A Tire Swing Story is a bite-sized "imagining" inspired by an object I discover while wandering. It could be a curbside trash gem or a message sprayed on a wall. A lost mitten, or an antique store find. Anything goes. I photograph the object and post them together, the story and its inspiration. There will be a new story every Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, I'll discuss writing, life, love, and coffee. (In no particular order and maybe all at once.)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Curtis crouches on the other side of the wall. He is shirtless, and one of his Dad's neckties is wrapped around his head, Rambo style. 

Beside him on the ground is a plastic bucket filled with water balloons. Curtis is ready to wage war. 

And here you come, sauntering down the sidewalk, groceries in hand. You don't know what's waiting for you. You can't see him grin. 

Curtis owns this wall. He discovered it when the cement was still fresh and scratched a message into it. Curtis has never owned anything. The things that are supposed to be his: his bed, his clothes, even the hairs on his head, aren't really. He's always being told what to do with them. 

"Make your bed, Curtis." "Change those filthy clothes." "Comb that mop of hair."

"Do your homework, Curtis. Eat your peas. Turn off that t.v. Put your shoes away. Brush your teeth. Use soap. Not so much, Curtis. Not so loud. Sit down. Stand up. Look at me when I'm talking to you." 

Curtis owns this wall, and here no one can tell him what to do. 

You should've gone back. Turned on your heels and walked down another street. But now it's too late. The bright blue balloon is in Curtis's hand and he's raising his arm. 

You are soaked. Water pours down your head and into the back of your shirt. You gasp at the cold and the shock. And beneath your outrage, you hear laughter. 

Curtis is laughing at you. 

It's his wall. You were warned.


  1. I love it. The anticipation that we know what is going to happen! Even though I wouldn't want it to happen to me, I totally was cheering for Curtis! Oh Brittany, these NEED to be put into a book for EVERYONE to read.

  2. I agree with Sue! I loved this one Britt.