portion of the artwork for Bobby Parker's story

Bobby Parker

Horror movies. Rainy afternoons. I know what’s out there, in the rain, but when I was a kid there could have been anything in the rain. My imagination working it over, growing over reality like a sparkling moss. Now it’s just streets and fields, buildings and trees, people and animals, love and fear, a man like me staring out the window with raisins stuck in his back teeth.

There could have been anything in the rain. If I think really hard I can almost see what my imagination made of the rain, what my imagination planted in the rain for me to think about.

From our tiny house with an ugly garden I thought our estate had doorways into other worlds. For instance, at my best friend Chris’s house the attic took us to a place where his mum never left his dad for an Italian taxi driver, and his dad didn’t become a violent alcoholic, and his sister didn’t have one blue eye and one brown eye.

When I wasn’t at the far end of the park (jumping over the stream and carving girls names into the snickering trees) I imagined strange people were digging in the rain. Some of them kept digging until they were at the bottom of a deep pit and the pit filled with rain and they drowned. Some of them found what they were looking for, smiled and disappeared. They didn’t speak. Their skin was maggot ice cream.

I thought about the diggers in the rain.

Maybe they are still out there. Digging. Drowning in rain-filled pits. Some of them dig with their hands. The scary ones dig with their hands. Their wigs fall off and they pick them up and carry on digging. They have eyes like burst blood blisters. Are they looking for toys? I think they are digging for toys.

I shout to my wife in the living room, “THEY ARE DIGGING FOR TOYS …”

But she is too busy peeling loose skin off her belly to listen to me shouting about toys. Her holiday tan is almost gone. It will be winter soon. She hates the snow because she had an accident in the snow when she was a little girl.

Every year she complains about the snow and every year I dance for snowflakes.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 30 | Fall 2010