you know? My grandfather was old, god knows how old, but people can't live forever you know?"
Her bright clear blue eyes bit into mine, "Good people live forever. That's what my grandpa used to say. Good people are blessed by God, and they go to heaven where they live forever, they live forever..." she mumbled, soft tears soaking my shirt. I shush and hush her, she clings to me, letting me go only after I've assured her all grandpas, and especially candyman grandpas live forrrrever in heaven.
Her sobs slowly settle down as she stretches her hands away from me.
"It's okay to cry, you know?"
"It's okay to cry; everybody cries, but everybody laughs too, see?" I pointed to the loud children by the yellow bus.
I take out the biggest ice-cream I have and give it to her. Her face immediately brightens up, she takes a lick at the sweet chocolate, and then some more, the tears still drying on her face as she looks up at me and smiles.
"You know, you make a good candyman."
Then she trotted away as many before her, and millions after her as my candy-van grew into a truck, and then a nice, good, pretty shop and then lots of shops; now, I take my ten bucks from inside a closed building of glass and concrete and a view to kill for. But I never forgot her, one sharp, distinct thread in the confused weaves of my mind, a single sword fought every so often to come out and raze down everything I've become.
I've always been good with children, but never with people. The world loved me enough to give me three divorces and hated me enough for four marriages, every single one of them a mockery of meaningless words. I've learned to shun people; I think my long-nosed secretary is afraid of me, her white skin trembles as she hands me the black envelope, and I take it in my black hands and hand her the white cup of tea, which she takes away, closing the door behind her softly.
Another day of sifting through files later, my car drops me at the park. I walk through children laughing and playing, sliding down the huge whirl-slide and splashing down in the water, throwing mud at each other, some crying as they fall down and cut something, others laughing at the crying. I find a noisy spot to sit down and soak in the sounds around me -
"Now, Jill, how many times I've told you not to play in the water, you're going to ruin..."
"Jacob! Come back here! Damn that boy, can't remain still for one damn moment. Jacob!"
"That's mine I found it."
"But I saw it first!"
"But I found it and my mama says people who find things keep them, keepers finders! S*o there!"
"Jon! Stop it now, my mother will see... please."
I opened my eyes and I searched for that girl's voice, my eyes scanning the people around me. I see them, a little way off the park, under a good plump of ripe mulberry trees so only I can see them, somebody a little away to the left or right would miss them altogether.
I was looking at a girl and a boy pawing at each other. The girl seemed hesitant, but not unresponsive, but the boy was going ahead full steam, his lips found hers and locked it to him, his hands awkwardly clawing at her chest and hugging her, all the while smooching her face everywhere.
"Jon! Where are you? Come back here this instant!"
The loud cry shakes them up. The boy stands up, startled, and almost falls down. The girl starts laughing, but quickly covers her flushed mouth with both of her hands.
"Listen, Jenny, you're not to tell anyone we did this okay? Not even Martha, not even Rosy, okay? Promise, or I'll never see you again..." the boy whispers anxiously, wiping the dirt from his pants and trying to stand up under the long branches.
"But Jon, I tell Martha everything, and she tells me everything and she won't tell on us, I'll make her cross her heart..." the girl said with something very much like puzzlement on her face.
"Jenny, are you stupid or what? If someone knows what we've been doing, they'll ground me for life, and you too - don't tell me I didn't tell you when it happens."
"Listen to me, you bitch. If you tell one word of this to anybody, I'll break you apart, bone by bone, you hear?"
His mother calls him again. He ran away, shaking up the branches around him as he bumps his head a few times. The girl sat back on the soft, cool grass, her skirt pulled up to her knees, crying, small confused tears dripping onto her cheeks, and the dry earth below.