By Jon Sindell
Copyright 2009-2012 Jon Sindell
In this story by the author of The Mighty Roman, a simple youth takes a stand for animals and gays. Thank you, reader, for coming.
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In Lawrence’s soft smile were sculpted the loving acceptance of parents resigned to a slow-thinking son, and the loving support of a brilliant big sister who’d passed up the chance to live with college friends to guide her one-year-younger brother through one last perilous year of high school.
It had always been thus. Walking to school on Lawrence’s first day of first grade, Mercy had cheered her brother with the promise of a flying saucer at recess. Smiling sweetly to the classmates nearest him as the kids tromped giddy and nervous out to the playground, Lawrence tumbled out the news that his sister was bringing a spaceship to him–and they could ride on it! Jasmine–tall, pretty, and bursting with confidence–tittered at Lawrence when Mercy arrived with a saucer-shaped cookie; a pair of tentative girls behind Jasmine stood like wee ladies-in-waiting, observing the scene with slowly dawning grins. Mercy comprehended her brother’s plight and marched back to the cafeteria to spend her allowance plus two borrowed bucks on flying saucers for all three girls. When she returned, the girls were perched atop the monkey bars while Lawrence munched below them and gazed up as if they were high wire angels. When the tribute cookies were eaten and the sated angels floated down to ground, Mercy extended her arms into Buzz Lightyear wings and led the three girls, with Lawrence in the rear, on a soaring, banking, careening space caravan to the outer reaches of the little kids’ yard, the other kids gaping with envy and awe. The three girls adopted Lawrence that day, and kept him all year.